Source - SMW
AA's trading revenue grew 2% to £467m in the six months to the end of July as a result of a strong performance from Roadside Assistance with growth in paid personal member numbers for the last three months of the period.  

And the AAS says this has continued into August and September.

Group trading EBITDA was flat at £192m reflecting increased costs associated with the higher number of breakdowns in the period which are in part driven by greater awareness of the service achieved by the marketing campaign.

Operating profit remained flat at £132m as a result of higher share based charges partially offset by a lower level of exceptional items.  Profit before tax up £117m to £48m due to the absence of refinancing payments that impacted last year's results.

Adjusted earnings per share up 2% to 10.3p reflecting lower interest costs due to the new capital structure.

Cash conversion before exceptional items 99%, lower than last year due to the relative timing of working capital movements.

Net debt was £2,807m at period end. Adjusting net debt and EBITDA for the disposal of AA Ireland in August, net debt of £2,677m represents leverage7 of 6.7x EBITDA (July 2016: 6.7x).

Recommended dividend increased to 3.6p per share reflecting the good progress made in the transformation and our progressive dividend policy.

Of the £130m net proceeds from the sale of AA Ireland, £106m has been used for partial repayment of the Senior Term Facility which incurs no penalties for early payments

Executive chairman Bob Mackenzie said: "We are extremely encouraged by the reversal of the decline in paid personal members over the last few months. 

"The marketing strategy is achieving a significant impact on new business, and we are continuing to improve customer experience through digital innovation. 

"Now in the second year of the transformation of the AA, the investment we are making in technology is on track.

"We are increasingly confident about the scale of the opportunity for the brand across the Group's many products and services from breakdown cover to mortgages.

"Overall the performance of the business has been robust in the first half and we continue to trade in line with expectations.

"To date we see no impact on our operations from any Brexit related issues and, as we look forward, we believe we are creating significant momentum for the 2018 financial year."
  At 1:02pm: (LON:AA.) AA Plc share price was +8.2p at 293.2p

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