The combination of Wilmington’s encouraging performance for the six months ended 31 December 2014, its reinvigorated strategy and its relaunched branding has provided clear evidence that the company is moving firmly in the right direction. Chief Executive Pedro Ros, speaking in London on 25 February, not only presented results that were well-received, but also confirmed the successful completion of Wilmington’s restructuring for growth.
Commenting on the results, Ros said:
“Trading has been in line with the board’s expectations and, as our clients’ businesses are exposed to increasingly complex legislation and ever-tighter regulatory control, we remain confident that global demand for Wilmington’s products and services will grow correspondingly.”
With organic revenue growing by 8% to £46.1 million and adjusted pre-tax profit up 14% to £8.1 million, there are clear signs that Wilmington is already benefiting from a renewed focus on areas with the greatest growth potential. Reaction from the City was almost immediate, with broker Westhouse Securities quick to upgrade its investment rating for the company’s shares.
“We are pleased with the positive trading momentum and margin progress evident in these results and by the increased focus on organic growth and exploiting organisational synergies under WIL’s refreshed strategy. We believe … that the potential for upgrades as the year develops has strengthened.”
Among other favourable reactions, broker Numis Securities was equally positive; according to The Interactive Investor, the broker commented:
“Numbers firmly underpinned in 2015, with risk on the upside as we move through H2. Wilmington shares remain very good value at current levels, we reiterate our Buy and 315p target.”
CFO’s Review Highlights Operational Excellence
Expanding on the overall numbers, CFO Tony Foye’s operational review highlighted an excellent performance by Risk & Compliance companies. The division, which includes Wilmington’s fastest-growing and highest-margin businesses, recorded a 15% increase in first-half revenue at 32% margin (2013: 33%), and is set to deliver more of the same.
When these results are taken together with Wilmington’s growing international footprint – 38% of total revenue is now generated outside the UK – the company’s senior management is understandably bullish about prospects for the remainder of the year and beyond. Ros confirmed that he would pursue a limited number of strategically targeted acquisitions to fill identified gaps in Wilmington’s portfolio. The outlook for the remainder of 2014/15, he confirmed, “remains on track.”
Readers wishing to download either of the presentations can do so here.