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Dillistone Group Plc
("Dillistone", the "Company" or the "Group")
Interim Results
 
Dillistone Group Plc, the AIM quoted supplier of software and services to the international recruitment industry, announces its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2021.
 
Key points of the results:
  • Revenue declined by 17% to £2.801m due primarily to the unwinding of the impact of the Pandemic.
  • Recurring revenues represented 90% (2020: 90%) of Group revenue.
  • Recurring revenue covered 99% (2020 H1: 101%: 2020 H2: 93%) of administrative expenses before acquisition related and other costs.
  • Improving order book in Q2 2021. First quarter down on pre-covid period, but Q2 showed 67% year on year growth.
  • Loss for the period of £0.101m (2020: loss £0.088m). 
  • Net Cash at period end was £1.039m, with an increase in net cash generated by operating activities of 39%.
  • Continued investment in product development.
  • Successful launch of Talentis executive search software (https://www.talentis.global/recruitment-software/insights/) in January 2021. 
  • Talentis TalentGraph doubled in size since launch.
 
Commenting on the results and prospects, Giles Fearnley, Non-Executive Chairman, said:
 
“In my statement a year ago, I reported a strong start to 2020 prior to the impact of Covid. In our business, where a large part of our revenue is contracted annually in advance, the impact of a sudden shock can take time to impact through to revenue and profits.  As a result of this, our first half results show the expected fall in revenue and profitability compared to last year. 
 
“Our business model is such that the impact of Covid 19 will continue to unwind through the remainder of 2021 and this will be evident in our full year results and the level of recurring revenue that we carry into 2022. Nevertheless, the business is seeing improved new business sales, improved orders from existing clients, and improved operating cash flow. 
 
“We therefore expect to deliver a significantly reduced loss before tax in 2021, compared with the prior year. Our cash position as at 31 August 2021 was £1.092m.”

Enquiries:

Jason Starr  Chief Executive via Walbrook PR
Julie Pomeroy Finance Director via Walbrook PR
Chris Fielding  WH Ireland Limited (Nominated Adviser) 020 7220 1650

Tom Cooper/Paul Vann

Walbrook PR

020 7933 8780
0797 122 1972
dillistone@walbrookpr.com

Notes to Editors:

Dillistone Group Plc is a leader in the supply and support of software and services to recruiters. Dillistone operates through the Ikiru People brand.

The Group develops, markets and supports the Talentis, FileFinder, Infinity, Midoffice, ISV and GatedTalent products. 

Dillistone was admitted to AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc, in June 2006.  The Group employs around 90 people globally with offices in Basingstoke, Southampton, New Jersey and Sydney.

Talentis Recruitment Software: https://www.Talentis.global
Voyager Recruiter Software: https://www.voyagersoftware.com

Chairman’s Statement 

In my statement a year ago, I reported a strong start to 2020 prior to the impact of Covid. In our business, where a large part of our revenue is contracted annually in advance, the impact of a sudden shock can take time to impact through to revenue and profits.  As a result of this, our first half results show the expected fall in revenue and profitability compared to last year. 

What is clear, however, is that the Group and the markets it serves, are showing improved performance. While orders in Q1 of 2021 were down on a very strong opening period in 2020, total incoming orders were 67% higher in Q2 – reflecting both growth in new business sales and existing clients starting to add licences as confidence returns to the economy. 

Our investment in product development was maintained throughout the pandemic, and we are confident that this decision was the right one. In January we announced the launch of Talentis (https://www.talentis.global/recruitment-software/insights/) and continue to invest across our portfolio of recruitment solutions.

As previously announced our Group Finance Director, Julie Pomeroy, retires from executive leadership on 30 September 2021 but will remain with us as a non executive Director for 12 months to ensure a smooth handover to Joanne Curd who joins the Board on 1 October 2021.  We are also saying goodbye to Alex James as an Executive Director on 30 September, and he will leave the business on or before 31 January 2022. I would like to thank both Alex and Julie for their work on behalf of the Group.

Operational Review

Over the course of H1 2021, the Group has made significant progress on a number of fronts.

Our Talentis product, announced in January, has been very well received among its target audience. While it’s impact on revenue in 2021 will be very small, our expectation is that it will make a growing and significant contribution to the business in future years.

