Source - RNS
RNS Number : 2548J
ARGO Group Limited
08 September 2016
 

 Argo Group Limited

("Argo" or the "Company")

 

Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2016

 

Argo today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2016.

The Company will today make available its interim report for the six month period ended 30 June 2016 on the Company's website www.argogrouplimited.com.

 

 

Key highlights for the six month period ended 30 June 2016

 

This report sets out the results of Argo Group Limited (the "Company") and its subsidiaries (collectively "the Group" or "Argo") covering the six month period ended 30 June 2016.

 

-     Revenues US$4.0 million (six months to 30 June 2015: US$3.1 million)

-     Operating profit US$3.8 million (six months to 30 June 2015: profit US$0.2 million)

-     Profit before tax US$4.9 million (six months to 30 June 2015: loss US$4.2 million)

-     Net assets US$24.2 million (31 December 2015: US$22.4 million)

 

Commenting on the results and outlook, Kyriakos Rialas, Chief Executive of Argo said:

 

"The performance of the first six months of 2016 is mainly attributable to the monetisation of certain distressed positions, with a sizeable contribution to profit also coming from the resurgence in Emerging Market Debt. Moving forward we are now ready to expand our marketing efforts with the key focus of relaunching the flagship Argo Fund and boosting our AUM."

 

 

Enquiries

 

Argo Group Limited

Andreas Rialas

020 7016 7660

 

Panmure Gordon

Dominic Morley

020 7886 2500

 

 

 

CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

 

The Group and its investment objective

 

Argo's investment objective is to provide investors with absolute returns in the funds that it manages by investing in, inter alia, fixed income, special situations, local currencies and interest rate strategies, private equity, real estate, quoted equities, high yield corporate debt and distressed debt, although not every fund invests in each of these asset classes.

 

Argo was listed on the AIM market in November 2008 and has a performance track record dating back to 2000.

 

Business and operational review

 

For the six month period ended 30 June 2016 the Group generated revenues of US$4.0 million (six months to 30 June 2015: US$3.1 million) with management fees accounting for US$2.0 million (six months to 30 June 2015: US$2.8 million). The Group generated incentive fees of US$1.7 million (six months to 30 June 2015: US$Nil).

 

Total operating costs for the period, ignoring bad debt provisions, are US$2.0 million compared to US$1.7 million for the six months to 30 June 2015. During the period management fee arrears of US$2.8 million were recovered from Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited ("AREOF") against which a provision had been raised in prior years. The Group has provided against management fees of US$1,164,000 (€1,000,000) (six months to 30 June 2015: US$1,117,000 (€1,000,000)) due from AREOF. In the Directors' view these amounts are fully recoverable however they have concluded that it would not be appropriate to continue to recognise income without provision from these investment management services as the timing of such receipts may be outside the control of the Company and AREOF.

 

Overall, the financial statements show an operating profit for the period of US$3.8 million (six months to 30 June 2015: profit US$0.2 million) and a profit before tax of US$4.9 million (six months to 30 June 2015: loss US$4.2 million) reflecting the net gain on investments of US$1.1 million (six months to 30 June 2015: net loss US$4.5 million). The outstanding performance of The Argo Fund Limited ("TAF") and Argo Distressed Credit Fund Limited ("ADCF") for the first six months contributed to substantial performance fees which will be realisable at the year end provided substantial losses do not occur in the last six months of the year.

 

At the period end, the Group had net assets of US$24.2 million (31 December 2015: US$22.4 million) and net current assets of US$23.4 million (31 December 2015: US$15.7 million) including cash reserves of US$9.0 million (31 December 2015: US$3.1 million).

 

Net assets include investments in TAF, AREOF, Argo Special Situations Fund LP and ADCF (together referred to as "the Argo funds") at fair values of US$9.7 million (31 December 2015: US$10.2 million), US$0.1 million (31 December 2015: US$0.1 million), US$0.02 million (31 December 2015: US$0.02 million) and US$2.6 million (31 December 2015: US$Nil) respectively.

 

At the period end the Argo funds (excluding AREOF) owed the Group total management and performance fees of US$2,172,156 (31 December 2015: US$819,451).

 

The Argo funds (excluding AREOF) ended the period with Assets under Management ("AUM") at US$104.8 million, 12.2% higher than at the beginning of the period. The current level of AUM remains below that required to ensure sustainable profits on a recurring management fee basis in the absence of performance fees. This has necessitated an ongoing review of the Group's cost basis. Nevertheless, the Group has ensured that the operational framework remains intact and that it retains the capacity to manage additional fund inflows as and when they arise.

