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PageGroup plc  -  PAGE   

Half-year Report

Released 07:00 10-Aug-2017

RNS Number : 5886N
PageGroup plc
10 August 2017
 

 

 

10 August 2017

PageGroup plc

 

Half Year Results for the Period Ended 30 June 2017

 

PageGroup plc ("PageGroup"), the specialist professional recruitment company, announces its unaudited half year results for the period ended 30 June 2017.

 

Financial summary

(6 months to 30 June 2017)

2017

2016

Change

Change

CC*

Revenue

£673.1m

£575.9m

+16.9%

+7.7%

Gross profit

£352.0m

£299.2m

+17.7%

+8.3%

Operating profit

£56.9m

£47.1m

+20.9%

+9.2%

Profit before tax

£56.9m

£46.9m

+21.4%


Basic earnings per share

13.1p

10.8p

+21.3%


Diluted earnings per share

13.1p

10.8p

+21.3%


Interim dividend per share

3.90p

3.75p

+4.0%


Special dividend per share

12.73p




 

*in constant currency at prior year rates   

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

·       Group operating profit increased 9.2%* to £56.9m, +20.9% in reported rates

·       Favourable FX movements increased reported gross profit by c. £28m and operating profit by c. £6m

·       Conversion rate of gross profit to operating profit increased to 16.2% (H1 2016: 15.7%)

·       Interim dividend up 4.0% to 3.90 pence per share, totalling £12.3m 

·       Special dividend of 12.73 pence per share, totalling £40.0m

 

Commenting, Steve Ingham, Chief Executive Officer, said:

 

"PageGroup delivered an increase of 8.3%* in gross profit and 9.2%* in operating profit in the first half of 2017, with the Group's conversion rate rising to 16.2% from 15.7%, reflecting an improved business performance and operational efficiencies.

 

"Movements in foreign exchange rates as a result of a weaker Sterling have benefited our first half results by     c. £28m of gross profit and c. £6m of operating profit. At June exchange rates, we anticipate the benefit in the second half to be greatly reduced, at c. £2m of gross profit, with a marginal benefit to operating profit.

 

"We experienced some improved macro-economic conditions, particularly in Asia (ex-Singapore), Continental Europe, and Latin America (ex-Brazil), which helped drive growth in the first half. However, challenging market conditions continued in some of our larger markets, including Brazil, Singapore and the UK.

 

"We made significant investments in our fee earner headcount over the last 12 months, particularly in France, the US and Latin America, ex. Brazil, up 19%, 28% and 22%, respectively. These investments delivered a strong return, with gross profit growth of 24%, 16% and 24%. We will continue to make headcount investments into our Large, High Potential markets, which represented only 22% of the Group in 2010. These markets now represent 31% of the Group and grew 12% in the first half. We will also continue to make headcount investments into those other markets with favourable trading conditions.

 

"Fee earner headcount grew 276 (+5.9%) to end the half year at a record level for the Group of 4,987. With our continued focus on operational efficiencies, we maintained our record fee earner to operational support staff ratio of 77:23. Total headcount at the end of the first half was 6,448.

"The Board has announced an interim dividend of 3.90 pence per share, an increase of 4.0% over last year as a result of our improved trading performance and strong balance sheet. In addition, the Group is pleased to announce today a special dividend of £40m (12.73 pence per share), making a third consecutive year of special dividends, in line with its intention to return surplus capital to shareholders. Taking both dividend payments together, this amounts to a cash return to shareholders of £52.3m payable on 11 October 2017.

 

"We are pleased with our first half performance, but remain mindful that a number of political and macro-economic uncertainties will continue through 2017. We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, as we did in the first half, whilst remaining able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions."

 

 

 

 

PageGroup will host a conference call, with on-line slide presentation, for analysts and investors at 8.30am on 10 August 2017, the details of which are below.

 

Link:

 

http://www.investis-live.com/pagegroup/596c7361c6702b0a0049d15d/gwag

 

Please use the following dial-in number to join the conference:

+ 44 (0)20 3059 8125

 

Please quote "PageGroup" to gain access to the call

 

A presentation and recording to accompany the call will be posted on the PageGroup website during the course of the morning of 10 August 2017 at:

 

http://www.page.com/investors/investor-library/2017.aspx

 

Enquiries:

 

PageGroup

 

+44 (0)20 3077 8425

Steve Ingham, Chief Executive Officer

Kelvin Stagg, Chief Financial Officer






 

FTI Consulting

 

+44 (0)20 3727 1340

Richard Mountain / Susanne Yule


 

INTERIM MANAGEMENT REPORT

 

To the members of PageGroup plc

 

 

GROUP STRATEGY

 

At PageGroup we have a clear strategic vision.  We aim to be the leading specialist recruiter in each of the markets in which we operate.  We have sought to achieve this by developing a significant market presence in major global economies, as well as targeting new markets where we see the greatest potential for long-term gross profit growth at attractive conversion rates. 

 

We offer our services across a broad range of disciplines and specialisms, solely within the professional recruitment market.  Our origins are in permanent recruitment, but nearly a quarter of the gross profit of the business is now in temporary placements, where local culture and market conditions allow. In particular, we focus on opportunities where our industry and market expertise can set us apart from our competition.  This enables us to offer a premium service that is valued by clients and attracts the highest calibre of candidates.

 

PageGroup is focused on delivering against three key strategic objectives to achieve its strategic vision and sustainable financial returns.  These are: 1) to look for organic and diversified growth; 2) to position the business to be efficiently scalable and highly flexible to reflect market conditions; and 3) as a people-oriented, organically-driven business, to nurture and develop talent and skills which are fundamental to us achieving long-term sustainable growth.

 

We therefore invest significantly in our people, as the recruitment, retention and development of the best talent available is central to our ability to grow the business and to manage our resources through economic cycles.  Investment in the business has been focused on developing the long-term sustainability of the business and is supported by significant balance sheet strength and cash flow generation.

 

Organic growth

Our strategy is to grow organically, achieved by drawing upon the skills and experience of proven PageGroup management, ensuring we have the best and most experienced, home-grown talent in each key role. Our team-based structure and profit share business model is highly scalable. The small size of our specialist teams means we can increase headcount rapidly to achieve growth when market conditions are favourable.

 

Conversely, when market conditions tighten, these entrepreneurial, profit sharing teams reduce in size largely through natural attrition. Consequently, our cost base contracts during the lean times. Our strategy for organic growth has served the business well over the 40 years since its inception and we believe it will continue to do so. We have grown from a small, single discipline management recruitment company operating in one country to a large multidiscipline, multinational business, operating in 36 countries represented by our three key brands of Page Executive, Michael Page and Page Personnel.

 

Diversification by region and discipline

Our strategy is to expand and diversify the Group by industry sectors, professional disciplines, geography and level of focus, be it Page Executive, Michael Page or Page Personnel, with the objective of being the leading specialist recruitment consultancy in each of our chosen markets.

