Atlantic Global Plc
Atlantic Global Plc, the specialist provider of integrated business and resource management software applications, today announces its preliminary results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2003.
• Turnover up 26% to £1.96m (2002: £1.55m)
• Profit before tax increased 111% to £0.496m (2002: £0.235m)
• Adjusted earnings per share improved 47% to 2.35p (2002: 1.60p)
• Dividend increased by 40% to 0.70p per share (2002: 0.50p)
• Net cash balance increased 21% to £2.30m (2002: £1.90m)
• Free cash flow of £0.513m an increase of 314% (2002: £0.124m)
• New Adeo software products released first quarter of 2003 - Risk management, Contractor management and enhanced Business Information Tracking to new and existing clients
• New enterprise wide product Corporate Vision developed during 2003, in conjunction with Norwich Union and successfully deployed into one of their operating units. Corporate Vision ready for sale and currently being installed in LogicaCMG, Metropolitan Police and Eclipse Petroleum
• Appointment of David Cox as Non-Executive Chairman and Mark Allcock to the Board as Sales Director
• Increased marketing expenditure to strengthen brand awareness of Adeo and Corporate Vision products amongst potential customers
David Cox, Non-Executive Chairman of Atlantic Global commented:
“We believe that the growth potential of the Group remains substantial, especially with the development of Corporate Vision. With the suite of products that have been developed and our software increasingly capable of delivering considerable benefit to most organisations, both public and private sector, we are extremely well positioned to achieve significant levels of growth.
“I am therefore very confident that 2004 will be another successful year and we can continue to maximise shareholder returns.”
For further information please contact:
Atlantic Global Plc
Eugene Blaine, Managing DirectorRupert Hutton, Finance Director Tel: +44 (0) 1274 863 300www.atlantic-global.co.uk
Sarah Hollinssarah.email@example.comAlexandra Tweedalexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0) 7764 947137Tel: +44 (0) 207 444 4147
The Group’s overall strategy is to create, sell and support high quality business management software to blue chip customers, that is both quick to install and easy to use, and hence delivers clear, early and sustainable benefits. In tactical terms, during the year we continued to enhance our proven track record, by introducing new modules in the Adeo suite and extending our customer base.
2003 was also a year of strategic significance to Atlantic Global through the introduction of Corporate Vision, mentioned last September in the interim statement. This new flagship product, developed largely in conjunction with Norwich Union, and already successfully deployed in one of their operating units, places us in a different league. This product enables senior and middle level operational executives to significantly improve the effectiveness and productivity of their people intensive business processes, and to better manage their major projects and programmes. The overall marketing of Corporate Vision will be characterised by longer sales cycles and larger deals, often into sizeable business units or functions of large organisations, but leading eventually to enterprise wide deployment.
Our challenge and focus in 2004, and beyond, is to build a world class sales, marketing and implementation capability, for both Corporate Vision and all the other Adeo modules. Given that our software is relevant in all industry sectors that employ large numbers of people, and in all of the public sector, this represents a significant opportunity. Initially, we will concentrate on adding to our direct sales approach in the UK. However, we believe the potential is global and are therefore taking the first steps to examine how best to enter the US, which is the largest single information technology software market.
The Board is committed to the goal of achieving this expansion while maintaining increased levels of profitability.
The results for the year to 31 December 2003 demonstrate another successful year of organic growth for the Group, with turnover increasing by 26% to £1,956,000 (2002: £1,551,000), and operating profits before goodwill and exceptionals increasing by 57% to £611,000 (2002: £390,000). Pre-tax profit increased 111% to £496,000 (2002: £235,000).
This growth in turnover has had a positive impact on the operating profit level despite the substantial amount of investment that we made during 2003 to our software products, brand image and business infrastructure. This strong performance has been achieved during another year when the information technology industry has been in recession and experiencing difficult trading conditions.
Earnings per share, adjusted for goodwill and exceptional costs increased 47% to 2.35 pence (2002: 1.60 pence).
Due to the continued cash generative nature of our business, the Group had net cash balances at 31 December 2003 of £2,296,000 (2002: £1,897,000). The Group remains in a strong financial position, which will be maintained as we continue to generate cash from sustainable profit levels. To confirm this cash generating ability the amount of free cash flow produced during 2003 was £513,000, compared with £79,000, after exceptional costs, for 2002.
The Directors are proposing to increase the final dividend by 40% to 0.70 pence (2002: 0.50 pence) per share for the year ended 31 December 2003. This demonstrates our confidence in the Group’s future and in its continuing ability to generate cash. Dividend cover is still very healthy at 3.36 times and the Directors will pursue a progressive dividend policy, providing circumstances remain appropriate.
In November 2003, I joined the Board as Chairman and Mark Allcock was appointed Sales Director in October 2003. Mark joined the Company in February 2003 as Sales Director Designate.
Atlantic Global has benefited significantly from his experience and expertise, which has been applied, to a number of business areas within the Group. This has included the refocusing of Atlantic Global’s sales and marketing function attached to new products resulting in an increased level of interest.
Prior to joining Atlantic Global, Mark held senior appointments within Admiral Computing Ltd (Operations Director) where he managed business units with up to 600 staff, and sales of up to £20 million per annum, prior to its merger with CMG Plc, now Logica CMG.
I am also pleased to announce that at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 28 April, the Directors will be proposing that Paul Gleghorn, currently our Technical Manager be appointed to the Board as Technical Director.
Paul has been employed by the Group since February 1996, and this appointment is recognition of his valuable contribution and expertise in ensuring our products continue to be at the forefront of best technical and business practice.
The Board recognises that the quality and ability of our team has been crucial to our success in 2003. I would take this opportunity, on behalf of the Directors to offer our sincere appreciation for their substantial contribution. The Group continues to ensure that its people have Share Options and are incentivised to continue to deliver shareholder value.
The Group maintained our Investors in People Standard throughout 2003, and were formally reassessed during the year. This is an independent measure of our commitment to the development of our people.
The Board’s current policy of concentrating purely on organic growth remains unchanged from previous years and therefore the Group is not involved in an active acquisition strategy. However, we would continue to consider any acquisition opportunities that would improve shareholder value providing they are in line with our strategic objectives and are reasonably priced in accordance with their profitability and quality of earnings.
Having produced our management accounts for January and February 2004 and with knowledge of March’s sales, we can confirm that the year has begun in line with our expectations with sales and client interest at higher levels than at the same time last year.
We believe that the growth potential of the Group remains substantial, especially with the development of Corporate Vision. With the suite of products that have been developed and our software increasingly capable of delivering considerable benefit to most organisations, both public and private sector, we are extremely well positioned to achieve significant levels of growth.
I am therefore very confident that 2004 will be another successful year and we can continue to maximise shareholder returns.
Annual General Meeting
We shall be holding our AGM at 2.30 pm at KPMG’s offices in Leeds, at 1 The Embankment, Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 4DW on Wednesday, 28 April 2004.
In addition to the usual formalities of the meeting we will, as last year, provide an opportunity for shareholders to gain a better understanding of the business. Rupert Hutton, Finance Director will make a presentation on the results for 2003, followed by a briefing by Eugene Blaine, Managing Director on the Group’s general progress. There will then be an opportunity for a question and answer session. I would extend the Board’s invitation to all shareholders.
24 March 2004
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