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Wilmington Group Plc (WIL)

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Tuesday 13 May, 2014

Wilmington Group Plc

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 8996G
Wilmington Group Plc
13 May 2014
 



 

13 May 2014

 

Wilmington Group plc

Interim Management Statement

 

Wilmington Group plc ("Wilmington" or "the Group"), the provider of Information, Compliance and Education to professional markets, announces its Interim Management Statement for the period from 1 January 2014, based on the results for the Group's third quarter trading period to 31 March 2014 with comments reflecting trading to date. 

 

Trading Update

 

As expected, Group revenue during the period from 1 January 2014 to the end of March 2014 is up 5% on the same period last year, reflecting contributions from our recent acquisitions, which were partially offset by some continued rationalisation.

 

During the three month period, we have continued to see good growth in underlying operating profits and margins across all the business divisions except, as previously indicated, in our Legal division which continues to face challenging market conditions.

 

The Group generates an increasing proportion of its income from overseas markets.  The recent strengthening of the pound, in particular against the US dollar, has had a small negative effect on our results when translating foreign currency earnings into sterling.

 

Operational Review

 

Pensions & Insurance: This division delivered good revenue and contribution growth during the period, especially within the international insurance market and its high margins have been maintained. Inese, the provider of subscriptions based publications, training and events which was acquired in March 2013 has delivered a solid performance including a strong performance from its flagship annual "Insurance Week" congress held in February 2014.

 

Banking & Compliance:  This division benefited from strong revenue growth during the period.  In particular ICT (compliance training) has continued to secure major in-house training assignments from international banks and has a strengthening pipeline of projects into the next financial year. Revenue growth has been particularly strong in recent weeks.  The integration of Compliance Week, a provider of subscription based publications, events and online services which was acquired in August 2013, continues as planned with strong sales for the flagship annual event "Compliance Week Annual Conference" to be held in Washington DC May 2014.

 

Healthcare: The strong performance reported by APM in France during 2013 has continued.Binley's revenues recovered slightly in the quarter after being under pressure, and overall underlying contribution from the division increased slightly.  The integration of NHiS, a provider of business intelligence, data analysis, workflow tools and other services to pharmaceutical companies, which was combined with the smaller equivalent Binley's operation has progressed well but revenue growth has been weaker than expected in the quarter. We have recently strengthened our senior management team to support the new combined information and services offerings to our pharmaceutical client base.

 

Legal:  The Legal division continues to show a decline in turnover, reflecting the further scaling back of some course programmes as demand for CPD courses remains weak.  However, this revenue decline is partly offset by the flexible cost base and the continued strong performance from Bond Solon. We have carried out some further rationalisation and have appointed a new Managing Director to head up the division.

 

Business Intelligence:  As anticipated, revenue is down on the same period in the prior year, reflecting discontinued activities as a result of planned disposals and the expected decline in legacy publishing as we continue to transition from print to digital.  However, contribution from this division in this quarter is in line with expectations and up slightly on prior year.

 

Accountancy: The division had a good third quarter driven by a strong demand for marketing and support services around the UK Government's annual fiscal budget. 

 

Cash flow

 

The Group's cash position remains robust.  Net debt as at 31 March 2014 was £34.6m (31 March 2013 £35.3m) despite recent spending on acquisitions including the acquisition of Compliance Week for £7.2m in August 2013, illustrating the Group's continued strong cash generation.

 

Outlook

 

The overall trading background has not changed significantly since the 2013/14 Interim Results announcement. The Group continues to invest in new technology and new product development and the larger businesses; Banking & Compliance and Pensions & Insurance, are both performing well with each enjoying strong organic growth. Market conditions remain weak for our Legal division, but we have taken action to address margins.  Overall, the Group's financial performance is in line with the Board's expectations and Wilmington is on track to support expectations for the full year.

 

-End-

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Wilmington Group Plc  

Charles Brady, Chief Executive

Tony Foye, Finance Director

 

FTI Consulting

Charles Palmer 

 

020 7422 6800

 

 

 

020 7831 3113

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

Wilmington Group plc is one of the UK's leading providers of Information, Compliance and Education for professional business markets. The Group provides business intelligence, information, training, education, events and support services for a variety of markets including the accountancy, banking, charities, financial services, healthcare, insurance, legal, and pensions sectors. Capitalised at approximately £200 million, Wilmington floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1995.

 

 

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
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