 

As recruitment is a cyclical business, impacted significantly by the strength of economies, diversification is an important element of our strategy in order to reduce our dependency on individual businesses or markets, thereby increasing the resilience of the Group. This strategy is pursued entirely through the organic growth of existing and new teams, offices, disciplines and countries, maintaining a consistent team and meritocratic culture as we grow.

 

Talent and skills development

We recognise that it is our people who are at the heart of everything we do, particularly as an organically grown business where ensuring we have a talent pool with experience through economic cycles and across both geographies and disciplines is critical. Investing in our people is, therefore, a vital element of our strategy. We seek to find the highest calibre staff from a wide range of backgrounds and then do our very best to retain them through offering a fulfilling career and an attractive working environment. 

 

This includes a team-based structure, a profit share business model and continuous training and career development, often internationally. Our strong track record of internal career moves and promotion from within means that people who join us know that they could be our future senior managers and Main Board Directors.

 

Sustainable Growth

When we invest in a new business, be it a new country, a new office or a new discipline, we do so for the long term. Downturns in the general economy of a country or in specific industries will inevitably have a knock-on effect on the recruitment market. However, it has been our practice in the past, and remains our intention, to maintain our presence in our chosen markets through these downturns, while closely controlling our cost base. In this way, we are able to retain our highly capable management teams in whom we have invested and, normally, we find that we gain market share during downturns, which positions our business for market-leading rates of growth when the economy improves. Pursuing this approach means that we carry spare capacity during downturns, which can have a negative effect on profitability in the short term. A strong balance sheet is, therefore, essential to support the business at these times.

 

Strategic Priorities

 

·     increase the scale and diversification of PageGroup by growing, organically, existing and new teams,        offices, disciplines and countries;

 

·     manage the business with a team and meritocratic culture, whilst delivering a consistent and high quality client and candidate experience;

 

·     invest through cycles in our Large, High Potential Markets of Germany, Greater China, Latin America, South East Asia and the US to achieve scale and market position;

 

·     manage our fee earner headcount in all other markets to reflect prevailing market conditions, by selectively adding to geographies and disciplines where there is positive growth momentum, while reducing headcount where the outlook for growth or fee earner productivity is poor;

 

·     focus on operational support consistency;

 

·     focus on succession planning and international career paths to encourage retention and development of key staff; and

 

·     utilise innovation, particularly in new technologies, with the aim of improving efficiency, attrition and productivity.

 

 

GROUP RESULTS

 

GROSS PROFIT


Reported (£m)

CC


% of Group

H1 2017

H1 2016

%

%

EMEA

46%

162.1

129.1

+25.5%

+13.8%

UK

21%

73.0

74.8

-2.3%

-2.3%

Asia Pacific

19%

66.7

56.5

+17.9%

+5.5%

Americas

14%

50.2

38.8

+29.6%

+14.1%

Total

100%

352.0

299.2

+17.7%

+8.3%







Permanent

76%

267.3

228.2

+17.2%

+7.7%

Temporary

24%

84.7

71.0

+19.3%

+10.2%

 

The Group's revenue for the six months ended 30 June 2017 increased 16.9% to £673.1m (2016: £575.9m) and gross profit increased 17.7% to £352.0m (2016: £299.2m). At constant currency, the Group's revenue increased by 7.7% and gross profit by 8.3%. The Group's revenue mix between permanent and temporary placements was 40:60 (2016: 40:60) and for gross profit was 76:24 (2016: 76:24).

 

Revenue from temporary placements comprises the salaries of those placed, together with the margin charged. This margin on temporary placements improved slightly to 21.1% (2016: 20.7%) in the first half of 2017. Overall, pricing has remained relatively stable across all regions, although pricing has improved in markets and disciplines where there have been increasing instances of candidate shortages.

 

Total headcount increased by 349 while fee earner headcount grew by 276 (+5.9%) to a record level for the Group of 4,987. Our fee earner to operational support staff ratio has remained at its record level of 77.23. We will continue to invest in our headcount in the second half to react to trading conditions.

 

The Group's organic growth model and profit-based team bonus ensures cost control remains tight. Approximately 75% of first half costs were employee related, including salaries, bonuses, share-based long-term incentives, and training and relocation costs.

 

In addition to focusing on the operational performance of the business, we continue to progress our strategic projects, with our new Global Finance System ("GFS") in the UK Shared Service Centre going live earlier this week.

 

In total, administrative expenses in the first half increased 17.1% to £295.1m (2016: £252.1m), driven by increases in headcount and foreign exchange movements. In constant currency administrative expenses were up 8.1% and operating profit increased 9.2% to £56.9m (2016: £47.1m), an increase of 20.9% at reported rates.

 

The Group views its conversion rate, which represents the ratio of operating profit to gross profit, as a key metric for the business. This conversion rate is affected by macro-economic conditions, the level of investment, particularly in fee earners and the degree of spare capacity within the business. The Group's conversion rate of 16.2% (2016: 15.7%) was an improvement on H1 2016, driven by a strong EMEA performance and a noticeable improvement in the Americas, which offset a significant increase in share plan charges of c. £3m.

 

 

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

 

The Group benefited in the period from the impact of movements in foreign exchange rates, as Sterling weakened against almost all of the currencies relevant to the Group's operations. In the first half, this increased the Group's revenue, gross profit and operating profit when expressed in Sterling by c. £53m, c. £28m and           c. £6m, respectively. At June closing exchange rates, the impact in the second half will be greatly reduced, with only a c. £2m benefit to gross profit and a marginal benefit to operating profit.

 

 

OTHER ITEMS

 

A net interest income of £nil (2016: £0.2m charge) reflected the higher level of cash held this year compared to 2016 and the continuing low interest rate environment. Interest income of £0.2m on cash balances held through the period was offset by financial charges related to the Group's Invoice Discounting Facility and overdrafts used to support local operations.

 

The charge for taxation is based on the expected effective annual tax rate of 28% (2016: 28%) on profit before taxation. The principal drivers of the tax charge, as in previous years, are share based remuneration, permanent differences between profits for accounting and tax purposes and the geographical mix of profits being taxed at different tax rates.

 

Basic earnings per share for the six months ended 30 June 2017 was 13.1p, an increase of 21.3% and diluted earnings per share was also 13.1p, an increase of 21.3% (2016: basic earnings per share 10.8p; diluted earnings per share 10.8p).

