. RNS Number:7025D Ashmore Group PLC 12 September 2007 Press release Ashmore Group plc 12 September 2007 PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2007 Ashmore Group plc, one of the world's leading emerging market investment managers, today announces its audited results for the year ended 30 June 2007. Financial highlights - Assets under management of US$31.6 billion at 30 June 2007, up US$11.5 billion, 57% in the year - Net management fees of £126.4 million, 61% higher than for the year ended 30 June 2006 - Performance fees of £20.4 million (£54.2 million for the year ended 30 June 2006) - Profit before tax of £131.4 million, up 26% (a 36% increase at constant exchange rates, see note below) - Basic eps of 13.7p (2006: 10.8p) and diluted eps of 12.9p (2006: 10.4p) - A final dividend of 6.7p per share will be paid on 7 December 2007, giving a total dividend for the year of 9.0p. Note: The increase in profit before tax at constant exchange rates is calculated by restating the prior year at the current year's average US$/£ exchange rate. Commenting on the results Mark Coombs, Chief Executive Officer Ashmore Group plc, said: "During the year we continued to make significant advances towards our strategic goal to be the leading emerging markets investment manager. These results clearly demonstrate the progress we have made in the year, enhancing our long-term track record. The Group is well placed to continue its growth momentum into the 2008 financial year". Analyst/investors briefing There will be a presentation for analysts at 09.30 on 12 September at the offices of Goldman Sachs at Peterborough Court, 133 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2BB. There will be a conference call for US based analysts and investors at 14.00 London time, 09.00 US Eastern time. Dial in details are available upon request from Penrose Financial on the number below. A copy of the presentation will be made available on the Group's website at www.ashmoregroup.com. Contacts For further information, please contact: Ashmore Group plc +44 20 7557 4100 Jim Pettigrew +44 20 7557 4157 Chief Operating and Financial Officer Penrose Financial +44 20 7786 4888 Gay Collins +44 7798 626 282 Ashmore Group plc Results overview The 2007 financial year represented another successful stage in the development of the Group. Significant year-on-year increases in assets under management (AuM), revenue, profit and eps were reported, exceeding the financial targets the Group set itself at the beginning of the financial year. The key driver of profit growth in the year was the substantial (61%) increase in net management fees, which was achieved across the Group's investment themes. Net management fees by theme, net of distribution costs, are set out in the table below. Year ended Year ended 30 June 30 June Increase against prior year 2007 2006 Investment theme £m £m £m % __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Global US$ 71.9 52.2 19.7 38 Local currency 21.4 11.3 10.1 89 Special situations 25.9 11.9 14.0 118 Equity 7.2 3.1 4.1 132 __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Group net management fees 126.4 78.5 47.9 61 __________________________________________________________________________________________________ As well as the growth in absolute levels of net management fees, the Group's net management fee margin increased to 93 basis points in the financial year to 30 June 2007 from 83 basis points in the prior year. Performance fees were £20.4 million in the year ended 30 June 2007 compared to £54.2 million in the prior year. This was predominately due to a reduction in the performance fee delivered by EMLIP (the Group's US$5 billion global US$ fund) for which investment performance was ahead of the peer group and relevant benchmarks, but in line with its hurdle rate. In the previous year, investment performance for EMLIP was in excess of the hurdle rate. Other revenue was substantially up on the prior year at £13.0 million (2006: £2.9 million) reflecting a higher level of transaction based corporate finance fees generated in the year. The Group continues to manage its cost base in an efficient and effective manner. Against the backdrop of substantial AuM and revenue growth, the Group continues to invest to support the future growth of the business. There were a number of one-off costs in the year to 30 June 2006: professional fees associated with the Company's IPO (£2.0 million) and a share-based payments charge in respect of the change from a cash to equity-settled basis (£4.9 million). Excluding these items and the costs of the Group's administration business (£0.4 million), which was disposed of in December 2005, costs increased by £4.5 million, a 13% increase in the year. As part of the process of supporting the growth of the business, the Group's headcount increased by 41%, from 49 at 30 June 2006 to 69 at 30 June 2007. During the year the number of investment professionals within the Group increased from 17 to 25, continuing the process of building the next generation of Ashmore investment professionals. The largest component of the cost base is variable compensation (including share- based payments) which was 18.4% of profit before tax, interest and variable compensation for the year ended 30 June 2007 (2006: 24.3%). In order to provide greater flexibility, in future years, the intention is to pay up to 25% of the Group's profit before tax, interest and variable compensation