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Replacement Half-year Report

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

Dillistone Group Plc, the AIM quoted supplier of recruitment software for the international recruitment industry through its Dillistone Systems, Voyager Software and GatedTalent divisions, is pleased to announce its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018.

Key points of the results:

  • Order intake ahead of same period in 2017
  • Revenue of £4.4m (2017: £4.9m) reflecting previously announced loss of client on legacy platform and exchange rate movements
  • Recurring revenue of £3.6m (2017: £3.9m)
  • Recurring revenues represent 81% of total revenue
  • Both Dillistone Systems and Voyager Software divisions profitable
  • As expected GatedTalent division made a loss of £(0.315m) (2017: loss of £0.182m)
  • Cash generated from operating activities was £0.617m (2017: £1.064m)
  • Operating profit of £0.017m before acquisition related items (2017: £0.186m)
  • Cash balances of £1.065m at 30 June 2018 (30 June 2017: £1.114m)
  • September saw next stage of GatedTalent project launch successfully
  • GatedTalent membership growth in September ahead of previous best month 
  • First “Enterprise” contract for GatedTalent access signed.

FULL INTERIM REPORT IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE

Commenting on the results and prospects, Mike Love, Non-Executive Chairman, said:

“We are happy to report that both Dillistone Systems and Voyager Software delivered a profit and that the Group made an operating profit before acquisition related items, despite the significant investment in GatedTalent.

“Voyager delivered an excellent order book in the first half and enters the second half with a strong delivery pipeline.  Dillistone Systems also saw year on year growth in order intake during that period and is additionally set to benefit from the next phase of GatedTalent which, we believe, will impact positively on both client retention and new business wins in the executive search sector.”

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

Results Webinar - Jason Starr, Chief Executive, and Julie Pomeroy, Finance Director, will be hosting a webinar to review the results at 3.00pm on Thursday 11 October 2018.  To register please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/119083000587990796 or contact Tom Cooper on tom.cooper@walbrookpr.com or 0797 122 1972.

Enquiries:

Mike Love (Chairman) Dillistone Group Plc 020 7749 6100
Jason Starr (Chief Executive) Dillistone Group Plc 020 7749 6100
Julie Pomeroy (Finance Director) Dillistone Group Plc 020 7749 6100
Chris Fielding (Nominated Adviser) WH Ireland Limited 020 7220 1650

Tom Cooper/Paul Vann

Walbrook PR

020 3176 4722
0797 122 1972

tom.cooper@walbrookpr.com

Notes to Editors:

Dillistone Group Plc (www.dillistonegroup.com) is a leader in the supply and support of software and services to the recruitment industry. It has five brands operating through three divisions: Dillistone Systems, which targets the executive search industry (www.dillistone.com); Voyager Software, which targets other recruitment markets (www.voyagersoftware.com); and GatedTalent, the next generation executive recruitment database (www.GatedTalent.com).

Dillistone has made three acquisitions: Voyager Software in September 2011, FCP Internet in July 2013 and ISV Software in September 2014.  The Group operates under the FileFinder, Infinity, Evolve, ISV and GatedTalent brands. 

Dillistone was admitted to AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc, in June 2006.  The Group employs over 100 people globally with offices in London (head office) Basingstoke and Southampton, Frankfurt, New Jersey and Sydney.

Chairman’s Statement

Most notably, this period has seen the Group, across all divisions, focusing on delivering solutions to its clients to enable them to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”) which came into force in May 2018.  GDPR has had a significant impact on all suppliers in our space and we have invested significant time and resources across our Group in ensuring that our clients were able to stay compliant with these new regulations.  The divisions have also expended a significant amount of time in educating clients on the ramifications of GDPR.

GatedTalent was launched against this background and, after a slow start, is now seeing accelerating growth in executive registrations.  Our clients have sent millions of messages through the platform, and compliancy notes continue to flow through the platform every working day.  In addition, we are increasingly seeing executives registering directly with the platform and as a result, we are now seeing well over 1,000 new registrations on the platform every week.

The membership base is exceptionally senior, with approximately 10% of its members being currently employed in a CEO role.  Furthermore, the database is highly diverse, with executives registered from more than 100 nations, with the United States being the largest single source of registrations.

The continuing growth of the membership pool meant that, in September, GatedTalent was able to turn on the monetisation element of the platform, although it will generate only minimal revenue in 2018.  This is however a significant milestone for the division and Group.  As previously noted, the GatedTalent division expects to be loss making in both 2018 and 2019.

Incoming orders have been strong in the 6 months to 30 June, with both Voyager Software and Dillistone Systems reporting orders ahead of the same period in 2017.  As expected, the previously announced loss of a major client and the impact of exchange rates have had a negative impact on recurring revenues compared to the same period in the previous year. 

Revenue is down £0.446m (9%) to £4.450m of which £0.219m related to the loss of the major client and £0.052m related to the negative impact of exchange rate movement compared to the prior year.  Recurring revenues represented 81% of revenues (2017 restated: 81%).  Loss after tax, acquisition related items, and the loss in the GatedTalent division of £0.315m (2017: loss of £0.182m), was £(0.173m) (2017 restated profit: £0.033m).

