Falkland Islands Holdings

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Falkland Islands Holdings plc (LSEFKL) or FIH is a British conglomerate which plays a key role in the economy of the Falkland Islands through the Falklands Islands Company. Its other main businesses are the Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company, which operates the Gosport Ferry in the south of England, and a London-based art storage and transport company called Momart.

The head office is in Bishop's Stortford in England.

Financial information[edit]

FIH shares have traded on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London since 13 January 2003. In July 2010, FIH's market value was around £36m. It made a pretax profit of £5.669m in the year ended 31 March 2010 on revenue of £29.224m. £3.3m came from the sale of shares in Falkland Oil and Gas in November 2009.[1][2]

History[edit]

Falkland Islands Company's historical building in Stanley, Falkland Islands

The company's key subsidiary, the Falkland Islands Company (FIC), was incorporated in 1851 and received its Royal Charter on 10 January 1852. Established with an authorised capital of £100,000, its purpose was to engage in agricultural and general trading activities. It established shops and a shipping line, and by 1945 it owned 1.2 million acres (4,900 km²) in the Falklands and a flock of 300,000 sheep. It first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1962. In 1972, it was acquired by The Dundee Perth and London Shipping Company, and two further changes of ownership occurred before it became independent again as Falkland Islands Holdings in 1997.

FIH sold its agricultural holdings to the Falkland Islands Government in 1991.

In 2004 FIH diversified by acquiring minority stakes in Falkland Gold and Minerals Limited (FGML) and Falkland Oil and Gas Limited (FOGL), which were both established to exploit potential mineral developments in the Falklands. (It has since sold its stake in Falkland Gold and Minerals Limited for a profit of ₤0.5m.[citation needed])

In 2004 FIH also bought the Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company (PHFC) which operates the passenger ferry across the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour in England.

In 2008, FIH bought Momart, a UK company which handles and stores fine art and antiquities.

Businesses[edit]

Falkland Islands Company Limited (100% owned by FIH). FIC accounts for about two-fifths of the parent company's turnover and income. It made operating profits of £1.38m in 2009-10 on revenues of £12.43m. FIC's operations are small by the standards of a large country, but in the Falkland Islands, which have a population of around 3,000, they are crucial.

  • Retail & Distribution: several outlets in Stanley and Mount Pleasant including a supermarket (featuring supplies from Waitrose), a gift shop, a home entertainment shop, a homecare centre, an office supplier, a building supplies company and a clothes shop. This division accounts for about two-thirds of FIC's turnover.
  • Darwin Shipping: the main shipping link between the Falkland Islands and the United Kingdom. FIC can also arrange coastal shipping and shipping to Chile, which is the nearest country to the Falklands excluding Argentina.
  • Port services: cargo handling, warehousing, refuelling and maintenance.
  • Automotive agency: a Land Rover dealership, a Caterpillar agency, and boat maintenance.
  • Property: FIC owns residential property for let, as well as commercial units and development land.
  • Insurance: a general insurance agency and a Lloyd's agency.

Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company plc (100% owned by FIH)
This company operates a ferry service between Portsmouth and Gosport, two large towns on the south coast of England which lie on adjacent peninsulas. It carries around 3.5m passengers a year. Underlying operating profit in 2009-2010 was £790,000

Momart (100% owned by FIH)
Momart's clients include the Saatchi Gallery, National Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and Buckingham Palace. The company received considerable media attention in 2004 when a fire spread to one of their warehouses from an adjacent unit, destroying the works in it, including works by Young British Artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, with the most notable work lost being Emin's 1995 piece Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995.

Investments[edit]

Falkland Oil and Gas Limited (8.2% owned by FIH)
For many years there has been speculation that the waters around the islands may contain large reserves of oil and gas. Falkland Oil and Gas is carrying out seismic surveys across thousands of square miles of seabed, mainly to the south and east of the islands.

FIH sold 3m shares, or a fifth of its holdings in FOGL, in November 2009 for £3.6m, making a profit after tax of £3.1m.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]