RPS experienced strong trading at the end of 2007, in which all three segments of the business performed very successfully. The Group has maintained this momentum into 2008. During the first quarter results substantially exceeded those for the same period in 2007. The high level of demand for energy resources, particularly oil and gas, and the need to progress all types of development in a sustainable way remain strong and reliable drivers for the business.
In addition, our acquisition strategy has moved forward positively. Seven acquisitions have been made in the year to date. These had a combined profit stream of about £5.9 million and were purchased for a maximum consideration of about £33.5 million. A summary of these is set out below; the full details of each transaction have been announced previously.
The integration of these businesses has begun encouragingly. Our acquisition pipeline is still healthy and we anticipate completing additional transactions during the second half of 2008.
Our balance sheet remains strong. In March we increased our bank facility from £70 million to £100 million, and extended it to 2013, in order to support our continuing acquisition strategy. The terms of the facility are broadly unchanged. At the end of March the Group's net bank debt was £52.2 million.
Brook Land, Chairman of RPS commented:
"Strong trading in the first quarter of the year, in combination with the acquisitions we have made in the year to date, give the Board confidence that 2008 will be another successful year for RPS. The opportunities available to us for both organic and acquisitive growth are significant and wide ranging. We have a diverse, robust and resilient business and remain confident about our prospects."
23rd April 2008
|RPS Group plc|
|Dr Alan Hearne, Chief Executive||Tel: 01235 863 206|
|Gary Young, Group Finance Director|
|Justine Warren||Tel: 020 7457 2020|
RPS is an international consultancy providing advice upon the development of natural resources, land and property, the management of the environment and the health and safety of people. We trade in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, North America, Australia and South East Asia and undertake projects in many other parts of the world. The Group is a constituent of both the FTSE 250 and FTSE 4 Good Indices.
Forward looking statements
This announcement contains certain forward looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of RPS Group PLC. These statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend upon circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast.