RNS Number : 5355R


29 October 2019

29 October 2019

For immediate release


("ADVFN" or the "Company")

Audited Results for the Year Ended 30 June 2019

ADVFN, the global stocks and shares website, announces its audited results for the year ended 30 June 2019.

Chief Executive's Statement

The financial year 2018/19 was a year of development that has seen us adapt to a changing marketplace and begin to strengthen our business by pushing forward with our US facing business. Work in 2017 was responsible for addressing negative developments in equities, replacing revenue from equity-focused clients with revenues from the growing Blockchain industry. We now have a strong and comprehensive on-line Crypto information and data offering and we expect that to lead to a range of opportunities going forward providing us with additional revenue and a chance to grow the website with new opportunities.

Thanks to these developments we hope to avoid both the effects of Brexit but also the European Contracts and Markets Authority (ESMA) which has had a significant impact on some of our customers who focus on Contract for Difference (CFD) and spread betting. We have therefore accelerated our investment in the future to try to capitalise on the potential of a rebound for these clients alongside the next phase of the blockchain development which is recently showing a strong comeback.

Our US offering is now our largest audience and this year we have spent significant time and money to build on our presence there. We believe that this investment should start to bear fruit in 2019 and significantly in 2020. We are very happy with progress there and the product developments that will also begin to impact.

Whilst it is hard to predict the future in such an uncertain political business landscape, 2018/19 has been a significant year for us in positioning ADVFN to grow. Although, in this year, the overall market has shrunk, to compensate there is less competition. We would prefer to be operating in a burgeoning market, but it certainly helps to be one of the few places where a private investor or Cryptocurrency trader can get real-time high-quality information. We are one of a small number of destinations where financial services companies can get access to a high value audience for their offerings.

ADVFN and Investorshub has a large audience whose high aggregate net worth, is at the core of our business and we have been working hard to broaden our offering to take advantage of it.

At the end of this year we feel we are well positioned to prosper in an environment many look at with trepidation and we are looking forward to developments next year which we feel will deliver a strong performance.

Clement Chambers


29 October 2019

The annual report and accounts will shortly be sent to shareholders and will be available on the Company's website, http://www.advfn.com


For further information please contact:

  Clem Chambers                         +44 (0) 207 070 0909 
 Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nominated 
 Roland Cornish/Michael Cornish         +44 (0) 207 628 3396 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014. The person who arranged for the release of this announcement on behalf of the Company was Clem Chambers, Director.


Financial Overview

These consolidated and company accounts have been prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union.

We are assailed by a constant demand for price increases, particularly in the costs for data licenses and exchange fees and we continue to monitor this and adapt by deleting poor value sources and bringing in new data in response.

Business Review

The website is the centre of ADVFN's business and it can be seen at www.advfn.com. Our customer's demands on our website means we must provide sophisticated, technically challenging material which is subject to constant 24-hour maintenance and engineering. This is both a significant cost but also a wide defensive moat and barrier to entry for our business. The cost of provision of our kind of service has proved prohibitive to many competitors over the years.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies have allowed us to add new information and create a whole new area to the website dedicated to the needs of the growing global cryptocurrency audience for timely and accurate data. This has enhanced the whole ADVFN/Investorshub proposition.

In the UK our audience remains interested in Brexit and the impact it may or may not have, which creates much interest in the financial markets in the UK, which is to our advantage. ADVFN's data / information sites are a very important window into the world's financial markets that private investors in any part of the globe can use to help manage their investing and trading activities. We see opportunities for growth in many countries around the world and we support markets in many of them, however, at this time we are focused on developing audiences in the US, UK and Brazil.

Operating Costs

Our main costs are relatively fixed, but licence and exchange fees are continuing to rise which we monitor closely and have been adapting our offering to compensate. We have removed some markets and added others and have, up to now, seen no impact to our business by rejecting exchanges that become too costly for their profile. We have started to work closely with a select group of markets to help them reach broader audiences and this is an interesting opportunity for us.

