30/1/20 : TClarke achieves 3% underlying operating margin, strong EPS growth and is debt free
TClarke plc (“TClarke” or the “Group”), the Building Services Group, announces a year end trading update for the financial year ended 31st December 2019.
The Board is pleased to report that the expected outcome for the year is in line with expectations as outlined in the trading update released to shareholders on 28th November 2019. We expect to report an increase in underlying operating profit before interest and taxation to approximately £10.2m (2018: £8.8m) and revenue growth to approximately £335m (2018: £327m). We are pleased to have achieved a 3.0% operating margin (2018: 2.7%), which is a strategic objective of the Group. As a result, underlying earnings per share have grown by approximately 14% to 17.5p (2018 15.4p).
The Group’s cash position remains robust, with the year-end cash position at £12.4m (2018 cash £12.4m).
The Group has available bank facilities comprising a £10m overdraft facility and a £15m revolving credit facility expiring on 31st August 2022. These facilities remain available to the Group to support our working capital demands throughout the year. At 31st December 2019, the Group was debt free with none of the facilities being utilised.
Our established strategy is to selectively target projects that we believe will add value and sustain the margin profile of the Group. At 31st December 2019, the forward order book stood at close to our record position of £403m (2018: £411m). Importantly, 76% of our turnover for the current financial year of 2020 has been secured, including four significant new London schemes.
The Board remains encouraged by the continued opportunities available to the Group, particularly on high profile projects working with clients who value TClarke’s ability to deliver large, complex projects successfully. We remain focussed on supporting our sustainable operating margin at 3% going forward and will continue to adhere to a strict bidding policy when looking at these opportunities.
The Group enters the new year in a strong position both operationally and financially which gives the Board confidence for the Group’s prospects for 2020 and beyond.
Mark Lawrence, CEO, commented:
“We are delighted with the performance of the Group over the year. Our margin target has been achieved and we have maintained our strong Balance Sheet with a net cash position at the end of the year of over £12m. Looking ahead, our order book has been boosted and stands at over £400m and we have a solid pipeline of opportunities that we are evaluating carefully. The outlook for 2020 remains positive and the Board is confident of delivering further growth in 2020.’’
TClarke plc will be announcing its 2019 preliminary results on Thursday, 19th March 2020.
For further information contact:
Mark Lawrence – Group Chief Executive
Trevor Mitchell – Finance Director
David Lanchester – Company Secretary
Tel: 020 7997 7400
Cenkos Securities plc (Corporate Broker)
Max Hartley (Corporate Finance)
Nick Searle (Sales)
Tel: 020 7397 8900
Tel: 020 3735 6551