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12/05/06
Bartercard set to start 2007 debt free:
Sale of Bartercard House
Bartercard set to start 2007 debt free

05/12/2006

Bartercard today announced that the world's leading trade exchange is set to start 2007 in its strongest financial position ever in its 15 years of operation, following the sale of Bartercard House in Southport settling on 29 November 2006.

The sale and leaseback of Bartercard's Australian headquarters building for A$13.5million, with Bartercard Australia entering into a 10 year lease for approximately 80% of the space in the building, frees up A$1 million per year in cash flow capital repayments.

According to Executive Chairman, Wayne Sharpe, the sale retires all the entire long term cash debt of the group. It also provides additional working capital to fund expansion in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, both of which are growing at a record rate.

"Never before has this company been in such a strong financial position.  With unprecedented levels of enquiries for license sales, Bartercard is expecting to post a record year for 2006/2007," he said.

The news comes at a time when Bartercard PLC, the ultimate owner of Bartercard Australia, has been de-listed from the London Stock Exchange (LSE).  This was an automatic process as a result of the resignation of the company's nominated adviser, against whom Bartercard have now issued proceedings in the Commercial Court for breach of contract and damages.

However, Bartercard's focus for 2007 is the company's growth as a now unlisted public company.

Positive discussions with prospective licensees in the Czech Republic and Sweden have taken place over the last month, along with the signing of a heads of agreement for the US$700,000 sale of the licence for South Africa. Training for the foundation management team and commencement of operations in South Africa is expected to start early next year.

Meanwhile, Bartercard UK is planning to develop more franchises in central London, possibly doubling the number of offices in the UK next year, and doubling the trade volume.

"We can categorically state that the company is solvent, with all operational subsidiary licensees (Australia, UK and UAE) forecasting profits this year.  The sale and lease back of our building in Australia provides all the capital we need to achieve our goals in 2007," Mr Sharpe stated.  

 
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