Dillistone Group Plc
(“Dillistone”, the “Company” or the “Group”)
Dillistone Group Plc, the AIM quoted supplier of recruitment software for the international recruitment industry through its Dillistone Systems, Voyager Software and GatedTalent divisions, is pleased to announce its audited final results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2017.
Highlights for the year:
- Record level of recurring revenues1, of £7.474m, up 6% from 2016 with total revenue down 4% to £9.582m
- Recurring revenues, representing 78% of Group revenue, covering 97% of Group administration expenses before acquisition related and one-off costs
- GatedTalent launched in October 2017 and which made an operating loss of £0.439m
- Adjusted operating profit2 fell to £0.309m (2016: £1.463m) before acquisition intangible writes offs and an adjustment for the loss of a contract in our Voyager division which totalled £0.823m pre-tax
- Loss for the year of £0.071m (2016: profit £0.526m)
- Adjusted basic EPS3 of 3.08p (2016: 7.10p)
- A final dividend of 0.5p per share recommended (2016: 2.8p)
- Cash funds at 31 December 2017 of £1.390m (2016: £1.537m) with borrowings of £0.391m (2016: £0.158m)
- New GatedTalent platform grows rapidly, with more than 160 contracted search firm clients by 26 April 2018 and first revenues in 2018
- Executive membership on the GatedTalent platform is both senior and diverse with CEO, Managing Director and General Manager being most frequently referenced current position and members registered from 75 countries
Commenting on the results and prospects, Mike Love, Non-Executive Chairman, said:
“The current trading performance of the Group is positive with orders for both Dillistone Systems and Voyager Software ahead of the same period in 2017 – with the former more than 25% up on the same period in 2017 and the latter having one of the best quarters for new business orders in its history.
“Our GatedTalent product, launched in October 2017, has been very well received with a growth trajectory that, we believe, will lead to it becoming the dominant product in its market space within a year.
“Recurring revenues for 2017 were at record levels and, despite the ongoing investment in product development, cash reserves have held up well. Overall, despite the evident pressure on new licence sales in 2017 and the loss for the year of £0.071m, going into 2018 the Group believes that it is now in a stronger position in its core markets than in recent years.
“This confidence in the future allows us to recommend a final dividend of 0.5p and we anticipate reporting further positive progress as the year progresses.”
1. The component elements of recurring revenues are detailed in note 5.
2. Adjusted operating profit is statutory operating profit before acquisition costs, related intangible amortisation, movements in contingent consideration and other one-off costs. See note 4.
3. Adjusted basic EPS is computed from statutory profits after tax adjusted to exclude the post-tax effect of acquisition costs, related intangible amortisation, movements in contingent consideration and other one-off costs. See note 9.
Results Webinar – Jason Starr, Chief Executive, and Julie Pomeroy, Finance Director, will be hosting a webinar to review the results at 2.00pm on Wednesday 2 May 2018. To register please visit https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6953940844866187265 or contact Tom Cooper on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0797 122 1972.
Annual Report and Accounts – The final results announcement can be downloaded from the Company’s website (www.dillistonegroup.com). Copies of the Annual Report and Accounts (in addition to the notice of the Annual General Meeting) will be sent to shareholders by 31 May 2018 for approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 26 June 2018.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
|Mike Love (Chairman)||Dillistone Group Plc||020 7749 6100|
|Jason Starr (Chief Executive)||Dillistone Group Plc||020 7749 6100|
|Julie Pomeroy (Finance Director)||Dillistone Group Plc||020 7749 6100|
|Chris Fielding (Nominated Adviser)||WH Ireland Limited||020 7220 1650|
|Tom Cooper/Paul Vann||Walbrook PR||020 3176 4722
0797 122 1972
Notes to Editors:
Dillistone Group Plc (www.dillistonegroup.com) is a leader in the supply and support of software and services to the recruitment industry. It has five brands operating through three divisions: Dillistone Systems, which targets the executive search industry (www.dillistone.com); Voyager Software, which targets other recruitment markets (www.voyagersoftware.com); and GatedTalent, the next generation executive recruitment database (www.GatedTalent.com).
Dillistone has made three acquisitions: Voyager Software in September 2011, FCP Internet in July 2013 and ISV Software in September 2014. The Group operates under the FileFinder, Infinity, Evolve, ISV and GatedTalent brands.
Dillistone was admitted to AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange plc, in June 2006. The Group employs over 100 people globally with offices in London (head office) Basingstoke and Southampton, Frankfurt, New Jersey and Sydney.