 

 

 

 

CASH FLOW

 

The Group started the year with net cash of £92.8m. In the first half, £52.5m was generated from operations after funding an increase in working capital of £17.5m, primarily due to an increase in trade receivables, largely due to foreign exchange. Tax paid was £24.6m and net capital expenditure was £8.6m. Net interest paid of £1.4m related to settlement of an £8m tax liability to HMRC in respect of a refund of VAT dating back to 2010, when £28.4m was recognised as non-recurring income. Recent case law has now concluded such VAT refunds in the relevant circumstances are taxable, and as a consequence, the outstanding balance was settled in H1 2017. The outstanding tax and associated interest were accrued in prior years. During the first half, £5.7m was received from exercises of share options and dividends of £25.9m were paid to shareholders. As a result, the Group had net cash of £88.9m at 30 June 2017.

 

 

DIVIDENDS AND SHARE REPURCHASES

 

It is the Directors' intention to continue to finance the activities and development of the Group from retained earnings and to operate while maintaining a strong balance sheet position.

 

The Group's first use of cash is to satisfy operational and investment requirements, as well as hedging its liabilities under the Group's share plans. The level of cash required for this purpose will vary depending upon the revenue mix of geographies, permanent and temporary recruitment, and point in the economic cycle.

 

Our second use of cash is to make returns to shareholders by way of an ordinary dividend. Our policy is to grow the ordinary dividend over the course of the economic cycle in a way that we believe we can sustain the level of ordinary dividend payment during downturns, as well as increasing it during more prosperous times.

 

Cash generated in excess of these first two priorities will be returned to shareholders through supplementary returns, using special dividends and/or share buybacks. Over the 16 years since flotation, the Group has returned over £275m by share buybacks and cancelled around 25% of its issued share capital. This is on top of approaching £500m of dividend payments during the same period.

 

The Board has announced an interim dividend of 3.90 pence per share, an increase of 4.0% over last year. In addition, the Group is pleased to announce today a special dividend of £40m (12.73 pence per share), making a third consecutive year of special dividends, in line with its policy of returning surplus capital to shareholders. Taking both dividend payments together, this amounts to a cash return to shareholders of £52.3m. Together with the 2016 final dividend paid in June of £25.9m, this represents a total of £78.2m returned to shareholders in 2017.

 

This special dividend will be paid, as in previous years, at the same time as the interim dividend on 11 October 2017 to shareholders on the register as at 8 September 2017.

 

During the first half, no shares were required to be purchased by the employee benefit trust (2016: £15.1m).

 

All growth rates given below are in constant currency unless otherwise stated.

 

 

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA (EMEA)

 

EMEA

 £m

Growth rates

(46% of Group in H1 2017)

H1 2017

H1 2016

Reported

CC

Gross Profit

162.1

129.1

+25.5%

+13.8%

Operating Profit

31.4

23.8

+31.7%

+17.3%

Conversion Rate (%)

19.4%

18.5%



 

 

EMEA is the Group's largest region, contributing 46% of Group first half gross profit. In reported rates, revenue in the region increased by 27.0% to £323.1m (2016: £254.3m) and gross profit increased 25.5% to £162.1m (2016: £129.1m). In constant currency, revenue increased 15.2% on the first half of 2016 and gross profit increased by 13.8%.

 

The EMEA region continued to experience strong trading conditions throughout the first half. Page Personnel performed well across the region, with growth of 18%. Our largest businesses in France, Germany and Spain, together representing 59% of the region by gross profit, grew 24%, 12% and 19% respectively. In France, Page Personnel, which represents 64% of the business, had a record first half performance, growing 27%. Overall, 9 countries, representing 75% of the region, delivered double-digit growth during the first half of the year. Our business in the Middle East & Africa grew 4%, driven by South Africa and a slight improvement in trading conditions in the UAE.

 

The 31.7% increase in operating profit for the first half of 2017 to £31.4m (2016: £23.8m), and improvement in the conversion rate to 19.4% (2016: 18.5%) was due principally to both favourable trading conditions and foreign exchange movements in 2017. Headcount across the region increased 165 (6%) in the first half to 2,718 at the end of June 2017 (2,553 at 31 December 2016).

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

UK

 £m

Growth rates

Gross Profit

73.0

74.8

-2.3%

Operating Profit

8.7

11.6

-25.1%

Conversion Rate (%)

11.9%

15.6%


 

In the UK, representing 21% of Group first half gross profit, revenue declined 3.6% to £160.7m (2016: £166.7m), and gross profit declined 2.3% to £73.0m (2016: £74.8m), with Brexit related uncertainty impacting clients' decision-making.

 

Technical disciplines such as Engineering (+13%) and Property & Construction (+12%) performed well. However, market conditions in our Accounting & Financial Services discipline (-4%) and Marketing, Sales and Retail (-9%) disciplines were more challenging.

 

These difficult trading conditions reduced conversion by just under 1% on 2016. However, with both Executive Directors and most of our Group functions located in the UK, the region suffered a disproportionate impact from the significant increase in the share plan charges, and as a result operating profit fell 25.1% to £8.7m (2016: £11.6m) and the conversion rate fell to 11.9% (2016: 15.6%).

 

Headcount increased by 13 (1%) during the first half of 2017 to 1,424 at the end of June 2017 (1,411 at 31 December 2016).

 

 

ASIA PACIFIC

 

Asia Pacific

 £m

Growth rates

(19% of Group in H1 2017)

H1 2017

H1 2016

Reported

CC

Gross Profit

66.7

56.5

+17.9%

+5.5%

Operating Profit

11.3

9.4

+20.4%

+5.6%

Conversion Rate (%)

17.0%

16.6%



 

In Asia Pacific, representing 19% of Group first half gross profit, revenue increased 19.8% in reported rates to £116.9m (2016: £97.6m), and gross profit increased 17.9% to £66.7m (2016: £56.5m). In constant currency, revenue increased 5.9% in the first half and gross profit increased by 5.5%.

 

Asia, comprising 14% of the Group and 71% of Asia Pacific, grew 7%. We continued to see improvements in Greater China which grew 9%. We saw strong performances from our businesses in Mainland China, where we have a higher proportion of domestic clients. Elsewhere in Asia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia combined grew 19%. However in Singapore, where market conditions remained challenging, gross profit fell 18%.

 

In Australasia, where Australia grew 2%, Western Australia returned to growth, up 16%, with New South Wales delivering 5% growth. Queensland and Victoria both had single-digit declines.

 

Operating profit increased 20.4% to £11.3m (2016: £9.4m), resulting in an increase in the conversion rate to 17.0% (2016: 16.6%). Headcount across the region increased by 93 (8%) through the first half to 1,298 at the end of June 2017 (1,205 at 31 December 2016).

 

 

THE AMERICAS

 

Americas

 £m

Growth rates

(14% of Group in H1 2017)

H1 2017

H1 2016

Reported

CC

Gross Profit

50.2

38.8

+29.6%

+14.1%

Operating Profit

5.5

2.3

+144.8%

+116.6%

Conversion Rate (%)

11.0%

5.8%



 

In the Americas, representing 14% of Group first half gross profit, revenue increased 26.5% in reported rates to £72.5m (2016: £57.3m) while gross profit increased 29.6% to £50.2m (2016: £38.8m). In constant currency, revenue increased by 10.8% and gross profit increased by 14.1%.

