Capita plc (LON:CPI) has provided its H1 2020 market update.
- We have delivered a strong operational response to COVID-19 impact, working with colleagues and clients to protect service delivery; 60% of our people are working from home and 35%, who cannot work from home, are operating safely from our offices and client sites that have remained open
- Revenue in H1 is expected to be around 10% lower than 2019, of which 5% relates to COVID-19
- A small decline in trading was expected in the first half due to contract losses reported in 2019; the first quarter was broadly in line with expectations
- We have recorded contract wins, extensions and renewals such as Irish Water, Teachers Pensions and Ministry of Justice Electronic Monitoring
- COVID-19 impact:
- resilient performance in the majority of our operations from long-term contracts with a stable government and blue-chip customer base;
- COVID-related DWP and NHS call centre work;
- partially offsetting the impact of weaknesses in transactional and volume-related revenue, such as travel, face-to-face training, resourcing and enforcement.
- Cost savings of at least £45m already delivered in the first half to mitigate financial impact; significant further cost savings to be delivered in H2
- Improvement in cash generation, including around £120m benefit from Government VAT deferral scheme, has provided support to liquidity facilities of £602m
- We continue to expect to remain compliant with debt covenants at H1
- Simplifying the software portfolio and strengthening the balance sheet
- Focusing our software capability where aligned to existing consulting, digital BPO services and vertical markets
- Sale of Eclipse Legal Services due to complete shortly
- Decision to commence process to dispose of Education Software Solutions
- Proceeds will significantly strengthen Capita’s balance sheet
H1 trading and COVID-19 impact by division1
Software – We have seen resilience in the Education, Capita One and AMT Sybex businesses but the payments business in particular has experienced a steep fall in transactions in end markets. In March we secured a seven year £19m healthcare decisions contract with a UK regional NHS service. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be up by around c£2m.
People Solutions – HR Solutions, Pensions Administration and Army Recruitment have been stable but Learning and Resourcing have been hard hit. There has been a small benefit from our work for NHS Returners and some eLearning contracts. We are pleased to have renewed the Teachers’ Pension Scheme for another four years, worth £60m. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be down by around £30m.
Customer Management – We have managed to shift to remote working basis for over 70% of the division and so maintain high service levels to our clients. Challenges have occurred in specific client end-markets (e.g. retail and gambling). Opportunities to support COVID-related projects have arisen in NHS call centre and DWP support. We have won a major new piece of work from a UK retail bank worth £33m over three years. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be down by around £10m.
Government – Revenues have been resilient in many verticals: Health and Welfare, Transport, Defence, Justice; but there has been an impact in Local Government (parking, leisure centres, rates collection), Entrust (outdoor education) and Fera (less testing from private companies). However, we have also supported several COVID projects such as for the DWP and various NHS schemes. We were pleased to have been awarded the Ministry of Justice Electronic Monitoring scheme contract extension worth £114m over three years. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be down by around £60m.
Technology Solutions – Operations in the existing business have been broadly stable but transactional revenue and new business have been affected. We have seen increasing interest in automation as a result of COVID and the team was responsible for Capita’s successful move to remote working for 35,000 colleagues. During the period we have won a £24m one-year contract to implement the TfL Emergency Services Network infrastructure. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be down by around £35m.
Specialist Services – The division has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, particularly in those businesses whose end markets have been severely affected (Travel and Events, Enforcement, Real Estate and Infrastructure) and 30% of our colleagues in this division are on furlough. We expect revenue for the half year, including the impact of COVID-19, to be down by around £40m.
Consulting – we have been getting good traction in certain verticals such as cyber and justice and the business is expected to grow this year. However, we are now working in the most challenging markets in recent memory. We have refocused the business to reflect this new outlook onto a smaller range of vertical markets and capabilities. We look forward to accelerating growth as demand picks up again in the future.
Simplifying the portfolio and strengthening the balance sheet
Following a strategic review of our Software division over the past year, we made a decision to focus on a portfolio of core software capabilities which are better aligned with and support our consulting, transformation and digital BPO services, and the vertical markets of the rest of the Group.
We will retain our software assets that are catalysts for growing our other services and plan to dispose of the standalone software products that have little overlap or cross-sell with the rest of Capita.
