Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 2997K
Alpha FX Group PLC
01 September 2021
 

1 September 2021

Alpha FX Group plc

("Alpha FX" or the "Group")

Interim Report

Alpha FX Group plc (AIM: AFX), a provider of FX risk management and alternative banking solutions to corporates and institutions internationally, today announces its unaudited Interim Report for the six months ended 30 June 2021.

 

Financial Highlights

 

-     

Group H1 revenue up 90% to £34.2m (H1 2020: £18.0m) supported by a broad recovery in client activity post lockdown and strong growth across all divisions.

-     

Underlying* H1 profit before tax up 214% to £15.4m (H1 2020: £4.9m) reflecting the operational gearing of the business.

-     

Reported H1 profit before tax up 225% to £15.3m (H1 2020: £4.7m)

-     

Uplift in H1 profit before tax margin to 45% (H1 2020: 27%) benefitting from short-term lower travel, hiring and entertainment expenses.

-     

Underlying H1 basic earnings per share of 27.9p in the period (H1 2020: 9.5p), with basic earnings per share of 27.6p (H1 2020: 8.9p).

-     

The Group is well capitalised and debt free, with net assets in excess of £98m and £67m of own free cash on the balance sheet.

-     

Cash conversion continues to be strong, supported by the growth of the Alternative Banking division.

-     

Proposed interim dividend of 3.0p (H1 2020: nil).

 

 

Operational Highlights

-     

Client numbers** increased during the period from 754 (December 2020) to 838 as at 30 June 2021.

-     

Maintained a diversified client base drawn from a range of sectors.

-     

Our Corporate team continued to serve as the incubator for future leaders to launch Alpha into new markets, reflected in the success of our overseas offices in the first half.

-     

Launched new end-to-end platform to drive scalability of high growth Alternative Banking following decentralisation*** of the technology stack.

-     

Milan office set to open in H2 subject to regulatory approval

-     

A healthy outlook as we emerge from the pandemic, with the Group's market dynamics consistent with pre-COVID environment and with our addressable market opportunity expanding.

 

* Underlying excludes the impact of non-cash share-based payments.

** The Group exclude Training Accounts (those that have generated less than £10,000 in revenue since being onboarded) in order to provide a clearer picture of client retention for the purposes of these figures.

*** Decentralisation refers to the process of dividing the business into two separate divisions - FX Risk Management and Alternative Banking - each with their own dedicated technology, infrastructure and teams.

 

Outlook

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, activity has normalised and the market opportunity is ever larger.  Our momentum from the first half has continued into H2, and the Group's trading has continued to be strong, driven by a healthy demand for our services from existing and new clients. In order to maximise our long-term growth opportunities, we will continue to re-invest across all divisions in the business in H2 and beyond. We remain confident in the direction of travel of the business and the full year outcome, in line with our revised expectations reported in the Group's trading update announced on 14 July 2021.

Morgan Tillbrook, Chief Executive Officer of Alpha FX commented:

"I am proud to report on a strong set of results for the Group which saw growth and profitability achieved across all divisions. Since our IPO in 2017, we have gone a long way to establish Alpha as a leading provider of FX Risk Management solutions, and our strategy to grow that reputation internationally continues to gain momentum. Our movement into Alternative Banking in 2020 represented new, unchartered territory, and questions may therefore have been raised as to whether the success we have achieved as a high-quality, people-led FX consultancy could be replicated when it came to developing technology and products. Ultimately, I believe the results published today show that it can.

Our decentralisation effort has no doubt played a key part in our progress, creating two highly focused and agile teams with clearly defined strategies for growth. But when we take a step back, I believe our success to date comes down to a far simpler truth - whether it's providing a high-quality consultancy service or a high-quality technology offering, the common denominator is always the same - people. At Alpha, we are privileged to be working with some of the sharpest, hardest-working (and nicest!) people in the industry. They have, and always will be our greatest strength.

I'd like to thank our team members for their outstanding contribution, our clients for their loyalty, and our investors for their continued faith in our exciting journey. I look forward to providing a further update at the end of the year."

 

 

Enquiries:

 

Alpha FX Group plc

via Alma PR

Morgan Tillbrook, Founder and CEO

 

Tim Kidd, CFO

 

 

 

Liberum Capital Limited 

(Nominated Adviser and Sole Broker) 

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Neil Patel

 

Cameron Duncan

 

Kane Collings

 

 

 

Alma PR (Financial Public Relations)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3405 0205

Josh Royston

 

Andy Bryant

 

Kieran Breheny

 

 

Notes to Editors

Alpha provides FX risk management and alternative banking solutions to corporates and institutions across the UK, Europe and Canada.  Combining leading expertise and technology, the Group partners with a small number of high value clients, to provide enterprise-level solutions across four key areas: FX risk management, international payments, accounts and collections.

 

Since it was incorporated in 2010, Alpha FX has been able to build and retain a high-quality client base that includes a number of highly respected brands.

 

Market Abuse Regulation

This announcement is released by Alpha FX Group plc and contains inside information for the purposes of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 ("MAR") and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR. The person who arranged for the release of this announcement on behalf of Alpha FX Group plc was Tim Kidd, Chief Financial Officer.

