Latest Results

Interim Results

'Successful investment in Legal Services driving case settlement and cash collection'

Anexo Group plc (AIM: ANX), the specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider, is pleased to report its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 ('H1 2019' or the 'period').  The Board is pleased to report another successful six months of strong growth with management confident in meeting current market expectations for FY 2019.

 

Financial Highlights

  H1 2019 H1 2018 Movement
Revenue £36.7 million £23.6 million +55.5%
Adjusted operating profit1 £11.8 million £7.3 million +61.6%
Adjusted profit before tax1 £11.0 million £6.8 million +62.6%
Net assets £82.9 million £68.6 million +20.8%
Cash collection £36.6 million £28.2 million +29.8%
Basic EPS 7.6 pence 4.1 pence +85.4%
  • Adjusted1 operating profit margin increased to 32.2% (H1 2018: 30.9%)
  • Net cash outflow from operating activities2 to fund growth of £3.3 million (H1 2018: net cash inflow £0.5 million)
  • Proposed interim dividend of 1 penny per share (H1 2018: Nil)
  • Net debt balance at 30 June 2019 stood at £23.4 million (30 June 2018: net debt post listing of £2.4 million)
  • Post period end, Anexo successfully renegotiated its working capital facilities, securing considerable improvements in its financing arrangements, and agreed new terms with fleet insurance providers to deliver enhanced savings in remainder of FY 2019 and in 2020
  • Anexo on track to meet FY 2019 market expectations of adjusted profit before tax of £23.0 million

1 Adjusted results exclude certain expenses incurred as part of the AIM listing, share based payments and the transition to IFRS 16 – Leases.

2 Cash flows from operations exclude movements in directors' loans and the impact of IFRS 16.

Operational Highlights

  • Fully stand-alone new legal office in Bolton achieved break even point within four months. The Bolton office increased headcount to 63 by 30 June 2019, of which 28 were experienced litigators, increasing the Group's ability to settle cases and generate cash. As at 30 June 2019, a further 10 experienced litigators had accepted positions and not yet started
  • Following a period of significant growth across the Group, the expansion of the vehicle fleet has been more measured as the Group seeks to optimise margin and cash collections, thus underpinning an improvement in financial performance
KPIs H1 2019 H1 2018 Movement
Number of vehicles on hire at the period end 1,571 1,240 +26.7%
Average number of vehicles on hire for the period 1,496 912 +64.0%
Number of hire cases settled 2,066 1,730 +19.4%
Cash collections from settled cases (£'000s) 36,628 28,230 +29.7%
Number of new cases funded 3,392 2,588 +31.1%
Legal staff employed at period end 344 215 +60.0%
Number of senior fee earners at period end 109 74 +47.3%
Average number of senior fee earners 98 71 +38.0%

Commenting on the Interim Results, Alan Sellers, Executive Chairman of Anexo Group plc, said:

“We are pleased to report another strong set of results, with all key financial metrics and KPIs ahead of the comparative period last year.  At the time of our AIM IPO in June 2018, we outlined a number of key objectives such as expanding the vehicle fleet, opening a regional office and further legal recruitment and I am delighted to report that a year later we have made excellent progress on these objectives which is reflected in these half year results.

Anexo remains extremely well positioned to grow its market share and take advantage of the opportunities available to it.  The Board views the current financial year and beyond with considerable optimism.”

 

Analyst meeting

A meeting for analysts will be held at 09.30am today, 10 September 2019, at the offices of Buchanan, 107 Cheapside, London EC2V 6DN.  A copy of the Interim Results presentation is available at the Company's website www.anexo-group.com

An audio webcast of the analysts meeting will be available after 12pm today: https://webcasting.buchanan.uk.com/broadcast/5d381ed948a6d52f84f6b009

 

Executive Chairman's Statement

On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to introduce Anexo’s results for the six month period ended 30 June 2019, a period during which the Board has concentrated firmly on moving the Group towards the inflexion point which achieves net cash generation.  Anexo’s strategy in the period has been to target a more measured growth in credit hire in order to focus on the Group’s continued success in the recruitment of high quality litigators, thereby increasing its ability to settle cases and improve cash generation.  Anexo has performed strongly in H1 2019, with significant growth in both divisions compared to H1 2018.  The solid platform which has been established since the Group’s AIM IPO in June 2018 provides the Board with considerable confidence in the strong prospects for the Group for the remainder of FY 2019 and beyond.