as variable compensation, previously 20%-25 %. An operating profit margin of 76% was achieved in the financial year to 30 June 2007 (70% in 2006), with the current year's margin benefiting from the lower variable compensation ratio. The Group continues to plan the development of its activities as a relatively high margin investment management business. These results were achieved against the backdrop of a weaker US$/£ exchange rate. As the majority of the Group's revenue is denominated in US dollars, while the cost base is largely in sterling, this has impacted on the Group's reported profit. Reported profit before tax increased by £27.5 million, a 26% increase over the prior year. After excluding the impact of US$/£ exchange rate movements, at constant exchange rates, profit before tax increased by £34.1 million, an increase of 36% in the year. Basic eps were 13.7p, an increase of 27 % on the prior year. Diluted eps were 12.9p (2006: 10.4p). Operations and investment theme review The investment philosophy and process that has been in place at Ashmore for many years remains unchanged. Ashmore follows an active, value-driven and mainly top-down investment approach. The Group also selects credits and certain investments through bottom-up analysis, particularly for those funds where corporate and special situations/distressed assets are more significant. As at 30 June 2007, the Group managed 41 funds/segregated accounts, diversified across four investment themes. AuM increased by US$11.5 billion (57%) from US$20.1 billion at 30 June 2006 to US$31.6 billion at 30 June 2007. Net subscriptions in the same period were US$8.3 billion (2006: US$7.9 billion), consisting of gross subscriptions of US$10.4 billion (2006: US$10.1 billion) and redemptions of US$2.1 billion (2006: US$2.2 billion). These gross flows exclude US$0.4 billion of intra-investment theme flows by the Group's multi-strategy fund. On a net subscriptions basis there were US$4.3 billion of net inflows into existing funds and fund raisings into new products and funds of US$4.0 billion in the financial year. Investment performance contributed a total of US$3.2 billion. AuM as at AuM as at 30 June Net 30 June 2006 subscriptions Performance 2007 Investment theme US$bn US$bn US$bn US$bn ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Global US$ 15.2 4.1 1.9 21.2 Local currency 3.0 1.4 0.6 5.0 Special situations 1.3 1.8 0.3 3.4 Equity 0.6 1.0 0.4 2.0 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Total 20.1 8.3 3.2 31.6 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Global US$ The global US$ investment theme comprises US dollar and other hard currency denominated instruments which may include derivatives, investing principally in sovereign bonds but with a growing corporate debt element. AuM at 30 June 2007 were US$21.2 billion, an increase of US$6.0 billion (39%) from 30 June 2006. Net subscriptions in the year were US$4.1 billion, representing 49% of the Group's net inflows in the year. Performance contributed US$1.9 billion. During the year, there were strong inflows into the theme's public open-ended funds, with two new fund launches: a new structured product initially funded at US$0.2 billion in the first half of the financial year and a new US$0.4 billion segregated account in the second half. In November 2006, one small segregated fund was merged into a public fund. While the global US$ investment theme continued to generally outperform the relevant benchmarks it has not been a particularly strong investment return year. Local currency The local currency investment theme comprises local currency and local currency denominated debt instruments, principally sovereign in nature, and it may include derivatives. AuM at 30 June 2007 were US$5.0 billion; an increase of US$2.0 billion (67%) from 30 June 2006.There has been strong demand for the Group's local currency products with net subscriptions in the period of US$1.4 billion. As part of the process of accessing the increasing European appetite for the local currency theme, a new targeted SICAV fund was launched in the first half of the financial year and this was initially funded at US$0.1 billion. Theme performance in the period contributed US$0.6 billion. Generally, it has been a good investment performance year for the theme, assisted during most of the year by the relative strength of local currencies against the US dollar. The local currency markets continue to deepen, with gradually improving liquidity and the extension of duration. Special situations (distressed debt/private equity) The special situations (distressed debt/private equity) theme comprises investments in debt and/or equity or other instruments focussing on situations usually involving specialist corporate investments and/or projects and including distressed assets or distressed sellers of assets, often incorporating restructuring, reorganisations and /or a private equity approach. AuM at 30 June 2007 were US$3.4 billion, an increase of US$2.1 billion (162%). Net subscriptions were US$1.8 billion, with performance contributing US$0.3 billion. Included within net subscriptions is the Group's GSSF 3 fund which was launched in August 2006. This represented US$1.4 billion of the total net subscriptions in the period and as at 6 September 2007 it is 100% drawn down. A new private equity fund investing in Turkey was launched in the second half of the financial year initially funded at US$0.1 