Research and Development ("R&D")

Research and Development is what has allowed us to keep up with a rapidly changing market. Technology is always changing, competition appearing or disappearing, and we constantly strive to be relevant by providing excellent services. It is this research and development that is a key pillar for our future. The web and mobile environments are also changing all the time and we have to continue to move and evolve so that we can stay at the forefront of what customers need.

Our R & D investment this year has been GBP360,000 (2018: GBP353,000) and a substantial part of this investment has been to develop the website and has been capitalised. This constant investment ensures our web and mobile experience remains up to date and fresh.

Environmental policy

The Group as a whole continues to look for ways to develop its environmental policy. It remains our objective to improve our performance in this area.

Future outlook for the business

The last two decades have taught us that we must keep abreast of an ever-changing market. Blockchain and Crypto Currencies are very much part of this and our future. They are new areas in which new business opportunities could open up where we can take the business forward. We are also developing other products that broaden our offering to both our users and our advertising customers and with a stable revenue platform we look towards meaningful growth.

Summary of key performance indicators

Our key indicators have not changed, as they are an important part of the business.

The Directors monitor the Key Performance Indicators on an ongoing basis. The chart below shows the level of performance achieved in the financial year. The individual items are as follows:

                              2019      2019      2018      2018 
                            Actual    Target    Actual    Target 
                          --------  --------  --------  -------- 
 Turnover                  GBP8.7M   GBP8.8M   GBP9.2M   GBP8.5M 
                                    --------  -------- 
 Average head count             46        44        46        40 
                          --------  --------  -------- 
 ADVFN registered users       4.7M      4.6M      4.5M      4.2M 
                          --------  --------  --------  -------- 

Turnover - is of vital importance as it gives the sales department a goal and measures the financial success of the Group's services. The target for 2019 was set so as to show a steady improvement over the target for 2018 where the actual for 2018 had been unexpectedly high.

Head count - is a very significant part of the costs of the company and is fixed as an overhead. It provides a good indicator when taken against the revenue figure for the efficiency of the business. Talented people are a vital part of the business.

Registered users - give us an accurate indication of our audience pool and the potential available for marketing our service.

Principal risks and uncertainties

In addition to the principal risks summarised above, the following are also considered to be principal risks and uncertainties.

Economic downturn

We constantly face rapid change and may face many new potential issues, including the outcome and impact of the Brexit negotiations and the leaving process itself. This, mixed with many emerging global economic pressures such as the US/China trade war, makes for an abundance of uncertainty. Uncertainty is a driver of our audience's engagement, so our future is somewhat hedged by this against negative outcomes beyond our control.

High proportion of fixed overheads coupled with variable revenues

A large proportion of the Company's overheads are fixed. There is the risk that any significant changes in revenue may lead to the inability to cover such costs. We closely monitor fixed overheads against budget on a monthly basis and cost saving exercises are implemented on a constant review basis.

Product obsolescence

The systems and technology that we use are always in development and constantly requiring changes and upgrading. All our technology and products are subject to technological evolution and could become obsolete.

We constantly innovate and adopt new developments to keep up with this inevitable change.

The Board is committed to the Research and Development strategy in place and are confident that the Company is able to react effectively to the developments within the market.

Fluctuations in currency exchange rates

A major proportion of our turnover relates to overseas operations. As a company, we are therefore exposed to foreign currency fluctuations. The Company manages its foreign exchange exposure on a net basis and, if required, uses forward foreign exchange contracts and other derivatives/financial instruments to reduce the exposure. Currently hedging is not employed and no forward contracts are in place. If currency volatility was extreme and hedging activity did not mitigate the exposure, then the results and the financial condition of the Company might be adversely impacted by foreign currency fluctuations.

Following the volatility post Brexit, management will continue to monitor the impact of currency fluctuation. The exchange rate of the US Dollar has been a recent focus.


I would like to thank the whole team at ADVFN who tirelessly provide a global service for private investors 24 hours a day.


