FY 2017: An Outstanding Year

On 6th December, RWS Holdings plc (“RWS”, “the Group”), one of the world’s leading language and intellectual property support services providers, announced its final results for the year ended 30 September 2017.

Delivered record revenues and profits:

  • Sales increased by 34.4% to £164.0m (2016: £122.0m)
    • 8% organic growth, excluding acquisitions and currency movements
  • Adjusted operating profit* was up 35.6% to £43.4m (2016: £32.0m)
  • Adjusted profit before tax* rose by 41.5% to £43.3m (2016: £30.6m)
    • Reflects 18% organic profit growth, 7% positive exchange rate movements and 16% from LUZ and CTi acquisitions net of associated loan interest costs
  • Reported profit before tax was up 35.1% to £33.9m (2016: £25.1m)
  • Adjusted earnings per share* of 14.3p (2016: 10.9p), an increase of 31.2%
  • Basic earnings per share of 11.0p (2016: 9.0p), an increase of 22%
  • Final dividend of 5.20p (2016: 4.45p); total dividend increased by 16.1% to 6.5p (2016: 5.6p), continuing an unbroken series of dividend increases since flotation in 2003
  • Net debt at year end of £20.2m (2016: £1.5m), after the £74.8m cost of the acquisitions of LUZ and Article One Partners “AOP” and the £40.0m gross proceeds from the placing in February 2017.

* RWS uses adjusted results as key performance indicators as the directors believe that these provide a more consistent measure of operating performance by adjusting for acquisition related charges and significant one-off or non cash items. Adjusted operating profit is stated before interest, amortisation of intangibles, share option costs and acquisition related charges. Adjusted profit before tax is stated before amortisation of intangibles, share option costs and acquisition related charges.

Excellent organic progress and further acquisition in Life Sciences:

  • Group gross margin improved by a further 96 basis points to 43.75% after significant gains in 2016
  • Excellent growth recorded by patent translations activities in all geographies
  • Patent search activities enjoyed their best-ever results; PatBase subscription revenues grew by 20.5%
  • Acquired LUZ, a leading US-based translation company focusing exclusively on life sciences translation, in February 2017:
  • Provided Group with a full service offering in life sciences, enhanced market share and a US West Coast presence
  • Excellent seven and a half months’ contribution
  • Integration with CTi to form RWS Life Sciences division completed
  • Acquired Article One Partners, an IP information business with an online crowdsourced research platform based in the United States, in September 2017
  • Strengthened the management team and Board with the appointments of Richard Thompson as Chief Executive Officer, Desmond Glass as Chief Financial Officer and Lara Boro as a Non-Executive Director

Earnings enhancing acquisition and placing post period end:

  •  Completed the acquisition, on 3 November 2017, of Moravia, a leading provider of technology–enabled localisation services to some of the largest technology companies in the world
  • Strengthens RWS’s global presence with an EU base and operations in the USA, Japan, China, Argentina, Hungary and Ireland
  • Cash consideration of US$320m funded by a placing of £185m of new shares and a new five-year US$160m bank facility which included the Group’s existing borrowings

Outlook:

  • The Group has made a strong start in the first two months of the new financial year, in line with our expectations that we will continue to build upon the record levels established in 2017
  • RWS now possesses an outstanding global platform, which will enable it to develop sales opportunities in multiple geographies, with a complete range of language management services and technology offerings

 

Andrew Brode, Chairman of RWS, commented:

 “RWS has delivered outstanding results, establishing new records for revenues, profits and the proposed dividend.

“We are particularly encouraged by the performance of LUZ post acquisition and its successful integration with CTi to form RWS Life Sciences, our market leading life science translations and linguistic validation division.

“The post year-end acquisition of Moravia is transformational for RWS, significantly strengthening the Group’s global presence and firmly establishing the Group as one of the world’s leading language services providers. We look forward to working with the Moravia team as it builds upon its strong industry reputation and growth track record. We are confident that we can build on our considerably broader global platform by developing the opportunities afforded by our extended geographical reach and expanded range of language services and technology offerings.”

 

To continue reading RWS’s FY 2017 results, follow this link.