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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Guardian Capital Partners posts loss third year running

Guardian Capital Partners posts loss third year running

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CSE.SAS

CSE.SAS
Global Moderator
Guardian Capital Partners PLC (GCP -Previously Watapota Investments), a member of the Carsons group, has posted a loss of Rs.21.5 million after tax for the year ended March 31, 2012 against a loss of Rs.9 million the previous year according to its recently released annual report.

The company which is a private equity investment arm of the Ceylon Guardian group, the biggest investment fund quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange, holds a portfolio valued at Rs.522 million with investments in three quoted companies - Expolanka Holdings (Rs.251 million) Access Engineering (Rs.214 million) and Textured Jersey (Rs.17 million) and one unquoted company hSenid Business Solutions (Rs.40 million).

Guardian Fund Management Limited, Investment Managers for GCP said in the company’s annual report that the companies in which they had invested had recorded a consolidated revenue and profit growth of 6% and 22% respectively in the year under review.

Their growth rates had dropped during the financial year primarily due to Expolanka and Textured Jersey posting lower growth on account of the slowdown in the global economy and diverse movements in commodity markets, the managers said.

``The fundamental strengths of these businesses still remain intact and the managements of these companies are continuing with their business expansion plans as envisaged at the time of our investment," they added.

"Hence we strongly believe that as the global economic situation stabilizes these companies would post strong growth numbers in the medium to long term."

GCP Chairman Israel Paulraj said that in the context of the lackluster performance of the CSE, they were doubtful about whether they would have any exits within the year despite three of their positions being listed.

"We will exit if we believe we are getting the right value for the business, which at current prices is far from realized, or where our criteria for investment are not continued to be met," he explained.

He said that they hoped to increase the deal flow and increase the diversity of their portfolio and this may require more capital since they are fully invested at present.

They continued to note a considerable discrepancy between the actual net worth of the company and the price at which its shares traded in the market. While their net worth was Rs.20.10 per share, their shares traded as high as Rs.70.20, he said.

The directors have not recommended a payment of a dividend for the year due to the company’s expansion plans. Also they would like to stress to their shareholders that private equity investments are riskier, relatively illiquid by nature, carry a longer gestation period, and therefore carry a higher risk weight than listed equity.

"Income stream to shareholders will be irregular, with zero income distributions in certain years followed by a relatively large payout when the portfolio matures," he said.

The company has a stated capital of Rs.513.7 million and a negative revenue reserve of Rs.7.9 million in its books. Total assets ran at Rs.528 million and current liabilities at Rs.22.2 million.

The company has posted losses in the last three consecutive years last operating profitably in 2009 when a profit of Rs.46.6 million was posted.

The company’s share price fluctuated between Rs.344.90 and Rs.65 during the year under review against a trading range of Rs.10,012.50 and Rs.196 the previous year.

Ceylon Guardian Investment Trust PLC with 83.97% is the dominant shareholder of GCP followed by Lake View Investment Trust (2.53%) and Carson Cumberbatch (2.25%)

The directors of the company are: Messrs. I. Paulraj (Chairman), D.C.R. Gunawardena and S. Mahendrarajah.
http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=56808

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