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29 Jan 2021 | 12:41

St James House trading well as it works to complete late accounts

(Sharecast News) - St James House updated the market on its recent trading on Friday, reporting that in its payment services division, the period from 23 December to 27 January had seen a steady performance, with GBP-USD foreign exchange pair transactions growing a further 7% in volume, while there was a continued slowdown in EUR deposits of around 13%. The AIM-traded firm said that overall, the number of active multicurrency accounts grew 8% in the period, with it expecting the take-up rate to increase "significantly" now that an enhanced sales and marketing effort was underway.

It said prepaid cards had been stable, following the planned migration to a new service provider as part of the development of revamped prepaid services for launch in the spring, with existing cardholders to be transferred in the next four weeks.

The merchant services team had continued to develop an active pipeline of clients going through approval, which would see clients going live in the coming weeks.

Overall, St James House said the payment services business had continued to prove to have some resilience to the impact of Covid-19 containment measures to date, and similarly, post-Brexit it was not anticipating any material impact on the business.

Looking at its lottery services division, St James House said the number of entries into lotteries which its Prize Provision Services business administered remained steady, despite the ongoing lockdown.

The recently-commenced sales operation based in its Liverpool office had started to acquire new lottery clients from the local area.

Around 10 new lotteries would begin to acquire players in February, and the number of new lotteries managed from Liverpool was expected to increase each month.

While the current Covid-19 restrictions were described by the board as a "hindrance" to the business, it was continuing to operate in line with expectations.

Finally, in its legal services division, St Frances House was continuing to build its client base and had brought in 56 new cases, with settlements on 24 cases since 23 December, giving a total of 292 cases live as at 27 January with an approximate gross work-in-progress value of £1.4m.

The St Frances business was continuing to add new cases at around the same rate, with a view to increase and diversify the case type in the spring.

Overall, St James House and its auditors were continuing to work on the preparation of its audited annual report and accounts for the year to 31 January 2020, though the board said it had not proved possible to complete everything as had been hoped, with completion now expected mid-February.

The company's unaudited half-year financial results for the six months to 31 July would also not be published until the annual report was published.

As a result, the company's ordinary shares would continue to be suspended from trading on AIM until the financial results were published.

"We are looking forward to building upon the progress made during the last quarter by increasing business development and sales activity in all divisions," said chief executive officer Graeme Paton.

"While the impact of Brexit and Covid-19 cannot be fully predicted, we believe the measures we have taken will avoid any significant negative impact.

"We anticipate that the benefits of these sales and marketing efforts will begin to be felt during the first half of the new financial year."
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