Pires Investments ‘well-positioned’ for future growth

Francesca Morgan
RNS Newswire
08:24, 31st July 2020

Pires Investments (AIM: PIRI) FOLLOW has described the six-month period to 30 April 2020 as “extremely busy” following the firm’s £1.1m investment in Sure Valley Ventures (“SVV”).

In a half-year report, Pires said its SVV investment had proven successful, highlighting the sale of Irish software firm, Artomatix, in December 2019 in a deal believed to be worth up to $60 million, a valuation some 500% of the price of the original investment in the company.

The company said several portfolio companies have increased in value during the period based on funding rounds at higher valuations than at the time of the initial investment, including Buymie.

Buymie’s value has increased by around 200% since the original investment in April, as part of a second round of investment of €5.8m into this company, in which SVV participated.

Gains were also made from the Company's technology investments, principally driven by the sale of Artomatix which has provided a 60% return on Pires original investment in SVV.

SVV recently made a new investment in Volograms, which enables consumers to create their own immersive AR and VR content for use in apps, social media and VR headsets with a particular application in the mobile VR market which is expected to grow significantly.

Net assets at the period end stood at £3.07m up from £2.5m on 31 October 2019. While net assets increased, Pires said it does not believe this fairly represents its financial potential given the scope for significant valuation uplift of the companies within the portfolio.

At period end, over 90% of the Pires’ net asset value comprised cash, placing proceeds and technology-related investments. Pires said trading remains normal despite COVID-19 and that it firmly believes its investments are well positioned against this backdrop.

Pires posted a pre-tax loss of £427,068 compared to £659,048 in the same 2019 period after Pires’ residual holding in Eco (Atlantic Oil & Gas), which has now been disposed of, reduced in value compared to the significant profits realised in previous periods.

Shares in Pires Investments have traded between a 3.05p and 3.5p range over July and opened this morning at 3.3p.

PIRI price chart

‘We remain encouraged by the progress made to date by each of our portfolio companies and the outlook for the respective sectors in which they operate,’ the company noted.

‘Our investment in the technology sector has already proven to have been successful, with a substantial amount of our original investment already having been returned to the Company.’

‘Going forward, the Company is very well positioned to become a leading next generation technology investment company with an interest in a portfolio of high-growth technology companies that have the potential for significant growth,’ Pires added.

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