The Group has adopted IFRS 16 (effective 1 January 2019) in these interim results (for further detail see Note 7 in the Notes to the Interim Statements).

H1 2019 Group performance

Anexo delivered a strong performance across all key Group financial metrics and KPIs in its first financial year on AIM, and this has continued into H1 2019.  Group revenues in H1 2019 increased by 55.5% to £36.7 million (H1 2018: £23.6 million) and adjusted profit before tax for the period increased by 62.6% to £11.0 million (H1 2018: £6.8 million).

As announced on 6 August 2019, Anexo successfully renegotiated its working capital facilities and secured favourable financing arrangements from both new and existing providers.

Credit Hire division

As previously reported, Anexo deployed an element of the funds raised at IPO to expand its fleet.  The average number of vehicles on the road reached 1,496 in H1 2019 (H1 2018: 912), a 64.0% increase on the prior year.  The Board has not sought to further increase the number of vehicles on hire in the last six months, in order to allow the Group to concentrate on the development of the litigation division and increasing the Group’s rate of cash collections.  However, the like for like increase in vehicles on the road has resulted in growth in Credit Hire revenue of 80.3%, rising from £12.9 million in H1 2018 to £23.2 million in H1 2019.  Profit before tax in the Credit Hire division rose by 152% to £8.3 million in H1 2019 (H1 2018: £3.3 million).

In particular, the Group has witnessed considerable growth in its motorcycle business, facilitated by the Board’s strategic investment in the fleet.  We have also sought to target the most valuable claims for the Group, the effect of which has been to improve individual claim performance and thus further drive growth in revenues and profitability over and above the number of vehicles on the road.

As announced on 6 August 2019, the Group agreed new terms with its existing fleet insurance provider which will continue to deliver enhanced savings against original forecasts for the remainder of FY 2019 and throughout FY 2020.

Legal Services division

A significant portion of the IPO funds was targeted at increasing capacity within Bond Turner, the Group’s legal services business.  This was to facilitate increased cash generation, which continues to improve month on month.  Cash collections increased by £8.4 million or 29.7% between H1 2018 and H1 2019, rising to £36.6 million from £28.2 million.  This strong trend continued post period end with cash collections in July 2019 going on to be a monthly record for the Group.

Revenues for the Legal Services division, which strongly converts to cash, showed an increase of 26.2%, reaching £13.5 million in H1 2019 (H1 2018: £10.7 million).  Profit before taxation declined to £2.3 million (H1 2018: £3.8 million), reflecting the significant investment in the new Bolton office and associated staff recruitment costs.  Within the working capital cycle of a typical case and the timeline for settlement inherent in the court process, an experienced litigator will not reach capacity from a settlement and cash collection position for at least nine to twelve months.  Consequently, the considerable benefits to cash collections from the Group’s investment in recruitment are expected to be realised in late FY 2019 and into FY 2020.

The Board’s focus in 2019 has been to expand capacity at Bond Turner, with the opening of the Bolton office being key to this strategy.  Both in number and quality of litigators targeted for recruitment, Bolton has out-performed management’s expectations.  At 30 June 2019, the number of highly skilled and experienced litigators has increased within the Group from 74 at 30 June 2018 to 89 at 31 December 2018, and to 109 by the end of H1 2019, an increase of 38% from that seen at 30 June 2018.

