Sureserve Group plc, the asset and support services group releases unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2019.
Transformed business positioned for growth
- Revenue from continuing operations grew by 13% to £102.5m (H1 FY18: £91.1m)
- Underlying EBITA1 from continuing operations grew by 17% to £3.1m (H1 FY18: £2.7m)
- Underlying EBITA1 margins from continuing operations were 3.0% (H1 FY18: 2.9%)
- Underlying pre-tax profit2 of £2.5m (H1 FY18: £1.9m)
- Group profit before tax from continuing operations of £1.1m (H1 FY18: Loss of £0.5m), after amortisation of acquisition intangibles of £1.4m (H1 FY18: £2.2m) and finance expenses of £0.6m (H1 FY18: £0.7m)
- Underlying cash conversion of 51% (H1 FY18: 25%)
- Losses from discontinued operations of £nil (FY18: losses of £11.8m resulting from the impairment exercise undertaken in the prior year as part of the preparation of these activities for sale). Earnings per share from continuing operations of 0.6p (H1 FY18: loss per share of 0.2p)
- Earnings per share from continuing operations and discontinued operations of 0.6p (H1 FY18: loss per share of 7.7p).
- Balance sheet remains robust, with net debt of £12.9m (31 March 2018: £14.2m) at the end of our peak seasonal working capital period
- Repositioning of the Group to focus on Compliance and Energy Services and leveraging the strength of the Sureserve brand to capture new business is bearing fruit
- High bidding success rate led to contract wins in the period valued at £54.5m contributing to an order book of £350.5m, representing a 11% fall on the comparative period mainly due to the end of a number of long-term contracts (31 March 2018: £395.9m)
- Our number of frameworks stood at 291 (31 March 2018: 258), with a value of £1.2bn (31 March 2018: £1.1bn), representing a 9% rise on the comparative period
- Launched Sureserve Academy to provide skills training for employees and sourcing future workforce
- New appointment of Chief Financial Officer Peter Smith, formerly at MITIE
- The de-risked and refocused Group is making excellent progress and the underlying performance of Compliance and Energy Services is strong
- Strong regulatory drivers continue to underpin demand demonstrated by our strong order book and visibility of future earnings
- The Group is trading comfortably ahead of the previous year and we are well positioned for further growth
Bob Holt, Chairman of Sureserve Group commented:
"I am pleased to report an excellent set of results for the 6 months ended 31 March 2019, with the Group trading comfortably ahead of the previous year.
Both our Compliance and Energy business groups showed a significant improvement year on year. It should be remembered that the first half of our year takes into account the winter months where gas in particular incurs significantly higher costs than the summer months. It was pleasing to see our smart meter installation business achieve profitability and we look to the future with a positive view on that business.
The results demonstrate that we were well ahead of the comparable period last year and the Board look forward to achieving a successful outcome for the year to September.
It would be remiss of me to not highlight the commitment from Michael McMahon and the operational and support management teams. I commend my colleagues for their hard work and desire to drive the Group to market leading positions in the markets they serve. We operate across both the public and private sector markets which have seen difficult UK wide trading conditions, and our performance against this is a further demonstration of our ability to win new business on a profitable and cash generative basis.
I personally look forward to bringing you further good news in the future."