Equals Group PLC – EQLS – Final Results

Equals Group PLC – EQLS – Final Results

Equals (AIM:EQLS), the technology-led international payments group focused on the SME marketplace, announces its final results for the year ended 31 December 2020 (the 'period' or 'FY-2020') and an update on the Group's trading in FY-2021.

FY-2020 Financial Summary

£millions FY-2020 FY-2019 Change
(restated) W
Underlying transaction values 3,493 2,888 +605
- B2B* 2,843 2,156 +687
- B2C* 650 731 -81
Revenue 29.0 30.9 -1.9
- B2B* 20.3 18.5 +1.8
- B2C* 8.7 12.4 -3.7
Gross profit 18.3 20.6 -2.3
Capitalised internal software (4.4) (8.3) +3.9
Separately reported items (2.6) (3.4) +0.8
Adjusted EBITDA** 1.2 5.6 -4.4
R&D Credits 1.4 3.5 -2.1
Loss after taxation (6.9) (5.4) -1.5

FY-2020 Group Highlights


•             Successful refocus on business customers with B2B transactions up by 32%
•            International Payments: revenue increased by 46%; and its B2B segment revenue increased by 51%
•             Total B2B revenues represented 70% (FY-2019: 56%)
•             Non travel-money revenues increased by 18% to £26.6 million (FY-2019: £22.9 million)
•             Over 18,000 active unique B2B customers
•             Total underlying expenditure reduced by 18% from £30.6 million to £25.0 million
•             Cash break-even achieved in Q4-2020
•             Further bolt-on acquisition of Effective FX in October 2020
•             Adjusted EBITDA of £1.2 million, ahead of market expectations and achieved against Covid-19 and Wirecard headwinds
•          The 50% reduction in staff costs capitalised combined with Covid-19/Wirecard headwinds and single-year R&D tax relief led to loss after tax widening from £5.4 million to £6.9 million


Q1-2021 Group Highlights


•             Launch of Equals Money 'an account you can bank on'
•             Revenue in Q1-2021 totalled £8.0 million, an annual run-rate equivalent of £120k per employee.
•             Current free cash position £9.0 million - equivalent to 5 pence per share
•             Costs remain under tight control and headcount stable at 250
•             Q1-2021 performance exceeded management expectations


Commenting on the Final Results, Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals Group plc, said:

"Despite a number of external headwinds, the operational and financial progress made this year as we focused our business towards B2B is something I am incredibly proud of, and highlights the quality of the Equals Group.

"As the UK payments sector becomes increasingly crowded with specialist operators, our unique proposition spanning banking services, international payments and card-based solutions is proving to be a major differentiator for our customers, driving loyalty and new customer acquisition. This, coupled with the benefits of our accelerated planned restructuring and right-sizing of operations, places us in a really strong position as we move past the challenges of 2020 and continue to focus on driving further B2B-led growth."

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