With further investment planned for the remainder of FY 2019, these additional staff are expected to continue to drive an increase in the number of cases settled and ultimately the level of cash recovered from Bond Turner’s considerable portfolio of cases.  

As previously outlined at the time of the Group’s AIM IPO, Bond Turner also operates an in-house advocacy and specialist litigation team which handles complex professional and clinical negligence claims. Many of these constitute high value and high profile cases, some of which have been ongoing for many years; one example is the class action concerning historic abuse at Aston Hall psychiatric hospital. The Board intends to expand this specialist team in H2 2019 and FY 2020 and is exploring opportunities to secure new business in professional and compensation claims through both targeted recruitment and digital marketing and direct capture.

Dividends

The Board stated at the time of the Group’s AIM IPO that its intention was to adopt a progressive dividend policy and commenced this with the payment of final dividend of 1.5 pence per share for the period from Admission to 31 December 2018.  The Board is therefore pleased to propose an interim dividend of 1 penny per share which will be paid on 23 October 2019 to those shareholders on the register at the close of business on 20 September 2019.  The shares will become ex-dividend on 19 September 2019.

Trading Outlook

The outlook for the remainder of FY 2019 is positive and the Board remains confident that the decision to hold steady the number of vehicles on the road within the Credit Hire division, as the Group continues to expand its Legal Services division, will allow Anexo to demonstrate its ability to generate yet further cash from its significant case portfolio.

Recruitment continues to progress better than anticipated within the Legal Services division and the Group has recently finalised the terms of a lease for a further floor in Bolton, doubling the office space to 19,490 sq.ft.  The Board is also considering additional locations for a further regional office and will make a separate announcement as and when appropriate. The additional capacity secured to date has already positively impacted cash collections and settlement numbers and rates.  The Board will continue to review this strategy to ensure that Anexo continues to leverage its case book and consequently realises the potential of the investment as a significant cash generating asset.

Anexo remains extremely well positioned to grow its market share and take advantage of the opportunities available to it.  The Board views the current financial year and beyond with considerable optimism.

 

Alan Sellers
Executive Chairman

10 September 2019

 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income
For the unaudited period ended 30 June 2019

    Unaudited Unaudited Audited
    Half year
ended
Half year
ended
Year ended
    Jun-19 Jun-18 Dec-18
  Note £’000s £’000s £’000s
         
Revenue   36,717 23,588 56,505
Cost of sales   (7,225) (6,880) (16,168)
Gross profit   29,492 16,708 40,337
         
Depreciation   (1,192) (606) (1,574)
Depreciation on right of use assets   (2,849) - -
Administrative expenses   (13,638) (8,801) (21,594)
Operating profit before exceptional items   11,813 7,301 17,169
         
Share based payment charges   (329) - (384)
Non-recurring administrative expenses   - (1,438) (1,411)
Operating profit   11,484 5,863 15,374
         
Finance costs   (762) (525) (1,090)
Lease finance costs   (292) - -
Total finance costs   (1,054) (525) (1,090)
         
Profit before tax   10,430 5,338 14,284
Taxation   (2,045) (790) (2,879)
Profit and total comprehensive income for the year attributable to the owners of the company   8,385 4,548 11,405
         
Earnings per share        
Basic earnings per share (pence)   7.6 4.1 10.4
         
Diluted earnings per share (pence)   7.4 4.1 10.2

The above results were derived from continuing operations.

 

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
Unaudited at 30 June 2019

    Unaudited Unaudited Audited
    Half Year Half Year  
    Ended ended Year Ended
    Jun-19 Jun-18 Dec-18
Assets   £’000s £’000s £’000s
Non-current assets        
Property, plant and equipment   3,233 1,918 3,270
Right-of-use assets   9,815 - -
    13,048 1,918 3,270
Current assets        
Trade and other receivables   116,841 81,174 101,445
Cash and cash equivalents   491 11,121 5,532
    117,332 92,295 106,977
         
Total assets   130,380 94,213 110,247
         
Equity and liabilities        
Equity        
Share capital   55 55 55
Share premium   9,235 9,310 9,235
Share based payment reserve   713 - 384
Retained earnings   72,862 59,191 66,127
Equity attributable to the owners of the Group   82,865 68,556 75,801
         
Non-current liabilities        
Other interest-bearing loans and borrowings   - 5,566 870
Lease liabilities   5,150 - -
Deferred tax liabilities   20 20 -
    5,170 5,586 870
         
Current liabilities        
Bank overdraft   14,532 5,080 12,536
Other interest-bearing loans and borrowings   9,382 2,835 9,402
Lease liabilities   4,927 - -
Trade and other payables   9,118 6,439 7,223
Corporation tax liability   4,386 5,717 4,415
    42,345 20,071 33,576
         
Total liabilities   47,515 25,657 34,446
         
Total equity and liabilities   130,380 94,213 110,247

 

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
For the unaudited period ended 30 June 2019

    Share capital Share
premium
Share based payment reserve Retained
earnings
Total
    £’000s £’000s £’000s £’000s £’000s
             
At 1 January 2019   55 9,235 384 66,127 75,801
Profit for the year and total comprehensive income   - -  

-
8,385 8,385
Share based payments   - - 329 - 329
Dividends   - - - (1,650) (1,650)
             
At 30 June 2019   55 9,235 713 72,862 82,865
             
At 1 January 2018   50 40 - 55,542 55,632
Profit for the year and total comprehensive income   - -  

-
4,548 4,548
Issue of share capital   5 - - - 5
Increase in share premium   - 9,270 - - 9,270
Adjustment   - - - (79) (79)
Dividends   - - - (820) (820)
             
At 30 June 2018   55 9,310 - 59,191 68,556
Profit for the year and total comprehensive income   - -  

-
6,857 6,857
Movement in share premium   - (75) - - (75)
Creation of share based payments reserve   - -  

384
- 384
Adjustment   - - - 79 79
             
At 31 December 2018   55 9,235 384 66,127 75,801

 

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
For the unaudited period ended 30 June 2019

    Unaudited Unaudited  
    Half year
ended
Half year
ended
Audited
Year ended
    Jun-19 Jun-18 Dec-18
    £’000s £’000s £’000s
Cash flows from operating activities      
Profit for the year 8,385 4,548 11,405
Adjustments for:      
Depreciation and amortisation 4,041 606 1,574
Financial expense 1,054 525 1,090
Taxation 2,045 795 2,879
  15,525 6,474 16,948
Working capital adjustments      
Increase in trade and other receivables (15,211) (1,012) (20,524)
Increase in trade and other payables 2,225 1,581 1,466
Cash generated from operations 2,539 7,043 (2,110)
       
Interest paid (762) (525) (1,090)
Tax paid (2,240) (1,013) (4,738)
Net cash from operating activities (463) 5,505 (7,938)
       
Cash flows from investing activities      
Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment 195 104 170
Acquisition of property, plant and equipment   (1,349) (1,107) (3,493)
Net cash from investing activities (1,154) (1,003) (3,323)
       
Cash flows from financing activities      
Net proceeds from the issue of
share capital
- 9,325 9,250
Proceeds from new loan - 609 4,016
Dividends (1,650) (1,015) (820)
Repayment of borrowings (210) (81) (1,931)
Lease payments   (2,879) - -
Payment of finance lease liabilities (681) (524) (1,362)
New finance lease arrangements - 712 2,590
Net cash from financing activities (5,420) 9,026 11,743
       
Net increase / (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents   (7,037) 13,528 482
Cash and cash equivalents at 1 January (7,004) (7,486) (7,486)
Cash and cash equivalents at period end (14,041) 6,042 (7,004)

 

Notes to the Interim Statements
For the unaudited period ended 30 June 2019

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

 

Page last updated: 10 September 2019