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Aquila Services Grp (AQSG)

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Tuesday 07 April, 2020

Aquila Services Grp

Business Update and Board Changes

RNS Number : 9382I
Aquila Services Group PLC
07 April 2020
 

For immediate release

7 April 2020

Aquila Services Group plc

("Aquila", the "Company" or the "Group")

Business Update and Board Changes

Aquila Services Group plc, the quoted parent company of three main trading subsidiaries Altair Consultancy and Advisory Services Ltd ("Altair"), Oaks Consultancy Ltd ("Oaks") and Aquila Treasury and Finance Solutions Ltd ("ATFS") which provide professional consultancy and support services to organisations and businesses involved in the affordable housing, education, sports and community services sectors and whose clients include government departments, regulators, trade bodies, local authorities, housing associations, financial institutions, property based businesses and other public bodies and community organisations based both in the UK and Internationally, provides the following update from its Chair, Derek Joseph:

"The necessary measures implemented by government to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus are having an impact on the ability of the Group to progress existing contracts and the willingness of existing and potential clients to make firm commitments in this time of uncertainty.

We are a people business and the well-being of our employees and client contacts must be a priority. Inevitably this will reduce our fee earning capacity and fulfilling some of our commitments until working arrangements return to normal. Both staff and clients have been understanding and co-operative, for which the Group are grateful and this will assist in helping the Group maintain its leading position in its affordable housing, education, sports and community business sectors.

The impact of the restrictions has affected the final quarter of our financial year ended 31 March 2020. The expected growth compared to the previous financial year will not now be achieved although the Group remained profitable and cash generative.

The Board has reviewed the business streams for the financial year ending 31 March 2021. With an uncertain timetable of normal working the critical factors are both to ensure that sufficient cashflow is available to ensure continued trading whilst at the same time maintaining as much of the trading capacity as we can afford. Some of the government's initiatives will assist at the margins and we plan to rely on our own resources.

To support the cashflow the Board intend not to recommend a final dividend for the year ended 31 March 2020.

A number of cost reduction measures are being put in place which have only a marginal impact on ongoing fee earning capacity but relate to the future expansion plans of the Group. As part of these savings Steve Douglas CBE Group Chief Executive Officer will be standing down and as much of the Group CEO responsibilities as is practical will be devolved to the subsidiaries' boards. 

After discussion with the Group Board it has been agreed that the Group Chair will temporarily assume the responsibilities of an executive chair on a part-time basis until the crisis has abated and the Group can plan how best to return to a growth path.

Our aim is to achieve at least a break-even position for the financial year now beginning and to maintain positive cash balances throughout the period.

On behalf of all Board members I thank Steve Douglas for his contribution to the Group and its growth to date. All the directors and staff wish him well for the future.

The Group expects to publish its results within the standard four months for the financial year ended 31 March 2020 at which time the position may be clearer and we can provide an update on both trading and business strategy."

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR").

 

For further information please visit www.aquilaservicesgroup.co.uk or contact:

 

Aquila Services Group plc

Claire Banks

Group Finance Director and Company Secretary

Tel: 020 7934 0175

 

Beaumont Cornish Limited, Financial Adviser

Roland Cornish

Tel: 020 7628 3396

 

Notes to editors:

About Aquila Services Group plc

Aquila is the London Stock Exchange listed parent company of: Altair Consultancy and Advisory Services Ltd, a specialist housing consultancy; Aquila Treasury and Finance Solutions Ltd, an FCA authorised and registered subsidiary of treasury management advisors; and Oaks Consultancy Ltd, specialist consultancy in sport, education and the third sector, as well as investment in 3C Consultants Ltd, one of the largest providers of IT consultancy to the UK social housing sector, and AssetCore Limited, a platform for storing and managing loan security information with links to lenders, legal advisors, and security trustees.

https://altairltd.co.uk/

https://www.atfsltd.co.uk/

https://www.oaksconsultancy.co.uk/

http://www.3cconsultants.co.uk/

http://www.assetcore.com/

 

 


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