Interim results for half year ended 31 December 2021

Interim results for half year ended 31 December 2021
24 February 2022


HIGHLIGHTS

Strong order intake up 16% compared to HY 2020/21 and underlying operating cash conversion of 162%, providing good momentum for the second half. 

 
  • Overall trading in line with the Board's expectations
  • Strong order intake of £210.6m, a 16% increase driven by accelerating environmental trends across all segments
  • Revenue up 13% at £185.5m with improved performance in all segments at constant currency
  • Good order intake and revenue growth in A&I signalling inflection point towards sustainable profitability 
  • Underlying operating profit up 42% at £10.5m  
  • Strong underlying operating cash conversion of 162%
  • Net debt reduction to £38.5m creating opportunities to invest for growth
  • Interim dividend of 2.91p declared
  Reference     HY 2021/22 HY 2020/21 Growth/(decline)
               
Order intake     £m 210.6 181.1 16  %
Order book     £m 315.5 318.2 (1) %
Revenue     £m 185.5 164.7 13  %
               
Underlying (2)            
- Operating profit margin     % 5.7 4.5 1.2 pp
- Profit before tax     £m 8.7 5.0 74  %
- Basic earnings per share (3)   p 10.6 6.8 56  %
               
Statutory              
- Operating profit margin     % 3.5 0.2 3.3 pp
- Profit/(loss) before tax     £m 4.7 (2.1) 324  %
- Basic earnings/(loss) per share     p 5.6 (2.7) 307  %
               
Underlying cash conversion (2) & (4)   % 161.9 100.0 61.9 pp
Cash conversion (4)   % 167.6 100.0 67.6 pp
Net debt (5)   £m (38.5) (50.4) 24  %
Dividend per share (declared and paid)     p 2.91 1.75 66  %
Headcount (6)   no. 2,869 2,878 - %
               
Commenting on the results, Graham Ritchie, Chief Executive Officer, said: 
“Our half-year results are in line with our expectations, and I would like to thank my colleagues for their continued focus during my transition into the Group. Our strong order intake is particularly encouraging and is driven by increasing demand for services in respect of energy transition, climate change and decarbonisation. We have also seen strong cash generation in the first half that will create opportunity to invest in our key target segments to deliver sustainable growth.

“The Group enters the second half of the year with a good level of orders and pipeline of opportunities and solid momentum in all segments.  As we enter our seasonally stronger second half, whilst some economic uncertainty remains, we are cautiously optimistic to deliver on our full year expectations for revenue and underlying PBT. Following strong net debt improvement in the first half we would expect a further small improvement by year-end.
“We look forward to the capital-markets event planned for late spring, where we will set out our strategic plans for future profitable growth.”

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