Trading Update & Notice of Results
STM Group Plc
("STM" or "the Company" or "the Group")
Trading Update & Notice of Results
STM Group Plc (AIM:STM), the cross-border financial services provider, is pleased to issue a pre-close update for the six months to 30 June 2020 prior to the release of its interim results.
As noted in our AGM statement there has been limited impact on the Group's ability to service existing customers and onboard new business. Our new business pipeline remains healthy and has continued to grow month on month, albeit conversion timelines on flexible annuity and bulk transfers of work-place pensions remain slower than previously anticipated.
This is primarily attributable to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, be it the complications of introducing our flexible annuity product to IFAs and the IFAs own logistics with client interaction, or, on workplace pensions, the delay by employers and Employee Benefit Consultants to look to change provider whilst trying to manage the issues arising due to COVID-19. The anticipated acceleration in conversions for the workplace pensions and the London & Colonial flexible annuity pipelines will be required in the second half of the year to hit our new business revenue targets for the year.
New business revenues for our QROPs and SIPPs for the expatriate market remain steady and as expected.
During the first half of the year, we have successfully launched our new UK brand, "Options, for your tomorrow", and this has been followed with the launch of our Shariah compliant SIPP and the more recent Shariah compliant workplace pension solution. Both have been well received to date, albeit it is too early to predict how much volume will come through during the next few months, we are optimistic as to the prospects for this innovative initiative.
Operationally, management has continued to keep a strong control on costs, which in turn has protected margins and profit expectations. Importantly, the three main IT projects that will deliver significantly enhanced operating margins across the key trading subsidiaries for 2021 remain on track.
We are pleased to confirm that agreement had been reached between the STM Group of companies within Gibraltar (the Companies) and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) following the Deloitte Report. All actions and remediation have been completed to the satisfaction of the GFSC, the Companies' status as regulated firms remain unchanged and no further action is contemplated.
A primary concern over the last four months has been to keep our staff safe from Covid-19 and to ensure we adhered to the various guidelines in the respective jurisdictions that we operate from, whilst at the same time being able to maintain our service standards to our customers and other key stakeholders. As of today, we are progressing a plan to safely bring more staff back to the office environment, whilst looking to continually develop improved ways of working and efficiencies driven by learnings from our experience through COVID-19.
The Group's pursuit of further acquisitions to complement organic growth progresses, despite the complications that arise as a result of Covid-19 from a due diligence perspective. STM has a strong balance sheet and a market leading position to act as a consolidator in the sector. The Board looks forward to updating the market as appropriate.
Notice of Results
STM Group expects to announce its interim results on 8 September 2020.
The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014.
For further information, please contact:
STM Group Plc
Alan Kentish, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: Via Walbrook
Therese Neish, Chief Financial Officer
Matt Goode / Simon Hicks - Corporate Finance
Tim Redfern / Richard Chambers - ECM
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500
Tom Cooper / Paul Vann
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7933 8780
Mob: +44 (0) 797 122 1972
Notes to editors:
STM is a multi-jurisdictional financial services group which is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. The Group specialises in the administration of client assets in relation to retirement, estate and succession planning and wealth structuring.
Today, the Group has operations in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Jersey and Spain. STM has developed a range of pension products for UK nationals and internationally domiciled clients and has two Gibraltar Life Assurance Companies which provide life insurance bonds - wrappers in which a variety of investments, including investment funds, can be held.
STM's growth strategy is focussed on both organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions.
Further information on STM Group can be found at www.stmgroupplc.com
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