Cohort plc - Half year results for the six months ended 31 October 2017

Published 13th December 2017

Cohort plc, the independent technology group, today announces its final results for the six months ended 31 October 2017.

Highlights include:

  • Order intake of £39.2m (2016: £40.5m).
  • Closing order book of £132.1m (30 April 2017: £136.5m).
  • Revenue of £44.8m (2016: £50.0m).
  • Adjusted* operating profit of £3.6m (2016: £3.9m).
  • Adjusted* earnings per share of 6.31p (2016: 5.99p).
  • Net funds of £5.7m, down on the year end as expected (31 October 2016: £9.9m; 30 April 2017: £8.5m).
  • Interim dividend increased by 16% to 2.55 pence per share (2016: 2.20 pence per share) reflecting the Board’s confidence in the outlook for Cohort.
  • Within the divisions, MASS produced the strongest result. SEA was in line with last year. EID was lower, as expected, whereas MCL was slightly lower than anticipated.
  • The Group is well exposed to the main areas of UK MOD focus.
  • Completion of recent M&A activity:
    • As announced on 22 August 2017, final £2.5m instalment paid for MCL.
    • As announced on 27 November 2017, a further 23% of EID acquired from the Portuguese Government for £3.5m, taking Group ownership to 80%.

* Adjusted figures exclude the effects of marking forward exchange contracts to market value, other exchange gains and losses, amortisation of other intangible assets and exceptional items.

Looking forward
Stronger second half performance in prospect, maintaining our expectations for the year:

  • Historic second half weighting expected to be repeated.
  • Nearly £55m of the 31 October 2017 order book is deliverable in the second half and underpins 83% of the consensus forecast revenue for the full year, slightly better than at the same time last year.
  • Prospects for further order intake in the second half across the Group are encouraging – as evidenced by the £10m contract award announced separately today.
  • Benefit of five months’ contribution from 80% of EID in the second half.

Nick Prest, Chairman, commented:

“The Group’s first half results were slightly down on last year. In recent years the Group’s results have been heavily weighted towards the second half and we expect this pattern to be repeated this year. The Group’s closing order book and recent order wins support this outlook. The recent increased ownership of EID will enhance our earnings per share.

“Overall, allowing for the fact that we have proportionately more to do in the second half, and notwithstanding the pressures in the UK market, the Board’s considered view is that Cohort will make further progress in 2017/18, and we maintain our expectations for the full year.”

A presentation for analysts is being hosted today 13 December 2017 at 9.15am for 9.30am at MHP’s offices.