Clement Chambers


29 October 2019

 Consolidated income statement 
                                                         30 June   30 June 
                                                            2019      2018 
                                                         GBP'000   GBP'000 
 Revenue                                                   8,714     9,201 
 Cost of sales                                             (421)     (392) 
                                                       ---------  -------- 
 Gross profit                                              8,293     8,809 
 Share based payment                                         (2)      (21) 
 Amortisation of intangible assets                         (220)     (202) 
 Other administrative expenses                           (8,546)   (8,202) 
                                                       ---------  -------- 
 Total administrative expenses                           (8,768)   (8,425) 
 Operating (loss)/profit                                   (475)       384 
 Finance income and expense                                  (7)         - 
 Income from related parties                        5          -        58 
 Profit from sale of equity investment to 
  a related party                                   5         47         - 
 (Loss)/profit before tax                                  (435)       442 
 Taxation                                                     24      (49) 
                                                       ---------  -------- 
 Total (loss)/profit for the period attributable 
  to shareholders of the parent                            (411)       393 
 Profit per share 
 Basic                                              4   (1.60 p)    1.53 p 
 Diluted                                            4   (1.60 p)    1.53 p 
 Consolidated statement of comprehensive 
                                                  30 June   30 June 
                                                     2019      2018 
                                                  GBP'000   GBP'000 
 (Loss)/profit for the period                       (411)       393 
 Other comprehensive income: 
 Items that will be reclassified subsequently 
  to profit or loss: 
 Exchange differences on translation of 
  foreign operations                                   37      (33) 
 Total other comprehensive income                      37      (33) 
 Total comprehensive income for the year 
  attributable to shareholders of the parent        (374)       360 
                                                 ========  ======== 
 Consolidated balance sheet 
                                   30 June   30 June 
                                      2019      2018 
                                   GBP'000   GBP'000 
 Non-current assets 
 Property, plant and equipment         145       136 
 Goodwill                              978       941 
 Intangible assets                   1,447     1,307 
 Investments                             -         3 
 Deferred tax                            -         4 
 Trade and other receivables           108       111 
                                     2,678     2,502 
 Current assets 
 Trade and other receivables           693       855 
 Cash and cash equivalents             887     1,061 
                                  --------  -------- 
                                     1,580     1,916 
 Total assets                        4,258     4,418 
 Equity and liabilities 
 Issued capital                         51        51 
 Share premium                         167       145 
 Share based payment reserve           367       365 
 Foreign exchange reserve              282       245 
 Retained earnings                     835     1,277 
                                  --------  -------- 
                                     1,702     2,083 
 Current liabilities 
 Trade and other payables            2,556     2,313 
 Current tax                             -        22 
                                     2,556     2,335 
 Total liabilities                   2,556     2,335 
                                  --------  -------- 
 Total equity and liabilities        4,258     4,418 
                                  ========  ======== 