 

The number of employees of the Group at 30 June 2016 was 24 (30 June 2015: 24).

 

The Group has provided AREOF with a notice of deferral in relation to amounts due from the provision of investment management services, under which it will not demand payment of such amounts until the Group judges that AREOF is in a position to pay the outstanding liability. These amounts accrued or receivable at 30 June 2016 total US$ Nil (31 December 2015: Nil) after a bad debt provision of US$5,629,179 (€5,069,505) (31 December 2015: US$7,164,702, €6,569,505). AREOF continues to meet part of this obligation to the Argo Group as and when liquidity allows. During the six month period ended 30 June 2016 AREOF settled total fees of US$2,776,000 (€2,500,000). In November 2013 AREOF offered Argo Group Limited additional security for the continued support in the form of debentures and guarantees by underlying intermediate companies. The AREOF management contract has a fixed term expiring on 31 July 2018.

Fund performance

Argo Funds

 

Fund

Launch

      date

  30 June   

       2016

6 months

  30 June   

       2015

6 months

       2015

       year

      total

       Since inception

  Annualised  performance

Sharpe   

    ratio

 

   Down

 months

   AUM



%

%

     %

%

 CAGR %



  US$m

The Argo Fund

Oct-00

41.90

-1.45

 -17.42

183.20

7.72

0.60

57 of 89

   60.0

Argo Distressed Credit Fund

Oct-08

33.36

-0.44

 

-9.71

99.85

10.07

0.75

42 of 93

   35.8

Argo Special Situations Fund LP

Feb-12

-31.15

-16.18

-76.21

-89.86

-44.27

-0.79

47 of 53

     9.0

Total









104.8

 

* NAV only officially measured once a year in September.

 

 

AREOF's adjusted Net Asset Value was minus US$23.4 million (minus €20.9 million) as at 30 September 2015, compared with minus US$6.7 million (minus €5.3 million) a year earlier. The adjusted Net Asset Value per share at 30 September 2015 was minus US$0.03 (minus €0.03) (30 September 2014: minus US$0.01 (minus €0.01)). Although AREOF's consolidated statement of financial position indicates the AREOF group is insolvent on a consolidated basis, the structural ring-fencing of the underlying SPV's limits the impact on the Group of negative equity at subsidiary level. On this basis a restatement of the Net Asset Value would be US$0.01 (€0.01) (30 September 2014: US$0.05 (€0.04)).

 

At the start of 2016 emerging markets were particularly affected by low oil prices but by March the markets were enjoying a stronger period as oil prices began to recover and the US Federal Reserve presented a more accommodating stance. At the beginning of the second quarter the uncertainty surrounding the "Brexit" referendum had cast a shadow over financial markets and permeated into a global issue but by the end of the period the outlook was more stable as central banks in developed countries indicated their willingness to take added measures to boost economic growth.

 

This backdrop has created an opportunity to reinvest in emerging markets at lower prices and we are now in a position to take advantage of the opportunity as a result of a liquidity event in AREOF (see below). In response to the prevailing attitudes towards credit funds we are relaunching TAF and ADCF as two distinct mandates with different liquidity profiles that will make them more attractive propositions to new investors.

 

During the reporting period the Argo funds generated a positive return from trades linked to the 2015 disposal of their stake in the Indonesian oil refinery, TPPI. In June 2016 the Argo funds further benefited from the sale by AREOF of one of its real estate assets in Sibiu, Romania. This also contributed to the strong performance of TAF and ADCF and provided much needed liquidity to the funds and allowed AREOF to repay US$2,776,000 (€2,500,000) of management fee arrears.

 

TAF is the Group's flagship fund and has a 16 year track record. Going forward, TAF will focus on liquid bond securities, both sovereign and corporate, and will be the centre of the Group's marketing efforts. Following the declines experienced by emerging markets over the past two years, the Board believes they offer attractive investment opportunities. Furthermore, the economic fundamentals in emerging markets are robust. They are expected to deliver significantly stronger economic growth than developed markets in 2016/2017 while enjoying attractive risk profiles thanks to low levels of government indebtedness and high foreign exchange reserves. The results of the first half of 2016 for TAF and ADCF show a promising future.

 

The two markets in which AREOF operates were mixed. Conditions in Romania were largely favourable as the local economy continued to expand thereby boosting the local property market. In Ukraine the political crisis finally ended with the replacement of almost the entire government and the economy is now on a modest recovery path.