Divisional review

Dillistone Systems has seen orders in the 6 months to June 2018 ahead of that in the same period in 2017.  We believe that the accelerating growth of the GatedTalent membership will start to support sales of the Dillistone FileFinder CRM platform as the year progresses.  FileFinder benefits from exclusive integration with GatedTalent.

Dillistone Systems (www.dillistone.com) reported revenues of £2.122m (2017 restated: £2.241m).  Divisional profits are up to £0.100m (2017 restated: £0.027m).  The period saw a significant amount of divisional resource diverted to work on initiatives associated with our GatedTalent product – with resources associated with sales and marketing, implementation, support and development all being diverted from purely FileFinder related activities over this period.  This continued into the summer.  Over the longer term, the two divisions will have a symbiotic relationship – success in one will lead to success in the other – but there is no question that the diverted resource had an impact on the first half performance of our Dillistone Systems division and has continued throughout the summer period.  We believe that, with the recent of launch of the GatedTalent “Search and Connect” functionality, we are now moving into a period where Dillistone Systems will begin to benefit from this investment.

Voyager Software (www.voyagersoftware.com) reported revenues of £2.314m (2017 restated: £2.655m) with recurring revenue down 12% to £1.791m due mainly to the loss of the major legacy contract in February 2018 which accounts for £0.219m of the fall in revenue. The Voyager division has enjoyed significant growth in new orders in the first half of the year and will see the benefit of this as the year develops. Divisional profits reduced by £0.113m to £0.307m in the period, in part due to the contract loss offset by cost saving measures.

Although GatedTalent generated its first revenues in the period of £0.014m, revenues are expected to remain at a low level for the remainder of 2018.  In the period, it made a loss of £(0.315m) (2017: loss of £0.182m).  GatedTalent is expected to be loss making in 2018 and 2019.

Financial Performance

Revenue in the six months ended 30 June 2018 decreased by 9% to £4.450m (2017 restated: £4.896m).  Recurring revenues decreased by 8% to £3.626m over the comparable period last year (2017 restated: £3.943m) and represented 81% of total revenues (2017 restated: 81%).  Non-recurring revenues were down at £0.601m (2017 restated: £0.708m).  Revenue suffered slightly from the strengthening in sterling; using 2017 rates revenue for the period would have been £0.052m higher.

Cost of sales reduced by £0.210m in H1 2018 in part due to the direct costs relating to the lost contract and also due to reallocation of certain IT costs to administration costs.  Administration expenses reduced by £0.021m in H1 2018, again in part due to the lost contract and also through appropriate cost savings.   Excluding acquisition related items, depreciation and amortisation increased 7% to £0.587m (2017: £0.551m).  Administrative costs also included £0.235m (2017: £0.189m) relating to the amortisation of acquisition intangibles. The loss for the period before taxation increased to £0.234m (2017 restated: loss £0.008m). 

There is a tax credit for the period of £0.061m (2017: credit £0.041m).  The 2017 and 2018 tax credits have benefited from claims in the UK for research and development tax credits reflecting the continuing development of our products.  In addition, the full IFRS 15 adjustment became tax deductible on 1 January 2018 and has resulted in a deferred tax asset as at 1 January 2017 and has been reflected in the 2017 and 2018 tax credit.

Cash generated from operating activities was £0.617m (2017: £1.064m).  Total cash flow in the 6 months ended 30 June 2018 showed a net outflow of £0.318m (2017: outflow £0.434m).  The main elements of non-operating expenditure related to investment in new product development of £0.748m (2017: £0.595m) and deferred consideration payments in respect of acquisitions of £0.146m (2017: £0.220m).  At 30 June 2018, we had cash reserves of £1.065m (2017: £1.114m) and £0.400m in borrowings (2017: £0.072m).

In view of the continuing investment in GatedTalent, the Board has decided not to pay an interim dividend.  Future dividends will depend on Group performance. 

IFRS 15: Revenue from Contracts with Customers

IFRS 15 came into force on 1 January 2018.  The impact on the Group in 2018 is set out in note 5.  Prior year periods have been restated to reflect the impact of IFRS 15.

Strategy

The Group continues to believe that GatedTalent has the potential to be transformational for the Group, taking it from a supplier of CRM solutions in a crowded market to potentially being the custodian of one of the World’s largest private pools of executive drafted biographical information.  If successful, this new platform has the potential to be highly profitable in its own right, whilst also delivering a very significant competitive advantage to other Group products.

Outlook

The Group continues to invest across its full range of products to ensure that they remain relevant for the changing market place and retain the confidence of our client base. The Group currently expects that the full year profit before tax and acquisition related items will be in line with market expectations. The Group continues to have a strong balance sheet.

Dr Mike Love
Non-Executive Chairman

FULL INTERIM REPORT IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE​