Interim Results

11 August 2021

Strong financial performance, proven ESG credentials, 
significant opportunity, and reinstating dividends

RPS, a leading multi-sector global professional services firm, today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2021 (‘H1 2021’).

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 H1 2021H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant
currency(1)
% change % change constant currency
Alternative performance measures (1)     
Fee revenue (£m) (1)233.5232.4233.5 0% 0%
Adjusted operating profit (£m) (1)13.17.77.8 70% 68%
Adjusted profit before tax (£m)  (1)9.84.34.4 128% 123%
Adjusted earnings per share (diluted) (p) (1)2.542.031.94 25% 31%
      
Cash and debt measures     
Conversion of profit into cash (1)10%346%346%   
Net bank borrowings (£m) (1)27.857.855.6   
Leverage1.01.7   
      
Statutory measures     
Revenue (£m)271.8272.4273.5 (0%) (1%)
Operating profit/(loss)10.4(30.7)(29.4) 134% 135%
Statutory profit/(loss) before tax (£m)7.1(34.1)(32.8) 121% 122%
Statutory earnings/(loss) per share (diluted) (p)1.78(14.06)(13.66) 113% 113%
Dividend per share (p)0.26--   


Financial highlights

  • H1 2021 performance in line with expectations
  • Improving Fee Revenue trajectory, with growth in Fee Revenue per day compared to H2 2020 and Q1 2021. Fee Revenue per day returned to Q1 2020 level
  • Continued focus on margins; adjusted operating margin increased to 5.6% (H1 2020: 3.3%)
  • Turnaround from statutory loss before tax to statutory profit before tax due to improved performance
  • Continued strong cash performance on the back of disciplined billing and cash collections with lock up days below industry average at 60 days (H1 2020: 68 days)
  • Strong cash focus with net bank borrowings of £27.8 million significantly lower than at 30 June 2020 (30 June 2020: £57.8 million, 31 December 2020 £10.8 million). With low net bank borrowings and improving profit, the net debt to EBITDA (leverage) at 30 June 2021 was 1.0x (30 June 2020: 1.7x), at the bottom end of our target range of 1.0x to 2.0x
  • Revolving credit facility (‘RCF’) extended for two years to July 2024 and new seven-year financing in place to replace the Pricoa Private Placement loan notes that expire in September 2021. This provides significant liquidity and substantial headroom enabling RPS to make investment decisions for the medium term
  • Dividends reinstated with interim dividend of 0.26 pence per share proposed (H1 2020: nil)

 

Business headlines

  • The diversity of RPS’ sectors and services offering, coupled with its exposure to government and quasi government organisations, continues to provide resilience and growth opportunities from increased spending by governments
  • Private sector sentiment is now improving and creating growth opportunities in those segments with a greater exposure to private sector, notably Consulting UK & Ireland
  • Continued focus on renewables which now accounts for just under 20% of Fee Revenue of our Energy Segment (H1 2020: 8%). Other segments also work extensively in renewables and this now represents 5% of RPS’ overall Fee Revenue
  • Key strategic renewable wins in Energy with project delivery supported by other RPS segments
  • Improving total contracted order book (COB); up 7% (at constant currency) on December 2020
  • Having retained capability through the pandemic, RPS continues to match capacity to market and increase headcount as Fee Revenue recovers. Cost measures to manage through COVID-19 now broadly reversed with all but 36 people, mainly in Energy, now back to full hours and pay
  • Increased Fee Revenue, closure of marginal offices and maintaining efficiencies achieved in 2020 are driving improved operating margins

 

A quality business with significant opportunity

  • A business with a clear portfolio strategy that balances cohesion of capabilities and diversification of clients and which is focused on three key thematics of urbanisation, natural resources, and sustainability
  • Benefitting from operating in favourable geographies, government investment, and a global sustainability focus, as well as the recovering economic confidence in the UK
  • Following investment in people, clients, and connectivity, RPS is a technology enabled consulting firm that is a tighter and more robust business
  • Significant growth opportunities in our areas of focus – renewables, project management, infrastructure and sustainability

 

Proven ESG credentials

RPS has a long history of environmental and social engagement dating back to 1970, when Rural Planning Services was formed.