 

North America saw growth of 13%, though conditions remained challenging in the now smaller New York Financial Services market, which was down 16%. This market now represents 27% of our US business, compared to 37% in H1 2016. We saw good growth elsewhere in the US of 35%, as we continued to diversify our market presence in the other cities and disciplines in which we operate.

 

Latin America was up 15%. Brazil (34% of Latin America) was flat overall and remained profitable; it also returned to growth in the second quarter.

 

Elsewhere, our other countries, which now represent 66% of gross profit in Latin America, had another strong half, growing at 24%. Our performances in Argentina, Mexico and Peru were particularly strong. Mexico, which is our largest country in Latin America by headcount, achieved growth of 20% in the half.

 

Headcount was up 79 (8%) in the first half, to 1,009 at the end of June 2017 (930 at 31 December 2016). Operating profit increased by 144.8% to £5.5m (2016: £2.3m), with an increase in the conversion rate to 11.0% (2016: 5.8%). This was largely a result of our smaller offices in the US reaching sufficient scale such that they remain consistently profitable even with significant headcount investment.

 

 

OUTLOOK

 

As we stated in our second quarter trading update, we are pleased with our first half performance, but remain mindful that a number of political and macro-economic uncertainties will continue through 2017. We will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, as we did in the first half, whilst remaining able to respond quickly to any changes in market conditions.

 

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ("KPIs")

 

We measure our progress against our strategic objectives using the following key performance indicators:

 

 

KPI

Definition, method of calculation and analysis



Gross profit growth

How measured: Gross profit represents revenue less cost of sales and consists of the total placement fees of permanent candidates, the margin earned on the placement of temporary candidates and the margin on advertising income, i.e. it represents net fee income. The measure used is the increase or decrease in gross profit as a percentage of the prior year gross profit.

Why it's important: The growth of gross profit relative to the previous year is an indicator of the growth of the net fees from the business as a whole. It demonstrates whether we are in line with our strategy to grow the business.

How we performed in H1 2017: With strong growth in many of our markets, gross profit income in H1 2017 increased by 8.3% in constant currency, although this increased to 17.7% at reported rates after the impact of foreign exchange (H1 2016: 6.5% in reported rates, 3.6% in constant currency).

Relevant strategic objective: Organic growth

Gross profit diversification

How measured: Total gross profit from a) geographic regions outside the UK; and b) disciplines outside of accounting and financial services, each expressed as a percentage of total gross profit.

Why it's important: These percentages give an indication of how the business has diversified its revenue streams away from its historic concentrations in the UK and from the accounting and financial services discipline.

How we performed in H1 2017: Geographies: the percentage increased to 79.3% from 75.0% in 2016, demonstrating further diversification. This increase reflected the economic recovery felt in Continental Europe, along with the weakness of Sterling. 

Disciplines: the percentage increased to 63.1% (2016: 61.3%), with growth of 4% within accounting and financial services, compared to 11% elsewhere, with a particularly strong result from our Technical disciplines, up 20%.

Relevant strategic objective: Diversification

Ratio of gross profits generated from permanent and temporary placements

How measured: Gross profit from each type of placement expressed as a percentage of total gross profit.

Why it's important: This ratio helps us to understand where we are in the economic cycle since the temporary market tends to be more resilient when the economy is weak, although in several of our core strategic markets, working in a temporary role, or as a contractor or interim employee, is not currently normal practice, for example mainland China.

How we performed in H1 2017: 76% of our gross profit was generated from permanent placements, in line with 2016, and 24% from temporary.

Relevant strategic objective: Organic growth

Gross profit per fee earner

How measured: Gross profit for the year divided by the average number of fee earners in the year.

Why it's important: This is a key indicator of productivity.

How we performed in H1 2017: Gross profit per fee earner was £72.3k in H1 2017 compared to £66.3k in H1 2016. There has been an increase in productivity compared to 2016 as a result of the impact of favourable currency movements. If stated in constant currency, productivity is broadly flat year-on-year.

Relevant strategic objective: Organic growth

Conversion before exceptional items

How measured: Operating profit before interest and taxation (EBIT) before exceptional items as a percentage of gross profit.

Why it's important: This demonstrates the Group's effectiveness at controlling the costs and expenses associated with its normal business operations. It will be impacted by the level of productivity and the level of investment for future growth.

How we performed in H1 2017: Operating profit as a percentage of gross profit increased to 16.2% in 2017, up from 15.7% in the prior year, driven by the work done in 2016 to achieve consistency and efficiency across the Group, as well as an improvement in trading conditions in Continental Europe.

Relevant strategic objective: Build for the long-term

Basic earnings per share before exceptional items

How measured: Profit for the year attributable to the Group's equity shareholders, divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the year.

Why it's important: This measures the overall profitability of the Group.

How we performed in H1 2017: Earnings per share (EPS) in H1 2017 was 13.1p, a 21.3% improvement on the EPS in 2016 of 10.8p.

Relevant strategic objective: Build for the long-term, Organic growth

Fee-earner: operational support staff headcount ratio

How measured: The percentage of fee-earners compared to operational support staff at the period-end, expressed as a ratio.

Why it's important: This reflects the operational efficiency in the business in terms of our ability to grow the revenue-generating platform at a faster rate than the staff needed to support this growth.

How we performed in H1 2017: The ratio continued at a record 77:23 despite the increase in our support headcount of 73 since year end. We have added 276 fee earners in that same period. (H1 2016: 77:23).

Relevant strategic objective: Sustainable growth

Fee-earner headcount growth

How measured: Number of fee-earners and directors involved in revenue-generating activities at the period end, expressed as the percentage change compared to the prior year.

Why it's important: Growth in fee-earners is a guide to our confidence in the business and macro-economic outlook, as it reflects expectations as to the level of future demand above the existing capacity within the business.

How we performed in H1 2017: Fee earner headcount grew at 5.9% (2016: 1%), resulting in 4,987 fee-earners at the period end, as we invested in our large, high potential markets as well as those markets experiencing strong growth.

Relevant strategic objective: Sustainable growth

Net cash

How measured: Cash and short-term deposits less bank overdrafts and loans.

Why it's important: The level of net cash is a key measure of our success in managing our working capital and determines our ability to reinvest in the business and to return cash to shareholders.

How we performed in H1 2017: Net cash at 30 June 2017 was £88.9m (2016: £73.6m). This was as a result of share purchases into the Employee Benefit Trust of £15.1m in 2016 that was not incurred in 2017, as well as £5.7m received in 2017 as a result of the exercise of share options, which was not received in 2016.

Relevant strategic objective: Build for the long-term

 

The source of data and calculation methods year-on-year are on a consistent basis. The movements in KPIs are in line with expectations. Disclosure for GHG emissions and People KPIs is provided annually.