Chief Executive's Statement

Overview

Whilst uncertainty will remain under COVID-19, the normalisation of international trading activity experienced since June 2020 continued in H1 of this year. As a result, trading in the first half was strong across all divisions of the business; revenue increased 90% against the same period last year, client numbers increased by 84, and average revenue per client continued to increase.

The Group is profitable across all divisions, and underlying profit before tax was £15.4m with our margin benefitting from lower than planned travel, hiring and entertainment expenses. The initial results from expanding our culture, product offering and technology into alternative banking and overseas offices has been particularly encouraging and underpins our confidence in the longer-term growth of the company.

As well as completing the decentralisation of our operations and the day to day running of the business, the management team has been able to dedicate significant time in H1 to focus on the medium and long-term strategy for the Group. We have already started to execute these plans and by taking the time to clarify 'where to play and how to win', we continue to see increasing traction and stickiness with clients as our service offering and infrastructure evolves to better meet their requirements. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on understanding our clients' needs and concentrating on those areas and markets where we know that we can differentiate and therefore grow sustainably.

 

Board change

Vijay Thakrar - Non-Executive Director

In May, we were delighted to appoint Vijay Thakrar to the Board as an independent Non-Executive Director, following Matt Knowles transition to Strategic Adviser earlier in the year.

Vijay is a Chartered Accountant with extensive strategic, commercial and governance experience with fast growth public companies, and was previously a Partner at EY and Deloitte, chairing Deloitte's mid cap listed companies' practice. He has served on various Boards in a non-executive capacity, including The Quoted Companies Alliance and Quorn Foods, and has extensive experience in chairing both audit and remuneration committees. Vijay is currently a Non-Executive Director at Treatt plc, The Alumasc Group plc, Sanderson Design Group plc and RSM UK. Vijay will also chair the Audit Committee. 

We undertook a comprehensive search when looking for our next non-executive Director, and are delighted to have been able to attract someone of Vijay's calibre. As well as bringing with him a wealth of experience across a number of successful and respected companies, it has been clear from working with Vijay that he really values Alpha's emphasis on culture and people.

Strategy, culture and growth

We have grown strongly year-on-year since inception, driven by our focus on people, culture, clients, technology and an employee ownership structure. Our performance in the first half continues to reflect our retention and hiring of top talent and particularly our successful transition of incentivised team leaders to launch new business divisions.

Overall headcount increased during the first half of the year, from 147 to 171 as at 30 June 2021. This comprised new hires in both Front Office, focused on new business development, where headcount increased to 84 (FY2020: 78), and in Back Office (focused on supporting the growth of our technology and operations in Alternative Banking), where headcount increased to 87 (FY2020: 69). We expect investment in headcount to accelerate in H2 as the world returns to normal and the hindrances to hiring created by the pandemic subside. Importantly, the teamwork and solidarity required to rise to the challenge of the pandemic meant we not only maintained but strengthened our culture during lockdown.

Our investment in technology is delivering new and innovative client propositions and building business units that are increasingly decentralised. This has supported the growth in client numbers in H1 to 838 (FY 2020: 754) and the successful trading across all the divisions including our established and newer overseas offices.

As we scale and the business becomes more complex, the challenges of managing culture and talent will increase, but our performance during the pandemic gives us confidence not only for the second half, but well beyond as we look to further expand in a measured way by product and geography, and continue to invest in shaping a team that is capable of supporting the business as it expands.

Our in-house recruitment team is developing in line with our ambitions and is beginning to have a marked effect on bringing new talent into the organisation, both in the UK and in our overseas offices. As the team continues to grow within Alpha FX and share in our unique culture, we are confident that they will become ever more effective and provide us with another competitive advantage.

Another of those competitive advantages, our employee share ownership schemes, is undoubtedly one of the major reasons for the ongoing success of the Company. The collective ownership and ability for our staff to benefit in a tangible way from the client outcomes they deliver, ensures that we are all pulling in the same direction, whilst also always putting the long-term interests of our clients first.  We continue to devise new schemes to ensure more of our colleagues are able to participate.

Business overview

FX Risk Management

Our FX Risk Management division focuses on supporting corporates and institutions globally, that trade currency for commercial purposes, such as buying or selling goods and services overseas or hedging the underlying value of an asset or liability. We service this marketplace through our corporate and institutional sales teams in London, Canada, Amsterdam and (soon to be) Milan. FX Risk Management had a strong half, with revenues up 48% to £24.7m, helped by recovering client trading activity across our core UK client base and growth in our overseas offices.

 

Our Corporate London division continues to perform strongly with revenues up 29%. Since the beginning of H2 2020, the overall market opportunity has been broadly consistent with pre-COVID levels. Notable exceptions include tourism and hospitality, but this has been more than offset by increased activity in other sectors. Overall, our strong performance in the period reflects our continued investment for growth, alongside the quality of our people, service offering, and highly diversified client base. In addition, this division continues to serve as the incubator for future leaders within the business, fostering our strong culture, knowledge and expertise, and providing the basis for expansion into new products and geographies.

Overseas offices

Our overseas offices in Canada and the Netherlands achieved excellent growth in the half with the Toronto office making a significant profit contribution.

Our Netherlands office demonstrates the success of exporting Alpha's culture from our core UK Corporate team. Set up in April 2020, this office achieved a profitable contribution in the half and has achieved quarter on quarter revenue growth since launching.

Subject to regulatory approval, we intend to launch a new office in Milan in the second half. This move will see three existing employees from our London office move to Italy to lead the team, having already demonstrated strong track records of success penetrating the Italian market when operating from the UK base. Establishing a presence in Italy not only provides greater prospects within this already encouraging marketplace but, additionally, enables the Group to attract high-quality local talent.

We also intend to invest in long-term office leases in Canada and The Netherlands which reflects our confidence in the markets and will enable us to create inspiring world-class working environments for our colleagues and to attract new talent.

Our model is proving to be scalable across a number of geographic regions, and we continue to identify new growth opportunities in overseas markets as our addressable market expands.

Alternative Banking

Our Alternative Banking division focuses on providing corporates and institutions globally with a suite of alternative banking solutions covering payments, collections and accounts. Serviced primarily by a specialist team within Alpha Platform Solutions, the team also benefits the wider Group from cross-selling with our corporate and institutional sales teams.  Alternative Banking revenues grew substantially in the period, up 600% to £9.5m on H1 2020, led by the payments business, Alpha Platform Solutions.

 

Following the launch of our new end-to-end technology stack in April 2021, Alternative Banking achieved consecutive record-breaking revenue quarters in Q1 and Q2. The investments made into this division are bearing fruit, and the platform is becoming increasingly more attractive to existing and potential clients. Moving into the second half, this division has a long-term strategy in place underpinned by a focused technology roadmap and a highly capable team.

As a result of the growth experienced in our Alternative Banking division, our cash conversion continues to strengthen, providing the basis for future investments into the Group and the collateralisation of hedging contracts.

Technology

The Group has seen the benefits of investment in its technology platforms during the half year. Our product updates are being deployed faster than ever before and at a higher quality, which is driving the strong growth in Alternative Banking. The Group continues to focus on investing in technology and we expect further key platform updates in the second half.  Having completed and launched a brand-new end-to-end platform for Alternative Banking, and migrated our Alternative Banking clients across to this platform in line with our decentralisation plan, the focus of the technology team has now expanded to devising and developing the next generation platform for FX risk management. By investing further, we will enhance our reputation for cutting edge solutions and ensure that both aspects of our business have the optimal foundations for long-term scalability.

Market developments

Since the beginning of H2 2020, the overall market opportunity has been broadly consistent with pre-COVID levels. Overall, our strong performance in the period reflects our continued investment for growth, alongside the quality of our people, service offering, and highly diversified client base. We hope successful vaccine roll-outs in our key geographies and normalisation of trading relationships post-Brexit, will all underpin the higher activity levels across our client base that we have seen since June 2020.

Financial Review

In the six months to 30 June 2021 revenue increased by 90% over the prior period to £34.2m with strong growth across all divisions. In addition to the segmental analysis in note 3, which is based on legal entities, the Group segments the revenue between FX Risk Management and Alternative Banking to reflect the two main drivers of growth.

 

The FX Risk Management division focuses on supporting corporates and institutions that trade currency for commercial purposes through the Group's sales teams located in London, Toronto and Amsterdam. Revenue in the 6 months to June 2001 grew by 48% over the prior period to £24.7m supported by a broad recovery in client activity post lockdown.

 

The Alternative Banking division focuses on providing corporates and institutions with a suite of alternative banking solutions covering payments, collections and accounts across the UK, Europe and Canada. The service is primarily offered by Alpha Platform Solutions, a division of Alpha FX Limited although there are increasing cross-selling contributions from the corporate and institutional sales teams, who are primarily focused on FX Risk Management. The Alternative Banking division generated revenue of £9.5m in the period (H1 2020: £1.4m).

 

As shown in note 3 of the Interim Report, total revenue from hedging products (forwards and options), has increased against the prior period from £11.8m to £17.1m. The revenue from forward transactions represents the difference between the rate charged to clients and the rate paid to banking counterparties. There were no structural changes in forward commission rates in the year in comparison to the prior year. Spot and payments revenue increased from £6.2m to £17.1m due to the growth of Alpha Platform Solutions together with increased spot flow from the Institutional business, where underlying activities mean that spot transactions are more common.

 

In the six months to 30 June 2021, 60% of the revenue in the year was derived from products where the revenue is converted into cash within a few days of the trade date, as opposed to 51% in FY 2020. This has continued to have a positive impact on the Group's cashflow.

 

In the prior year the Group entered into a settlement agreement with a Norwegian client whereby weekly repayments are due until June 2022 in respect of their obligations for unpaid margin totalling £30.2m. Throughout the current period the client has continued to meet their settlement agreement cash repayment obligations on time with a gross balance of £13.3m outstanding as at 30 June 2021.

 

As we continue to receive the weekly repayments from the Norwegian client, the results have benefited from the reversal of the two accounting provisions. For the 6 months to 30 June 2021 the reversal of the two accounting provisions total £471,000 and can be broken down as follows:

 

·    A provision for the estimated probability of default which reduced by £153,000 in the 6 months to June 2021 with the credit included in operating expenses. The outstanding provision as at 30 June 2021 was £117,000.

·    A provision representing the difference between the nominal value of future payments and their net present value which reduced by £318,000 in the 6 months to June 2021 with the credit included in finance income. The outstanding provision as at 30 June 2021 was £244,000

 

 

Underlying profit is presented in the income statement to allow a better understanding of the Group's financial performance on a comparable basis from year to year. The underlying profit excludes the impact of share-based payments, and on this basis, the underlying profit before tax in the year increased by 214% to £15.4m.

 

The underlying profit before tax margin for the period increased to 45% (H1 2020 27%). However, in the second half of 2021 with the impact of COVID-19 subsiding, the margin will likely be impacted by an acceleration in hiring, a normalised travel and entertaining spend and the opening of the Italy office.

 

Underlying basic earnings per share were 27.9p in the period (H1 2020: 9.5p) whilst basic earnings per share were 27.6p (H1 2020: 8.9p).

 

 

Cash flow

 

On a statutory basis, net cash and cash equivalents increased in the first half by £3.1m to £86.1m. The Group's cash position can fluctuate significantly from period to period due to the impact of changes in the collateral received from clients, early settlement of trades, or the unrealised mark to market profit or loss from client swaps, resulting in an increase or decrease in cash with a corresponding change in other payables and trade receivables. Therefore, in addition to the statutory cash flow, the Group presents an adjusted net cash summary below which excludes the above items.

 

In the period to June 2021 adjusted net cash on this basis has increased by £14.3m to £66.6m. This represents the net impact of the cash conversion from the trading in the period together with the cash inflow of £6.7m from the client subject to a repayment plan.

 

 

30 June 21

£'000

 

31 Dec 20

£'000

Net cash and cash equivalents

                      86,102

 

         82,972

Variation margin paid to banking counterparties

                         5,235

 

         17,734

 

                      91,337

 

       100,706

Margin received from clients and client held funds*

                     (28,163)

 

        (50,767)

Net MTM timing loss/(profit) from client drawdowns and

 

 

extensions within trade receivables

                         3,395

 

            2,332

 

 

 

 

Adjusted net cash**

                      66,569

 

         52,271

 

 

* Included in 'other payables' within 'trade and other payables'

** Excluding collateral received from clients, early settlements and the unrealised mark to market profit or loss from client swaps

 

 

Dividend

 

With the Group's growth expectations once again consistent with pre-COVID levels, the Board now deem it appropriate to readopt a progressive dividend policy.

 

Subsequently, the Board is pleased to declare an interim dividend of 3.0 pence per share (2020: nil). The interim dividend will be payable on 8 October 2021 to shareholders on the register at 10 September 2021. The ex-dividend date is 9 September 2021.

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

 

 

Unaudited

six months to

30 June 2021

 

Unaudited

six months to

30 June 2020

Audited

year ended

31 Dec 2020

 

Note

£'000

£'000

£'000

 

 

 

 

Revenue

 

      34,184

 18,006

            46,217

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses

 

(18,801)

(13,429)

(29,457)

 

 

 

 

 

Underlying operating profit

 

15,517

4,778

17,149

Share-based payments

(134)

(201)

   (389)

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

4

      15,383

 4,577

16,760

 

 

 

 

 

Finance income

5

          318

299

747

Finance expenses

5

(397)

(163)

(370)

Profit before taxation

 

15,304

 4,713

17,137

 

 

 

 

 

Taxation

 

(3,036)

(969)

(3,333)

Profit for the period

 

12,268

 3,744

13,804

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to:

 

 

 

 

Equity holders of the parent

 

11,201

3,411

12,469

Non-controlling interests

 

1,067

333

1,335

Profit for the period

 

12,268

3,744

13,804

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income/(loss):

 

 

 

 

Exchange gain /(loss) arising on translation of foreign operations

 

2

(26)

17

Total comprehensive income for the period

 

12,270

 3,718

 13,821

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to:

 

 

 

 

Equity owners of the parent

 

11,203

 3,385

12,486

Non-controlling interests

 

1,067

 333

1,335

Total comprehensive income for the period

 

 

12,270

 

3,718

13,821

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share attributable to equity owners of the parent (pence per share)

 

 

 

 

- basic

6

27.6p

 8.9p

 31.7p

- diluted

6

26.9p

 8.7p

 30.5p

- underlying basic

6

27.9p

 9.5p

 32.8p

- underlying diluted

6

27.2p

 9.3p

 31.6p

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

 

 

 

 

Unaudited as at

 

Unaudited as at

Audited

at

 

 

 

   30 June 2021

   30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

 

Note

£'000

£'000

£'000

 

Non-current assets

 

 

 

 

 

Intangible assets

 

            2,530

 1,986

2,074

 

Property, plant and equipment

 

            2,170

 2,163

2,251

 

Right-of-use assets

 

            6,540

 7,347

6,945

 

Trade and other receivables

8

         11,168

13,438

        5,832

 

Total non-current assets

 

22,408

 24,934

17,102

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets

 

 

 

 

 

Trade and other receivables

8

          58,129

 46,922

70,476

 

Cash and cash equivalents

9

          86,102

 116,605

82,972

 

Other cash balances

9

4,002

 3,642

4,025

 

Total current assets

 

148,233

167,169

157,473

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

170,641

192,103

174,575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Share capital

11

                82

 80

80

 

Share premium account

 

          50,608

 50,578

50,582

 

Capital redemption reserve

 

                  4

 4

4

 

Merger reserve

 

              667

 667

667

 

Retained earnings

 

          43,068

 26,585

35,631

 

Translation reserve

 

                26

 (19)

24

 

Equity attributable to equity holders of the parent

 

94,455

 77,895

86,988

 

Non-controlling interests

 

            4,082

2,832

3,653

 

Total equity

 

98,537

 80,727

90,641

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

10

56,277

 102,322

74,310

 

Current tax liability

 

2,665

 1,302

1,808

 

Provisions

 

-

 13

-

 

Total current liabilities

 

58,942

 103,637

76,118

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

10

5,177

-

-

Deferred tax liability

 

941

 400

626

 

Lease liability

 

7,044

 7,339

7,190

 

Total non-current liabilities

 

13,162

 7,739

7,816

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total equity and liabilities

 

170,641

 192,103

174,575

 

 

 

 

  Consolidated Cash Flow Statement

 

Unaudited

six months to

30 June 2021

Unaudited

six months to

30 June 2020

Audited

year ended

31 Dec 2020

 

Note

£'000

£'000

£'000

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

Profit before taxation

 

15,304

 4,713

17,137

Net finance expense/(income)

 

                79

 (136)

(377)

Amortisation of intangible assets

 

              398

 158

496

Impairment of intangible assets

 

-

-

278

Depreciation of property, plant and equipment

 

              271

 214

449

Depreciation of right-of-use assets

 

              405

 403

805

Initial recognition of discount relating to the Norwegian client

 

-

1,275

 1,275

Loss on disposal of fixed assets

 

-

 -  

1

Share-based payment expense

 

 

134

 242

389

Provision utilised in year

 

-

 (83)

(95)

Increase in other receivables

 

                 (950)

 (513)

(1,117)

(Decrease)/ increase in other payables

 

         (21,361)

 

 37,794

10,972

Decrease/(increase) in derivative financial assets

 

986

11,530

(11,453)

Decrease/(increase) in financial assets at amortised cost

 

6,298

(26,931)

(18,199)

Increase/(decrease) in derivative financial liabilities

 

8,505

 (3,528)

(4,691)

Decrease/(increase) in other cash balances

 

23

 225

(158)

Cash (outflows)/inflows from operating activities

 

10,092

 25,363

(4,288)

Tax paid

 

(1,864)

 (398)

(2,029)

Net cash (outflows)/inflows from operating activities

 

8,228

24,965

 (6,317)

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

 

Payments to acquire property, plant and equipment

 

(190)

 (97)

(425)

Proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment

 

-

 -  

3

Expenditure on internally developed intangible assets

 

(854)

 (962)

(1,666)

Net cash outflows from investing activities

 

(1,044)

 (1,059)

(2,088)

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

 

Dividends paid to equity owners of the Parent Company

 

(3,276)

-

-

Dividends paid to non-controlling interests

 

(473)

-

(1,020)

Issue of ordinary shares by Parent Company

 

236

19,281

19,281

Share issue costs

 

-

(81)

(81)

Issue of ordinary shares by subsidiary

 

-

-

1

Payment of lease liabilities

 

(310)

 (466)

(775)

Net interest (paid)/received

 

(233)

 31

(6)

Net cash outflows from financing activities

 

(4,056)

 18,765

17,400

 

 

 

 

 

Increase in net cash and cash equivalents in the period

 

         

 3,128

 

 

 42,671

 

8,995

Net cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

 

82,972

 73,960

73,960

Net exchange gains / (loss)

 

2

 (26)

17

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

9

86,102

116,605

82,972

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attributable to the owners of the parent

 

 

 

Share capital

 

Share premium account

Capital redemption reserve

 

Merger reserve

 

Retained earnings

 

Translation reserve

 

 

Total

Non-controlling interests

 

 

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

Balance at 31 December 2019

74

31,388

4

667

22,932

 

7

55,072

 

2,499

 

57,571

 

Profit for the year

-

-

-

-

  12,469

-

12,469

1,335

13,804

Other comprehensive income

-

-

-

-

-

17

17

-

17

Transactions with owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue of shares to non-controlling interests in subsidiary undertakings

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1,089

1,089

Shares repurchased from non-controlling interests

-

-

-

-

(185)

-

(185)

(192)

(377)

Shares issued on vesting of share option scheme

     -  

5

            -  

         -  

   -  

   -  

        5

 -  

          5

Forfeiture of shares in subsidiary

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(58)

(58)

Shares issued on placing

6

19,994

             -  

  -  

          -  

       -  

20,000

    -  

 20,000

Cost of shares issued on placing

         -  

(805)

                 -  

         -  

      -  

     -  

   (805)

  -  

   (805)

Share-based payments

 -  

        -  

            -  

      -  

415

      -  

     415

     -  

     415

Dividends paid

       -  

        -  

      -  

      -  

          -  

      -  

          -  

 (1,020)

(1,020)

Balance at 31 December 2020

80

50,582

              4

     667

   35,631

        24

86,988

 3,653

 90,641

Profit for the period

      -  

      -  

           -  

         -  

11,201

           -  

11,201

 1,067

12,268

Other comprehensive income

      -  

            -  

           -  

       -  

            -  

   2

         2

           -  

         2

Transactions with owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shares issued on vesting of share option scheme

     2

       -  

             -  

     -  

         (2)

        -  

          -  

         -  

         -  

Shares issued on vesting of share option scheme

       -  

    26

          -  

        -  

             -  

       -  

    26

-         

     26

Forfeiture of shares in subsidiary

      -  

          -  

           -  

         -  

     (620)

        -  

 (620)

     (165)

(785)

Share-based payments

         -  

         -  

             -  

        -  

     134

    -  

 134

          -  

     134

Dividends paid

      -  

       -  

             -  

        -  

  (3,276)

      -  

(3,276)

      (473)

(3,749)

Balance at 30 June 2021

 82

 50,608

            4

     667

43,068

 26

94,455

  4,082

98,537

                     

 

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

 

1. Corporate information

 

The Company, Alpha FX Group plc, is a public limited company having listed its shares on AIM, a market operated by The London Stock Exchange, on 7 April 2017. The Company is incorporated and domiciled in the UK (registered number 07262416). The consolidated financial statements incorporate the results of the Company and its subsidiary undertakings Alpha FX Limited, Alpha FX Institutional Limited, Alpha Foreign Exchange (Canada) Limited, Alpha FX Netherlands Limited and Alpha FX Europe Limited.

 

2.  Basis of preparation

 

The basis of preparation of this financial information is consistent with the basis that will be adopted for the full year accounts which will be prepared in accordance with UK adopted international accounting standards.

 

The financial information is presented in Pounds Sterling ("£"), which is the Group's functional currency, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Whilst the financial figures included in this half-yearly report have been computed in accordance with IFRS applicable to interim periods, this half-yearly report does not contain sufficient information to constitute an interim financial report as that term is defined in IAS 34.

This interim financial information has not been audited and the financial information contained in this report does not constitute statutory accounts within the meaning of Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. The year to 31 December 2020 has been extracted from the audited financial statements for that year.

 

The Group's financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020 have been reported on by auditors, BDO LLP, and have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditors report on those financial statements was unqualified and did not contain statements under Section 498(2) or Section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

Accounting policies

 

New accounting policies

In accordance with IFRS 15, performance obligations are satisfied by transferring control of an account to a customer over the period. As a growing revenue stream within the Group, management has reassessed revenue recognition relating to account fees. As a result, revenue from annual account fees is  recognised on a straight-line basis over the 12 months from the date the account is opened.

 

All other accounting policies adopted in these interim financial statements are identical to those adopted in the Group's most recent annual financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.

 

3. Segmental reporting

 

During the period the Group principally generated revenue from the sale of forward currency contracts, foreign exchange spot transactions, payments and collections and option contracts.                                                                   

In accordance with IFRS 8, the Group has five reportable segments based on internal management reporting.                                                            

 

The Corporate London segment represents revenue generated by Alpha FX Limited's Corporate clients serviced from the London head office. The Institutional segment represents revenue from Alpha FX Institutional Limited, which primarily services funds. Corporate Toronto represents revenue generated by Alpha Foreign Exchange (Canada) Limited, serviced from Toronto, Canada.  Alpha Payment Solutions is a division of Alpha FX Limited which services clients who have the requirement to send, hold or receive money from overseas, in the form of international payments, collections and currency accounts. Corporate Amsterdam represents revenue from Alpha FX Netherlands Limited, which has been trading since April 2020 and services Corporate clients from Amsterdam.

 

                                               

Six months ended June 2021

 

Corporate London

Institutional

Corporate Toronto

Alpha Platform Solutions

Corporate Amsterdam

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

FX hedging*

11,872

     2,877

 2,018

           -  

         367

     17,134

Spot & payments transactions**

  4,186

     4,019

   272

   8,197

        376

    17,050

Total revenue

        16,058

     6,896

        2,290

      8,197

        743

    34,184

Underlying operating profit

 7,655

     3,525

           608

          3,618

        111

    15,517

Share-based payments

           (118)

               (16)

                -  

                  -  

                     -  

       (134)

Finance costs

           (319)

               (29)

     -  

     (49)

             -  

(397)

Finance income

318

-

-

-

-

318

Profit before taxation

      7,536

        3,480

         608

  3,569

          111

 15,304

 

Six months ended June 2020

 

 

Corporate London

 

Institutional

 

Corporate Toronto

 

Alpha Platform Solutions

 

Corporate Amsterdam

 

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

FX hedging*

  9,238

     1,855

    662

           -  

             -  

    11,755

Spot and payments transactions**

   3,152

      1,236

          98

 1,740

        25

      6,251

Total revenue

12,390

3,091

 760

  1,740

25

18,006

Underlying operating profit

     2,879

          1,511

          (18)

      654

(248)

4,778

Share-based payments

(107)

(94)

-

-

-

(201)

Finance costs

(131)

(16)

-

(16)

-

(163)

Finance income

299

-

-

-

-

299

Profit before taxation

2,940

1,401

(18)

638

(248)

4,713

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year ended December 2020

 

Corporate London

Institutional

Corporate Toronto

Alpha Platform Solutions

Corporate Amsterdam

Total

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

£'000

FX hedging*

21,307

4,277

1,788

-

85

27,457

Spot and payments transactions**

6,505

4,497

343

7,226

189

18,760

Total revenue

27,812

8,774

2,131

7,226

274

46,217

Underlying operating profit

9,881

4,612

181

2,947

(472)

17,149

Share-based payments

(383)

(6)

-

-

-

(389)

Finance costs

(276)

(52)

-

(42)

-

(370)

Finance income

747

-

-

-

-

747

Profit before taxation

9,969

4,554

181

2,905

(472)

17,137

 

 

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

ended

ended

ended

Revenue by product

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

 

Foreign exchange forward transactions

                              13,806

           

9,586

 

22,437

 

 

 

 

Foreign exchange spot transactions

11,649

5,320

14,746

 

Option contracts

                                3,328

           

2,169

 

5,020

 

Payments and collections

                                5,401

              

931

 

4,014

 

Total

               

34,184

         

18,006

 

46,217

 

*FX hedging represents revenue derived from clients hedging cashflows for a commercial purpose using both foreign exchange forward transactions and option contracts.

**Spot and payment transactions relate to foreign exchange spot transactions and fees received from payments, collections and currency accounts.

 

4. Operating profit

 

Operating profit is stated after charging/(crediting):

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Rental cost of short term leases

161

 123

286

271

 214

449

Amortisation of internally generated intangible assets

398

 158

496

Loss on disposal of fixed assets

-

 -  

1

Depreciation of right-of-use assets

405

 403

805

Staff costs

10,023

 7,070

16,175

Estimated probability of client default in relation to Norwegian client

(153)

 483

270

Initial recognition of discount relating to the Norwegian client*

-

1,275

1,275

Net foreign exchange losses

332

 93

711

 

*The provision of £1,275,066 in the prior year represents the initial recognition of the difference between the nominal value of future payments from the Norwegian client and their net present value. As the provision unwinds, the reversal is recorded within finance income (note 5). In the six months to June 2021, £318,333 was reversed (H1 2020: £268,289). As at 30 June 2021 there remains £244,094 to be reversed in finance income as the remaining repayments are received in the period to June 2022.

 

In the unaudited accounts to 30 June 2020, the initial recognition of the discount relating to the Norwegian client has been reclassified from finance costs to operating expenses, to align with the treatment in the audited accounts to 31 December 2020. Similarly, the reversal of the discount of £268,289 has been reclassified from finance costs, where it was previously shown net against the initial recognition of discount, to finance income (note 5).

 

 

5. Finance income and expenses

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Finance income

 

 

 

Interest on bank deposits

-

             13

-

Finance income to reverse the discount relating to the Norwegian client

318

268

713

Other interest receivable

-

             18

34

Total

318

299

747

 

 

 

 

Finance costs

 

 

 

Interest on bank deposits

(233)

-

(43)

Finance cost on lease liabilities

(164)

(163)

(327)

Total

(397)

(163)

(370)

 

 

 

6. Earnings per share

 

Basic earnings per share is calculated by dividing the profit for the year attributable to equity holders of the parent, by the weighted average number of ordinary shares during the year. Diluted earnings per share additionally includes in the calculation, the weighted average number of ordinary shares that would be issued on conversion of any dilutive potential ordinary shares. The dilutive effect is calculated on the full exercise of all potentially dilutive Ordinary share options granted by the Group.

 

The Group additionally discloses an underlying earnings per share calculation that excludes the impact of share-based payments, non-recurring costs and their tax effect, which better enables comparison of financial performance in the current year with comparative years.

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

ended

ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

Basic earnings per share

27.6p

8.9p

31.7p

Diluted earnings per share

26.9p

8.7p

30.5p

Underlying - basic

27.9p

9.5p

32.8p

Underlying - diluted

27.2p

9.3p

31.6p

 

The calculation of basic and diluted earnings per share is based on the following number of shares:

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

No.

No.

No.

