Aston Hill Financial announces third quarter 2012 results and quarterly cash dividend increase

CALGARY, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Aston Hill Financial Inc. ("Aston Hill" or the "Company") (TSX:AHF) is pleased to announce it has filed its unaudited interim consolidated financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2012 and related Management Discussion and Analysis with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Additionally, the Board of Directors is pleased to announce an increase in the quarterly cash dividend from $0.01 to $0.0125 per Common Share, which will be payable on December 7, 2012 to all Aston Hill shareholders of record on November 20, 2012.  The ex-dividend date for the Common Shares will be November 16, 2012.  This dividend is an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes.

As of September 30, 2012, Aston Hill's assets under management, advisory and administration ("AUM") increased to a milestone $6.02 billion.  The $6.02 billion in AUM represents a 7.1% increase quarter over quarter and a year over year rise of 16.2% when compared to $5.18 billion at September 30, 2011. The current quarter increase in AUM is primarily the result of increases in managed mutual fund and advisory assets and the addition of oil and gas assets related to the Company's administrative services agreement with Argent Energy Trust ("Argent").

Aston Hill's revenues for the third quarter of 2012 were approximately $6.2 million as compared to $5.4 million in the third quarter of 2011, representing a 14.8% year over year increase. Current quarter revenue increased by $416,000 from the prior quarter as a result of the Argent overhead recovery charges and an increase in management fees from Aston Hill's proprietary suite of mutual funds. The overhead recovery charge from Argent of $175,000 represents only a partial quarter.  These charges are expected to increase to $300,000 per quarter beginning in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the third quarter of 2012, Aston Hill reported EBITDA1 of $2.38 million compared to $0.89 million in the prior quarter.  The quarter over quarter increase of $1.49 million (167%) in EBITDA is the result of a reduction in G&A expenses and a valuation gain on the Company's original investment in Argent.  EBITDA before non-cash share compensation expense for the third quarter 2012 was $2.94 million.

As a result of the increase in EBITDA, the Board of Directors has approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.0125 per Common Share.

General and administrative expenses decreased by $286,000 from the prior quarter as a result of reductions in marketing, rent and legal expenses. On August 22, 2012, the Company announced that it will assume in-house responsibility for the portfolio management of Aston Hill VIP Income Fund and AVIP Trust effective November 20, 2012 (total AUM of $465 million).  This change results in a savings of sub-advisory fee expenses of approximately $1.0 million per year for the Company.

Aston Hill is a diversified asset management company with a suite of retail mutual funds, closed end funds, private equity funds, hedge funds and segregated institutional funds. The Company is also engaged in the administration of Argent Energy Trust. Aston Hill has offices in Calgary and Toronto.

The TSX has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein.

  1. EBITDA: EBITDA is not a standardized earnings measure prescribed by IFRS; however, management believes that most of its shareholders, creditors, other stakeholders and investment analysts prefer to use this performance measure in analyzing Aston Hill's results.

  2. Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of such statements under applicable securities law. Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur. These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release.  Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.

For a detailed description of the risks and uncertainties facing the Company and its business and affairs, readers should refer to the Company's annual financial statements and management discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2011, both of which are available at www.sedar.com.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change, unless required by law. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Aston Hill Financial Inc.

For further information:

For further information concerning this press release, please contact:

Eric Tremblay    
Chief Executive Officer
Aston Hill Financial Inc.
(403) 770-4817

Larry Titley
Vice President and CFO
Aston Hill Financial Inc.
(403) 770-4808

Organization Profile

Aston Hill Financial Inc.

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Aston Hill Asset Management Inc.

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