Storage barn operator Lok'n'Store has rebased its dividend and for once, the term refers to a substantial increase in pay-outs, not a poorly-disguised dividend cut.
"The board has decided to significantly increase the dividend to 5p for the full year, and it is intended that the company's future dividend payments will reflect the growth in the underlying cash generated by the business," revealed Andrew Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Lok'n'Store.
The 5p dividend represents a two-thirds improvement on the previous year's 3p payment.
"We have a secure financial base, an excellent development pipeline and robust trading which gives the board the confidence to propose this step change in the dividend," Jacobs said.
In the year to July 31st the group saw profit before tax retreat to £926m from £938m the year before, largely as a result of finance costs virtually doubling to £1.03m and a result of the firm refinancing its £40m bank facility during the year.
Though the group's business is off-site storage, many investors regard it as a glorified property company and so the net asset value (NAV) per share is closely watched. At the end of July 2012 adjusted NAV per share had barely changed at 228p from 229p the year before.
Net debt increased from £24.4m at the end of July 2011 to £25.7m at the end of July 2012.
"At an operating level we have continued to demonstrate an innovative approach to asset management, enabling the group to increase its operational footprint while maintaining a strong balance sheet. With further valuable planning permissions obtained and renewed and the opening of the Aldershot and Maidenhead stores scheduled for 2013, we are poised to move ahead strongly over the next couple of years," Jacobs said.
The new document storage business, acquired at the end of June 2011, has moved into profit under its new ownership, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £0.47m, versus a loss of £0.04m the year before.
Frontier IP Group said full year losses widened as fundraising to provide ongoing working capital and growth opportunities is in its final stage.
The group, which specialises in commercialising intellectual property of University research teams, said pre-tax loss widened to £380,000 for the year ended June 30th 2012 from a loss £269,000 the same time a year before. Revenue for the year fell to £223,000 from £307,000.
Frontier said loss per share increased to 5.45p from 3.86p before. Net assets per share at June 30 fell to 36p from 41.4p.
The group said the new financial year has started well and, with the fundraising, it will be positioned for continued development.
Chairman Neil Crabb commented: "Frontier IP has made good progress during the year ended 30 June 2012 with helping its existing portfolio companies to deploy their technologies and with deepening and extending its relationships within its three university partnerships."
New opportunities are in the works including a fund management agreement with Narec Capital and a collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire.
"Dependent on the successful outcome of the fundraising which is in its final stage, Frontier IP will be well placed to make further progress. The Board remains confident about the opportunities for growth in the new financial year and beyond."