billion. It has been another positive year from the perspectives of investment performance, deal opportunities and realisations. The Group's network continues to source an attractive pipeline of deals. Equity The equity investment theme comprises public equity and equity-related securities. The instruments invested in by the funds can include equities, convertibles, warrants and equity derivatives. AuM at 30 June 2007 were US$2.0 billion, an increase of US$1.4 billion (233%) from 30 June 2006. Net subscriptions were US$1.0 billion, with performance contributing US$0.4 billion. Net subscriptions benefited by US$0.8 billion as a result of two new segregated funds that were launched in the first half of the financial year. There were two small lower margin segregated funds that were closed in the second half of the financial year (US$0.2 billion in total). It was a good year from an investment return point of view. The theme continues to be characterised by the relative movement of global liquidity from US equities to emerging market equities. Multi-strategy funds Net subscriptions into the Group's multi-strategy funds, where Ashmore is making the asset allocation decision across the Group's investment themes, were US$1.8 billion and represented 22% of the Group's total net subscriptions in the year of US$8.3 billion. This includes a new fund launched in April 2007 for the Japanese retail market which raised US$1.0 billion. Diversification of product offering There were eight new fund launches during the year and, after taking account of two small segregated account closures and one fund merger, by 30 June 2007 the Group was managing 41 funds /segregated accounts. These funds are spread across the Group's four investment themes, highlighting the diversification of the Group's AuM. The global dollar debt theme represented 67% of the Group's AuM in June 2007, compared to 76% in June 2006. Furthermore, the Group's AuM is diversified by type of account: 52% of AuM is in Ashmore sponsored funds, 32% in segregated accounts, 10% white label and 6% in structured products. As at 30 June 2007, 64% of funds by AuM can generate performance fees (2006: 57%). These funds, totalling 22 in number (2006: 17), are spread across the Group's investment themes. Only 46% of AuM can make use of leverage and, where a fund can use leverage, it is usually restricted to a maximum of 50% of a fund's AuM, and never more than 75%. Typically a fund's leverage capacity is not fully utilised. Investor profile There is a broad range of investors in the funds managed by the Group. The funds which Ashmore manages remain predominately sourced from institutional investors, including pension plans, government agencies, financial institutions and corporates. As at 30 June 2007, 85% of the Group's AuM was institutional (2006: 89%), and 15% (2006: 11%) was high net worth individuals /retail. The increase in high net worth individuals/retail reflects, in part, the new fund launched in the year targeting Japanese retail investors. The investor profile within the institutional segment showed an increase in the proportion of government investors (up from 9% to 12%) and a decline in bank investors (22% to 17%). Public pension plan investors increased from 16% to 18% while the proportion of corporate pension investors reduced from 22% to 16%. The geographic profile of the Group's investors remains diversified. During the year there was strong asset gathering in Europe, including a number of significant mandate wins in the UK. Cash flow and balance sheet The Group has strong cash generative characteristics as demonstrated by the £85.3 million increase in the Group's cash balances during the year to £218.0 million as at 30 June 2007. The needs for a strong balance sheet remain: to support regulatory capital requirements, to meet the commercial demands of current and prospective investors, and the development needs of the business, including seeding of new funds/initiatives. As part of the process of developing its presence in local emerging markets, a certain proportion of the Group's capital resources may be utilised for such purposes. The Group's policy remains that, should the Group accumulate cash which is surplus to that required to meet its continuing obligations and to fund future growth, consideration will be given to returning surplus cash and capital to shareholders in an appropriate manner. As at 30 June 2007, total equity was £196.0 million compared to £96.6 million at 30 June 2006. There is no debt on the Group's balance sheet. Dividend As a result of the highly cash generative nature of the business, subject to shareholder approval, a final dividend of 6.7p per share is proposed to be paid on 7 December 2007 to shareholders on the register on 9 November 2007, the ex-dividend date being 7 November 2007. An interim dividend for the six-month period to 31 December 2006 of 2.3p was paid on 27 April 2007. This would result in a full-year dividend of 9.0p. The Company's intention is for its dividend policy to be progressive. US$/£ exchange rate The results for the year ended 30 June 2007 were achieved against the backdrop of a weaker US$/£ exchange rate. As the majority of the Group's revenue is denominated in US dollars and its costs in sterling, this has impacted on the Group's reported profit. Reported profit before tax increased by £27.5 million, a 26% increase over the prior year. In constant exchange rate terms, profit before tax increased by 36%. This was after restating the prior year figures at the current year's average US$/£ exchange rate (2007 US$/£ 1.95; 2006 US$/£ 1.78).This resulted in the following restatements to the prior year numbers: lower net revenue in sterling terms (£11.4 million), net hedging gains excluded (£0.9 million), and a notional reworking of the variable compensation cost to reflect the above items (a £3.0 million reduction). In the current year, £2.7 million of net hedging gains were excluded. On this basis, the net impact of the movement in the US$/£ exchange rate on the reported increase in profit before tax in the year of £27.5 million was £6.6 million. Taxation The vast majority of the Group's profit is subject to UK taxation and typically the Group has a limited number of non-tax deductible expenses. Consequently the Group's effective tax rate has historically tracked close to the 30% UK statutory tax rate. The introduction of a 28% corporation tax rate from 1 April 2008 will have a small beneficial impact on the Group's effective corporation tax rate in the financial year to 30 June 2008, with the full-year benefit in the following financial year. There is a £14.4 million deferred tax asset on the Group's balance sheet at 30 June 2007. This is largely due to cash tax deductions which will arise over the next seven or so years in respect of share price appreciation on share-based payments awards. Strategy The Group's strategy is to be the leading emerging markets investment manager by maintaining a market-leading investment track record, delivering growth and enhancing diversification of earnings, facilitating such controlled growth and developing further the Ashmore brand and business model. These results demonstrate very clearly the progress that the Group has made in the year towards its strategic objectives. Substantial growth in AuM, revenue and profit has been achieved while progress continues in diversifying the Group's AuM by investment theme, geography, fund structure, risk/return profile, duration and investor type (institutional/high net worth individuals/retail and within institutional). The Group continues to research new opportunities to diversify further and to continue to grow the Group's investment themes and earnings streams, and to access the growing domestic capital pools within selected emerging markets. This may result in the Group using a proportion of its resources as seed capital for new fund launches/initiatives. Annual performance fees for August 2007 fund year ends Annual performance fees (unaudited) for the funds with year ends at 31 August 2007 (EMLIP, LCD and ARD) were £17.6 million (2006: £0.3 million) and these will be recognised within revenue in the six months to 31 December 2007. Outlook The Group remains focused on delivering long-term investment out-performance, generating net management fee income through the attraction of net subscriptions across its investment themes and developing the Ashmore brand and business model. Despite continuing market volatility, trading conditions across the Group's investment themes during the last quarter of the 2007 financial year and into the start of the 2008 financial year remain satisfactory. The Group continues to believe that strong macro-economic, demographic and political factors, together with enhanced liquidity, index weighting and credit worthiness in the Group's markets will continue to underpin long-term growth across emerging market classes. These factors, together with Ashmore's experience and expertise in emerging markets investment management, position the Group well to benefit from further demand for emerging market investment management products and to continue its growth momentum into the 2008 financial year. About Ashmore Group plc Ashmore is one of the world's leading emerging market investment managers with a history of consistently outperforming the market. Ashmore currently specialises in a number of emerging market investment themes: dollar denominated debt, local currency and local currency debt, special situations incorporating distressed debt / private equity, and public equity. More information is available on the Group's website www. ashmoregroup.com. Ashmore Group plc Consolidated income statement Year ended 30 June 2007 2007 2006 Notes £m £m _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Management fees 130.2 80.8 Performance fees 20.4 54.2 Other revenue 13.0 2.9 _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Total revenue 163.6 137.9 Less: Distribution costs (3.8) (2.3) _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Net revenue 159.8 135.6 Personnel expenses 2 (32.6) (34.4) Other expenses (5.5) (6.5) _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Operating profit 121.7 94.7 Gain on sale of business - 2.8 Interest income 9.7 6.5 Interest expense - (0.1) _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Profit before tax 131.4 103.9 Income tax expense (39.9) (32.3) _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Profit for the year 91.5 71.6 ============================================================================================= Attributable to: Equity holders of the parent 91.4 71.5 Minority interest 0.1 0.1 _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Profit for the year 91.5 71.6 ============================================================================================= Earnings per share: Basic 3 13.7p 10.8p Diluted 3 