With proven ESG credentials that are embedded in its purpose, promise and behaviours, RPS is at the forefront of a global and complex shift in resource supply and consumption.  The momentum towards greater renewable energy development is proving to be an exciting and rewarding opportunity for RPS with increasing Fee Revenue deriving from renewables in all segments.

In addition, improved people practices ensure RPS has an increasingly safe, engaged, diverse and inclusive workforce: 

  • 85% of employees participated in 2021 employee engagement survey (2018: 80%)
  • 88% of employees feel they work in a safe environment (2018: 83%)
  • Employee engagement increased in 2021 to 70% (2018: 67%)
  • RPS Group – industry leading gender diversity
  • RPS North America – industry leading racial diversity

 

RPS has a strong Board representing a good mix of background, skills, geography, and gender. The Directors drive robust governance, engagement and transparency with stakeholders which is evidenced by increasing dialogue with investors and analysts in 2020 and into 2021.

Today RPS also announces the appointment of Matt Farnsworth, effective 1 September 2021, as Global Director for ESG and Sustainability, to lead RPS’ global sustainability strategy, and progress RPS' environmental, social and governance performance. Matt is an internal hire and a well-established and respected professional in his field.

 

Commenting on the interim results, John Douglas, Chief Executive of RPS, said:

“We achieved good momentum in the first half of the year and, as a result of this and to demonstrate our confidence going forward, I am pleased to announce we have reinstated our dividend.

“Our focus on our core growth markets of natural resources, urbanisation, and sustainability across a good mix of geographies positions us well as markets began to recover in the first half of the year. Backed up by strong, and proven, ESG credentials, both in what we do for our clients and how we conduct ourselves, we are creating an increasingly resilient, technology enabled, high quality business that is competitive in our key markets.

“We continue to benefit from operating in favourable geographies with government investment and recovering economic confidence and see significant growth opportunities in renewables, project management, infrastructure and sustainability. With a strong cash position and significant available debt facilities, RPS is well placed to capitalise on these growth opportunities.

“We remain focused on building a business that can deliver mid-single digit rates of organic revenue growth and a double-digit operating margin in the medium term and are confident in our ability to do so.”

(1)        Alternative Performance Measures are used consistently throughout this announcement: these include adjusted profit before tax, fee revenue, items prefaced ‘adjusted’ such as adjusted EPS, segment profit, underlying profit, adjusted operating profit, amounts labelled ‘at constant currency’, EBITDAS, conversion of profit into cash, net bank borrowings, leverage.  For further details of their purpose, definition and reconciliation to the equivalent statutory measures see note 2.


An analyst presentation will be held via live video webcast at 9.30am (UK time) today. To participate please contact Buchanan via [email protected]to request joining details. A recording of the presentation will be available later today at the RPS website, www.rpsgroup.com.

 

 

Enquiries:
 
 
RPS Group plc  
John Douglas, Chief Executive Today: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
Judith Cottrell, Group Finance Director Thereafter: +44 (0) 1235 863 206
  
Buchanan  
Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Tilly Abraham Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com


 

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1970, RPS is a leading global professional services firm with proven ESG credentials. With c.5,000 consultants and service providers and having operated in 125 countries across six continents - RPS defines, designs, and manages projects that create shared value for a complex, urbanising and resource-scarce world.

Our three thematics – natural resources, urbanisation, and sustainability – are specifically targeted to growth markets where RPS delivers a broad range of services in six sectors:  property, energy, transport, water, defence and government services and resources.  Services provided across RPS' six sectors cover twelve service clusters: project and program management, design and development, water services, environment, advisory and management consulting, exploration and development, planning and approvals, health, safety and risk, oceans and coastal, laboratories, training and communications, creative and digital services.

RPS stands out for its clients by using technology enabled consulting, combined with deep expertise, to solve problems that matter, making them easy to understand.  Making complex easy.