 

The majority of AREOF's debt facilities were in default at some point during the year. This situation has been addressed through asset disposal and renegotiation with lending banks with a view to restructuring debt commitments to better align these to the current level of the AREOF group's cash flow. While discussions with the relevant banks are ongoing to find an agreeable solution for all parties AREOF continues to enjoy the forbearance of its banks and support of its shareholders. In view of this, the directors of AREOF have concluded that AREOF is a going concern.

 

The prevailing equity price of the AREOF shares at the time of their suspension in 2013 (see note 8 to the financial statements) was 2.0 euro cents. The valuation of Argo Group Limited's investment in AREOF and that of the Argo funds was 1.0 euro cent per share as at 30 June 2016.

 

 

Dividends and share purchase programme

 

The Group did not pay a dividend during the current or prior period. The Directors intend to restart dividend payments as soon as the Group's performance provides a consistent track record of profitability.

 

However during the period the Directors undertook a share purchase programme and authorised the repurchase of 18,955,000 shares at a total cost of U$2.8 million which provided substantial market liquidity for share trading. The Directors firmly believe that a return of excess cash to shareholders through buy-backs will send a positive message to investors and for this reason they propose to undertake a further share buy-back programme over the next 12 months.  

 

Outlook

 

The Board remains optimistic about the Group's prospects particularly in light of the significant increase in the liquidity of the Argo funds following the asset sale in Romania. A significant increase in AUM is still required to ensure sustainable profits on a recurring management fee basis and the Group is well placed with capacity to absorb such an increase in AUM with negligible impact on operational costs.

 

Boosting AUM will be Argo's top priority in the next six months. The Group's marketing efforts will continue to focus on the re-launch of TAF which has a 16 year track record as well as identifying acquisitions that are earnings enhancing. TAF's prospectus was amended as of 1 March 2016 to eliminate trading in level 3 illiquid assets and concentrate trading and investments in emerging market bonds and other liquid assets.

 

Over the longer term, the Board believes there is significant opportunity for growth in assets and profits and remains committed to ensuring the Group's investment management capabilities and resources are appropriate to meet its key objective of achieving a consistent positive investment performance in the emerging markets sector.

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF PROFIT OR LOSS AND OTHER COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016

 



Six months


Six months




ended


ended




30 June


30 June




2016


2015



Note

US$'000


US$'000








Management fees


2,042


2,771


Performance fees


1,669


-


Other income


327


318


Revenue


4,038


3,089








Legal and professional expenses


(375)


(162)


Management and incentive fees payable


(34)


(34)


Operational expenses


(481)


(454)


Employee costs


(1,114)


(1,123)


Bad debt provision

9

1,712


(1,121)


Foreign exchange gain


39


59


Depreciation

7

(21)


(23)


Operating profit


3,764


231








Interest income on cash and cash equivalents


44


88


Realised and unrealised gains/(losses) on investments

8

1,094


(4,482)


Profit/(loss) on ordinary activities before taxation


4,902


(4,163)








Taxation

5

(97)


(31)


Profit/(loss) for the period after taxation attributable to members of the Company

6

4,805


(4,194)








Other comprehensive income






Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:






Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations


(215)


(261)


Total comprehensive income for the period


4,590


(4,455)

 






 



Six months


Six months

 



Ended


Ended

 



30 June


30 June

 



2016


2015

 



US$


US$

 

Earnings per share (basic)

6

0.08


-0.06


Earnings per share (diluted)

6

0.07


-0.06


 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

AS AT 30 JUNE 2016



30 June


At 31 December

 



2016


2015

 


Note

US$'000


US$'000

 






 

Assets





 






 

Non-current assets





 

Fixtures, fittings and equipment

7

42


64

 

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

8

136


4,896

 

Loans and advances receivable

10

683


1,783

 

Total non-current assets


861


6,743

 






 

Current assets





 

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

8

12,283


11,896


Trade and other receivables

9

2,350


966


Loans and advances receivable

10

87


-


Cash and cash equivalents


8,983


3,126


Total current assets


23,703


15,988







 

Total assets


24,564


22,731

 






 

Equity and liabilities





 






 

Equity





 

Issued share capital

11

485


674

 

Share premium


28,277


30,878

 

Revenue reserve


(1,434)


(6,239)

 

Foreign currency translation reserve


(3,091)


(2,876)

 

Total equity


24,237


22,437

 






 

Current liabilities





 

Trade and other payables


265


236

 

Taxation payable

5

62


58

 

Total current liabilities


327


294

 

Total equity and liabilities


24,564


22,731

 

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016

 


 

Issued share capital

 

 

Share premium

 

 

Revenue reserve

 Foreign currency translation reserve

 

 

 

Total


2015

2015

2015

2015

2015


US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000







As at 1 January 2015

674

30,878

(3,061)

(2,496)

