Source - RNS
RNS Number : 3374R
Christie Group PLC
14 June 2018
 

14 June 2018

Christie Group plc
("Christie Group" or the "Company")

AGM Statement


Christie Group plc (CTG.L), the leading provider of Professional Business Services and Stock & Inventory Systems & Services to the leisure, retail and care markets, announces that at today's Annual General Meeting, the Chairman and Chief Executive, David Rugg, issued the following statement:

"As I advised at the time of the release of our 2017 results in April, the year started well.  I'm pleased to say that progress continues. In particular, our international businesses have performed better overall than in the corresponding period last year. 

Professional Business Services

We have enjoyed a busy period featuring several noteworthy transactions. At Christie & Co our childcare and education specialists have just announced the sale of Mace Montessori schools. Mace is the UK's largest Montessori group, comprising 10 schools based around central London. Christie & Co recently completed the investment sale of Si Centrum in Stuttgart, the largest complex we have ever sold. This comprises 126 square meters of leisure and entertainments facilities, plus 192 apartments.

Our strategy of maintaining regionally based sector specialist ensures we are a "go to" choice for equity owners and financiers of multi-site chains seeking to maximise proceeds through a sale of their constituent business units, be that pubs, hotels, care or retail operations. For example, we have recently been selected to sell 145 Wyevale Garden Centres, the UK's largest chain of such businesses.

Christie Finance continues to support our transactional business through the procurement of debt funding, now on both a secured and unsecured basis. Our finance brokers have significantly increased their pipeline of deals in the course of funding.

New initiatives are planned to boost volumes of Christie Insurance's placement of cover of trading businesses in our second half. We have also seen an increase in demand for Cyber Insurance.

Pinders, our appraisal business, has seen a strong volume of valuation instructions in the "white coat" sectors. It also continues to attract instructions as experts for dispute resolution work. Most such assignments are settled out of court from positions Pinders establish and substantiate.

Stock & Inventory Systems & Services

Performance in our first half has been constrained by the tightness of the labour market, particularly the availability of casual staff. We have reacted by creating full time opportunities where possible, whilst retaining flexibility.

In the UK we believe that there will be a consolidation of the supply of retail stocktaking services given the reduction of stock levels retailed through the store. We intend to benefit from such consolidation. In Europe we have won work from Adidas, Pepsi, Intermarche and others.

In the hospitality sector, Venners continues to deliver growth. Alongside being appointed as stocktakers to Millennium Hotels and Giggling Squid restaurants, they have also experienced a major demand for compliance audit assistance, mainly due to the slowdown in the casual dining market and the resultant requirement for control over costs.

Vennersys, our online enterprise system for family entertainment business, has added to its user base with Bentley Priory Museum, Wild n Wacky, Painshill Park Trust and Dunvegan Castle, amongst others.

Encouragingly and as anticipated, our existing clients' business continues to migrate online, meaning that an increasing proportion of their revenue is secured online, through our portal.

Retirement - Tony Chambers

Our Senior Non-Executive Director, Tony Chambers, stands down from the board today. Tony joined our board in 2004. I take this opportunity to express both personally and on behalf of the board our appreciation and admiration of Tony's astute and stalwart service over the past 14 years. We wish both Tony and his wife Rosemary a long and fulfilling retirement.

Summary

In summary, our progress has been maintained. We remain optimistic of the outturn for the year as a whole."

 

Enquiries:

 

Christie Group plc

David Rugg                                                                                                                                           020 7227 0707

Chairman and Chief Executive

 

Dan Prickett                                                                                                                                         020 7227 0700

Chief Operating Officer

 

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited:

Dominic Morley / Charles Leigh-Pemberton                                                                                 020 7886 2906

Nominated Adviser & Broker

 

Notes to Editors:

Christie Group plc, quoted on AIM, is a leading professional business services group with 44 offices across the UK, Europe and Canada, catering to its specialist markets in the leisure, retail and care sectors.

Christie Group operates in two complementary business divisions: Professional Business Services (PBS) and Stock & Inventory Systems & Services (SISS). These divisions trade under the brand names: PBS - Christie & Co, Pinders, Christie Finance and Christie Insurance: SISS - Orridge, Venners and Vennersys.

Tracing its origins back to 1846, the Group has a long established reputation for offering essential services to client companies in agency, valuation services, investment, consultancy, project management, multi-functional trading systems and online ticketing services, stock audit and inventory management. The diversity of these services provides a natural balance to the Group's core agency business.

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014.

For more information, please go to www.christiegroup.com


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