Consolidated statement of changes in equity

                                           Share      Share      Share     Foreign    Retained     Total 
                                         capital    premium      based    exchange    earnings    equity 
                                                               payment     reserve 
                                         GBP'000    GBP'000    GBP'000     GBP'000     GBP'000   GBP'000 
 At 1 July 2017                               51        145        344         278         884     1,702 
 Equity settled share options                  -          -         21           -           -        21 
 Total transactions with owners                -          -         21           -           -        21 
 Profit for the period after 
  tax                                          -          -          -           -         393       393 
 Other comprehensive income 
 Exchange differences on translation 
  of foreign operations                        -          -          -        (33)           -      (33) 
 Total other comprehensive 
  income                                       -          -          -        (33)           -      (33) 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 Total comprehensive income                                                   (33)         393       360 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 At 30 June 2018 - as originally 
  stated                                      51        145        365         245       1,277     2,083 
 Effect of the application 
  of IFRS 9                                    -          -          -           -        (31)      (31) 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
                                              51        145        365         245       1,246     2,052 
 Shares issued                                 -         22          -           -           -        22 
 Equity settled share options                  -          -          2           -           -         2 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 Total transactions with owners                -         22          2           -           -        24 
 Loss for the year after tax                   -          -          -           -       (411)     (411) 
 Other comprehensive income 
 Exchange differences on translation 
  of foreign operations                        -          -          -          37           -        37 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 Total other comprehensive 
  income                                       -          -          -          37           -        37 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 Total comprehensive income                    -          -          -          37       (411)     (374) 
                                       ---------  ---------  ---------  ----------  ----------  -------- 
 At 30 June 2019                              51        167        367         282         835     1,702 
                                       =========  =========  =========  ==========  ==========  ======== 
 Consolidated cash flow statement 
                                                    12 months   12 months 
                                                           to          to 
                                                      30 June     30 June 
                                                         2019        2018 
                                                      GBP'000     GBP'000 
 Cash flows from operating activities 
 Profit for the year                                    (411)         393 
 Taxation                                                (24)          49 
 Net finance income in the income statement                 7           - 
 Depreciation of property, plant & equipment               81          68 
 Amortisation of intangible assets                        220         202 
 Profit on disposal of equity investment 
  to a related party                            5        (47)           - 
 Profit on disposal of Equity Holdings 
  to a related party                            5           -        (53) 
 Share based payments - options/warrants                    2          21 
 Decrease in trade and other receivables                  134          74 
 Increase/(decrease) in trade and other 
  payables                                                243       (151) 
 Net cash generated by continuing operations              205         603 
 Income tax receivable/(payable)                            2        (27) 
                                                   ----------  ---------- 
 Net cash generated by operating activities               207         576 
 Cash flows from financing activities 
 Issue of share capital                                    22           - 
 Interest paid                                            (7)           - 
 Net cash generated by financing activities                15           - 
 Cash flows from investing activities 
 Payments for property, plant and equipment              (90)       (151) 
 Purchase of intangibles                                (360)       (353) 
 Receipt from sale of equity investment 
  to a related party                                       50          50 
 Net cash used by investing activities                  (400)       (454) 
 Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash 
  equivalents                                           (178)         122 
 Exchange differences                                       4        (24) 
                                                   ----------  ---------- 
 Net (decrease)/increase in cash and cash 
  equivalents                                           (174)          98 
 Cash and cash equivalents at the start 
  of the period                                         1,061         963 
                                                   ----------  ---------- 
 Cash and cash equivalents at the end of 
  the period                                              887       1,061 
                                                   ==========  ========== 
   1.      Basis of preparation 

The Group's financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union ('EU') and with those parts of the Companies Act 2006 that are relevant to the Group in preparing its accounts in accordance with EU adopted IFRS. While the financial information included in the announcement has been prepared in accordance with EU adopted IFRS, this announcement itself does not contain sufficient information to comply with EU adopted IFRS.

The consolidated and company financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and are presented in Sterling rounded to the nearest thousand except where indicated otherwise.

Standards and amendments to existing standards adopted in these accounts

Two additional standards have been adopted in these accounts, the details of their application and the impact they have had on the financial statement is as follow:

-- IFRS 15 - Revenue

The standard defines a new five step model to recognise revenue from customers and replaces IAS 18 'Revenue', IAS 11 'Construction contracts', IFRIC 13 'Customer loyalty programmes', IFRIC 15 'Agreements for the construction of real estate'. IFRIC 18 'Transfer of assets from customers' and SIC-3 'Revenue - Barter transactions involving advertising services'.

The group has a number of income streams and the Directors have examined the Group's revenue policy in detail as follows:

Subscriptions - both monthly and annual subscriptions are offered and annual subscriptions are deferred on a time basis with equal monthly transfers to the income statement.

Events - revenue from events is recognised at the time of the event. There are no circumstances when the early payment of entrance or stand fees entirely non-refundable.

Advertising - fees for advertising are recognised when the service obligations are fulfilled. Where there are multiple obligations amounts specific to that obligation are transferred to the income statement.

The Directors have reviewed the standard and its effects in the context of the Group's policy described above and the result is that there will not be a significant impact on the Group's revenue.