 

PRINCIPAL RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES

 

The management of the business and the execution of the Group's strategy are subject to a number of risks. The main risks that PageGroup believes could potentially impact the Group's operating and financial performance for the remainder of the financial year remain those as set out in the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 December 2016 on pages 27 to 31.

 

There have been no changes to these risk categories in the first half to 30 June 2017. However, there remains an increased degree of uncertainty in the UK as a result of Brexit, as well as the recent General Election result where no single party managed to win an overall majority. This General Election result injected further uncertainty and instability into the Brexit process. It is too early to say how this will impact our business going forward, although following the EU Referendum in June 2016, Sterling weakened significantly, which has benefited our results.

 

We have a proven track record of being able to manage our headcount and costs effectively throughout the economic cycle and it should be noted that the UK is a more resilient market due to its size and maturity. We also expect Continental Europe, the US, Latin America outside of Brazil and Asia outside of Singapore to continue to remain positive. In light of these mixed trading conditions, we will continue to focus on activity levels, adjusting headcount during the second half to react to market conditions. As always, we remain focused on driving profitable growth, whilst remaining able to respond quickly and effectively to any changes in market conditions.

 

 

TREASURY MANAGEMENT, BANK FACILITIES AND CURRENCY RISK

 

It is the Directors' intention to continue to finance the activities and development of the Group from retained earnings and to operate while maintaining a strong balance sheet position.

 

The Group's first use of cash is to satisfy operational and investment requirements, as well as hedging its liabilities under the Group's share plans. The level of cash required for this purpose will vary depending upon the revenue mix of geographies, permanent and temporary recruitment, and point in the economic cycle.

 

Our second use of cash is to make returns to shareholders by way of an ordinary dividend. Our policy is to grow the ordinary dividend over the course of the economic cycle in a way that we believe we can sustain the level of ordinary dividend payment during downturns, as well as increasing it during more prosperous times.

 

Cash generated in excess of these first two priorities will be returned to shareholders through supplementary returns, using special dividends and/or share buybacks.

 

Cash surpluses are invested in short-term deposits, with any working capital requirements being provided from Group cash resources, Group facilities, or by local overdraft facilities. The Group has a multi-currency notional cash pool between the Eurozone subsidiaries and the UK-based Group Treasury subsidiary. The structure facilitates interest and balance compensation of cash and bank overdrafts. The Group has an Invoice Financing facility with HSBC Bank, the availability of which is limited to the level of UK trade receivable available for financing. This facility is subject to conventional banking covenants.

 

The main functional currencies of the Group are Sterling, Euro, Chinese Renminbi, US Dollar and Australian Dollar. The Group does not have material exposure to foreign denominated monetary assets and liabilities. The Group does not hedge its exposure to translation risk.

 

In certain cases, where the Group gives or receives short-term loans to and from other Group companies with different reporting currencies, it may use short-dated foreign exchange swap derivative financial instruments to manage the currency and interest rate exposure that arises on these loans. The Group has entered into hedges to cover its investment in foreign entities in the US and Canada.

 

GOING CONCERN

 

The Board has undertaken a recent and thorough review of the Group's forecasts and associated risks and sensitivities. Despite the uncertainty in the economy and its inherent risk and impact on the business, the Board has concluded, given the level of cash in the business and Group borrowing facilities, the geographical and discipline diversification, limited concentration risk, as well as the ability to manage the cost base, that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future, being a period of at least 12 months from the date of this announcement.

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT

 

This Interim Management Report ("IMR") has been prepared solely to provide additional information to shareholders to assess the Group's strategies and the potential for those strategies to succeed. The IMR should not be relied on by any other party or for any other purpose. This IMR contains certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made by the directors in good faith based on the information available to them up to the time of their approval of this report and such statements should be treated with caution due to the inherent uncertainties, including both economic and business risk factors, underlying any such forward-looking information.

 

This IMR has been prepared for the Group as a whole and therefore gives greater emphasis to those matters that are significant to PageGroup plc and its subsidiary undertakings when viewed as a whole.

 

 

 

Page House

The Bourne Business Park

1 Dashwood Lang Road

Addlestone

Weybridge

Surrey

KT15 2QW

 

By order of the Board,

 

 

 

 

Steve Ingham

Kelvin Stagg

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer



9 August 2017

9 August 2017

 

 

INDEPENDENT REVIEW REPORT TO PAGEGROUP PLC

 

Introduction

We have been engaged by the Company to review the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report for the six months ended 30 June 2017 which comprises the condensed consolidated income statement, the condensed consolidated statement of comprehensive income, the condensed consolidated balance sheet, the condensed consolidated statement of changes in equity, the condensed consolidated statement of cash flows and related notes 1 to 13. We have read the other information contained in the half yearly financial report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the information in the condensed set of financial statements.

 

This report is made solely to the company in accordance with guidance contained in International Standard on Review Engagements 2410 (UK and Ireland) "Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity" issued by the Auditing Practices Board. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company, for our work, for this report, or for the conclusions we have formed.

 

Directors' Responsibilities

The half-yearly financial report is the responsibility of, and has been approved by, the directors. The directors are responsible for preparing the half-yearly financial report in accordance with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

 

As disclosed in note 2, the annual financial statements of the Group are prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the European Union. The condensed set of financial statements included in this half-yearly financial report has been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34, "Interim Financial Reporting", as adopted by the European Union.

 

Our Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express to the Company a conclusion on the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report based on our review.

 

Scope of Review

We conducted our review in accordance with International Standard on Review Engagements (UK and Ireland) 2410, "Review of Interim Financial Information Performed by the Independent Auditor of the Entity" issued by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review of interim financial information consists of making enquiries, primarily of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters, and applying analytical and other review procedures. A review is substantially less in scope than an audit conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and consequently does not enable us to obtain assurance that we would become aware of all significant matters that might be identified in an audit. Accordingly, we do not express an audit opinion.

 

Conclusion

Based on our review, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the condensed set of financial statements in the half-yearly financial report for the six months ended 30 June 2017 is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 as adopted by the European Union and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority.

 

 

 

Ernst & Young LLP

London

9 August 2017

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Income Statement

For the six months ended 30 June 2017

 




Six months ended

Year ended




30 June


30 June


31 December




2017


2016


2016




Unaudited


Unaudited


Audited


Note


£'000


£'000


£'000









Revenue

3


673,146


575,891


1,196,125

Cost of sales



(321,159)


(276,740)


(575,091)

Gross profit

3


351,987


299,151


621,034

Administrative expenses



(295,067)


(252,053)


(520,082)

Operating profit

3


56,920


47,098


100,952

Financial income

4


148


50


117

Financial expenses

4


(120)


(241)


(1,073)

Profit before tax

3


56,948


46,907


99,996

Income tax expense

5


(16,036)


(13,134)


(27,900)

Profit for the period



40,912


33,773


72,096









Attributable to:








Owners of the parent



40,912


33,773


72,096









Earnings per share








Basic earnings per share (pence)

8


13.1


10.8


23.1

Diluted earnings per share (pence)

8


13.1


10.8


23.1

 

The above results all relate to continuing operations

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

For the six months ended 30 June 2017

 


Six months ended

Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


Unaudited


Unaudited


Audited


£'000


£'000


£'000







Profit for the period

40,912


33,773


72,096







Other comprehensive (loss)/income for the period







Items that may subsequently be reclassified to profit and loss:

















Currency translation differences






(1,935)


18,622


22,105

Gain / (loss) on hedging instruments


706


(1,393)


(2,468)












Total comprehensive income for the period



39,683


51,002


91,733












Attributable to:











Owners of the parent






39,683


51,002


91,733

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet

As at 30 June 2017

 




30 June


30 June


31 December




2017


2016


2016




Unaudited


Unaudited


Audited


Note


£'000


£'000


£'000

Non-current assets








Property, plant and equipment

9


29,541


26,834


29,461

Intangible assets - Goodwill and other intangible



1,677


1,672


1,696

                            - Computer software



35,375


34,787


36,187

Deferred tax assets



14,616


14,542


16,547

Other receivables

10


9,110


4,254


7,640




90,319


82,089


91,531

Current assets








Trade and other receivables

10


278,239


258,443


259,328

Current tax receivable



16,488


11,237


12,743

Cash and cash equivalents

13


88,946


82,222


92,796




383,673


351,902


364,867









Total assets

3


473,992


433,991


456,398









Current liabilities








Trade and other payables

11


(173,524)


(159,516)


(175,059)

Bank overdrafts

13


-


(8,588)


-

Current tax payable



(17,325)


(20,663)


(24,404)




(190,849)


(188,767)


(199,463)









Net current assets



192,824


163,135


165,404









Non-current liabilities








Other payables

11


(12,334)


(7,731)


(9,944)

Deferred tax liabilities



(1,081)


(1,902)


(430)




(13,415)


(9,633)


(10,374)

















Total liabilities

3


(204,264)


(198,400)


(209,837)









Net assets



269,728


235,591


246,561









Capital and reserves








Called-up share capital



3,276


3,259


3,259

Share premium



92,054


90,393


90,458

Capital redemption reserve



932


932


932

Reserve for shares held in the employee benefit trust



(65,780)


(73,348)


(72,941)

Currency translation reserve



30,811


29,263


32,746

Retained earnings



208,435


185,092


192,107

Total equity



269,728


235,591


246,561

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

For the six months ended 30 June 2017








Reserve














for shares








Called-up




Capital


held in the


Currency






share


Share


redemption


employee


translation


Retained


Total


capital


premium


reserve


benefit trust


reserve


earnings


equity


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000















Balance at 1 January 2016

3,258


90,268


932


(61,365)


10,641


178,025


221,759

Currency translation differences

-


-


-


-


18,622


-


18,622

Net income recognised directly in equity

-


-


-


-


18,622


-


18,622

Loss on hedging instruments

-


-


-


-


-


(1,393)


(1,393)

Profit for the six months ended 30 June 2016

-


-


-


-


-


33,773


33,773

Total comprehensive income for the period

-


-


-


-


18,622


32,380


51,002

Purchase of shares held in employee benefit trust

-


-


-


(15,058)


-


-


(15,058)

Exercise of share plans

1


125


-


-


-


41


167

Reserve transfer when shares held in the employee benefit trust vest

-


-


-


3,075


-


(3,075)


-

Credit in respect of share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


2,488


2,488

Debit in respect of tax on share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


(203)


(203)

Dividends

-


-


-


-


-


(24,564)


(24,564)


1


125


-


(11,983)


-


(25,313)


(37,170)





























Balance at 30 June 2016

3,259


90,393


932


(73,348)


29,263


185,092


235,591















Currency translation differences

-


-


-


-


3,483


-


3,483

Net income recognised directly in equity

-


-


-


-


3,483


-


3,483

Loss on hedging instruments

-


-


-


-


-


(1,075)


(1,075)

Profit for the six months ended 31 December 2016

-


-


-


-


-


38,323


38,323

Total comprehensive income for the period

-


-


-


-


3,483


37,248


40,731

Exercise of share plans

-


65


-


-


-


132


197

Reserve transfer when shares held in the employee benefit trust vest

-


-


-


407


-


(407)


-

Credit in respect of share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


1,954


1,954

Debit in respect of tax on share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


(165)


(165)

Dividends

-


-


-


-


-


(31,747)


(31,747)


-


65


-


407


-


(30,233)


(29,761)















Balance at 31 December 2016 and 1 January 2017

3,259


90,458


932


(72,941)


32,746


192,107


246,561

Currency translation differences 

-


-


-


-


(1,935)


-


(1,935)

Net loss recognised directly in equity

-


-


-


-


(1,935)


-


(1,935)

Profit on hedging instruments

-


-


-


-


-


706


706

Profit for the six months ended 30 June 2017

-


-


-


-


-


40,912


40,912

Total comprehensive (loss)/income for the period

-


-


-


-


(1,935)


41,618


39,683

Exercise of share plans

17


1,596


-


-


-


4,049


5,662

Reserve transfer when shares held in the employee benefit trust vest

-


-


-


7,161


-


(7,161)


-

Credit in respect of share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


4,019


4,019

Debit in respect of tax on share schemes

-


-


-


-


-


(337)


(337)

Dividends

-


-


-


-


-


(25,860)


(25,860)


17


1,596


-


7,161


-


(25,290)


(16,516)















Balance at 30 June 2017

3,276


92,054


932


(65,780)


30,811


208,435


269,728

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

For the six months ended 30 June 2017

 








Year ended




30 June


30 June


31 December




2017


2016


2016




Unaudited


Unaudited


Audited


Note


£'000


£'000


£'000

















Cash generated from operations

12


52,495


41,262


121,319

Income tax paid



(24,628)


(14,802)


(32,499)

Net cash from operating activities



27,867


26,460


88,820









Cash flows from investing activities








Purchases of property, plant and equipment



(4,863)


(7,269)


(14,111)

Purchases of intangible assets



(4,387)


(4,634)


(11,153)

Proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment, and computer software



630


994


1,890

Interest received



148


50


117

Net cash used in investing activities



(8,472)


(10,859)


(23,257)









Cash flows from financing activities








Dividends paid



(25,860)


(24,564)


(56,311)

Interest paid



(1,579)


(124)


(460)

Issue of own shares for the exercise of options



5,662


167


364

Purchase of shares into the employee benefit trust



-


(15,058)


(15,058)

Net cash used in financing activities



(21,777)


(39,579)


(71,465)









Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents



(2,382)


(23,978)


(5,902)

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period



92,796


95,018


95,018

Exchange (loss)/gain on cash and cash equivalents



(1,468)


2,594


3,680

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period

13


88,946


73,634


92,796

 

 

Notes to the condensed set of interim results

For the six months ended 30 June 2017

 

1.         General information

 

The information for the year ended 31 December 2016 does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in section 435 of the Companies Act 2006. A copy of the statutory accounts for that year has been delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The auditors reported on those accounts: their report was unqualified, did not draw attention to any matters by way of emphasis and did not contain a statement under section 498(2) or (3) of the Companies Act 2006.

