5 August 2019 – interim results

Interim results covering the six months ended 30 June 2019 have been released.  Continuing group revenue increased by 23.3% to US$1,262.7m (2018: US$1,024.3m) including a US$230.2m contribution from the acquisition of EPIC and a US$21.4m contribution from Ontic licence acquisitions and Firstmark.  Signature revenue increased 23.3% and Ontic revenue increased by 28.2%.  Continuing underlying profit before tax (on a pre IFRS 16 basis) was US$132.0m versus US$140.2m in the same period a year earlier.  Adjusted earnings per share (on a pre IFRS 16 basis) for continuing operations was 10.0c (2018: 10.7c).  Statutory earnings per share for continuing operations were 4.5c (2018: 6.0c).  Net debt on a reported basis increased to US$2,537.3m following the adoption of IFRS 16.  This means that an additional US$1,196.2m in lease liabilities falls within the definition of net debt.  The interim dividend was increased from 4.0c per share to 4.2c.  These are solid results but we continue to believe that the share price is up with events.  We changed our rating to HOLD on 30 July with the share price at 320p and maintain this stance.