-- IFRS 9 Financial Instruments

The standard is a replacement for IAS 39 'Financial Instruments'. The Group's financial assets consist of receivables and the liabilities consist of payables. There are no material borrowings.

Under the provisions of the standard the treatment of any doubtful receivables will change to reflect an expected credit loss rather than an incurred credit loss. The group will need to apply an expected credit loss model when calculating impairment losses on its trade and other receivables (both current and non-current). This will result in increased impairment provisions and greater judgement due to the need to factor in forward looking information when estimating the appropriate amount of provisions. In applying IFRS 9 the group must consider the probability of a default occurring over the contractual life of its trade receivables and contracts asset balances on initial recognition of those assets.

The directors have reviewed the effects of adopting this standard and the current year provision on an expected credit loss basis is GBP70,000.

Standards, amendments and interpretations to existing standards that are not yet effective and have not been early adopted by the Company in the 30 June 2019 financial statements

-- IFRS 16 Leases

The standard is effective for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2019 and will therefore be adopted no later than the period commencing 1 July 2019. The standard replaces IAS 17 and introduces a single lessee accounting model. Under the provisions of the new standard most leases, including the majority of those previously classified as operating leases, will be brought onto the financial position statement as a right-of-use asset and as an offsetting lease liability. Both asset and liability are based on present values of the lease payments due over the term of the lease with the asset being depreciated in accordance with IAS 16 'Property, plant and equipment' and the liability increased by the addition of interest and reduced as lease payments are made.

The directors continue to monitor the likely impact of the new standard on the Group. If the standard were to be adopted during the current financial period and applied to the operating leases currently in the Group, the value of leases recognised as 'right of use' assets on the balance sheet at 30 June 2019 would be in the range GBP230,000 to GBP270,000. The impact on profit or loss will be minimal as the operating lease charge will be replaced by an interest expense on the lease liability and a depreciation charge in administrative expense which together will approximate the operating lease charge. There is a tendency for this method to front load the expense but this is minimal in ADVFN's case.

Effects of changes in accounting policies

During the year the Group has adopted IFRS 9 "Financial Instruments" and IFRS 15 "Revenue from contracts with customers".

The adoption of IFRS 15 has not led to the need to restate prior period figures. However the Company and Group has financial assets at amortised cost that are subject to IFRS 9's new expected credit loss model and was required to revise its impairment methodology under IFRS 9 for this class of asset. As permitted by the transitional provisions of IFRS 9, the Company elected not to restate comparative figures. Any adjustments to the carrying amounts of the financial assets were recognised in the opening retaining earnings of the current period. The identified impairment loss for the Company and the Group was immaterial. Applying the expected credit risk model resulted in the recognition of a loss allowance of GBP12,000 and GBP31,000 in the Company and Group respectively in the year ended 30 June 2018.

All other accounting policies remain unchanged since the year ended 30 June 2019.

   2.      Segmental analysis 

The directors identify operating segments based upon the information which is regularly reviewed by the chief operating decision maker. The Group considers that the chief operating decision makers are the executive members of the Board of Directors. The Group has identified two reportable operating segments, being that of the provision of financial information and that of other services. The provision of financial information is made via the Group's various website platforms.

The parent entities operations are entirely of the provision of financial information.

Three minor operating segments, for which IFRS 8's quantitative thresholds have not been met, are currently combined below under 'other'. The main sources of revenue for these operating segments is the provision of financial broking services, financial conference events and other internet services not related to financial information. Segment information can be analysed as follows for the reporting period under review:

