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Interim Results & Investor Presentation

Dillistone Group Plc
("Dillistone", the "Company" or the "Group")
Interim Results & Investor Presentation

Dillistone Group Plc, the AIM quoted supplier of software and services to recruiters, is pleased to announce interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2022.

Financial Highlights

  • Revenue increased by 1% to £2.823m. First H1 growth since 2017.
  • Recurring revenues represented 88% (2021: 90%) of Group revenue, which covers administration expenses (excluding depreciation and amortisation).
  • Annualised recurring revenue relating to Talentis ended H1 at £62k, an increase of over 300% on the equivalent figure at the end of H2 2021.
  • Growth in orders driven by improving performance in market. Order book increased by 13% year on year.
  • The Group benefited from flexible furlough support worth £0.170m in 2021. Excluding this, the Adjusted* loss on operating activity decreased from £0.260m in 2021 to £0.129m in 2022 - an improvement of 51%.
  • Net cash from operating activities broadly the same at £0.560m (2021: £0.562m).
  • Cash at period end of £0.608m. The Board does not expect the Group to require additional funding to reach profitability.

FULL INTERIM REPORT IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE

Operational Highlights

  • Improved performance in both UK contingency and global executive search sectors.
  • Contingency business successfully implemented previously announced large contract win. A further large contract was received post period end, providing confidence in H2 and visibility into the future.
  • Driven by Talentis, our executive search products had their best H1 in terms of new contract wins since 2017. 

Commenting on the results and prospects, Giles Fearnley, Non-Executive Chairman, said:

"In my statement in the annual report, I was optimistic for the future and our H1 results validate this belief. Revenue is growing, our order book is stronger and operational performance is improving. We enter the second half with a strong pipeline of business and are optimistic about delivering further progress in the coming months.

"While the Board is conscious of the broader economic situation, it expects the Group to deliver full year results in line with market expectations."

Note: "Adjusted" refers to activities before acquisition, reorganisation, furlough support, and one-off costs

 Investor Presentation: 3pm today, Monday 26 September 2022

Jason Starr, Chief Executive, and Ian Mackin, Interim Finance Director, will hold an investor presentation to cover the results and prospects at 3pm today, Monday 26 September 2022.

The presentation will be hosted through the digital platform Investor Meet Company. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company and add to meet Dillistone Group Plc via the following link https://www.investormeetcompany.com/dillistone-group-plc/register-investor. For those investors who have already registered and added to meet the Company, they will automatically be invited. 

Questions can be submitted pre-event to dillistone@walbrookpr.com or in real time during the presentation via the "Ask a Question" function. 

 This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.

Contacts:
 

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

Tom Cooper/Nick Rome

Walbrook PR

020 7933 8780
dillistone@walbrookpr.com

Notes to Editors:

Dillistone Group Plc is a global leader in the supply of technology solutions and test & train services to the recruitment sector worldwide, in both contingency recruitment and executive search markets.

Dillistone trades through the Ikiru People (www.IkiruPeople.com) brand, selling into recruitment, staffing and executive search businesses, as well as corporate talent acquisition teams around the world.

Ikiru People provides the platforms its clients need to test and train candidates, support further development, enhance the recruitment process, and source the best talent. Operating in more than 50 countries over six continents and working with thousands of users, the Group boasts more than 30 years in the market and 100's of years of collective experience.

The Group develops, markets and supports the Talentis, FileFinder, Infinity, Mid-Office, ISV and GatedTalent products.

Dillistone was admitted to AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc, in June 2006.

Learn about our products:

Talentis Software:                  https://www.talentis.global/recruitment-software/

Voyager Software:                 https://www.voyagersoftware.com

GatedTalent Services:            https://www.talentis.global/optimization-services/

 

Chairman's Statement 

In my statement in the annual report, I said that I was optimistic for the future. This has been validated by our first half results which show a strong and improving performance in both our executive search and contingency staffing markets.

In the first half, the Group has delivered increased revenue, improved cash generation and a healthy order book. The Group benefited from flexible furlough support worth £0.170m in 2021. Excluding this, the Adjusted loss on operating activity decreased from £0.260m in 2021 to £0.129m in 2022 - an improvement of 51%.

We have previously announced that our non-executive Director, Julie Pomeroy, was due to step down from the Board on 30th September 2022. We are pleased to say that Julie has now agreed to stay with the Group. We are also delighted to confirm that Ian Mackin, previously Interim FD has now accepted the position on a permanent basis. We would like to thank Joanne Curd, who left the Group at the end of July 2022, for her valuable contribution.

Operational Review

The Group has seen order book growth of 13%, helping us to deliver H1 year on year revenue growth. While much of the growth has been in non-recurring revenue, we are pleased to note that recurring revenue saw year on year quarterly growth during Q2 2022, and we fully expect this growth to continue into H2. Net debt stands at (£0.992m), against a 2021 figure of (£0.925m). Cash generation in H1 was ahead of budget and the Group does not expect to need to raise additional capital to restore profitability.

We are pleased to report an improving performance from both our contingency and executive search products.

Our contingency products (Infinity, ISV, Mid-Office and VDQ) saw revenue grow by a combined 9%, driven by a particularly strong performance from our Infinity recruiting CRM. Many of our Infinity projects have been on behalf of firms in the Temporary staffing space and, as such, some of these firms also implement our Mid-Office application.