 

2.         Accounting policies

 

Basis of preparation

 

The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the six months ended 30 June 2017 have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 'Interim financial reporting' and with the Disclosure and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements do not constitute the Group's statutory financial statements.  The Group's most recent statutory financial statements, which comprise the annual report and audited financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016, were approved by the directors on 7 March 2017.  The interim condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016, which have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRSs') as adopted by the European Union.

 

The accounting policies adopted in the preparation of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements are consistent with those followed in the preparation of the Group's annual consolidated financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016.

 

Going concern

 

The Group's business activities, together with the factors likely to affect its future development, performance and position are set out in the interim management report. The interim management report also includes a summary of the Group's financial position, its cash flows and its borrowing facilities.

 

The directors believe the Group is well placed to manage its business risks successfully. The Group's forecasts and projections, taking account of reasonably possible changes in trading performance, show that the Group should be able to operate within the level of its current committed facilities.

 

After making enquiries, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company and the Group have adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future, a period of not less than 12 months from the date of this report. Accordingly, they continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the half-yearly financial report.

 

New accounting standards, interpretations and amendments adopted by the Group

 

We are continuing with our review and implementation of two new Accounting Standards, "IFRS 15 - Revenue from Contacts with Customers" and "IFRS 16 - Leases". The potential impact on our accounts of both of these Standards were disclosed in our Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016. Our expectations as to their impact remain in line with these disclosures. A final conclusion on IFRS 15 and a further update on IFRS 16 will be provided in this year's Annual Report and Accounts. The Group doesn't anticipate that "IFRS 9 - Financial Instruments' will have a material impact on the Group's financial statements once it becomes effective from 1 January 2018.

 

The Group has not early adopted any standard, interpretation or amendment that has been issued but is not yet effective.

 

3.         Segment reporting

 

All revenues disclosed are derived from external customers.

 

The accounting policies of the reportable segments are the same as the Group's accounting policies. Segment operating profit represents the profit earned by each segment including allocation of central administration costs. This is the measure reported to the Group's Board, the chief operating decision maker, for the purpose of resource allocation and assessment of segment performance.

 

(a)        Revenue, gross profit and operating profit by reportable segment

 





Revenue


Gross Profit





Six months ended


Year ended


Six months ended

Year ended





30 June


30 June


31 December


30 June


30 June


31 December





2017


2016


2016


2017


2016


2016





£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000
















EMEA



323,092


254,341


538,403


162,117


129,137


271,863
















United Kingdom


160,675


166,655


324,548


73,020


74,743


146,313
















Asia Pacific

 

Australia and New Zealand


56,256


48,025


103,979


19,010


16,310


35,085



Asia


60,616


49,537


105,692


47,644


40,215


84,644



Total


116,872


97,562


209,671


66,654


56,525


119,729
















Americas



72,507


57,333


123,503


50,196


38,746


83,129




















673,146


575,891


1,196,125


351,987


299,151


621,034

 





Operating Profit





Six months ended

Year ended





30 June


30 June


31 December





2017


2016


2016





£'000


£'000


£'000










EMEA



31,397


23,841


51,685










United Kingdom


8,706


11,623


24,153


















Asia Pacific

Australia and New Zealand


2,557


1,998


4,592



Asia


8,741


7,382


16,135



Total


11,298


9,380


20,727










Americas



5,519


2,254


4,387










Operating profit


56,920


47,098


100,952

Financial income/(expense)


28


(191)


(956)

Profit before tax


56,948


46,907


99,996

 

The above analysis by destination is not materially different to analysis by origin.

 

"The analysis below is of the carrying amount of reportable segment assets, liabilities and non-current assets. Segment assets and liabilities include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis. The individual reportable segments exclude current income tax assets and liabilities. Non-current assets include property, plant and equipment, computer software, goodwill and other intangibles.

 

 

 

(b)       Segment assets, liabilities and non current assets by reportable segment

 





Total Assets


Total Liabilities





Six months ended


Year ended


Six months ended

  Year ended





30 June


30 June


31 December


30 June


30 June


31 December





2017


2016


2016


2017


2016


2016





£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000
















EMEA



200,716


166,280


187,257


97,687


81,624


96,270
















United Kingdom


109,452


124,919


119,036


43,680


57,220


43,306















Asia Pacific

 

Australia and New Zealand


26,528


24,415


24,869


12,141


10,661


10,526



Asia


61,587


57,686


56,182


14,708


14,798


16,462



Total


88,115


82,101


81,051


26,849


25,459


26,988
















Americas



59,221


49,454


56,311


18,723


13,434


18,869

Segment assets/liabilities


457,504


422,754


443,655


186,939


177,737


185,433
















Income tax



16,488


11,237


12,743


17,325


20,663


24,404




















473,992


433,991


456,398


204,264


198,400


209,837

 

 





Property, Plant & Equipment


Intangible Assets





Six months ended


Year ended


Six months ended

Year ended





30 June


30 June


31 December


30 June


30 June


31 December





2017


2016


2016


2017


2016


2016





£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000
















EMEA



11,342


8,561


10,707


3,892


2,981


3,862
















United Kingdom


6,989


7,209


7,142


32,664


32,769


33,278
















Asia Pacific

 

Australia and New Zealand


1,133


1,362


1,376


11


50


22



Asia


3,136


2,599


3,053


40


42


31



Total


4,269


3,961


4,429


51


92


53
















Americas



6,941


7,103


7,183


445


617


690





29,541


26,834


29,461


37,052


36,459


37,883

 

The below analyses in notes (c) revenue and gross profit by discipline (being the professions of candidates placed) and (d) revenue and gross profit generated from permanent and temporary placements have been included as additional disclosure over and above the requirements of IFRS 8 "Operating Segments".

