RWS Holdings plc, the world's leading provider of intellectual property support services (patent translations and searches) and technical translations, is today holding its Annual General Meeting at which Andrew Brode, Executive Chairman, will make the following remarks:
The financial year ended 30 September 2011 saw the eighth successive year of growth in Group sales, underlying profits and dividends since flotation.
Since then, the Group's underlying performance for the first four months of the current financial year ending 30 September 2012 has been in line with management's expectations for this point in the year. This performance has been driven primarily by the core patent translations business and further growth in PatBase subscriptions, marginally offset by a slower start to the year in our Berlin operations which are focused upon translations for German exporters and represent just 5% of Group sales.
As already reported, in October 2011, RWS acquired a one third interest in inovia Holdings Pty Limited ("inovia"), a leading provider of web-based international patent filing solutions, with an agreement to acquire the remaining share capital, on an earnout basis, for a maximum aggregate price of US$31.2 million. inovia's sales for the year ended 30 June 2011 were US$15.1 million, an increase of 33.5% over 2010. In the six months to 31 December 2011 sales amounted to US$9.4 million, a rise of 30.5% over the corresponding half year in 2010. Having launched the latest version of its technical platform in mid-November, inovia's management remains confident of achieving its ambitious earnout targets.
Summary and Outlook
Whilst RWS is not immune from the fragile global economic situation, especially in the Eurozone, the provision of intellectual property support services has proved to be a resilient niche, as confirmed by other recent acquisition activity in the space.
RWS have a strong balance sheet, recent investment in inovia will provide an additional platform for growth, and RWS are seeking further interesting niche acquisition opportunities.