TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 17, 2015) – ABERDEEN INTERNATIONAL INC. (“Aberdeen”, or the “Company”) (TSX:AAB) has released its financial results for the third quarter of 2016, ended October 31, 2015. For more information please see the Company’s Condensed Interim Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
During the third quarter, Aberdeen closed the sale of assets to Ore Acquisition Partners LP, a new Fund controlled by Landmark Equity Advisors LLC, and it also announced the acquisition of the Diablillos lithium project from Rodinia Lithium. By the end of the year, with the closing of the lithium acquisition, Aberdeen will have completed a repositioning of the company to focus on its principle investment platform. The principle investments, currently its 46.5% stake in African Thunder Platinum and upon closing, the Diablillos lithium project, will both be privately-held stakes exclusive to Aberdeen’s shareholders. Both are projects that align best with Aberdeen’s historical successes – a focus on growing and de-risking advanced stage mining and minerals projects.
African Thunder Platinum
The platinum sector has been extremely challenging throughout 2015. The price in US dollars has dropped by 34% over the past year, and while the weakening Rand helps offset that weakness to an extent. It has still been punitive for the sector and especially for an operation in the start-up phase, such as African Thunder’s Smokey Hills mine. The most significant usage for both platinum and palladium is in automotive catalytic converters. Although we expect increasing government regulation and enforcement to increase demand for platinum and palladium over the coming years, the recent software cheating scandal caused a material short-term drop in diesel vehicles sales that use a lot of platinum. The broader platinum sector’s reluctance to shut down unprofitable production has also contributed to lower prices this year, although some recent announcements by the largest miners suggest that growth and sustaining capital expenditures are being dramatically curtailed in 2016. This may not cause an immediate impact, but it should, by 2017 cause a material drop in global production that will be difficult and slow to bring back on as prices improve. In this respect, despite the industry challenges we feel that African Thunder is in an excellent position to benefit as both of its principal assets have the potential to be extremely competitive on costs, once they are fully operational. African Thunder has been ramping up production throughout most of 2015, and the Company is currently working on a 2016 production and development plan and we expect to announce further details on that plan in January.
Diablillos Lithium Project
The market for lithium has been a rare bright spot in the commodities sector, as growth in battery demand and larger format batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles has kept demand strong. Major producers have increased prices in the second half of 2015. Like platinum-palladium, government regulation and enforcement to combat air pollution, as well as an increasingly environmentally conscience global consumer is expected to drive electric vehicle demand over the coming decade. Meanwhile rechargeable lithium batteries may be an important driver in large-scale energy storage solutions that could drive even greater demand than is currently forecast. Going forward, Aberdeen will have strong exposure to this exciting market through our ownership of the Diablillos project.
During the quarter, Aberdeen completed the transaction with Landmark with respect to its previously announced transaction, pursuant to which Landmark, acquired from Aberdeen certain portfolio investments, consisting of debt and equity interests held by Aberdeen. (See Press Release dated September 15, 2014). One of the important impacts of the Landmark transaction was to shift the Company’s overall commodity exposure from a broad basket of commodities to a sharper focus on its principal investments; platinum-palladium, and pending the acquisition of Diablillos, lithium.
Ore Acquisition Partners LP
Finally, through the portfolio management agreement with Ore Acquisition Partners and the terms of the previously announced sale of holdings to this fund, Aberdeen retains significant upside exposure to a broader recovery in the metals and mining sector through additional financial incentives. While the near-term outlook remains quite uncertain, most metals and mining sectors are going through a healthy correction and consolidation, and we expect Aberdeen to receive additional financial benefit from this portfolio over the next three years.
Quarterly Financial Results for the Period Ending October 31, 2015
Aberdeen’s shareholders’ equity was $26.5 million, or $0.28 per share at October 31, 2015 compared to $27.6 million at July 31, 2015. The decrease in shareholder’s equity was attributed to operating expenses of $1.4M offset by investments gains, dividend and advisory service fee revenue of $0.3 million.
For the three months ended October 31, 2015, Aberdeen reported a net loss of $(1.1) million or $(0.01) per basic share on total revenue of $0.3 million. Revenue was comprised of $0.2 million from net investment gains and $0.1 million from dividends and advisory service fees. For the three months ending October 31, 2014, Aberdeen reported net earnings of $(3.3) million or $(0.04) per share on total revenue of $(2.3) million ($(2.3) million from net investment losses).
For the nine months ended October 31, 2015, Aberdeen reported a net loss of $(9.2) million or $(0.10) per basic share on total revenue of $(6.0) million. Revenue was comprised of $(6.6) million from net investment losses and $0.6 million from dividends and advisory service fees. For the nine months ending October 31, 2014, Aberdeen reported net earnings of $(16.6) million or $(0.19) per share on total revenue of $(8.6) million ($(8.8) million from net investment losses and $0.2 million from interest income).
Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”)
During the nine months ended October 31, 2015, 1,142,638 common shares were purchased for cancellation under the Company’s NCIB at an average cost of $0.138. Aberdeen expects to continue to purchase shares over the remainder of its NCIB, depending on market conditions and other investment opportunities that may be available.
About Aberdeen International
Aberdeen International is a private equity investor and advisor focusing on the global mining and natural resources industry. African Thunder Platinum, Aberdeen’s premiere investment, is a lower-cost platinum group metals producer in South Africa’s well known Bushveld Complex. Aberdeen will further enhance its mineral investment holdings with the acquisition of the lucrative Diablillos lithium project in Argentina scheduled to close in mid-December 2015.
Aberdeen is backed by a management team and board of directors with a wealth of natural resources and investment management experience who are proficient at making investments in early-to-intermediate-stage resource companies in order to unlock significant value for its investors. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aberdeeninternational.ca.
Except for statements of historical fact contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified by words such as “plans”, “proposes”, “estimates”, “intends”, “expects”, “believes”, “may”, “will” and include without limitation, statements regarding the impact of the appointment on Aberdeen; past success as an indicator of future success; net asset value of the Company; the potential of investee companies and the appreciation of their share price; the future intentions of the Company with regard to its shareholdings; the Company’s plan of business operations; its ability to complete the Landmark transaction, as proposed or at all; and anticipated returns. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, metal prices, competition, financing risks, acquisition risks, risks inherent in the mining industry, and regulatory risks. Most of these factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.Contact Information:
Manager, Investor Relations
President and CEO