06 Jul 06. Cohort plc, owner of Systems Consultants Services Limited (“SCS”), a leading independent defence technical services business, Chaired by ex-Alvis supreme Nick Prest, today announces its maiden set of preliminary results since floating on AIM for the 12 months ended 30 April 2006.
• Turnover up 23% to £18.0m
• Operating profit £1.8m*
• Profit after tax £1.3m*
• Year-end cash balance £5.6m
• Basic earnings per share 5.47 pence
• Proposed maiden dividend 0.4 pence per share
* excluding share of joint ventures and exceptional items
Commenting of the results, Nick Prest CBE, Chairman of Cohort plc said: “We have a strong business model and we will continue to push for organic growth while seeking complementary acquisitions of businesses which can benefit from the Cohort group concept. Overall the Board is positive about the outlook.”
Cohort’s sole initial trading subsidiary, Systems Consultants Services Limited
(“SCS”), is a leading independent defence technical services business based in
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. SCS provides a range of
technical services to clients in the defence and security sectors, its principal client being the UK Ministry of Defence (“MOD”) and its agencies. Its other clients include other UK government departments, NATO, major defence contractors and non-defence businesses.
Cohort plc was listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) on 8 March
I am pleased to announce this maiden set of results for Cohort plc since listing on AIM in March 2006. Cohort has traded in accordance with our expectations at flotation.
In the year ended 30 April 2006, Cohort achieved turnover of £18.0m (2005: £14.6m) representing a 23% increase on the level achieved by Systems Consultants Services Limited (SCS), Cohort’s sole operating subsidiary, in 2005.
Group operating profit before accounting for the share of joint ventures and exceptional items was £1.8m (2005: £2.0m). This reduction was due primarily to an increase in staff costs as new revenue generating personnel and support staff were recruited to manage the increased scale of the business, provide a base for further expansion and meet the reporting and governance requirements of a public company.
Profit before interest and tax was £1.3m (2005: £1.6m) after accounting for the
Group’s share of joint venture losses and exceptional items in relation to venture capital activities of £467k (2005: £401k).
As a private company, SCS had invested in some venture capital activities. At flotation, the decision was taken to provide fully for the maximum commitment to these activities so that Cohort could go forward on a firm financial and strategic basis.
The profit after tax and before share of joint ventures and exceptional items was £1.3m (2005: £1.5m). Profit after interest and before tax was £1.4m (2005: £1.6m) and profit after tax was £0.9m (2005: £1.1m). Basic earnings per share were 5.47p (2005: 6.97p). The Cohort cash balance at year end was £5.6m, reflecting primarily the proceeds of the share placing net of costs. The Group plans to pay an initial dividend of 0.4p, being approximately one third of the dividend which would have been paid had the Company’s shares traded publicly for the whole of the financial year. This will be payable on 6 September 2006 to shareholders on the register at 4 August 2006 subject to approval at the annual general meeting
Simon Walther joined as Finance Director in May 2006. Simon has experience in the defence industry and in mergers and acquisitions as well as in the finance function in a quoted company environment. This has released Andy Thomis, who handled the finance function during the listing, to concentrate on his intended roles in strategic and business development. The new board of Cohort, brought together specifically to pursue the strategy of flotation f