15 April 2020 – interim results

In the 26 weeks ended 29 February 2020 revenues were £200.0m, slightly down on the prior year (2019: £206.2m).  Adjusted operating profit was £10.3m (2019: £11.9m) and adjusted profit before tax decreased by 16.0% to £9.6m (2019: £11.4m).  Reported profit before tax after amortisation and non-recurring items was £10.5m (2019: £10.3m).  On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were 8.0p (2019: 9.4p) but basic earnings per share increased by 12.0% from 8.3p to 9.3p.  The company is relatively well placed to ride out disruption from Covid-19.  Net debt, excluding leases, was £25.4m at the period end, representing 1.2 times adjusted EBITDA.  Undrawn facilities at the period end were £22.4m, with main banking facilities maturing between 2021 and 2023.  We rate the shares as a BUY.