HICL sees 69% profit uplift

The London-listed infrastructure group, which posted its half-year interim results yesterday, has already invested the £253m in dry powder it raised earlier this year.

HICL Infrastructure Company Limited, an infrastructure investment vehicle listed on the London Stock Exchange, has enjoyed strong tailwinds over the first half of its financial year.

Interim results released yesterday for the six months ended 20 September 2013 showed a 69 percent profit uplift compared to the same period last year, from £42.2 million (€50.6 million; $68.1 million) to £71.4 million.

The group’s investment portfolio also posted strong growth, rising from £1,213.1 million at 31 March to £1,437.6 million at 30 September 2013. This 18.5 percent growth helped net asset value per share increase 3.2p to 119.6p at the end of the period.

“Despite keen competition when sourcing new infrastructure investments, there has been a steady flow of new opportunities and the team has succeeded in securing accretive acquisitions from a broad spectrum of vendors,” commented Tony Roper, director at InfraRed Capital Partners, the UK-based fund manager that advises HICL.

The proceeds from the £167.3 million share issue the fund undertook in March, as well as those from a tap issue of £86 million completed in July, are now fully invested, HICL said in a statement. This was achieved through 10 new investments and three incremental stakes, worth an overall £197.7 million, made during the period.

Two additional acquisitions, worth a combined £9.2 million, were made since the period ended. The fund, which has around £1.3 billion under management, says it now is considering fresh investments in the UK, Ireland, France and Australia, with several at an advanced stage of negotiation.

InfraRed, formerly HSBC Specialist Investments Limited, spun out from its parent bank in May 2011. It is now 80.1 percent owned by its senior management team, with HSBC retaining a 19.9 percent stake in the business. The firm listed HICL on the London Stock Exchange in 2006.

The fund intends to distribute an interim dividend of 3.5p per share, payable in December 2013, putting it on track to achieve its 7.1p dividend target for the year to 31 March 2014. Its guidance for the next financial year, ending 31 March 2015, is of 7.25p per share.