Networkers International issues year end results
· Conversion ratio improved to 24.9% (2012: 23.7%)
· Net fee income (gross profit or NFI) reduced by 5% to £29.1m (2012: £30.8m)
· Permanent net fee income has grown by 18% for the year with contract net fee income reducing by 10%. Permanent placements represent 26% (2012: 21%) of net fee income
· Operating cash inflow of £6.7m (2012: £6.0m) for the year
· Net debt relating entirely to drawdown on invoice discounting for working capital purposes has been reduced to £3.0m (2012: £6.9m), after making payments for own share purchases and dividend payments totalling £1.6m
· Strong balance sheet and good liquidity with net assets of £20.2m and net current assets of £13.7m
· A recommended final dividend of 1.00p per share, being 54% up on last year's final dividend. Full year total dividend of 1.70p (2012: 1.25p) per share being a 36% increase on prior year and with over 3 times adjusted earnings cover.
* Refer to Reconciliation of adjusted pre tax profit in the CEO Review. For the adjusted EPS calculation, the year end number of shares of 83,291,765 (2012:83,535,269) have been used.
· Share of net fee income derived from markets outside of the UK remained at 71%
· Stand out performance in Energy & Engineering division growing NFI by 82% year on year
· An agreement was reached during the year to settle the Group's class action litigation in the US, resulting in an exceptional one off, pre tax charge of £0.55m during the year. This charge includes legal fees as well as an increase in the provision to cover payments to class members and
· Offices operational in UK, South Africa, UAE, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, USA and Canada
Commenting on today's results, Spencer Manuel, CEO, said, "The Group has made good progress during the year. Whilst our NFI was slightly down (5%) on last years record levels, I am pleased we maintained positive growth in underlying pre-tax profits and EPS for the full year to December 2013.
"The balance of the business has continued to improve with the stand out performance being the Energy & Engineering division which grew by 82% during the year and now represents 12% of Group NFI replacing the reduced share of the Telecoms division (51% of NFI) where market conditions in certain geographies continue to be a barrier to short term growth. Our IT division (37% of NFI) resumed growth during H2 and is enjoying improved market conditions.
"Whilst current trading is in line with 2013, market conditions do appear to be improving in all our markets and we see significant opportunities for growth as the year progresses."