Electra Private Equity outperforms FTSE 250 in 'year of change'

07 December 2017

(ShareCast News) - Electra Private Equity reported strong performance during what it described as a "year of change" in its preliminary announcement on Thursday, with total shareholder return of 21% for the year, compared with 14% for the FTSE 250 index.
The FTSE 250 firm said its net asset value per share at year-end on 30 September was 1,981p - of which cash formed 1,134p - making for a total return of 9% for the year.

A total of £1.5bn of cash was returned to shareholders in the year.

The board announced the outcome of the first phase of its strategic review on 14 October 2016, it noted, with management functions since brought in house from the former third-party provider and the required resources in place to pursue its defined strategy

Recurring annual management expenses were reduced from approximately £33m to around £5m, Electra's board said.

Since year-end, it said a third special dividend of £350m - or 914p per share - was paid on 1 December, bringing the total cash returned to shareholders to £1.9bn since dividends resumed.

The board announced the outcome of the second phase of its strategic review on 23 October, which would result in a focus on the "optimisation" of the return on shareholders capital.

Electra said market conditions were not considered to support new investment at present, with further simplification of the group's structure being implemented.

It was also exploring the possibility of a change in its listing category, and continuing the disposal of non-core assets, leaving a portfolio of strategic corporate assets.

Edward Bramson was to step back into a non-executive role from the annual general meeting in March, the board confirmed, with the duties of the chief executive to be split between the chairman and the chief financial officer.

"I am pleased to report on a year that has seen the company take great strides in defining and implementing its future strategy whilst continuing to deliver excellent financial returns for our shareholders," said chairman Neil Johnson.

"The transition from our former external manager is complete and we now have operating and governance structures in place that give the executive team the ability to manage the delivery of our strategy, with full accountability to the board."

Johnson said that, following the second phase of Electra's strategic review, it was now able to add "more clarity" around the future capital deployment and corporate structure of the company focused on optimising investment returns.

"We will make continued progress in the coming year and look forward with confidence to working with the management teams of our portfolio companies to deliver continued shareholder value.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Edward Bramson for his commitment and dedication during his tenure as interim CEO and look forward to continuing to work with him in his non-executive role from March."