Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 8065I
GB Group PLC
21 April 2022
 

Embargoed until 7.00 a.m.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

 

GB Group PLC

("GBG" or the "Company")

Pre-Close Trading Statement

 

GB Group plc (AIM: GBG), the experts in digital location, identity verification and fraud software, today announces a trading update for the year to 31 March 2022 and an update on the integration of Acuant.

 

Strong performance ahead of expectations

 

GBG has had another year of strong trading performance across each of its reporting segments and we are pleased to report that the Company has delivered group revenue and adjusted operating profit ahead of market expectations.

 

GBG expects to report revenue¹ for the year ended 31 March 2022 of approximately £242 million, including approximately £13 million of initial revenue¹ from the recent acquisitions of Acuant and Cloudcheck. Organic constant currency growth² is expected to be approximately 10.5% for the year. This level of growth is pleasing given the substantial one-off benefit in the prior year related to the US government's stimulus programme; adjusting for this, underlying growth was c.15%.

 

In Identity, second-half underlying growth was good across all regions driven by an increasing number of digital transformation projects requiring identity verification capabilities and further demand in the fintech sector. Location's underlying growth was supported by the ongoing consumer shift to greater online activity and structural tailwinds as brands adopt direct-to-consumer strategies. As anticipated, Fraud experienced strong year-on-year growth with on-premise deployment activity resuming, enabling new contract wins and strong customer retention.

 

As a result of this strong revenue performance, GBG expects to deliver an adjusted operating profit margin at the upper end of expectations, of c. 24%, resulting in adjusted operating profits of not less than £58 million, ahead of market expectations.

 

Taking into account the Acuant and Cloudcheck acquisitions, completed at the end of November 2021 and January 2022 respectively, proforma³ enlarged group revenue was approximately £275 million for the year ended 31 March 2022.

 

Cash generation has continued to be strong, enabling the Group to repay $40 million of the $210 million of debt financing drawn in November 2021 to finance the acquisition of Acuant. GBG's net debt at 31 March 2022 was £107 million.

 

We continue to monitor events in Eastern Europe closely, supporting a small number of team members with connections to Ukraine during this difficult time. GBG has no operations or active suppliers in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine and we can confirm that business has been suspended with the small number of customers who are incorporated in Russia. Exposure to Russian customers is limited with combined revenue in FY22 of less than 0.5% of Group revenue.

 

[1] FY22 reported revenue impacted by the deferred revenue 'haircut' acquisition accounting adjustment

2 After adjusting for the effects of currency translation, acquisitions and the prior year divested businesses

3 Proforma includes a full 12 months of GBG, Acuant and Cloudcheck

Creating a global leader in the identity market

The acquisition of Acuant was driven by a compelling strategic rationale.  It substantially increases our presence in North America - the world's largest and most strategically important market - while also accelerating the development of new products and technology, driving further returns for shareholders. We are pleased with the progress to date in integrating Acuant and realising these benefits. 

 

GBG and Acuant customer feedback has been positive, recognising the power of our combined capabilities to strengthen our position as a global leader in identity verification and identity fraud services and we are generating a strong pipeline of cross-selling opportunities.

 

Integration will continue at pace with our industry-leading teams of Acuant & IDology combining to form the largest pure play identity verification player in the Americas. We have also announced the formation of a Global Products group that brings together key aspects of our fraud and IDV roadmaps to accelerate our capabilities and ensure a consistent customer experience globally. Together the teams have made excellent progress in realising at least £5 million of synergy benefits for FY23, with £3 million already identified and implemented.

 

GBG expects to announce its full year results during the week commencing 13th June 2022.

 

Chris Clark, CEO of GBG, commented:

 

"I am very proud of the growth we have delivered in FY22 and our achievements in delivering business-critical digital identity solutions to our customers. All GBG's team members deserve a huge thank you for their continuing dedication in FY22.

 

We carry momentum into our new financial year with real enthusiasm for what we can achieve despite some significant macro uncertainties, including ongoing pandemic restrictions, geopolitical uncertainties and the backdrop of rising inflation.

 

The acquisition of Acuant accelerates our product and market strategies and we are confident that, together, we have more resources and opportunities than ever before to achieve our significant potential."

 

 

For further information, please contact:

GBG

Chris Clark, CEO & David Ward, CFO

Richard Foster, Investor Relations

 

 

+44 (0) 1244 657333

+44 (0) 7816 124164

Peel Hunt LLP
(Nominated Adviser and Broker)

Edward Knight & Paul Gillam

 

 


+44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Tulchan Communications LLP

James Macey White & Matt Low

 

 

+44 (0) 20 7353 4200

GBG@tulchangroup.com

 

Investor website

www.gbgplc.com/investors

 



About GBG

We are the experts in digital location, identity and managing fraud risk and compliance. Helping organisations across the globe eliminate customer friction and fraud from their digital experiences. GBG develop and deliver digital identity, address verification, fraud prevention and compliance software to over 21,000 customers globally.

 

Through the combination of the latest technology, the most accurate data and our unrivalled expertise, GBG helps organisations ranging from start-ups to the largest consumer and technology brands in the world deliver seamless experiences, so their customers can transact online with greater confidence.

 

GBG is headquartered in the UK with over 1,250 team members across 17 countries.

                                                                                      

To find out more about how we help our customers establish trust with their customers visit www.gbgplc.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @gbgplc.

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