Basic weighted average shares

40,585,128

 38,465,181

39,286,578

Contingently issuable shares

1,015,233

 880,270

1,541,006

Diluted weighted average shares

41,600,361

 39,345,451

40,827,584

 

The earnings used in the calculation of basic, diluted and underlying earnings per share are set out below:

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

ended

ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Profit after tax for the period

12,268

 3,744

13,804

Non-controlling interests

(1,067)

 (333)

(1,335)

Earnings - basic and diluted

11,201

 3,411

12,469

Share-based payments

134

 201

389

Taxation impact on share-based payments

-

 57

136

Earnings - underlying

11,335

 3,669

12,994

 

 

7. Dividends

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

ended

ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2020 of 8.0p per share

3,276

-

-

 

3,276

-

-

 

All dividends paid are in respect of the ordinary shares of £0.002 each.

 

The Directors propose an interim dividend in respect of the year ended 31 December 2021 of 3.0p per share amounting to £1,228,543 payable on 8 October 2021 to shareholders on the register at 10 September 2021.

 

 

8. Trade and other receivables

 

Trade receivables represent the fair value of derivative financial assets arising as a result of matched principal transactions and are shown net of the Credit Value Adjustment.

                                                                              

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

Current

£'000

£'000

£'000

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with customers

32,777

28,068

50,695

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with banking counterparties

7,542

1,335

1,182

Other foreign exchange forward contracts

1,519

 1,606

2,115

Trade receivables (derivative financial asset)

41,838

31,009

53,992

Other receivables

2,487

2,587 

3,335

Prepayments

2,147

 840

1,345

Financial assets at amortised cost*

11,657

12,486

11,804

 

58,129

46,922

70,476

Non-current

 

 

 

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with customers

11,168

-

-

Trade receivables (derivative financial asset)

11,168

-

-

Financial assets at amortised cost*

-

13,438

5,832

 

11,168

13,438

5,832

Trade and other receivables

69,297

60,360

76,308

 

*The Norwegian client receivable balance of £25,923,990 in the unaudited accounts to 30 June 2020 has been reclassified from trade receivables (derivative financial assets), to a financial asset at amortised cost, and has also been split between current and non-current to align with the treatment in the audited accounts to 31 December 2020.

 

As the Group continues to grow, it is entering into an increasing number of longer dated trades that are due for settlement in over 12 months' time. In the prior year, a higher proportion of clients took the decision to close out their contracts early due to uncertainty over their cashflows as a result of Covid-19. Management now believe that a higher proportion of contracts will run to their original value date as clients have increasing certainty over their cash flows. As a result, management has taken the decision to present derivative financial assets as current and non-current as at 30 June 2021, based upon their expectations of when the contract will be realised.

As there has been a change in expectation in the period to 30 June 2021, the derivative financial assets in the period to 30 June 2020 and the year to 31 December 2020 have not been reclassified as current and non-current.

9. Cash

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash balances and deposits held at call with banks.

Other cash balances comprise cash held as collateral with banking counterparties for which the Group does not have immediate access.

Cash balances included within derivative financial assets relate to the variation margin called against out of the money trades with banking counterparties.

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

 

£'000

£'000

£'000

Cash and cash equivalents

86,102

 116,605

82,972

Variation margin called by counterparties

5,235

 26,741

17,734

Other cash balances

4,002

 3,642

4,025

Total cash

95,339

 146,988

104,731

 

10. Trade and other payables

Trade payables represent the fair value of derivative financial liabilities arising as a result of matched principal transactions.

 

Other payables consist of margin received from clients and client held funds. The carrying value of trade and other payables classified as financial liabilities measured at amortised cost, approximates fair value.

 

 

 

 

 

Six months

Six months

Year

 

 ended

 ended

ended

 

30 June 2021

30 June 2020

31 Dec 2020

Current

£'000

£'000

£'000

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with customers

20,919

 18,754

17,591

Trade payables (derivative financial liabilities)

20,919

18,754

17,591

Other payables

28,251

 80,420

51,621

Other taxation and social security

830

 592

974

Lease liability

293

 293

293

Accruals and deferred income

5,984

 2,263

3,831

 

56,277

 102,322

74,310

Non-current

 

 

 

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with customers

4,956

-

-

Foreign currency forward and option contracts with banking counterparties

221

-

-

Trade payables (derivative financial liabilities)

5,177

-

-

Trade and other payables

61,454

102,322

74,310

 

 

In the scenario of longer dated trades due for settlement in over 12 months' time (see note 8), although a client can close out their position within 12 months, the Group would still be obliged to fulfill the terms of that contract with the respective banking counterparty at the original value date. Therefore, the liability would remain non-current. Due to this, management have taken the decision to present derivative financial liabilities as current and non-current, matching the treatment of derivative financial assets.

 

As there has been a change in expectation in the period to 30 June 2021, the derivative financial liabilities in the period to 30 June 2020 and the year to 31 December 2020 have not been reclassified as current and non-current.

 

11. Share capital

 

The following movements of share capital occurred in the 6 months to 30 June 2021:

 

 

 

 Ordinary

 Nominal

 

 shares

 value

 

 No. 

 £'000

 

As at 1 January 2021 - shares of £0.002 each

 

40,123,568

 

80

Shares issued on vesting of share option scheme

822,873

2

Shares issued in relation to SAYE share scheme

4,999

-

As at 30 June 2021

40,951,440

82

 

 

 

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