RPS’ London Stock Exchange ticker is RPS.L.  For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com

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 many 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.

This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of RPS is Judith Cottrell, Group Finance Director.

 

Trading summary

The Group’s performance in H1 2021 was in line with expectations. As COVID-19 restrictions eased in many of the jurisdictions in which the Group operates, Fee Revenue continued on a positive growth trajectory.  Whilst overall Fee Revenue was broadly flat on H1 2020, this was against a backdrop of a strong Q1 2020 prior to the onset of COVID-19. Fee Revenue per day continues to improve quarter on quarter and has returned to the pre COVID-19 levels achieved in Q1 2020. H1 2021 Fee Revenue increased by 4% on H2 2020.

The actions taken in FY 2020 to improve efficiency and restructure lower margin operations have driven an improvement in Adjusted Operating Profit margin compared to H1 2020; and it has also enabled the Group to deliver a margin in line with H2 2020 despite the significant COVID-19 staff cost saving measures reversing in early 2021.

Adjusted Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the six months to 30 June 2021 was £9.8 million (H1 2020: £4.3 million, £4.4 million at constant currency), on Fee Revenue of £233.5 million (H1 2020: £232.4 million, £233.5 million at constant currency). The Group generated a PBT of £7.1 million (H1 2020: loss £34.1 million, £32.8 million at constant currency), after exceptional items of £0.6 million (H1 2020: £35.4 million). 

The effective tax rate for the period on Adjusted PBT is estimated to be 28.6% (H1 2020: (7.0)%).  The tax rate has returned to more normal pre COVID-19 levels with 2020 benefitting from the impact of carry back of losses and reduced taxable profits.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) was 2.54p (H1 2020: 2.03p, 1.94p at constant currency).  Statutory diluted profit per share was 1.78p (H1 2020: loss 14.06p, 13.66p at constant currency). 

Movements in foreign currency exchange rates have impacted the performance in H1 2021. Fee Revenue in H1 2021 would have been £0.7 million lower and Adjusted PBT would have been unchanged had 2020 exchange rates been repeated in 2021. The impact of retranslating H1 2020 results at H1 2021 rates was an increase of £1.1 million on Fee Revenue and an increase of £0.1 million on Adjusted PBT.

 

Fee Revenue

 H1 2021H1 2020 H1 2020
at constant
currency
    
Energy 32.9 41.6 40.9
Consulting - UK and Ireland 57.9 55.6 55.4
Services - UK and Netherlands 44.1 41.1 40.9
Norway 31.0 28.5 29.8
North America 18.2 20.5 18.7
Australia Asia Pacific 49.4 45.1 47.8
Fee Revenue 233.5 232.4 233.5

 

Against a backdrop of a strong Q1 in 2020 with limited COVID-19 impact, H1 2021 Fee Revenue was flat on H1 2020 but showed an improved trajectory as lockdown restrictions in the regions in which we operate eased, and market sentiment began to recover. RPS’ government exposed businesses in Norway and Australia Asia Pacific have continued to perform well and generate growth. Our Consulting UK and Ireland business delivered good growth as COVID-19 restrictions eased and private sector confidence improved. In Services UK and Netherlands, the UK business delivered growth as the AMP7 cycle continues to ramp up and the UK comes out of lockdown but COVID-19 restrictions have continued to impact activities in the Netherlands. Ongoing travel restrictions and subdued exploration activity as our gas and oil clients transition from gas and oil to renewables mean that the recovery in our Energy segment will be slower. In North America, Fee Revenue is slightly down on the prior year as the performance was very strong in Q1 2020 and we continue to experience delays in project activation in our Infrastructure business.