12.9p 10.4p Ashmore Group plc Consolidated balance sheet As at As at 30 June 30 June 2007 2006 Note £m £m ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Assets Property, plant and equipment 0.2 0.2 Intangible assets 4.1 4.1 Other receivables 0.1 3.6 Deferred tax asset 14.4 1.6 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total non-current assets 18.8 9.5 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Trade and other receivables 27.2 20.0 Derivative financial instruments 0.5 1.3 Cash and cash equivalents 218.0 132.7 Total current assets 245.7 154.0 Total assets 264.5 163.5 Equity Issued capital 5 - - Share premium 0.3 0.3 Retained earnings 195.6 96.3 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total equity attributable to equity holders of the parent 195.9 96.6 Minority interest 0.1 - ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total equity 196.0 96.6 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Liabilities Deferred tax liabilities - 0.1 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total non-current liabilities - 0.1 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Current tax 15.7 18.0 Derivative financial instruments - 0.1 Trade and other payables 52.8 48.7 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total current liabilities 68.5 66.8 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total liabilities 68.5 66.9 ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total equity and liabilities 264.5 163.5 ============================================================================================== Ashmore Group plc Consolidated statement of changes in equity Total equity attributable to equity Issued Share Retained holders of the Minority Total capital premium earnings parent interest equity £m £m £m £m £m £m _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Balance at 1 July 2005 - 0.3 69.1 69.4 0.5 69.9 Profit for the year - - 71.5 71.5 0.1 71.6 Share-based payments - - 10.7 10.7 - 10.7 Disposal of business - - - - (0.6) (0.6) Dividends - - (55.0) (55.0) - (55.0) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Balance at 30 June 2006 - 0.3 96.3 96.6 - 96.6 Profit for the year - - 91.4 91.4 0.1 91.5 Share-based payments - - 6.5 6.5 - 6.5 Current tax - - 4.2 4.2 - 4.2 Deferred tax related to - - 11.6 11.6 - 11.6 share-based payments Sale of own shares held - - 1.1 1.1 - 1.1 Dividends - - (15.5) (15.5) - (15.5) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Balance at 30 June 2007 - 0.3 195.6 195.9 0.1 196.0 ======================================================================================================= Ashmore Group plc Consolidated cash flow statement Year ended 30 June 2007 2007 2006 Note £m £m ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Operating activities Cash receipts from customers 164.6 151.7 Cash paid to suppliers and employees (32.3) (34.7) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cash generated from operations 132.3 117.0 Income taxes paid (39.2) (22.7) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Net cash from operating activities 93.1 94.3 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Investing activities Interest received 9.5 6.1 Dividends received - 1.4 Net proceeds from disposal of subsidiary - (0.2) Purchase of property, plant and equipment (0.1) - ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Net cash from investing activities 9.4 7.3 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Financing activities Dividends paid 4 (15.5) (55.0) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Net cash used in financing activities (15.5) (55.0) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash (1.7) (0.5) equivalents ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 85.3 46.1 Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year 132.7 86.6 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Cash and cash equivalents at end of year 218.0 132.7 ==================================================================================================== Cash and cash equivalents comprise: Cash at bank and in hand as shown in balance sheet 218.0 132.7 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 218.0 132.7 ==================================================================================================== Notes to the Group financial statements 1) Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies In preparing the financial information in this statement the Group has applied policies which are in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the European Union at 30 June 2007. The accounting policies applied in these financial statements are consistent with those applied in the Group's prospectus, prior to listing on the London Stock Exchange on 12 October 2006, for the year ended 30 June 2006. The prospectus is available on the Group's website. 