As a result, we initiated the disposal of Eclipse Legal Systems (“Eclipse”), a standalone legal process software product in January. Last Friday we announced we had agreed to sell Eclipse to Access UK Limited for £56.5m and this transaction is due to complete shortly.
We have also announced our intention to dispose of Education Software Services (“ESS”) during 2020. ESS is a standalone provider of management information system (MIS) software for the education sector.
Proceeds from both of these disposals will be used to strengthen the company balance sheet by reducing net debt and pension liabilities. Further disposals will be considered in due course.
Precise forecasting is challenging in these uncertain times.
We expect trading over the rest of the year to remain resilient, given the client base and the long-term nature of our contracts.
Before the benefit from Government VAT deferral scheme, we still expect cash generation to improve compared to last year as cash from trading operations improves and capital expenditure reduces. In addition, restructuring spend also reduces.
The disposal of the Eclipse business and the planned disposal of Education Software Services will strengthen the balance sheet and we are committed to creating a more focused and sustainable Capita for the future.
Liquidity remains good. Liquidity at 23 June was £832million, made up of £402m representing the undrawn part of credit facilities and £430m of cash net of overdrafts2. We will be repaying £165m of private placement notes when they mature on 30 June. We estimate that liquidity at 30 June will be more than £640m when we take into account the effect of this debt maturity, further operating cash inflows and the reduction in the backstop liquidity facility as a result of the receipt of the Eclipse disposal proceeds.
The Board believes that, based on a wide range of scenarios reviewed by management, our existing financing arrangements and mitigating actions taken and planned provide sufficient liquidity and enable Capita to comply with its banking covenants at the full year, and operate through these unprecedented times.
1 Restated 2019 divisional revenue is disclosed in the table below
The tables below show the 2019 divisional adjusted revenue represented for reorganisations during the first half of 2020. Neither have been represented for business exits arising in 2020 or IFRS 16 Leases
|Group Support Services||12.1||24.4|
|£m||Software||People Solutions||Customer Management||Government Services||Technology Solutions||Specialist Services||Group Support Services||Total Group|
|2019 Adjusted revenue||375.4||500.5||802.4||777.9||429.3||744.5||17.4||3,647.4|
|Capita Intelligent Communications||–||–||–||–||20.5||(20.5)|
|Life & Pensions||–||–||265.2||–||–||(265.2)||–||–|
|Restated as per 2020 structure||359.9||542.5||1,181.7||793.4||449.8||295.7||24.4||3,647.4|
2 “Cash net of overdrafts” excludes cash required to be maintained for regulatory purposes and cash held in joint venture companies
Notes to editor:
ESS is the largest management information system (MIS) provider in the market; it provides ‘back office’ software and services for schools, as well as universities and further education colleges.
SIMS – a proprietary, off-the-shelf MIS for managing pupil, staff and parent data – is used in 21,000 schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as over 700 independent schools in the UK and worldwide.
Other ESS products include Unit-E (used by 130 FE colleges) and Agilit-E (30 universities in the UK and Ireland), as well as Reading Cloud (a library management system used by 15,000 schools).
In 2019 ESS’s revenue was £95m and adjusted EBITDA was £49m.
Capita Conference call
There will be a conference call for analysts and investors at 0830 on Thursday 25th June.
Pre-registration link for participants:
Participant dial-in details:
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Jon Lewis, Chief Executive Officer said
“Capita and its people have, like thousands of other businesses, faced numerous challenges and uncertainties over the past three months.
“But, thanks to the hard work and professionalism of our colleagues, we have delivered a strong operational response to the COVID-19 crisis. This has only been possible due to the actions we have taken over the past two years to simplify and strengthen the organisation – to rebuild trust with clients, fix legacy issues, improve contract execution, invest in our people, improve systems and controls, reduce risk and cut cost.
“It means we have been able to deliver a resilient first-half performance, underpinned by a large number of long-term contracts delivering critical services to government and to a blue-chip, private sector client base.
“We have implemented cost and cash preservation initiatives to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19, while liquidity remains strong, and cash generation from operations has improved significantly compared with 2019.”