 

Adjusted operating profit

£m H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020
at constant
currency
    
Energy 1.8 2.3 2.3
Consulting - UK and Ireland 4.6 2.9 2.9
Services - UK and Netherlands 3.0 1.8 1.7
Norway 2.6 2.1 2.2
North America 1.9 1.2 1.1
Australia Asia Pacific 5.2 3.5 3.7
Total segment profit 19.1 13.8 13.9
Unallocated costs (6.0) (6.1) (6.1)
Adjusted operating profit 13.1 7.7 7.8

 

In response to COVID-19 the Group took swift and considered action in 2020 to match capacity to market demand, reduce discretionary spend, and make changes to the operating model. As Fee Revenue continues its recovery towards pre COVID-19 levels, several of the measures to reduce capacity costs are unwinding. However, we are maintaining the efficiencies from changes to our operating model. As a result, segment profit margin has improved to 8.2% (H1 2020 at constant currency: 6.0%) and unallocated costs are in line with prior year. With the exception of Energy, where Fee Revenue remains impacted by COVID-19 and there is transition in its core markets, all other segments have delivered an improved operating profit margin as the Group drives Fee Revenue growth and efficiencies.

 

Exceptional items

Exceptional items of £0.6 million have been recognised in the period (H1 2020: £35.4 million), a significant reduction on both H1 2020 and H2 2020. The exceptional items are detailed in note 5 and include:

  • ERP stabilisation activities of £0.8 million in respect of the removal of Hitachi’s Essentials package and reversion to native Dynamics 365;
  • Further legal fees of £0.5 million investigating potential issues regarding the administration of US government contracts and/or projects; and
  • A credit in restructuring costs of £0.7 million relating to the sublet of a property vacated and impaired in the prior year.

 

Borrowings and cash flow

As at 30 June 2021, net bank borrowings were £27.8 million (30 June 2020: £57.8 million; 31 December 2020: £10.8 million), whilst higher than December 2020 borrowings reduced significantly on 30 June 2020 following a successful equity fundraising in September 2020 and good cash generation in the business over the last twelve months. 

Net cash outflow from operating activities for the six months to June 2021 was £2.9 million (H1 2020: inflow £48.6 million). Our conversion of profit into operating cash flow was 10% (H1 2020: 346%) and was impacted by payment of COVID-19 related tax deferrals (with £4.9 million paid and a further £5.0 million left to repay), increased working capital due to fee growth and normalising of lock up days. Lock up days at 30 June 2021 were good and below the industry average at 60 days (30 June 2020: 68 days, December 2020: 48 days). Over the last twelve months cash conversion remained strong at 90% (June 2020: 203%).

Net cash used in investing activities was £6.6 million (H1 2020: £7.2 million) including deferred consideration of £2.5 million in respect of the Corview acquisition (H1 2020: £2.4 million). The net purchase of property, plant, equipment, and intangible assets was £4.1 million (H1 2020: £4.8 million). This includes investment in ERP of £0.1 million (H1 2020: £2.2 million).  The amount paid in respect of dividends was £nil (H1 2020: £nil).

Deferred consideration outstanding at 30 June 2021 was £3.2 million (30 June 2020: £6.5 million; 31 December 2020: £5.8 million). 

Our leverage (as defined in note 2) calculated in accordance with our bank’s financial covenants was 1.0x at the period end (30 June 2020: 1.7x; 31 December 2020: 0.7x). The bank covenant limit that applies to all our facilities is 3.25x for June 2021 and 3.0x thereafter.

Net finance costs were £3.3 million (H1 2020: £3.4 million), which includes £0.9 million (H1 2020: £1.0 million) interest relating to IFRS 16 leases.

 

New financing secured

The Group’s main banking facility, a committed multi-currency revolving credit facility (RCF) with Lloyds, HSBC and NatWest totalling £100.0 million, was due to expire in July 2022 but, in August, was successfully extended to July 2024.

In addition, the Group has in issue seven-year US Private placement notes of US$34.1 million and £30.0 million repayable in September 2021. The Group has recently secured replacement financing for these loan notes in the form of £25.0 million of term loans from Aviva Investors and £30.0 million from Legal and General Investment Management. These will expire in September 2028.

As a result of the successful replacement of the US Private placement notes and extension of the RCF, the £60.0 million additional RCF liquidity facility, due to expire in July 2022, has been retired.

The Group continues to have significant headroom in respect of the committed bank facilities. As at 30 June 2021 headroom was £160.0 million, which is in addition to £26.4 million of cash held on that date.