25,995







Total comprehensive income






Loss for the period after taxation

-

-

(4,194)

              -

(4,194)

Other comprehensive income

-

-

               -

(261)

(261)







As at 30 June 2015

674

30,878

(7,255)

(2,757)

21,540


              

            

           

            

            

 

 

 


 

Issued share capital

 

 

Share premium

 

 

Revenue reserve

 Foreign currency translation reserve

 

 

 

Total


2016

2016

2016

2016

2016


US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000







As at 1 January 2016

674

30,878

(6,239)

(2,876)

22,437







Total comprehensive income






Profit for the period after taxation

-

-

4,805

               -

4,805

Other comprehensive income

-

-

-

(215)

(215)







Transactions with owners recorded directly in equity






Purchase of own shares (note 11)

(189)

(2,601)

-

-

(2,790)







As at 30 June 2016

485

28,277

(1,434)

(3,091)

24,237

 

 

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDED 30 JUNE 2016

 

 



Six months ended


Six months ended



30 June


30 June



2016


2015


Note

US$'000


US$'000






Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities

12

3,311


(1,737)






Cash flows used in investing activities





Interest received on cash and cash equivalents


23


1

Purchase of fixtures, fittings and equipment

7

(2)


(4)

Purchase of current asset investments

8

(2,000)


-

Proceeds from disposal of investments

8

7,467













Net cash generated from/(used in) investing activities


5,488


(3)






Cash flows from financing activities





Repurchase of own shares


(2,795)


-






Net cash used in financing activities


(2,795)


-






Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents


6,004


(1,740)






Cash and cash equivalents at 1 January 2016 and

    1 January 2015


3,126


2,821






Foreign exchange loss on cash and cash equivalents


(147)


(112)






Cash and cash equivalents as at 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2015


8,983


969

 

 

NOTES TO THE CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED INTERIM FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

For the six months ended 30 June 2016

 

1.       CORPORATE INFORMATION

         The Company is domiciled in the Isle of Man under the Companies Act 2006.  Its registered office is at 33-37 Athol Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1LB. The condensed consolidated interim financial statements of the Group as at and for the six months ended 30 June 2016 comprise the Company and its subsidiaries (together referred to as the "Group").

 

         The consolidated financial statements of the Group as at and for the year ended 31 December 2015 are available upon request from the Company's registered office or at www.argogrouplimited.com.

 

         The principal activity of the Company is that of a holding company and the principal activity of the wider Group is that of an investment management business. The functional and presentational currency of the Group undertakings is US dollars.  The Group has 24 employees.

 

         Wholly owned subsidiaries                                                              Country of incorporation

 

Argo Capital Management (Cyprus) Limited

Cyprus

Argo Capital Management Limited

United Kingdom

Argo Capital Management Property Limited

Cayman Islands

Argo Property Management Srl

Romania

North Asset Management Sarl

Luxembourg

 

2.       ACCOUNTING POLICIES

 

(a)     Basis of preparation

 

         These condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting. They do not include all the information required for full annual financial statements and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of the Group as at and for the year ended 31 December 2015.

 

         The accounting policies applied by the Group in these condensed consolidated interim financial statements are the same as those applied by the Group in its consolidated financial statements as at and for the year ended 31 December 2015.

 

         These condensed consolidated interim financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 7 September 2016.  

                 

b)      Financial instruments and fair value hierarchy

 

The following represents the fair value hierarchy of financial instruments measured at fair value in the Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Position. The hierarchy groups financial assets and liabilities into three levels based on the significance of inputs used in measuring the fair value of the financial assets and liabilities. The fair value hierarchy has the following levels:

Level 1: quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets for identical assets or liabilities;

 

Level 2: inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly (i.e. as prices) or indirectly (i.e. derived from prices); and

 

Level 3: inputs for the asset or liability that are not based on observable market data (unobservable inputs).

 

The level within which the financial asset or liability is classified is determined based on the lowest level of significant input to the fair value measurement

 

 

3.      SEGMENTAL ANALYSIS

 

The Group operates as a single asset management business.

The operating results of the companies set out in note 1 above are regularly reviewed by the Directors of the Group for the purposes of making decisions about resources to be allocated to each company and to assess performance. The following summary analyses revenues, profit or loss, assets and liabilities:


 

Argo Group Ltd

Argo Capital Management (Cyprus) Ltd

 

Argo Capital Management Ltd

 

Argo Capital Management Property Ltd

Six months ended

 30 June      


2016

2016

2016

2016

2016


US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000







Total revenues for reportable segments customers

600

786

2,497

1,425

5,308

Intersegment revenues

600

570

100

-

1,270







Total profit/(loss) for reportable segments

1,470

(136)

1,063

2,622

5,019

Intersegment profit/(loss)

600

(128)

(499)

-

(27)







Total assets for reportable segments assets

14,899

1,213

3,934

5,090

25,136

Total liabilities for reportable segments

40

29

691

1,069

1,829

 

Revenues, profit or loss, assets and liabilities may be reconciled as follows:

 

Six months


Ended


30 June 2016


US$'000

Revenues


Total revenues for reportable segments

5,308

Elimination of intersegment revenues

(1,270)

Group revenues

4,038



Profit or loss


Total profit for reportable segments

5,019

Elimination of intersegment loss

27

Other unallocated amounts

(144)

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation

4,902



Assets


Total assets for reportable segments

25,136

Elimination of intersegment receivables

(572)

Group assets

24,564



Liabilities


Total liabilities for reportable segments

1,829

Elimination of intersegment payables

(1,502)

Group liabilities

327

 


 

Argo Group Ltd

Argo Capital Management (Cyprus) Ltd

 

Argo Capital Management Ltd

 

Argo Capital Management Property Ltd


Six months ended

30 June      


2015

2015

2015

2015

 

2015


US$'000

US$'000

US$'000

US$'000


US$'000








Total revenues for reportable segments

200

883

1,211

1,435


    3,729

Intersegment revenues

200

-

440

-


       640








Total profit/(loss) for reportable segments

(4,456)

29

248

(47)


   (4,226)

Intersegment profit/(loss)

200

(641)

440

-


(1)








Total assets for reportable segments

43,874

3,162

3,025

2,689


   52,750

Total liabilities for reportable segments

99

1,259

264

75


     1,697

 

Revenues, profit or loss, assets and liabilities may be reconciled as follows:

 

Six months


ended


30 June 2015


US$'000

Revenues


Total revenues for reportable segments

3,729

Elimination of intersegment revenues

(640)

Group revenues

3,089



Profit or loss


Total loss for reportable segments

(4,226)

Elimination of intersegment loss

1

Other unallocated amounts

62

Loss on ordinary activities before taxation

(4,163)



Assets


Total assets for reportable segments

52,750

Elimination of intersegment receivables

(1,180)

Elimination of Company's cost of investments

(29,598)

Group assets

21,972



Liabilities


Total liabilities for reportable segments

1,697

Elimination of intersegment payables

(1,265)

Group liabilities

432

 

 

4.   SHARE-BASED INCENTIVE PLANS

         On 14 March 2011 the Group granted options over 5,900,000 shares to directors and employees under The Argo Group Limited Employee Stock Option Plan. All options are exercisable in four equal tranches over a period of four years at an exercise price of 24p per share.

 

         The fair value of the options granted was measured at the grant date using a Black-Scholes model that takes into account the effect of certain financial assumptions, including the option exercise price, current share price and volatility, dividend yield and the risk-free interest rate. The fair value of the options granted is spread over the vesting period of the scheme and the value is adjusted to reflect the actual number of shares that are expected to vest.

 

The principal assumptions for valuing the options are:

 

Exercise price (pence)

24.0

Weighted average share price at grant date (pence)

12.0

Weighted average option life (years)

10.0

Expected volatility (% p.a.)

2.11

Dividend yield (% p.a.)

10.0

Risk-free interest rate (% p.a.)

5.0

 

The fair value of options granted is recognised as an employee expense with a corresponding increase in equity. The total charge to employee costs in respect of this incentive plan is nil due to the differential in exercise price and share price.

           

The number and weighted average exercise price of the share options during the period is as follows:

 


Weighted average exercise price

No. of share options

Outstanding at beginning of period

24.0p

4,090,000

Granted during the period

-

   750,000

Forfeited during the period

24.0p

   -

Outstanding at end of period

24.0p

4,840,000

Exercisable at end of period

24.0p

4,840,000

 

The options outstanding at 30 June 2016 have an exercise price of 24p and a weighted average contractual life of 10 years, with all tranches of shares now being exercisable. Outstanding share options are contingent upon the option holder remaining an employee of the Group. They expire after 10 years.

 

No share options were issued during the period.

 

 

5.      TAXATION

 

         Taxation rates applicable to the parent company and the Cypriot, UK, Luxembourg, Cayman and Romanian subsidiaries range from 0% to 20% (2015: 0% to 22%).

        

Statement of profit or loss

Six months


Six months


ended


ended


30 June


30 June


2016


2015


US$'000


US$'000





Taxation charge for the period on Group companies

97


31

 

The charge for the period can be reconciled to the profit/(loss) shown on the Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income as follows:


Six months


Six months


ended


ended


30 June


30 June


2016


2015


US$'000


US$'000





Profit/(loss) before tax

4,902


(4,163)





Applicable Isle of Man tax rate for Argo Group Limited of 0%

-


-

Timing differences

2


2

Non-deductible expenses

6


3

Other adjustments

(171)


(57)

Tax effect of different tax rates of subsidiaries operating in other jurisdictions

260


83

Tax charge

97


31

 

Statement of financial position





30 June


31 December


2016


2015


US$'000


US$'000





Corporation tax payable

62


58

6.      EARNINGS PER SHARE

 

         Earnings per share is calculated by dividing the net profit/(loss) for the period by the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the period.


Six months


Six months

 


ended


ended

 


30 June


30 June

 


2016


2015

 


US$'000


US$'000

 





 

Net profit/(loss) for the period after taxation attributable to members

4,805


(4,194)






 


No. of shares


No. of shares

 





 

Weighted average number of ordinary shares for basic earnings per share

62,509,327


67,428,494

 

Effect of dilution (Note 4)

4,840,000


4,090,000

 

Weighted average number of ordinary shares for diluted earnings per share

67,349,327


71,518,494

 

 


Six months


Six months


Ended


ended


30 June


30 June


2016


2015


US$


US$





Earnings per share (basic)

0.08


-0.06

Earnings per share (diluted)

0.07


-0.06

 

 

7.      FIXTURES, FITTINGS AND EQUIPMENT


Fixtures, fittings

& equipment


US$'000

Cost


At 1 January 2015

254

Additions

8

Foreign exchange movement

(17)

At 31 December 2015

245

Additions

2

Foreign exchange movement

(13)

At 30 June 2016

234



Accumulated Depreciation


At 1 January 2015

  147

Depreciation charge for period

46

Foreign exchange movement

(12)

At 31 December 2015

181

Depreciation charge for period

21

Foreign exchange movement

(10)

At 30 June 2016

192



Net book value


At 31 December 2015

64

At 30 June 2016

42

 

 

8.       FINANCIAL ASSETS AT FAIR VALUE THROUGH PROFIT OR LOSS








30 June 2016


30 June 2016

Holding

Investment in management shares

Total cost


Fair value



US$'000


US$'000






10

The Argo Fund Ltd

-


-

100

Argo Distressed Credit Fund Ltd

-


-

1

Argo Special Situations Fund LP

-


-



-


-

 

Holding

Investment in ordinary shares

Total cost


Fair value



US$'000


US$'000






33,963

The Argo Fund Ltd*

7,583


9,702

10,899,021

Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Ltd

988


119

115

Argo Special Situations Fund LP

115


17

1,291

Argo Distressed Credit Fund Limited*

2,000


2,581



10,686


12,419

 



31 December


31 December



2015


2015

Holding

Investment in management shares

Total cost


Fair value



US$'000


US$'000






10

The Argo Fund Ltd

-


-

100

Argo Distressed Credit Fund Ltd

-


-

1

Argo Special Situations Fund LP

-


-

1

Argo Local Markets Fund

-


-



-


-

 

Holding

Investment in ordinary shares

Total cost


Fair value



US$'000


US$'000






51,261

The Argo Fund Ltd*

11,583


10,230

10,899,021

Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Ltd

988


119

115

Argo Special Situations Fund LP

115


17

2,117

Argo Local Markets Fund Limited*

1,700


1,666

40,272

Sudan Recovery Fund Limited

4,760


4,760



19,146


16,792

*Classified as current in the Statement of Financial Position

 

On 3 March 2014 Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited ("AREOF") delisted from AIM as a result of default notices on its loans creating uncertainty. The prevailing equity price of AREOF shares at the time of the suspension in August 2013 was 2.0 euro cents. The valuation of Argo Group Limited's investment in AREOF and that of the Argo funds was 1.0 euro cent as at 30 June 2016. This investment is classified as level 3 under IFRS fair value hierarchy reflecting the non-market observable inputs to its valuation. The audit report in respect of AREOF for the year ended 30 September 2015 was modified in respect of going concern. 

 

During the reporting period the Group redeemed its entire interests in Argo Local Markets Fund Limited and Sudan Recovery Fund Limited for US$1,587,702 and US$ 1,879,262 respectively. The Group also redeemed part of its interest in The Argo Fund Limited for US$4,000,000 subsequently investing US$2,000,000 in the Argo Distressed Credit Fund Limited.

