Friday 20 September 2019

Profit soar by more than 80pc at Dublin-listed Draper Esprit

‘The 12 months ended 31 March 2019 were a transformational period,’ said CEO Simon Cook
‘The 12 months ended 31 March 2019 were a transformational period,’ said CEO Simon Cook
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Shares in Dublin-listed Draper Esprit were down 1.8pc in trading yesterday, despite the group's profit jumping 83pc to £111.2m (€125.5m) in the 12 months to March 31.

The listed venture capital investor's full-year uplift in 'fair value' - that is the rise in the overall value of its assets - was £140m, an increase of 58pc year-on-year, and ahead of analyst's expectations.

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"A key driver of that out-performance was the uplift from the Earlybird assets, which increased 'fair value' by £45.1m," said Goodbody Stockbrokers analyst Gerry Hennigan.

In total, gross portfolio value increased to £594m, from £244m in March 2018.

"The 12 months ended 31 March 2019 were a transformational period for the business," said CEO Simon Cook.

"We have cemented our standing as one of Europe's largest VCs, delivering growth and scale across our portfolio, as well as in our own business," Mr Cook said.

He added that the business "will continue to drive long-term, sustainable returns for our shareholders, giving them access to high-growth private technology companies through a listed company".

The group generated £16m in cash via two investment exits during the year.

Since the end of the group's financial year, £15.3m in gross proceeds was generated from the partial realisation of fintech Transferwise.

Draper Esprit has now exited 18 companies since its 2016 initial public offering (IPO), achieving over £81.6m in cash.

In the 12 months to March 31the group invested £226.4m in over 20 companies, which was broadly in line with analyst expectations.

Among the companies in its portfolio is fintech Revolut and moving business Movinga.

Looking forward, Draper Esprit has secured a £50m revolving credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank and Investec over a three-year term.

"That option, combined with the £15.3m realised post period-end in Transferwise, provides both an additional source of funding and a degree of flexibility should further disposals be realised," Mr Hennigan said.

Draper Esprit also said that CFO Ben Wilkinson will join the board with immediate effect.

Irish Independent

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