InterQuest Group Plc Interim Statement 2016

Pubished 6th September 2016


InterQuest Group plc (AIM: ITQ), the specialist recruitment business operating in the ‘new digital economy’, is pleased to announce its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2016.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Revenue down 9% to £73.8m (2015: £81.2m)
  • Net Fee Income (“NFI”) down 10% to £11.0m (2015: £12.1m)
  • Adjusted PBT* down 44% to £1.4m (2015: £2.5m)
  • Net loss (after goodwill impairment of £3.2m) of £2.4m (2015: £1.6m profit)
  • Diluted adjusted earnings per share down 46% to 3.0 pence (2015: 5.5 pence)
  • Basic loss per share of 6.7 pence (2015: 4.7 pence earnings)
  • Net cash used in operating activities £2.9m (2015: net cash generated £2.8m)
  • Net debt, consisting of our working capital facility which we use to finance fluctuations in contractor levels, and cash increased during the period to £9.9m (2015: £6.9m)
  • Interim dividend of 0.5 pence per share to be paid on 16 November 2016 (2015: 1.0 pence)
  • Professional contract recruitment margins were up 90 bps to 17.6% (2015: 16.7%).
  • Contract recruitment margins on all deals (excluding payroll) increased 90 bps to 13.2% (2015: 12.3%)

*Adjusted for share based payment charge, amortisation, impairment and non-recurring items

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • The average permanent fee per placement has increased by 4% to £6.8k (£2015: £6.5k) through developing a focus on senior roles and supporting our clients at the management and leadership level.
  • The Group has grown the Net Fee Income earned across the divisions through its Solutions clients by 42% to £1.6m (2015: £1.1m) through expanding on the previous services offered to our managed service clients and adding a further client taking the total to six.
  • The Group continues to focus on supporting our clients to overcome the staffing challenges presented by the digital economy and has made significant progress in developing innovative solutions for our clients.

Chris Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “A root and branch reform has been necessary at our ECOM digital recruitment subsidiary which was acquired three years ago, requiring a non-cash impairment charge of £3.2m resulting in a total loss of £2.4m for the Group although before exceptional items the Group reported Adjusted PBT of £1.4m. We have now put the ECOM business on a firmer footing and I am confident it will make a significant contribution to the Group in the future. We are also encouraged by the progress we have made in our Solutions business and can take satisfaction from the fact that our contract recruitment margins and average permanent placement fees have increased which is evidence of the new initiatives we have been putting in place during the period.

Gary Ashworth, Chairman, commented: “The Group’s results for the first half of 2016 are below our expectations at the start of the year, particularly in the ECOM brand and the Public Sector division, and were impacted by uncertainty in the UK market leading up to the EU referendum. Following a period of change, the new management team is in place and focused on progressing the Group strategy of expanding our reach in the digital economy and the further development of the Group’s Solutions business. We have refocused or removed non profitable elements of the business which we believe will help profits in the medium / long term.

The recent acquisition of Rees Draper Wright on 3 August 2016 will also extend our geographic reach further into the strong markets of the US and Europe. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank all of my colleagues across the Group for their hard work and commitment through these times of change.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.

Enquiries:
InterQuest Group plc
Chris Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer
David Bygrave, Chief Financial Officer

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited (Nomad and Broker)
+44 (0)20 7025 0100
+44 (0)20 7025 0100

Karri Vuori or Dominic Morley
+44 (0)20 7886 2500

Download the full announcement here: InterQuest Group Plc: Interim Statement