Pre-close trading update
8 October 2020
Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc
('Alpha FMC', 'Alpha', the 'Company' or 'Group')
Pre-close trading update for the six months ending 30 September 2020
Alpha FMC (AIM: AFM), a leading global provider of specialist consultancy services to the Asset and Wealth Management industry, is pleased to provide its pre-close trading update before reporting its half year results for the six months ended 30 September 2020.
The Board is delighted with the performance of the Group in the first half of the financial year despite the difficult backdrop as a result of COVID-19. Compared to the first half of the previous financial year, the Group has achieved good net fee income growth as well as growth in adjusted EBITDA, reflecting good trading, the Group's prudent on-going response to COVID-19 and investment in the longer term strength of the business. Alpha has also continued to deliver good levels of new business wins.
Operationally, Alpha's consulting teams continue to deliver high-quality client service, having swiftly and seamlessly transitioned to remote working. As previously reported, Alpha took pre-emptive, decisive action to protect the business in response to COVID-19 and pleasingly the Group is beginning to ease those measures, with the temporary salary sacrifices ending on 30 September, as planned, and all staff now returned from furlough. A small number of strategic hires have been made in the first half, including the creation of a new Insurance team in France. The Group will continue selective recruitment and maintain its controlled approach to discretionary operational expenditure, whilst continuing to monitor COVID-19 and market developments.
The Group has also maintained its strong balance sheet with good cash collection continuing in the first half. After recently repaying the £5m outstanding balance on its revolving credit facility ('RCF'), the Group holds cash balances of c. £30m and has further available liquidity from its undrawn £20m RCF, at 30 September 2020.
The COVID-19 environment continues to develop and the Board expects to have greater visibility as to the outlook for the full year and will be able to provide further updates when Alpha reports its half year results towards the end of November 2020.
Euan Fraser, Global CEO of Alpha FMC, commented:
"I am delighted with Alpha's robust first half performance, achieved despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Alpha's resilient first half results underscore the strength of Alpha's quality-led consulting model, its outstanding people, and the benefits of taking the appropriate pre-emptive protective cost actions in response to COVID-19. Our entire team deserves a huge thank you for adapting and managing so well in these exceptional times, continuing to support our clients successfully to the highest standards and generating solid levels of new business wins, including some good wins most recently.
I am also excited that the Group continued to make strategic progress in the period, most notably progressing our expansion into Insurance, with the creation of a new Insurance practice in France.
Whilst COVID-19 means uncertainty exists over how the remainder of the financial year will unfold, we enter the second half with a good new business pipeline and remain cautiously positive that the medium term underlying industry trends of cost reduction, increasing regulation and growth in assets under management, will continue to drive ongoing change programmes globally for which Alpha's expanding range of quality consulting services continues to be well placed to advise and best assist our clients' needs."
Alpha Financial Markets Consulting plc
+44 (0)20 7796 9300
Euan Fraser, Global Chief Executive Officer
John Paton, Chief Financial Officer
Temple Bar Advisory (Public Relations)
+44 (0)7795 425 580
+44 (0)7827 960 151
+44 (0)7769 655 437
Grant Thornton UK LLP (Nominated Adviser)
+44 (0)20 7383 5100
+44 (0)20 3207 7800
This announcement contains inside information as defined in Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation No. 596/2014.
About Alpha FMC:
Alpha FMC is a leading global provider of specialist consultancy services to the asset and wealth management industry.
With over 400 consultants across twelve offices spanning the UK, Europe, North America and Asia, Alpha FMC has the largest dedicated team in the industry. Alpha FMC has provided consultancy services to 380 clients, including 80% of the 20 largest global asset managers by AUM and a range of other buy-side firms.
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