Mission to pay dividend as profit beats expectations
Mission shares jumped after the creative agencies group said it would pay a deferred dividend and annual profit would beat forecasts.
Trading momentum built in the second half and losses suffered earlier in the Covid-19 crisis were reversed, Mission said.
"As a result, the group now expects full-year headline [profit before tax] performance to be over £1m, comfortably ahead of market expectations," Mission said. Bank debt fell to £1.3m from £4.9m during the year to the end of December, beating expectations.
Mission said its stronger financial position meant it would reinstate its 2019 final dividend of 1.53p a share, which was deferred in April. The company said it would review further dividends as the year progresses.
The company's shares rose 14.1% to 75.9p, their highest price since before the first UK lockdown, at 10:44 GMT.
Chief Executive James Clifton said: "In a year that has brought huge challenges, our entrepreneurial culture has seen Mission create new opportunities across the group, ensuring we have been at the forefront of market recovery to deliver this strong performance."
Clifton said with restrictions in place for Covid-19 and the company's normal bias towards the later stages of the year, the second half of 2021 would be stronger than the first half. Mission will return to its pre-pandemic run rate by the third quarter, setting it up for a strong start to 2022.