Talentis is a cross between a CRM and a candidate sourcing tool and operates in a manner that the Board believes is unique within its sector.  At its core is the Talentis TalentGraph, which contains detailed profiles of millions of individuals - including profiles associated with senior executives who may not be found on everyday social media platforms. The scale of the TalentGraph itself has more than doubled since launch, with approximately 50 million profiles currently included in the Index. The TalentGraph has the ability to recognise and interpret executive information across more than 1 billion distinct webpages. 

Talentis was launched in January and was initially available on a free basis.  First revenues were generated in late April and the platform is now used as a sourcing tool alongside the Group’s existing products, as well as on a standalone basis by firms that were not previously clients of the Group. User and client numbers are growing each month, and internal metrics suggest that our users are finding increasing value in the platform and this should continue as new functionality is being added on an ongoing basis.

The Group continues also to develop its established products. A major project is underway to convert our FileFinder product to a more modern cloud platform. While this has increased our Cloud costs in 2021, this is primarily down to the running of duplicated platforms. The cost should fall in 2022. 

Our Infinity CRM has continued to perform well and is increasingly competitive in the temporary staff sector, a fast growing niche where we also provide our Mid Office product. We are in the process of porting clients from our legacy VDQ platform to Infinity, and this process should be completed by June 2022.

Our GatedTalent division has extended its B2C product offerings in the first half and continues to provide career support to executives across the globe. Via our inhouse team and our external partners, we now provide services ranging from interview coaching to profile optimisation.

Candidate testing is an important part of the hiring process, and our skills testing product, ISV.Online, continues to be used by the majority of the UK’s largest recruiting firms.

Financial Performance

Revenue in the six months ended 30 June 2021 amounted to £2.801m, down £0.558m (17%) (2020: £3.359m) and reflecting the ending of client contracts entered into pre-covid.  Recurring revenues decreased by 17% to £2.522m over the comparable period last year (2020: £3.029m) and represented 90% of total revenues (2020: 90%).  Non-recurring revenues were down at £0.200m (2020: £0.290m).   

Cost of sales were broadly in line with 2020 at £0.336m (2020: £0.328m). Cost of sales were impacted by duplicating hosting costs for our FileFinder SaaS product as we moved to a new platform, a process which is expected to be largely completed in 2021 and will, allow us to deliver a better user experience at a lower cost. Excluding amortisation and depreciation and one-off type costs, administration expenses reduced by £0.299m to £2.006m (2020: £2.305m) reflecting the impact of Covid-19 and cost reductions.  The Group also continued to take advantage of the flexible furlough scheme during the period. The above administration expenses were covered 126% by recurring revenue (2020: 131%).  Excluding acquisition related items, depreciation and amortisation administrative costs decreased by 19% to £0.549m (2020: £0.678m).  

Administrative costs also included £0.107m (2020: £0.106m) relating to the amortisation of acquisition intangibles), and other items of credit £(0.092)m (2020: £nil made up of the write-off of a US payroll protection loan which was forgiven in the period and a Covid-19 related grant.  

The loss for the period increased to £0.141m (2020: loss £0.110m) before taxation and £(0.101m) (2020: £(0.088m)) after taxation.

There is a tax credit for the period of £0.040m (2020: credit £0.022m).  The 2020 and 2021 tax credits have benefited from claims in the UK for research and development reflecting the continuing development of our products.  Also, the tax credit was impacted through the increase in the rate for deferred tax to 25% (2020:19%).

Cash generated from operating activities increased to £0.562m (2020: £0.403m).  Total cash flows in the 6 months ended 30 June 2021 showed a net outflow of £0.110m (2020: inflow £1.043m).  The main elements of non-operating expenditure related to investment in new product development of £0.504m (2020: £0.499m) and loan repayments of £0.213m.  In 2020 we received a CBIL loan of £1.5m.  The 2019 bank loan was also fully repaid in the period.  At 30 June 2021, we had gross cash reserves of £1.175m (2020: £1.732m) and £1.964m in borrowings (2020: £2.309m).

Strategy

Our strategy is unchanged. We are excited by the opportunity provided by our new Talentis product and continue to invest across our product range and services, consistently delivering sector leading reviews on services like TrustPilot. 

Outlook

As explained above, our business model is such that the impact of Covid 19 will continue to unwind through the remainder of 2021 and this will be evident in our full year results and the level of recurring revenue that we carry into 2022. Nevertheless, the business is seeing improved new business sales, improved orders from existing clients, and improved operating cash flow. 

We therefore expect to deliver a significantly reduced loss before tax in 2021, compared with the prior year. Our cash position as at 31 August 2021 was £1.092m.

Giles Fearnley
Non-Executive Chairman

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