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Equiniti Group PLC

Equiniti Group plc strongest reporting period yet

Equiniti Group plc (LON:EQN), the multinational specialist technology outsourcer providing non-discretionary payment and administration services, today announced its interim results for the six months to 30 June 2018.

· Revenue growth of 30.4%, with strong organic growth of 7.7%7, supported by:

o Renewal of all UK registration clients including Carnival, EasyJet, GSK, Prudential and QinetiQ;

o Increased UK market share underpinned by new name business wins including Bodycote, Hiscox, and Low & Bonar;

o 70% of new company listings including Acacia Pharma, Avast, IntegraFin Holdings and KRM 22;

o Major renewals in the US including CVS, General Electric, JP Morgan, 3M and MDU;

o New client wins across all divisions including CNPP, Persimmon and Ulster Bank;

o Strong growth in Intelligent Solutions; and

o Pension Solutions contraction in line with expectations

· New capabilities established, including:

o Wells Fargo Shareowner Services (EQ USA) acquisition successfully completed on 1st February with operations transitioned and integration underway;

o Acquisition of Boudicca Proxy completed on 27th April, cross-sold to seven registration clients; and

o Continued traction with estate management including a ‘tell us once’ pilot for six major UK banks

· Underlying EBITDA growth of 31.6% with margin increased to 21.7%, driven by strong performances in Investment Solutions and Intelligent Solutions, and continued operational improvement

· Lower reported EBIT of £10.6m with profit after tax of £2.7m reflecting £14.1m of non-operating charges arising from the acquisition of EQ USA

· Net debt of £308.3m inclusive of acquisition-related debt and costs of £170.4m with year-on-year leverage maintained at 2.8x

· Interim dividend growth of 11.6% to 1.83 pence per share, in line with progressive dividend policy

Commenting on the Group’s results, Guy Wakeley, Chief Executive, said:

“The first half of 2018 has been our strongest reporting period yet, with accelerating organic growth supplemented by the successful completion of the high quality Shareowner Services business from Wells Fargo Bank. Our UK business remains the undisputed market leader for registration and share plans, with more new clients choosing Equiniti. The deployment of these core capabilities into the US, along with proprietary technologies for payments, pensions, credit and analytics, creates multiple opportunities for future growth.

“We continue to make good progress against our long-term strategy with sustainable organic growth, progressive margin and dividend expansion, and the utilisation of strong cash flow to invest in new capabilities whilst strengthening the balance sheet. We remain committed to disciplined capital allocation into our best performing assets to sustain continued earnings growth. We have been pleased with performance in the first half, and expect full year earnings to be towards the top end of market expectations.”

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