Sanne hikes interim dividend after decent first half
Sanne reported net revenue growth of 9.5% in its first half on Wednesday, to £83.9m, which ot said reflected the “resilience” of its client book, as well as the second quarter Covid-19 related slowdown in new fund activity.
The FTSE 250 company said underlying operating profit was ahead 14% at £23m, while its underlying operating profit margin improved 210 basis points to 27.4% in the first half, as a result of actions taken in the second half of 2019.
It reported “strong” cash generation, with underlying operating cash conversion in excess of 100%.
New business was won with annualised revenue of around £11.1m in the first half, with an “encouraging” pick up since June as well.
During the period, Sanne acquired Inbhear to increase its Dublin capability, and open a new Cayman office.
Bolt-on acquisitions were also agreed in Cayman and Tokyo, to augment the company’s presence and drive growth, with completion expected in the second half.
Sanne also completed the disposal of the Jersey private client business on 1 July.
Its board declared an interim dividend of 4.8p, up from 4.7p year-on-year, reflecting its confidence in the group’s prospects.
Looking ahead, Sanne said that while economic uncertainty remained around the medium and longer term impact of Covid-19 and Brexit, the business model was “robust” in that revenues were long term, margins were “healthy” and the resulting cash flow generation was strong.
It said there were signs of market progress during the third quarter, with the firm’s pipeline of new business continuing to grow.
Those observations gave the board confidence in delivering a full-year performance in line with its expectations, the directors said.
“The changes that we have made to the business over the past 15 months have enabled the group to deliver a resilient financial performance during the first half despite the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said chief executive officer Martin Schnaier.
“Our ambition remains to provide high quality, professional services to our clients and this year we have particularly focused on technology across the group, which I see as a really exciting development.
“We remain excited about the long-term opportunities for the business and committed to our stated strategy.”
At 1004 BST, shares in Sanne Group were down 0.45% at 667p.