14 July 2021
THE MISSION GROUP plc
("MISSION", "the Group")
TRADING UPDATE AND NOTICE OF INTERIM RESULTS
The MISSION Group plc (AIM: TMG), creator of work that counts comprising a network of 16 Agencies delivering real, sustainable growth for its Clients, today provides the following trading update for the six months ended 30 June 2021 ("the period").
Trading during the first half of 2021 has been ahead of the Board's expectations. Despite severe lockdown restrictions continuing to be in place in all of its trading markets during this period, the Group has continued to see a marked sequential quarter on quarter recovery in both revenue and profitability.
MISSION expects to report revenues for the period of £31.6m (2020: £29.1m) and a Headline operating profit of £2.0m (2020: loss of £1.8m). The Group has a historic second half year weighting in profitability and it currently expects to be on track with full year expectations.
The Group is well financed with committed banking facilities of £20.0m. It made no new acquisitions in the period but settled £1.2m of obligations in relation to acquisitions made in prior years, paid the deferred 2019 dividend (£1.4m) and repaid all outstanding, deferred HMRC payments (£3.1m). The Group's net bank debt at 30 June 2021 was better than expected at £3.8m (30 June 2020: £0.9m, 31 December 2020 £1.2m).
Across its diverse portfolio, MISSION has been at the forefront of activity across sectors that have remained resilient or have started to demonstrate sustained recovery. The Group once again saw a particularly strong performance from its technology division with further growth in both the UK and North American markets. Brand Agency Bray Leino has also traded strongly during the period and the Group was pleased to see further recovery in its specialist property marketing Agency ThinkBDW, including the signing of a multi-year £20m digital transformation programme with housebuilder Redrow.
New business opportunities across the Group have continued to present themselves, with new Client wins across various business sectors in the period including automotive (Porsche GB), healthcare (Novo Nordisk) and food & drink (Bottlegreen, Burts Chips).
The strategic investments made in the prior year have continued to underpin the specialist expertise we can offer our Agencies to deliver a flexible multi discipline service for our Clients. During the period we completed the effective rollout of MISSION Made, the 24/7 digital production studio, innovation hub and evolving e-commerce capability. We remain focussed on exploring further organic and acquisitive growth opportunities to leverage our compelling infrastructure further.
The Board is committed to its previously stated long term progressive dividend policy and will continue to monitor the situation as this year progresses in line with performance.
On the 15 June 2021, the Board confirmed that David Morgan would be retiring as Executive Chairman of the Group from 30 September 2021 along with Deputy Chairman and Board Director Robert Day, who will also step down at this time. David will be replaced by Julian Hanson-Smith as Non-Executive Chairman, who has served as a Non-Executive Director of MISSION since 2015, as part of a seamless transition that has been planned for some time.
Commenting on the trading update, James Clifton, Group Chief Executive of The MISSION Group plc, said:
"Despite the profound and prolonged third lockdown in the first half of 2021 and its inevitable impact on the pace of economic recovery, particularly across certain market sectors and geographies, I'm pleased to report that trading across MISSION has continued to improve.
"Given the recent and welcome Government update about the UK's exit from lockdown restrictions, our unique positioning and proven business model means we are well placed to capitalise on the continued recovery in all our markets."
Notice of results
MISSION intends to publish its Interim results for the 6 months ended 30 June 2021 on 22 September 2021.
James Clifton, Chief Executive
Giles Lee, Chief Financial Officer
The MISSION Group plc
020 7462 1415
Mark Percy / James Thomas / Sarah Mather (Corporate Advisory)
Shore Capital (Nomad and Broker)
020 7408 4090
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Kate Hoare / Laura Stewart
0204 529 0549
HOUSTON (Financial PR and Investor Relations)
MISSION is a collective of Creative and MarTech Agencies led by entrepreneurs who encourage an independent spirit. Employing 1,000 people across 27 locations and 3 continents, the Group successfully combines its diverse expertise to bring about commercially effective solutions for some of the world's biggest Clients.