2017 was an exciting year for the Dillistone Group with the launch of GatedTalent (www.GatedTalent.com) on 9 October 2017 at the World Executive Search Congress. Our business has traditionally been involved in the supply of technology to the recruiting and associated sectors. GatedTalent is a private network – a tool which allows executives to share information with trusted recruiters. It is a first for our Group and has the potential to transform the nature of the Group’s underlying business model from software to data.
More generally, trading across the Group was challenging in 2017, although we did see some improvement in operational performance in the second half of the year – despite the increasing costs associated with GatedTalent. Overall, Group revenue fell 4% to £9.582m, of which recurring revenue grew 6% to £7.474m.
Adjusted operating profit dropped significantly to £0.309m, in part due to the investment made in GatedTalent and in part due to a decline in new licence sales. Excluding our GatedTalent investment, the Group remained cash generative across this year.
As anticipated in our Interim statement, a SaaS contract with a major client expired in early 2018. This contract, with a client using a legacy product acquired as a result of an acquisition made several years ago, was worth in the region of £600,000 per annum in contribution terms to the Group. Consequently, the Group has accelerated its acquisition intangibles amortisation by £0.459m, taking total amortisation to £0.838m (2016: £0.379m).
The Board has raised £0.400m from the Directors and PDMRs (person discharging managerial responsibilities) in the form of a convertible loan note to provide continued funding for GatedTalent. The loan notes carry an interest rate of 8.15% and a conversion price of 71.6p. The loan note has a 3-year duration but with various rights for early conversion or repayment.
In view of the fund raising carried out to develop GatedTalent, we did not pay an interim dividend. However, we propose paying a final dividend of 0.5p (2016: 2.8p) subject to Shareholder approval. The dividend will be payable on 13 July 2018 to Shareholders on the register on 15 June 2018. Shares will trade ex-dividend from 14 June 2018. Future dividends will depend on Group performance.
Our staff are fundamental to our success. It is through their efforts, commitment and determination that we continue to be a leading technology provider in the sectors we serve. On behalf of the Board I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for their individual and collective contributions during 2017 and for the huge effort demonstrated during the early months of 2018, supporting our GDPR related projects.
Both our Dillistone Systems and Voyager Software divisions have enjoyed strong demand for our products and services during the first quarter of 2018. The Board is delighted to note that, while Voyager revenues will clearly be impacted by the previously announced loss of a legacy contract, Q1 2018 saw one of its best ever quarters in terms of new contract wins.
After a slow January, orders for Dillistone Systems’ FileFinder product improved significantly in February and March and ended the quarter more than 25% up on the same period in 2017. Many of these orders were driven by demand for our GatedTalent product which features exclusive integration with FileFinder Anywhere.
In our 27 February announcement, we revealed that we had achieved the milestone of 100 clients for our GatedTalent service. We continue to see strong demand for the platform, with more than 160 firms having now signed contracts. The division has now generated its first subscription revenue.
Long term revenue growth from the GatedTalent platform will be derived from interactions with executives who register with the service and create a profile. Executives join to be “On the radar” of our executive recruiter clients. They may register directly at www.GatedTalent.com or via an invitation from a Search firm – these invitations are typically sent as part of an executive recruiter’s GDPR compliancy process.
The platform is working well and as expected and the throughput on the GatedTalent platform is growing month on month and is expected to accelerate rapidly over the period to the end of July. The number of profiles is also growing and is also expected to increase quickly over the coming months.
Having originally anticipated that our clients would send around 1 million invitations, our current belief is that the number of invitations will be around 3 million. The majority of our clients are expected to leave mailing of compliancy messages as late as legally possible and, despite the thousands of messages already sent, we believe that the vast majority of our clients will not send messages before May, with a number of firms likely to complete the process in June or even July.
We are seeing significant variances in invitation conversion rates between clients. Some firms are seeing in excess of 8% of invitations leading to Profiles; others are seeing a fraction of 1% converting. What is apparent from the Profiles that have been created so far, however, is that our executive talent pool will be both senior and diverse. Currently, the three most common Job Titles for our Executives are “CEO”, “Managing Director” and “General Manager”. We have onboarded profiles from executives in 75 countries. A heatmap with further information on profile data is available at www.gatedtalent.com/metrics/
The Group has paid dividends throughout its time as a public company and, having ended the year with cash of £1.390m, the Board is pleased to be in a position to pay a dividend of 0.5p per share.
Dr Mike Love