Q1-2022 Trading Update

27 April 2022

Continued growth and a positive outlook

RPS, a leading multi-sector global professional services firm, provides the following trading update for the quarter ended 1 April 2022 (‘Q1-2022’ or the ‘period’).

Delivering continued growth

Performance for the period has been encouraging and slightly ahead of the Board’s expectations, with 12% growth in Fee Revenue on Q1-2021 and continued margin improvement. Fee Revenue in Q1-2022 was £131.8 million (Q1-2021: £117.5 million, £117.5 million at constant currency).

Positive market trends in urbanisation, natural resources and sustainability continue to drive our business. This is reflected in the Group’s contracted order book at 1 April, which was up 8% on December 2021 and 15% on Q1-2021. Whilst not yet reflected in our order books, increased focus on energy security is starting to drive activity in our traditional gas and oil markets.

With growing order books and increasing headcount, all segments, except North America, delivered year-on-year Fee Revenue growth in Q1. Although private equity activity has been slow to ramp up post the year end and delays continue in the initiation of government infrastructure projects, market drivers remain positive in North America.

Ongoing recovery in the private sector and investment by government in transport infrastructure and defence has continued to drive our performance, resulting in Fee Revenue in the period in Consulting UK & Ireland, Norway and Australia Asia Pacific exceeding Q1-2019.

Disciplined cash performance and strong balance sheet

Cash flow continues to be tightly managed with net bank borrowings at 1 April 2022 of £27.2 million (2 April 2021 £31.3 million, 31 December 2021: £13.5 million). The increase in the period is in line with our expectations, as Fee Revenue continues to grow and lock up days normalise. Lock up days at 1 April 2022 were 57 days (2 April 2021: 59 days, 31 December 2021: 49 days) and remain industry leading.

Financial leverage of Net Debt/rolling 12-month EBITDA was 0.8x at 1 April 2022, compared to the Group’s target range of 1.0x to 2.0x Net Debt/EBITDA.

John Douglas, Chief Executive of RPS, said:

“We are pleased to have delivered another good quarter, with performance slightly ahead of the Board’s expectations. Our key thematics continued to drive momentum into the new financial year and we secured some significant client wins in the period, including an appointment by the BP and EnBW consortium to support the development of their offshore wind lease areas awarded during the ScotWind leasing round. 

“As highlighted at the time of our FY-2021 results in March, we continue to focus on building our teams to maximise growth opportunities in 2022. Tight financial discipline and growing consultant numbers position us well to drive further growth and deliver sustained shared value for all our stakeholders.”

 

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.

The above announcement contains inside information for the purpose of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation.

 

For further information:

RPS  
John Douglas, Chief Executive Tel: +44 (0) 1235 863 206
Judith Cottrell, Finance Director www.rpsgroup.com

 

Media enquiries:

Buchanan  
Henry Harrison-Topham / Chris Lane / Jack Devoy Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000
[email protected] www.buchanan.uk.com

 

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1970 and built on a legacy of environmental and social engagement, RPS is a diversified global professional services firm of circa 5,000 consultants, designers, planners, engineers, and technical specialists.

As an established technology enabled consultancy, RPS provides specialist services to government and private sector clients.

RPS creates shared value for all stakeholders. Focusing on Natural Resources, Urbanisation, and Sustainability, RPS concentrates its expertise on the parts of project lifecycles that have the biggest impact on project outcomes. Solving problems that matter in a complex, urbanising, resource-scarce world.

Listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: RPS.L), RPS is classified within the Professional Business Support Services subsector.

For further information, please visit www.rpsgroup.com.