 

 

 

 

9.       TRADE AND OTHER RECEIVABLES

 


At 30 June 2016


At 31 December 2015


US$ '000


US$ '000




Trade receivables

2,181


829

Other receivables

81


66

Prepayments and accrued income

88


71


2,350


966

                                                                                                                     

    The Directors consider that the carrying amount of trade and other receivables approximates their fair value. All trade receivable balances are recoverable within one year from the reporting date except as disclosed below.

 

The Group has provided Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited ("AREOF") with a notice of deferral in relation to the amounts due from the provision of investment management services, under which it will not demand payment of such amounts until the Group judges that AREOF is in a position to pay the outstanding liability. These amounts accrued or receivable at 30 June 2016 total US$ Nil (31 December 2015: Nil) after a bad debt provision of US$5,629,179 (€5,069,505) (31 December 2015: US$7,164,702, €6,569,505). AREOF continues to meet part of this obligation to the Argo Group as and when liquidity allows. During the six month period ended 30 June 2016 AREOF settled total fees of US$2,776,000 (€2,500,000). In November 2013 AREOF offered Argo Group Limited additional security for the continued support in the form of debentures and guarantees by underlying intermediate companies. In the Directors' view these amounts are fully recoverable although they have concluded that it would not be appropriate to continue to recognise income without provision from these investment management services as the timing of such receipts may be outside the control of the Company and AREOF.

 

At 30 June 2016 Argo Special Situations Fund LP owed the Group total management fees of US$451,207 (31 December 2015: US$689,310). This fund is currently facing liquidity issues due to the debt financing arrangement put in place in 2014 however the management continue to work to remedy this and the Directors are confident that these fees may be recovered in the future. During the six month period ended 30 June 2016 the Group received US$350,000 as part settlement of these management fees.

 

         In the audited consolidated financial statements of AREOF at 30 September 2015 a material uncertainty surrounding the refinancing of bank debts was referred to in relation to the basis of preparation of the financial statements. In the view of the directors of AREOF, discussions with the banks are continuing satisfactorily and they have therefore concluded that it is appropriate to prepare those consolidated financial statements on a going concern basis.

 

 

10.     LOANS AND ADVANCES RECEIVABLE

 


 At 30 June 2016


At 31 December 2015

 


US$'000


US$'000

 





 

Deposits on leased premises - non-current (see below)

83


                        90 

 

Other loans and advances receivable - current

 

87


-


Other loans and advances receivable - non-current (see below)

 

600


1,693



770


1,783


 

The deposits on leased premises are retained by the lessor until vacation of the premises at the end of the lease term as follows:

 


At 30 June 2016


At 31 December 2015


US$'000


US$'000

Non-current:




Lease expiring in second year after reporting date

71


78

Lease expiring in fourth year after reporting date

12


12


83


90

 

The non-current other loans and advances receivable comprise:


At 30 June 2016


At 31 December 2015


US$'000


US$'000





Loan to Bel Rom Trei (see note (a) below)

-


1,437

Loan to AREOF  (see note (b) below)

377


24

Loan to The Argo Fund Limited

-


22

Loans to other AREOF Group entities (see note (c) below)

216


208

Other loans

7


2


600


1,693

 

(a)      In 2013 Argo Group advanced US$1,109,400 (€1,000,000) to Bel Rom Trei ("Bel Rom"), an AREOF group entity based in Romania that owns Sibiu Shopping City, in order to assist with its operational cash requirements. The full amount of the loan and accrued interest amounting to US$1,490,031 (€1,337,611) was repaid during the six month period ended 30 June 2016.

 

(b)      On 21 November 2013 the Argo Group provided a loan of US$431,901 (€388,960) to AREOF at a rate of 10% per annum to enable the company to service interest payments under a bank loan agreement. A bad debt provision has been raised against the full amount of the loan and accrued interest amounting to US$544,550 (€490,408).

 

The Argo Group has provided further loans totalling US$742,191 (€668,400) to AREOF to assist with its operational cash requirements. These loans are repayable on demand and accrue interest at 7%-10%. A bad debt provision of US$365,278 (€328,961) has been raised against these debts.

 

(c)      At 30 June 2016 the Argo Group was owed USD308,864 (€278,156) by various AREOF group entities being loans provided to assist those entities with their operational cash requirements. The loans are repayable on demand, accrue interest at 7% and remain fully outstanding at 30 June 2016. A bad debt provision of US$92,759 (€83,537) has been raised against these debts.

 

 

11.     SHARE CAPITAL

   The Company's authorised share capital is unlimited with a nominal value of US$0.01.

 


30 June

30 June

31 December

31 December


2016

2016

2015

2015


No.

US$'000

No.

US$'000

Issued and fully paid





Ordinary shares of US$0.01 each

48,473,494

485

67,428,494

674


48,473,494

485

67,428,494

674

 

The Directors did not recommend the payment of a final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2015 and do not recommend an interim dividend in respect of the current period.

 

During the period the Directors authorised the repurchase of 18,955,000 shares at a total cost of US$2.8 million.

 

 

12.     RECONCILIATION OF NET CASH INFLOW/(OUTFLOW) FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES TO PROFIT/(LOSS) ON ORDINARY ACTIVITIES BEFORE TAXATION

 


Six months ended

30 June 2016


Six months ended

30 June 2015


US$'000


US$'000





Profit/(loss) on ordinary activities before taxation

4,902


(4,163)





Interest income

(44)


(88)

Depreciation

21


23

Realised and unrealised (gains)/losses on investments

(1,094)


4,482

Net foreign exchange gain

(39)


(59)

Increase in payables

29


40

Increase in receivables, loans and advances

(371)


(1,959)

Income taxes paid

(93)


(13)

Net cash inflow/(outflow) from operating activities

3,311


(1,737)

 

 

13.     FAIR VALUE HIERARCY

 

The table below analyses financial instruments measured at fair value at the end of the reporting period by the level of the fair value hierarchy (note 2b).

 

                                                               At 30 June 2016


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total


US$ '000

US$ '000

US$ '000

US$ '000

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

 

 

-

12,283

136

12,419

 

                                                               At 31 December 2015


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Total


US$ '000

US$ '000

US$ '000

US$ '000

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

 

 

-

 

11,896

 

4,896

 

16,792

 

The following table shows a reconciliation from the opening balances to the closing balances for fair value measurements in Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy:

                                          


Unlisted closed ended investment fund


Listed open ended investment fund

Emerging Markets



Real Estate


Total


US$ '000


US$ '000

US$ '000






Balance as at 1 January 2016

119


4,777

4,896

Total loss recognized in profit or loss

             -


(2,881)

(2,881)

Sales

-


(1,879)

(1,879)

Balance as at 30 June 2016

119


17

136

 

 

14.   RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

All Group revenues derive from funds or entities in which two of the Company's directors, Andreas Rialas and Kyriakos Rialas, have an influence through directorships and the provision of investment advisory services.

 

At the reporting date the Company holds investments in The Argo Fund Limited, Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund Limited ("AREOF"), Argo Special Situations Fund LP and Argo Distressed Credit Fund Limited. These investments are reflected in the accounts at a fair value of US$9,702,625, US$118,865, US$16,849 and US$2,580,941 respectively.

 

The Group has provided AREOF with a notice of deferral in relation to the amounts due from the provision of investment management services, under which it will not demand payment of such amounts until the Group judges that AREOF is in a position to pay the outstanding liability. These amounts accrued or receivable at 30 June 2016 total US$Nil (31 December 2015:Nil) after a bad debt provision of US$5,629,179 (€5,069,505) (31 December 2015: US$7,164,702, €6,569,505). AREOF continues to meet part of this obligation to the Argo Group as and when liquidity allows. During the period AREOF settled total fees of US$2,776,000 (€2,500,000). In November 2013 AREOF offered Argo Group Limited additional security for the continued support in the form of debentures and guarantees by underlying intermediate companies.  The AREOF management contract has a fixed term expiring on 31 July 2018.

 

On 21 November 2013 the Argo Group provided a loan of US$431,901 (€388,960) to AREOF at a rate of 10% per annum to enable the company to service interest payments under a bank loan agreement. A bad debt provision has been raised against the full amount of the loan and accrued interest amounting to US$544,550 (€490,408).

 

At the period end the Argo Group was owed a further US$742,191 (€668,400) by AREOF comprising loans repayable on demand and accruing interest at 7%-10%. A bad debt provision of US$365,278 (€328,961) has been raised against these debts.

 

At the period end the Argo Group was owed a total balance of USD308,864 (€278,156) by other AREOF Group entities. This balance comprises various loans that are all unsecured, repayable on demand and accrue interest at 7%. A bad debt provision of US$92,759 (€83,537) has been raised against these debts.

 

In the audited consolidated financial statements of AREOF at 30 September 2015 a material uncertainty surrounding the refinancing of bank debts was referred to in relation to the basis of preparation of the consolidated financial statements. In the view of the directors of AREOF, discussions with the banks are continuing satisfactorily and they have therefore concluded that it is appropriate to prepare those consolidated financial statements on a going concern basis.

 

          David Fisher, a non-executive director of the Company, is also a non-executive director of AREOF.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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