 

 

(c)                 Revenue and gross profit by discipline

 


Revenue


Gross Profit


Six months ended


Year ended


Six months ended

Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000













Accounting and Financial Services

278,831


248,789


511,449


129,975


115,767


238,366













Legal, Technology, HR, Secretarial and Other

163,819


142,119


294,972


79,299


66,859


138,830













Engineering, Property & Construction, Procurement & Supply Chain

138,442


105,125


227,908


76,358


58,420


125,545













Marketing, Sales and Retail

92,054


79,858


161,796


66,355


58,105


118,293














673,146


575,891


1,196,125


351,987


299,151


621,034

 

 

(d)                 Revenue and gross profit generated from permanent and temporary placements

 



Revenue


Gross Profit



Six months ended


Year ended


Six months ended

Year ended



30 June


30 June


31 December


30 June


30 June


31 December



2017


2016


2016


2017


2016


2016



£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000


£'000














Permanent

270,852


232,129


476,321


267,287


228,136


469,960














Temporary

402,294


343,762


719,804


84,700


71,015


151,074
















673,146


575,891


1,196,125


351,987


299,151


621,034

 

 

4.                  Financial income / (expenses)

 


Six months ended

Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000

Financial income






Bank interest receivable

148


50


117







Financial expenses






Bank interest payable

(120)


(241)


(465)

Interest on discounting of French construction participation tax

-


-


(608)


(120)


(241)


(1,073)

 

 

5.                  Taxation

 

Taxation for the six month period is charged at 28.2% (six months ended 30 June 2016: 28.0%; year ended 31 December 2016: 27.9%), representing the best estimate of the average annual effective tax rate expected for the full year, applied to the pre-tax income for the six month period.

 

 

6.                  Dividends

 


Six months ended

Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000

Amounts recognised as distributions to equity holders in the year:






Final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2016 of 8.23p per ordinary share (2015: 7.90p)

25,860


24,564


24,564

Interim dividend for the period ended 30 June 2016 of 3.75p per ordinary share (2015: 3.60p)

-


-


11,660

Special dividend for the year ended 31 December 2016 of 6.46p per ordinary share (2015: 16.0p)

-


-


20,087


25,860


24,564


56,311

 

Amounts proposed as distributions to equity holders in the year:

 







Proposed interim dividend for the period ended 30 June 2017 of 3.90p per ordinary share (2016: 3.75p)

12,253


11,617


-

Proposed special dividend for the year ended 31 December 2017 of 12.73p per ordinary share (2016: 6.46p)

40,000


20,013


-

Proposed final dividend for the year ended 31 December 2016 of 8.23p per ordinary share

-


-


25,599

 

The proposed interim and special dividends have not been approved by the Board at 30 June 2017 and therefore have not been included as a liability. The comparative dividend at 30 June 2016 was also not recognised as a liability in the prior period.

 

The proposed interim dividend of 3.90p (2016: 3.75p) per ordinary share and special dividend of 12.73p (2016: 6.46p) per ordinary share will be paid on 11 October 2017 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 8 September 2017.

 

 

7.                  Share-based payments

 

In accordance with IFRS 2 "Share-based Payment", a charge of £4.3m has been recognised for share options and other share-based payment arrangements (including social charges) (30 June 2016: £2.0m, 31 December 2016: £4.2m).

 

 

8.                  Earnings per ordinary share

 

The calculation of the basic and diluted earnings per share is based on the following data:

 


Six months ended


Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December

Earnings

2017


2016


2016







Earnings for basic and diluted earnings per share (£'000)

40,912


33,773


72,096







Number of shares






Weighted average number of shares used for basic earnings per share ('000)

312,072


312,249


311,534

Dilution effect of share plans ('000)

1,222


974


802

Diluted weighted average number of shares used for diluted earnings per share ('000)

313,294


313,223


312,336







Basic earnings per share (pence)

13.1


10.8


23.1

Diluted earnings per share (pence)

13.1


10.8


23.1

 

The above results all relate to continuing operations.

 

 

 

 

9.                  Property, plant and equipment

 

Acquisitions

 

During the period ended 30 June 2017 the Group acquired property, plant and equipment with a cost of £4.9m (30 June 2016: £7.3m, 31 December 2016: £14.1m).

 

 

10.                Trade and other receivables

 


Six months ended

Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000

Current






Trade receivables

225,853


198,152


210,145

Less provision for impairment of receivables

(6,497)


(6,715)


(5,070)

Net trade receivables

219,356


191,437


205,075

Other receivables

5,235


12,084


9,612

Accrued income

42,861


43,901


37,623

Prepayments

10,787


11,021


7,018


278,239


258,443


259,328

Non-current






Other Receivables

9,110


4,254


7,640

 

 

11.                Trade and other payables

 


Six months ended

Year ended

 


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000

Current






Trade payables

1,331


8,738


7,515

Other tax and social security

52,416


47,052


46,813

Other payables

21,113


12,292


21,407

Accruals

97,374


89,729


98,084

Deferred income

1,290


1,705


1,240


173,524


159,516


175,059

Non-current






Deferred income

11,943


7,432


9,702

Other tax and social security

391


299


242


12,334


7,731


9,944

 

 

12.                Cash flows from operating activities

 


Six months ended


Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000







 Profit before tax 

56,948


46,907


99,996

 Depreciation and amortisation charges

9,083


8,221


17,065

(Income)/loss on sale of property, plant and equipment, and computer    software

(34)


(9)


186

 Share scheme charges

4,019


2,414


4,235

 Net finance (income)/cost

(28)


191


956

 Operating cash flow before changes in working capital

69,988


57,724


122,438

 Increase in receivables

(18,660)


(22,599)


(21,061)

 Increase in payables

1,167


6,137


19,942

 Cash generated from operations

52,495


41,262


121,319

 

 

13.                Cash and cash equivalents

 


Six months ended


Year ended


30 June


30 June


31 December


2017


2016


2016


£'000


£'000


£'000







 Cash at bank and in hand

83,316


74,773


78,022

 Short-term deposits

5,630


7,449


14,774

 Cash and cash equivalents

88,946


82,222


92,796

 Bank overdrafts

-


(8,588)


-

 Cash and cash equivalents in the statement of cash flows

88,946


73,634


92,796

 

The Group operates a multi-currency notional cash pool. Currently the main Eurozone subsidiaries and the UK-based Group Treasury subsidiary participate in this cash pool. The structure facilitates interest and balance compensation of cash and bank overdrafts.

 

PageGroup maintains a Confidential Invoice Facility with HSBC whereby the Group has the option to discount facilities in order to advance cash on its receivables. The facility is used only ad hoc in case the Group needs to fund any major GBP cash outflow.

 

 

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT

 

 

The Directors confirm that to the best of their knowledge:-

 

a) the condensed set of interim financial statements has been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 "Interim Financial Reporting"

 

b) the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.7R (indication of important events during the first six months and description of principal risks and uncertainties for the remaining six months of the year); and

 

c)  the interim management report includes a fair review of the information required by DTR 4.2.8R (disclosure of related parties' transactions and changes therein).

 

 

On behalf of the Board

 



S Ingham

K Stagg

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Financial Officer

 

9 August 2017

 

Copies of the condensed interim financial statements are now available and can be downloaded from the Company's website

http://www.page.com/investors/investor-library/2017.aspx

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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Half-year Report - RNS