iomart Group: Pre-close Trading Statement
iomart Group plc (AIM:IOM), the cloud computing company, is pleased to provide its pre-close trading statement for the year ending 31 March 2017 ahead of the announcement of its full year results.
Group Trading Performance
The Board is pleased to report that iomart expects to deliver another excellent set of results.
For the year to 31 March 2017, the Group expects to show revenue growth of approximately 17% and adjusted EBITDA(1) of approximately £36.6 million (FY2016: £32.3 million), in line with market consensus expectations. In addition we expect to report a 19% increase in adjusted(2) profit before tax to approximately £22.4 million (FY2016: £18.9 million).
Over the period, the Group has delivered good growth in both revenue and profit and the Board anticipates that growth will continue in the future.
The Cloud Services segment has continued to win a substantial amount of new business over the year, benefiting from the growing adoption of cloud services by organisations that need a strong partner with the necessary infrastructure, skills and experience to provide the certainty, scalability and flexibility they require. Cloud Services also benefitted from the full year contribution of SystemsUp which was acquired in June 2015. The choices for businesses considering a move to the cloud are ever more complex and iomart’s ability to provide consultancy and services across the whole cloud spectrum, including public, private and hybrid cloud, leaves us well positioned for future growth.
Easyspace has performed in line with expectations, which has seen it return to organic revenue growth after the decline in FY2016, and has benefitted from a full year contribution of United Communications which was acquired in November 2015.
We have previously announced a progressive dividend policy under which we would pay a dividend of up to a maximum of 25% of the adjusted diluted earnings per share for the financial year. In the previous financial year, the payout ratio was 22%. In line with past performance the Group has continued to generate high levels of operating cash over the year and in addition we are currently carrying a very low level of gearing with our net debt likely to be around one third of our adjusted EBITDA at the end of this financial year. Consequently, the Board has decided to review the upper limit of the dividend payout ratio. As a result, we now intend to increase the maximum payout ratio to 40% of adjusted diluted earnings per share. The Board anticipates announcing a payout ratio for the current financial year in excess of the previous maximum level of 25% when the results for the year are reported.
Following 18 years of service Sarah Haran has decided to pursue other interests and so will stand down from the Board with immediate effect. The Board would like to express its thanks to Sarah for her long term contribution to the success of the Group over many years and wish her well for the future.
Notice of Results
The Group expects to report its results for the year to 31 March 2017 on Tuesday 13 June 2017.
Angus MacSween, CEO of iomart Group plc, stated:
“iomart has delivered yet another year of exciting growth. The long term opportunity remains very real and iomart continues to broaden its cloud skills, experience and breadth of management to ensure it is well positioned for future growth. Our strong balance sheet and our increasing cashflow leaves us in good financial health. I would like to add my personal thanks to Sarah Haran who has made a significant contribution to the success of iomart for many years.”
(1) adjusted EBITDA means earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, share based payment charges, acquisition related costs and non-recurring acquisition items and in the previous year a gain on revaluation of contingent consideration.
(2) adjusted profit before tax means profits before, tax, share based payment charges, amortisation of acquired intangibles, acquisition related costs, non-recurring acquisition related items, mark to market adjustments in respect of interest swap arrangements, interest charges on contingent consideration and in the previous year the accelerated write off of arrangement fees on the bank borrowing facility which was repaid early during that year and a gain on revaluation of contingent consideration.