Ricardo plc - Interim Report for the six months ended 31 December 2019

Ricardo plc - Interim Report for the six months ended 31 December 2019
25 February 2020

Ricardo plc - Interim Report for the six months ended 31 December 2019


  • Order intake and revenue both up 3% on HY 2018/19 to £208.6m and £192.9m, respectively;
  • Underlying profit before tax (‘PBT’) up 5% to £16.0m on HY 2018/19;
  • Strong growth in Energy & Environment (‘E&E’) and Defense, together with our newly acquired Rail and E&E businesses in Australia, has more than offset continuing pressures in the global automotive sector;
  • Acquired businesses have been integrated and are performing well;
  • Good order intake at £208.6m, compared to £201.9m in HY 2018/19;
  • Order book increased to £319.4m, up £5.6m on June 2019;
  • Net debt at £73.8m (June 2019: £47.4m) predominantly reflecting purchase of the Detroit facility and the acquisition of PLC Consulting. Underlying cash conversion of 80.8%; and
  • Interim dividend increased by 4% to 6.24p from 6.00p;
  • Full year outlook impacted by further automotive slowdown and Coronavirus.
      % Change
  HY 2019/20 HY 2018/19 Growth Organic(6)(7)
Order intake (£m) 208.6 201.9 3 (20)
Order book (£m) 319.4 301.8 6 (29)
Revenue (£m) 192.9 188.1 3 (1)
-  Operating profit margin (%) 9.3 8.8 6 -
-  Profit before tax (£m) 16.0 15.3 5 (4)
-  Basic earnings per share(2) (p) 23.0 22.1 4 (7)
-  Cash conversion(3) (%) 80.8 85.7 (6) (4)
-  Operating profit margin (%) 5.3 6.2 (15) (21)
-  Profit before tax (£m) 8.3 10.3 (19) (29)
-  Basic earnings per share (p) 11.8 14.6 (19) (31)
-  Cash conversion(3) (%) 78.5 81.9 (4) (3)
Net debt(4) (£m) (73.8) (27.5) (168) n/a
Dividend per share (p) 6.24 6.00 4 n/a
Headcount(5) (no.) 3,058 2,972 3 (1)
References in superscript are defined in the glossary of terms on page 2 of the full copy of the results announcement (see download).

Commenting on the results, Dave Shemmans, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Overall, the Group has achieved a good set of results in the first half of the year, which is in line with our expectations. The performance of E&E and Defense has been excellent, underlining the importance of our strategy of diversification. Our new acquisitions have been integrated into the Group and are both performing well. This has helped to offset the continuing challenges in our automotive sector businesses, particularly in China, where order intake has suffered from challenging macro conditions. 
As we start the second half of the year, we have seen increased headwinds in the automotive sector which we anticipate will lead to suppressed order intake in our US, EMEA and China Automotive businesses. The Coronavirus outbreak at the start of H2 has already had an operationally disruptive impact on our Automotive and Rail operations in China and we anticipate continuing disruption to client engagement, project delivery and business development in the coming months in mainland China and surrounding countries. Based on the issues highlighted above we are anticipating material impact to our forecast second half profits and thus full year.”

[A full copy of this announcement - and the accompanying presentation - can be downloaded from the press and media documentation links provided on this page.]


Further enquiries:
Ricardo plc
Dave Shemmans, Chief Executive Officer / Ian Gibson, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: 01273 455611

Newgate Communications LLP
Adam Lloyd / Ian Silvera / Isabelle Smurfit
Tel: 020 7680 6550
E-mail: ricardo@newgatecomms.com