RTC Group Plc CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
RTC Group Plc CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
I am pleased to present the interim report of the Company for the six months to 30 June 2011.
The period has been one of continuing recovery. Throughout the difficult trading conditions experienced in 2008 to 2010 a programme to simplify the Group and to focus on recruitment has been pursued which included the termination of our Railway Training activities. Over the same period significant changes have been made at The Derby Conference Centre which have changed the emphasis of that company towards a more satisfactory balance between long term sublets and short term conferencing and event activities.
These initiatives have served to eliminate the trading losses incurred in training and conferencing permitting the recruitment businesses, consistently profitable at trading level, to expand in both volume and operating profit levels, both in the UK and overseas.
As presaged in our Report and Accounts in March, trading conditions have continued to improve. We have therefore succeeded in moving forward on all fronts in recruitment but particular mention is appropriate in connection with our rapidly expanding business in India, serving a variety of locations in support of NATO activities and our contract and permanent business in the Railway and other technical Industries. Accordingly, during the first six months of 2011, gross profits in this sector have advanced at a most pleasing rate.
The Derby Conference Centre
We have concluded new arrangements with our Landlord and have secured significant sublet agreements, both commencing in the first half of this year. Normal conferencing and event business continues to be hard to achieve but we have succeeded in utilising space at similar levels to 2010. The result of both these factors has all but eliminated losses in the division which is now making a satisfactory contribution to Group results.
In response to the changing shape of the Group's business portfolio, major efficiencies have been achieved in administration and finance. Improving cash flows both actual and in prospect are permitting a review of systems and hardware and we expect to make material updates in both over the months to come.
Non - recurring item
Towards the end of 2010, Ganymede Solutions diversified into a new area of telecommunications providing contract recruitment, to the telecoms industry, with particular emphasis on installation and test. Although the ultimate clients were of undoubted quality, the business was arranged through a third party agent. After an initial modest and successful start, demand from this agent accelerated sharply and payment of our invoices deteriorated. This has resulted in a £370,000 write off including bad debt provision and an element for potential fraud pending the outcome of documentation submitted to the authorities. Without this the Group would have posted a profit in the first half of £286,000
During the period fast expansion of our trading volumes caused strains on our working capital resources. In order to deal with those and to provide further room for growth, we decided to avail ourselves of the Authority granted at the Annual General Meeting in 2010 and completed an issue of shares to raise £396,000 after costs. A material number of the shares issued were taken up by directors and management of the Group.
Your Directors consider that it would be inappropriate to declare an interim dividend.
Outlook & Strategy
Notwithstanding the unfortunate exceptional factor mentioned above, prospects for the Group are encouraging. Although progress is expected to continue in the second half, the Global economic landscape remains challenging. It continues to be my view that there is still a way to go before the present debt problems, both Sovereign and domestic, are finally solved. Although I cannot be optimistic about the Global situation I am convinced that we are servicing the less vulnerable industrial and commercial areas both in the UK and overseas which can be expected to give us strengths which others may be lacking.
W.J.C.Douie, Chairman. 8th September 2011