 2019                                   Provision     Other     Total 
                                     of financial 
                                          GBP'000   GBP'000   GBP'000 
 Revenue from external customers            8,490       224     8,714 
 Depreciation and amortisation              (360)        60     (300) 
 Other operating expenses                 (8,321)     (568)   (8,889) 
                                   --------------  --------  -------- 
 Segment operating (loss)/profit            (191)     (284)     (475) 
 Interest income                                -         -         - 
 Interest expense                             (7)         -       (7) 
                                   ==============  ========  ======== 
 Segment assets                             3,740       518     4,258 
 Segment liabilities                      (2,559)         3   (2,556) 
 Purchases of non-current assets              340       110       450 
                                   ==============  ========  ======== 
 2018                                   Provision     Other     Total 
                                     of financial 
                                          GBP'000   GBP'000   GBP'000 
 Revenue from external customers            8,900       301     9,201 
 Depreciation and amortisation              (388)       122     (266) 
 Other operating expenses                 (7,984)     (567)   (8,551) 
                                   --------------  --------  -------- 
 Segment operating (loss)/profit              528     (144)       384 
 Interest income                                -         -         - 
 Interest expense                               -         -         - 
                                   ==============  ========  ======== 
 Segment assets                             3,831       587     4,418 
 Segment liabilities                      (2,196)     (139)   (2,335) 
 Purchases of non-current assets              444        60       504 
                                   ==============  ========  ======== 

The Group's revenues, which wholly relate to the sale of services, from external customers and its non-current assets, are divided into the following geographical areas:

                  Revenue   Non-current   Revenue   Non-current 
                                 assets                  assets 
                     2019          2019      2018          2018 
 UK (domicile)      2,925         1,679     3,466         1,547 
 USA                5,532           999     5,259           955 
 Other                257             -       476             - 
                    8,714         2,678     9,201         2,502 
                 ========  ============  ========  ============ 

Revenues are allocated to the country in which the customer resides. During both 2019 and 2018 no single customer accounted for more than 10% of the Group's total revenues.

   3.             Profit per share 
                                                       12 months    12 months 
                                                              to           to 
                                                         30 June      30 June 
                                                            2018         2017 
                                                         GBP'000      GBP'000 
 (Loss)/profit for the year attributable to equity 
  shareholders                                             (411)          393 
 Total loss per share - basic and diluted 
 Basic                                                  (1.60 p)       1.53 p 
 Diluted                                                (1.60 p)       1.53 p 
                                                          Shares       Shares 
 Weighted average number of shares in issue for 
  the year                                            25,657,927   25,623,845 
 Dilutive effect of options                                    -      100,000 
                                                     -----------  ----------- 
 Weighted average shares for diluted earnings 
  per share                                           25,657,927   25,723,845 
                                                     ===========  =========== 

Where a loss has been recorded for the year the diluted loss per share does not differ from the basic loss per share. Where a profit has been recorded but the average share price for the year remains under the exercise price the existence of options is not dilutive.

   4.         Disposal of Equity Holdings Ltd and Equity Developments Ltd 


Following the failure of Bashco Limited to make any payments to the Company for the acquisition of Equity Holdings Ltd and its subsidiary Equity Developments Ltd during the year to 30 June 2018, it was agreed between the parties that a payment be made by Bashco Ltd to ADVFN Plc amounting to a cash payment of GBP50,000 plus the issue to ADVFN Plc of shares amounting to a 30% stake in the disposed companies. These payments were received and the parties consider the transaction complete. The shareholding was therefore recognised at fair value through profit or loss within investments on the balance sheet at GBP3,000. On 15 June 2019 the investment was sold back to Brian Basham, the owner of Equity Holdings Limited and Equity Development Limited (a related party resulting from a joint directorship) for GBP50,000 thus creating a profit the Company of GBP47,000.

   5.             Events after the balance sheet date 

There are no events of significance to report occurring after the balance sheet date.

   6.             Publication of non-statutory accounts 

The financial information set out in this preliminary announcement does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 435 of the Companies Act 2006.

The consolidated balance sheet at 30 June 2019 and the consolidated income statement, consolidated statement of comprehensive income, consolidated statement of changes in equity, consolidated cash flow statement and associated notes for the year then ended have been extracted from the Company's 2018 statutory financial statements upon which the auditors' opinion is unqualified and does not include any statement under Section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

The annual report and accounts will shortly be sent to shareholders and will be available on the Company's website, http://www.advfn.com.


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.



(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 29, 2019 13:26 ET (17:26 GMT)