 

Dividends

In 2019, the Board announced a dividend policy of a pay-out ratio of 40% of profit after tax before amortisation of intangibles and transaction-related costs and the tax thereon. To protect the Group’s financial position at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board made the decision to cancel the final dividend in respect of FY 2019 and, due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty over timing of recovery of markets, withdrew our dividend policy. The Board recognises the importance of dividends and, given the markets we operate in are starting to recover, is proposing to resume a modest dividend for 2021 and will pay circa one third as an interim dividend. Management intends to hold a Capital Markets Day in early November and plans to set out its capital allocation policy in more detail then.

In light of the need to invest in growth opportunities and the ongoing volatility in some markets, the Board is proposing a modest interim dividend of 0.26p per ordinary share (H1 2020: nil). This is a level which the Board considers appropriate based on the need to balance the size of dividend with the pace of market recovery and the opportunities that exist for RPS to invest for future growth. It will be paid on 8 October 2021 to shareholders on the register of members at the close of business on 10 September 2021.

 

Segment review 

Energy

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue (£m) 32.9 41.6 40.9
Segment profit (£m) 1.8 2.3 2.3
Margin (%) 5.5 5.5 5.6

 

Fee Revenue was down 20% (at constant currency) on H1 2020 but with the backdrop of an exceptionally strong Q1 2020. Although the oil price has increased, projects, particularly in marine seismic and metocean measurements, are still being impacted by COVID-19 and further delayed as clients balance their plans for sustainability in their businesses and transition to a changing mix of energy sources in which renewable energy sources will be an increasing part of the mix. Costs continue to be well managed through our variable associate cost structure. The restructuring of the Technical Advisory business in 2020 and the move to the associate model has seen continued improved performance through H1 2021, with expectations of similar performance in H2 2021.

As our clients and the market transition to sustainable energy and a low carbon environment this is creating significant opportunities for the business. Fee Revenue from renewables, at £6.3 million, doubled when compared to the same period in 2020, including some notable strategic wins with new and existing energy clients including BP/EnBW and Equinor.

Whilst recovery in the Energy segment will be slower as markets, particularly outside the developed economies, continue to be impacted by COVID-19, RPS is responding to significant opportunities in the renewable and sustainability sectors. Our total contracted order book is ahead of December 2020, and with the impact of COVID-19 reducing, renewable opportunities continuing to increase, and our traditional clients initiating new projects, we expect Fee Revenue to recover.

 

Consulting - UK and Ireland

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue (£m) 57.9 55.6 55.4
Segment profit (£m) 4.6 2.9 2.9
Margin (%) 7.9 5.2 5.2

 

Fee Revenue was up 5% (at constant currency) on H1 2020 and continued its positive trajectory with Fee Revenue per day increasing in Q2-2021 compared to Q1-2021. The strong public sector demand from 2020 continued across the UK and Ireland. With lockdown restrictions easing, confidence is returning in the private sector, and investment started to increase from Q2 2021. Many private sector projects that were on hold are now restarting. We have strong positions in a number of sectors such as Logistics, Health, Data Centres, and Affordable Housing that are likely to experience sustained growth post COVID-19. As a result of the improved Fee Revenue, all staff have now returned from furlough and all salaries have been reinstated. Increased efficiency and improved Fee Revenue have increased margins to 7.9% (H1 2020: 5.2%).

Our total contracted order book has grown significantly, both on December 2020, and March 2021. We expect that private sector projects will continue the upwards momentum and public sector spending should be maintained. The key to delivering ongoing growth is now the attraction and retention of talent. A talent attraction and retention strategy has been implemented that focuses on sustainability, career development and showcasing our high-profile projects.