The period saw the successful completion of our previously announced large Infinity order and we are pleased to report that, post period end, we have won a further large contract for this product.

Our ISV product continues to make a contribution to profits, with clients including many of the UK's largest recruitment businesses. A number of these firms are on multi-year contracts.

The increasingly strong performance by Infinity has allowed the Group to prepare for the withdrawal of support for our VDQ product, and this is expected to occur over the coming months.

Our market share in the executive search software space (where historically we have offered FileFinder and GatedTalent) has fallen over recent years. However, we are delighted to report that this trend has begun to reverse. Driven by strong performance by our Talentis product, launched in 2021, this part of our business has added more than 50 new clients in the first half. In terms of new client wins, this was our best executive search CRM performance since 2017.

Launched in early 2021 and provided as part of a package to many FileFinder clients, Talentis now also has "stand alone" paying clients on six continents. Most of these clients have a small number of users, but we expect average client size (and associated revenue) to grow over time as we continue to develop and extend the product. Annualised recurring revenue associated with Talentis ended H1 at £62k, an increase of over 300% on the equivalent figure at the end of H2 2021. Across the Group, it has become our fastest growing CRM product by number of contract wins in the period.

Our FileFinder product has seen improved client retention, partly as a result of our decision to provide Talentis as part of a package to many of these firms. We have now completed our re-engineering of the FileFinder SaaS platform and are pleased to report a reduction in our FileFinder hosting costs of 21% in the period, largely as a result of this work.

GatedTalent continues to make a contribution to the Group, and the period has seen us undertake work to improve the margin associated with the professional services delivered under this banner. As part of this, we were delighted when one of our employees became - we believe - the first resume writer in Europe to be recognised by the National Résumé Writers' Association.

Across all of our product range, we continue to deliver best-in-class customer service. During the period, we were delighted to become, we believe, the first firm in our market to earn a "5* Excellent" rating on Trustpilot.

Financial Performance

Revenue in the six months ended 30 June 2022 amounted to £2.823m, up £0.022m (1%) (2021: £2.801m). Recurring revenues decreased by 2% to £2.477m over the comparable period last year (2021: 17% decline on 2020 H1 to £2.522m). However, in Q2 2022 we experienced our first year on year growth in quarterly recurring revenue since Q2 2018. Recurring revenues represented 88% of total revenues (2021: 90%).  Non-recurring revenues were up 30% at £0.261m (2021: £0.200m).  

Cost of sales increased 4% to £0.351m (2021: £0.336m), benefitting from a decrease of 21% in hosting costs for our FileFinder SaaS product as we moved to a new platform. This helped offset a growth driven rise in cloud and data processing costs elsewhere.

Adjusted administration expenses decreased by £0.139m to £2.037m (2021: £2.176m). These expenses are covered 122% by recurring revenue (2021: 116%)

Amortisation of acquisition intangibles amounted to £0.082m (2021: £0.107m). In 2021 other items of credit £(0.092m) were received, which included the write-off of a US payroll protection loan which was forgiven in the period and, in Australia, a Covid-19 related grant. 

The loss for the period before tax increased to £0.274m (2021: loss £0.141m). The loss after tax was £(0.183m) (2021: £(0.101m)).

There is a tax credit for the period of £0.091m (2021: credit £0.040m).  The 2021 and 2022 tax credits have benefited from claims in the UK for research and development reflecting the continuing development of our products. 

Cash generated from operating activities stayed broadly level at £0.560m (2021: £0.562m).  Total cash flows in the 6 months ended 30 June 2022 showed a net outflow of £0.186m (2021: outflow £0.110m).  The main elements of non-operating expenditure related to investment in new product development of £0.477m (2021: £0.504m) and loan repayments of £0.150m (2021: £0.213m).

At 30 June 2022, we had net cash reserves of £0.608m (2021: £1.039m) and £1.600m in borrowings (2021: £1.964m).

The CBIL loan balance stands at £1.200m and, on the current payment profile, has another 4 years until it is fully repaid. The Group also has a convertible loan of £0.400m, which will not be repaid until the CBIL loan has been repaid.

Strategy

Our long-term strategy is unchanged, concentrating on returning to sustainable growth and increasing profits. We are excited by the opportunity provided by our new Talentis product and the continued investment across our product range, backed up by consistently delivering "best in class" service to our clients.

Outlook

In my statement in the annual report, I was optimistic for the future. This remains my view, and I am delighted to that our performance during and since H1 has compounded this opinion.

In our view, Infinity has become a leading product in the UK temporary staffing sector, and we believe that this market is likely to perform well during any economic downturn.  Talentis continues to grow rapidly and, based on the number of contracts signed in H1, we believe that the product has taken a significant share of new orders in the market and will increasingly be considered a market leader in the sectors it serves. Our aim now is to increase the size and value of the contracts associated with this product - and we are already seeing progress to this end. We remain very excited by the opportunity that Talentis presents for our Group.

The Group expects to deliver full year results in line with market expectations. Our cash position as at 31 August 2022 was £0.617m and we do not expect to raise additional funds to reach profitability.

Giles Fearnley
Non-Executive Chairman

FULL INTERIM REPORT IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE