InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) is headquartered in North Sydney, Australia; provides funeral, cemetery, crematoria, and allied services in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The company operates around 290 funeral locations along with 16 cemeteries and crematoria under different brands. Besides, it offers an online memorial community service HeavenAddress; LifeArt coffins; a prepaid funeral Guardian Plan and an online grief resource Website MyGriefAssist.
In addition, InvoCare also operates MyMemorial, a Website that provides a range of cremation and burial memorial options along with digital funeral planning services under the Funeral Planner brand name.
On April 10th, 2019, InvoCare announced the successful completion of the share purchase plan released to the market on Friday, 8th March 2019. The offer, that was set at $ 14.00 per share, was oversubscribed and received strong interest from the eligible shareholders with applications totalling around $29.7 million received from 2,846 applicants. However, the InvoCare Board scaled back the applications to a total of $22.8 million.
InvoCare has raised a total of approximately $88 million following the successful completion of the SPP, combined with the Institutional Placement as announced on 11th March 2019, that raised around $65 million. The new shares were scheduled to be issued under the SPP on Thursday, 11th April 2019 and would commence trading on Friday, 12th April 2019.
Around 4.64 million fully paid ordinary shares were issued on 14th March 2019, at $14.00 per share each to professional and sophisticated investors under the institutional placement.
The net proceeds are planned to be utilised to drive InvoCare’s strategic growth objectives like the ongoing Protect & Grow program (underway for 15 months) with 35% of the sites completed by December 2018. Around 61% of the 49 locations operational for six or more months, have been trading ahead of or in-line with expectations for EBITDA improvement. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in 2019, while Phase 2 is expected to begin in Q4 2019, with a majority of the renovation program to be completed in 2020.
Besides, the funds will also be utilised to opportunistically pursue regional acquisitions to accelerate growth.
Recently, on 4th April 2019, the company’s Director, Jacqueline McArthur acquired 2,000 new fully paid ordinary shares at $14.45 each, while another Director, Keith William Skinner also purchased around 1,084 ordinary shares at $13.85 each.
InvoCare’s results for the full year ended December 31st, 2018, exhibit growth amidst soft market conditions. The operating sales revenue increased by 1.4% to $477.3 million from $470.9 million. The operating earnings after tax decreased by 22.1% to $49.5 million, reflecting increased depreciation and interest stemming from Protect & Grow and acquisition investments.
Besides, the net profit after tax was also down 57.7% from the prior year 2017, to $41.2 million, primarily due to the impact of the mark-to-market valuation of prepaid contracts in 2017, which included a significant gain due to property revaluations and sale. The net cash in hand stood at $14.78 million.
With around 114.9 million outstanding shares, the IVC stock closed the market trading on 11th April 2019, at A$14.900 with ~ 316,666 shares traded.