 

Services - UK and the Netherlands

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue (£m) 44.1 41.1 40.9
Segment profit (£m) 3.0 1.8 1.7
Margin (%) 6.8 4.4 4.2

 

Fee Revenue growth of 8% at constant currency was driven principally by increased activity in our UK Health & Labs business as the UK lockdown restrictions eased. The performance of the UK Water business improved as the AMP7 cycle began to gradually ramp up, and the business has secured some key wins including with Yorkshire Water. Conditions in the Netherlands were more challenging as a result of national elections and lockdown restrictions and this impacted Fee Revenue in Q1 2021. However, improving Fee Revenue trajectory in the UK has allowed us to reverse all salary measures that had been implemented. Despite this, margins increased to 6.8% as increased Fee Revenue drove efficiency within the business.

The segment enters H2 2021 with an improving total contracted order book; we expect growth to continue as the delayed AMP7 cycle accelerates and lockdown restrictions in the Netherlands continue to ease.

 

Norway

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue (£m) 31.0 28.5 29.8
Segment profit (£m) 2.6 2.1 2.2
Margin (%) 8.4 7.4 7.4

 

The segment delivered a solid performance in H1 2021 with Fee Revenue growth of 4% (at constant currency). Fee Revenue per day in Q2 2021 was back to pre COVID-19 levels and the profit margin improved. The Norway segment has retained its leading market position within Project and Program Management in Norway and is increasing market share in the private sector whilst growing in public sector in line with the market.

While the total contracted order book has declined since the year end due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on clients initiating new projects, the outlook remains positive. Activity and investment levels remain strong in the public sector, there is growth within digitalisation and large capital projects investments, and we are well placed to capitalise on new opportunities arising in emerging markets such as renewables and green technology.

 

North America

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue(£m) 18.2 20.5 18.7
Segment profit (£m) 1.9 1.2 1.1
Margin (%) 10.4 5.9 5.9

 

North America has seen an improving fee trajectory during H1 2021, with Fee Revenue down only 3% (at constant currency) on H1 2020. This was an encouraging result given the strong performance in Q1 2020, the impact of severe weather conditions in Texas on our Infrastructure division in Q1 2021, and the loss of revenue streams arising from reorganisation activity during 2020. Ocean Science and Environmental Risk both delivered Fee Revenue growth in H1 2021 on the back of expansion in renewable activity and a robust private equity market. Growth in Infrastructure was limited by the severe weather conditions and public sector project delays, although these are showing signs of improvement. Profit margins have improved significantly, driven by the reorganisation activity in 2020 and increased efficiency.

The delays in project activations have resulted in some reductions in our total contracted order book, but public sector activity is expected to improve in H2 2021 with the new fiscal year and budget cycle. This should support growth in Infrastructure and Ocean Science. With the US economy on track to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022, this provides a favourable backdrop for private sector growth. While investment in enhancing staff engagement is showing signs of progress, the tightening labour market will require careful management of recruitment and retention in H2 2021.

 

Australia Asia Pacific

 H1 2021 H1 2020 H1 2020 at
constant currency
Fee Revenue (£m) 49.4 45.1 47.8
Segment profit (£m) 5.2 3.5 3.7
Margin (%) 10.5 7.8 7.7

 

Strong government spending in defence and transport infrastructure, and an active residential property market have enabled 3% growth in Fee Revenue at constant currency. We are also seeing the renewable growth initiative starting to yield benefits in Australia and across Southeast Asia. Continued focus on costs and driving overhead efficiency has delivered improved margins.

The total contracted order book is strong going into H2 2021 and the business is well positioned to continue to win new Federal and state government infrastructure work as well as supporting the infrastructure projects that will be driven by Queensland hosting the 2032 Olympics. However, there remains some market uncertainty owing to the potential for some softening in the residential property market and any impact on construction from a strong government response to COVID-19.

 

Group Outlook

The good momentum achieved in the first half of the year has continued into H2 2021.

With a strong cash position and significant available debt facilities, RPS is well placed to capitalise on the growth opportunities that are clearly available. Net debt is expected to increase in H2 2021 as the working capital benefits of 2020 continue to unwind as the Group returns to growth and tax deferrals are paid. However, the recent refinancing will provide significant liquidity and leverage is expected to be comfortably within the target range.