2) Personnel expenses Number of employees The number of employees of the Group (including executive directors) during the reporting years, analysed by category, was as follows: Average for the Average for year the ended year ended As at As at 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 2007 2006 2007 2006 Number Number Number Number _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Investment management 59 42 69 49 Fund administration - 6 - - _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Total employees 59 48 69 49 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ The fund administration employees in the above table relate to the employees of International Administration (Guernsey) Limited which was sold on 30 December 2005. Analysis of employee benefits expense Year ended Year ended 30 June 30 June 2007 2006 £m £m ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Wages and salaries 3.8 3.0 Share-based payments 5.7 6.8 Performance related bonuses 21.7 23.6 Social security costs 0.5 0.3 Pension costs 0.2 0.2 Other costs 0.7 0.5 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Total employee benefits 32.6 34.4 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3) Earnings per share Basic earnings per share is calculated by dividing the profit for the year attributable to equity holders of the parent by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the year. Diluted earnings per share is calculated as for basic earnings per share with a further adjustment to the weighted average number of ordinary shares to reflect the effects of all dilutive potential ordinary shares. There is no difference between the profit for the year attributable to equity holders of the parent used in the basic and diluted earnings per share calculations. Reconciliation of the figures used in calculating basic and diluted earnings per share: Year ended Year ended 30 June 30 June 2007 2006 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Weighted average number of ordinary shares used in calculation of basic earnings per share 667,467,808 660,200,000 Effect of dilutive potential ordinary shares - share options 38,827,815 26,859,915 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Weighted average number of ordinary shares used in calculation of diluted earnings per share 706,295,623 687,059,915 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4) Dividends An analysis of dividends paid is as follows: Group and Company Year ended Year ended 30 June 30 June 2007 2006 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Interim dividend £15.5m £55.0m Dividend per share 2.30p 8.33p _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Dividends are recognised in the accounts in the year in which they are paid, or in the case of a final dividend when approved by the shareholders. On 12 September 2007 the board proposed a final dividend of 6.7p per share for the year ended 30 June 2007. This has not been recognised as a liability of the Group at the year end as it has not yet been approved by shareholders. Based on the number of shares in issue at the year end which qualify to receive a dividend, the total amount payable would be £44.7m. 5) Share capital Group and Company (a) Share capital authorised As at As at As at As at 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 2007 2007 2006 2006 Number of Nominal value Number of Nominal value shares £'000 shares £'000 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Ordinary shares of 0.01p each 900,000,000 90 900,000,000 90 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ (b) Share capital issued Allotted, called up and fully paid equity shares: As at As at As at As at 30 June 30 June 30 June 30 June 2007 2007 2006 2006 Number of Nominal value Number of Nominal value shares £'000 shares £'000 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ Ordinary shares of 0.01p each 708,925,000 70 708,925,000 70 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ All the above ordinary shares represent equity of the Company and rank pari passu in respect of participation and voting rights. At 30 June 2006 there were 46,225,000 options in issue with contingent rights to the allotment of ordinary shares of 0.01p in the Company. The exercise period for these options ranges from December 2005 to April 2016 and the allotment price ranges from 0.52p to 24.24p. At 30 June 2007 there were 38,152,921 options in issue with contingent rights to the allotment of ordinary shares of 0.01p in the Company. The exercise period for these options ranges from December 2005 to December 2016 and the allotment price ranges from 0.52p to 170.0p. There are also restricted share awards issued under the Ashmore First Discretionary Share Option Scheme totalling 2,009,522 shares that have a release date in November 2011. 6) Own shares The Ashmore 2004 Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) was established to encourage and facilitate the acquisition and holding of shares in the Company by the employees of the Company with a view to facilitating the recruitment and motivation of the employees of the Company. As at the period end, the EBT owned 38,725,000 (June 2006: 48,725,000) ordinary shares of 0.01p with a nominal value of £3,872.50 (June 2006: £4,872.50) and shareholders' funds are reduced by £5.9m (June 2006: £4.8m) in this respect. It is the intention to make these shares available to employees by way of sale through the share option scheme. 7) Exchange rates The only foreign exchange rate which has a material impact on the reporting of the Group's results is the US dollar. Closing rate Closing rate Average rate Average rate as at as at year ended year ended 30 June 2007 30 June 2006 30 June 2007 30 June 2006 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ US dollar 2.0088 1.8484 1.9466 1.7806 _______________________________________________________________________________________________ This information is provided by RNS The company news service from the London Stock Exchange END FR OKDKNCBKDNCD