BSH: Accounts Analysis

Birmingham Sports Holdings announced their end of year accounts to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday. The accounts, which are for the year ending June 30, 2018 showed a huge loss of HK$437.7millon, up from HK$182.6million the year before.

Finances and BCFC

You can view the accounts for yourself by clicking this link.

I’m not an accountant, so I don’t want to dive too deeply into the figures.

What I’m more concerned about is what they mean in relation to Blues – not just in relation to the “Profit and Sustainability Rules” result for last season but questions with respect to how long Paul Suen Cho-Hung will remain as the largest shareholder.

Are these accounts proof of how bad Blues result was with respect to the P&S Rules?

The first thing to bear in mind is that these accounts are for the whole group, not just for BCFC – and as such are going to be nothing more than a rough guide to what BCFC’s results are.

While the accounts are not segmented, it does say in section 4 that the Cambodian investment deal are under development and thus “no revenue nor any contribution were derived from this segment”.

What that means is that while money would have been spent on the Cambodian deal none of the revenue the group generated came from it.

We can thus infer that the BCFC results should be somewhat better than these as they won’t count the money spent on that investment.

There are a couple of mentions within the accounts about the issues Blues have with the EFL. Chief among them is this paragraph from page 25.

On 14 August 2018, BCFC, a subsidiary of the Group, received a notification from the EFL in connection with breaches of the Championship Profitability and Sustainability Rules of Appendix 5 of the EFL regulations. The breaches were mainly associated with BCFC’s financial performance. As a result of the breaches, BCFC was placed under an imposed arrangement that restricts transfer market activities without the consent of the EFL and was referred to a disciplinary commission, which is estimated to be held in October 2018.

This is the first official indication of when the disciplinary commission will meet.

How do these accounts show how long Paul Suen will stick around?

One of the things I was very interested to see in these accounts was how the investment in Cambodia was getting on.

As I have mentioned before, Suen will only be allowed to move on his stake in BSH once the HKSE are satisfied that the company is sufficiently diversified.

However, the lack of segmentation in the accounts leads me to believe that there remains a lot of work to do to make the Cambodia investment a revenue stream.

The corollary of this is that Suen is stuck with BSH until he does so.

He won’t have been helped by an announcement earlier last week confirming a delay in putting out the latest information to shareholders.

There are other issues too.

By my reckoning this is at least the fifth straight year in succession the holding company have posted losses.

The auditors have commented that there is a materal uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Couple that with the company losing more than double the amount of revenue it brought in this year, and it wouldn’t be hard to believe that the Stock Exchange might have a few questions about how the company is run.

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