PERHAPS patient investors in Perth-based oil and gas print and Internet publisher Aspermont Limited will be rewarded in the current financial year if the company meets projections. In its quarterly report the company said that, while a loss was expected, the cash flow position in the past financial year was tipped to improve from the $1.12 million loss for the year ended June 30 2001.But the company expects to report a modest profit for the 2003 financial year.The forecast loss for the past financial year comes despite forecasts made in February that the negative cash flows were a thing of the past and the company would be posting a 2001-02 positive cash flow.However, Aspermont says a caveat was put on the profit forecast that a positive cash flow would only occur if the company refrained from developing additional products. Subsequent to this the publisher developed and launched a new Internet service, EnergyReview.net, which has undermined the current cash flow.Unlike many other publishers, the company is expecting to make Internet services profitable.“The company has successfully integrated Internet publishing products with print publishing and net development costs are beginning to bear fruit,” the quarterly report says.“As an example, revenue from MiningNews.net has grown at an average monthly rate of 17 per cent over the past two years.“This trend will lead to a positive cash flow for MiningNews.net during the current financial year. This is a substantial achievement when compared with Aspermont’s peer group and bodes well for future growth.”Last month the company issued a $1 million placement of convertible notes with Drysdale Investment Limited, a company associated with Aspermont chairman Andrew Kent that is conditional on shareholder approval being granted at a general meeting due in September. The money is to be used for future business development.The company is still embroiled in a legal battle stemming from its 1997 acquisition of Australia’s Mining Monthly for $780,000 from interests associated with the chairman. Aspermont is refusing to pay the outstanding amount because it says it is uncertain as to whom the monies are owed.Aspermont directors also have indicated that greater efforts would be made to engage better with shareholders and the public.“The directors and management of Aspermont recognise that better communication with shareholders is likely to lead to a more stable share register and a lower cost of capital,” the company says.“Consequently, the company has established a pro-active investor relations program and appointed an investor relations manager.” Elissa Samuel has been appointed to the task.Besides the flagship Mining Monthly publication, Aspermont publishes ResourceStocks; Australia’s Longwalls; the WA Government’s Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources quarterly magazine, Prospect; the Master Builders Association official publication, Builder; Western Contractor/Western Transport; the Civil Contractors Year Book; MiningNews.net; Analyst Energy Review; and EnergyReview.net.
© Business News 2018. You may share content using the tools provided but do not copy and redistribute.