The Group will continue to benefit from operating in favourable geographies, government investment and a global sustainability focus as well as the recovering confidence in the UK. There remain significant growth opportunities in our areas of focus – renewables, project management, transport infrastructure and sustainability.

Looking ahead, the total contracted order book (‘COB’) at 30 June 2021 is up 7% on 31 December 2020. The growth in COB in Australia Asia Pacific, Services UK and Netherlands, and Consulting UK and Ireland is encouraging for H2 2021. The COB remains solid in Norway and North America and is slowly improving in Energy, where we anticipate ongoing disruption in H2 2021 from the impact of COVID-19 and the transition of our energy clients from traditional energy to renewable energy.

We remain focused on building a business that can deliver mid-single digit rates of organic revenue growth and a double-digit operating margin in the medium term and are confident in our ability to do so.

The Group expects to update the market at its Q3 2021 trading update in late October and will host a Capital Markets Event for sell-side analysts and investors in early November. Further details will be provided in due course.

 

Board of Directors
RPS Group plc
11 August 2021

 

 

Condensed consolidated income statement

  Note Six months
ended
30 June
Six months
ended
30 June
Year
ended
31 December
 £m 2021 2020 2020
  
     
 Revenue3 271.8 272.4 542.1
 Less: passthrough costs 2,3 (38.3) (40.0) (84.8)
 Fee revenue 2,3 233.5 232.4 457.3
      
 Adjusted operating profit 2,3 13.1 7.7 20.5
      
 Amortisation of acquired intangibles and transaction-related costs  
2,4
 
(2.1)
 
(3.0)
(5.5)
 Exceptional items 2,5 (0.6) (35.4) (39.2)
      
 Operating profit/(loss) 3 10.4 (30.7) (24.2)
      
 Finance costs  (3.3) (3.5) (7.2)
 Finance income  - 0.1 0.1
      
 Adjusted profit before tax 2 9.8 4.3 13.4
      
      
 Profit/(loss) before tax  7.1 (34.1) (31.3)
      
 Tax (expense)/credit 6 (2.2) 2.2 0.2
  
Profit/(loss) for the period attributable to equity
holders of the parent
  
 
4.9
 
 
 
(31.9)
 
 
 
(31.1)
      
      
 Basic earnings/(loss) per share (pence) 7 1.80 (14.20) (12.95)
      
 Diluted earnings/(loss) per share (pence) 7 1.78 (14.06) (12.83)
      
 Adjusted basic earnings per share (pence) 2,7 2.57 2.05 4.33
      
 Adjusted diluted earnings per share (pence) 2,7 2.54 2.03 4.29

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of comprehensive income

 Six months
ended
30 June
Six months
ended
30 June
Year
ended
31 December
£m 2021 2020 2020
    
Profit/(loss) for the period 4.9 (31.9) (31.1)
    
Foreign exchange differences on translation of foreign operations* (7.3) 12.5 8.9
Actuarial losses on remeasurement of defined benefit pension scheme - - (0.1)
Total other comprehensive (expense)/income (7.3) 12.5 8.8
   
Total recognised comprehensive (expense)/income for the period attributable to equity holders of the parent  
(2.4)
 
(19.4)
 
(22.3)

 

*may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss in accordance with IFRS

 

 

Condensed consolidated balance sheet

  As at
30 June
As at
30 June
As at
31 December
£m Note 2021 20202020
    
Assets   
Non-current assets:   
Intangible assets 8 343.2 356.8 350.5
Property, plant and equipment 9 27.6 31.4 28.5
Right-of-use assets 38.0 44.2 42.1
Deferred tax asset 11.5 8.1 11.2
  420.3 440.5 432.3
Current assets:   
Trade and other receivables 10 137.3 142.5 130.8
Corporation tax receivable 1.0 4.8 2.4
Cash and cash equivalents 26.4 16.7 43.2
  164.7 164.0 176.4
Liabilities   
Current liabilities:   
Borrowings 12 54.2 - 54.0
Deferred consideration  2.9 3.1 3.1
Lease liabilities 12 10.3 10.5 10.8
Trade and other payables 11 114.2 126.0 129.2
Corporation tax 3.7 2.5 3.0
Provisions 5.9 2.0 5.7
  191.2 144.1 205.8
Net current (liabilities)/assets (26.5) 19.9 (29.4)
    
Non-current liabilities:    
Borrowings 12 - 74.5 -
Deferred consideration  0.3 3.4 2.7
Lease liabilities 12 33.8 41.0 38.1
Other payables  - 1.5 0.2
Deferred tax liability  6.8 6.6 8.4
Provisions  4.7 2.7 4.5
  45.6 129.7 53.9
     
Net assets  348.2 330.7 349.0
     
Equity     
Share capital 13 8.3 6.9 8.3
Share premium 126.1 123.6 125.3
Retained earnings 171.8 164.4 166.3
Merger reserve 38.7 21.2 38.7
Employee trust (11.3) (10.9) (11.5)
Translation reserve 14.6 25.5 21.9
Total shareholders’ equity 348.2 330.7 349.0

 

 

Condensed consolidated cash flow statement

  Six months
ended
30 June
Six months
ended
30 June
Year
ended
31 December
£m Note 2021 2020 2020
    
Net cash from operating activities 15 (2.9) 48.6 84.0
    
Cash flows from investing activities:   
Deferred consideration (2.5) (2.4) (3.0)
Purchase of property, plant and equipment (4.0) (2.8) (5.0)
Purchase of intangible assets (0.2) (2.3) (2.8)
Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment 0.1 0.3 0.4
Proceeds from sale of business - - 0.7
Net cash used in investing activities (6.6) (7.2) (9.7)
    
Cash flows from financing activities:   
Proceeds from issue of share capital - - 19.4
Decrease in bank borrowings - (37.7) (55.4)
Payment of lease liabilities (5.7) (5.0) (11.0)
Bank arrangement fees - (0.4) (1.0)
Net cash used in financing activities (5.7) (43.1) (48.0)
    
Net (reduction)/increase in cash and cash equivalents (15.2) (1.7) 26.3
    
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 43.2 16.4 16.4
    
Effect of exchange rate fluctuations (1.6) 2.0 0.5
    
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 26.4 16.7 43.2
    
    
Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash at bank for all periods

 

 

Condensed consolidated statement of changes in equity

 
£m
Share
capital
Share
premium
Retained
earnings
Merger
reserve
Employee
trust
Translation
reserve
Total
equity
        
At 1 January 2021 8.3 125.3 166.3 38.7 (11.5) 21.9 349.0
        
Profit for the period - - 4.9 - - - 4.9
Other comprehensive expense  
-
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
(7.3)
 
(7.3)
Total comprehensive income/(expense) for the period  
-
 
-
 
4.9
 
-
 
-
 
(7.3)
 
(2.4)
        
Issue of new ordinary shares - 0.8 (0.5) - (0.3) - -
Share-based payment expense  
-
 
-
 
1.6
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
1.6
Transfer on release of shares  
-
 
-
 
(0.5)
 
-
 
0.5
 
-
 
-
        
At 30 June 2021 8.3 126.1 171.8 38.7 (11.3) 14.6 348.2
        
        
At 1 January 2020 6.8 121.9 195.7 21.2 (10.1) 13.0 348.5
        
Loss for the period - - (31.9) - - - (31.9)
Other comprehensive income  
-
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
12.5
 
12.5
Total comprehensive (expense)/income for the period  
-
 
-
 
(31.9)
 
-
 
-
 
12.5
 
(19.4)
        
Issue of new ordinary shares 0.1 1.7 (0.7) - (1.1) - -
Share-based payment expense  
-
 
-
 
1.6
 
-
 
-
 
-
 
1.6
Transfer on release of shares  
-
 
-
 
(0.3)
 
-
 
0.3
 
-
 
-
        
At 30 June 2020 6.9 123.6 164.4 21.2 (10.9) 25.5 330.7

 

 


Notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements

The notes are available in the printable pdf of the results. To download it, please click here.