Universe Group makes progress and acquires Celtech during first half

Developer of IT-based point-of-sale and payment services Universe Group plc (LON: UNG) saw impressive fundamentals during the first half of 2019.

The Company’s revenues grew 7.3% to £9.92 million year-on-year for H1. This led hikes in adjusted EBITDA from £0.98 million to £1.39 million, and a jump in operating profit, from £0.17 million to £0.28 million.

The only regression was in its net cash flow from operations, which contracted from £1.98 million to £1.70 million.

Its progress was reflected in its EPS, which rose from 0.06p to 0.07p on-year.

Universe Group added that it acquired cloud-based technology provider Celtech for an interest of £4.96 million. This was funded through cash resources and a £5.00 million new banking facility from HSBC,

Universe Group comments

Andrew Blazye, Non-Executive Chairman, stated,

“We are encouraged to see that revenues across the Group’s activities for the first half show both organic and acquisition driven growth on the same period last year. We have secured further important contracts with two existing major clients and we are pleased with the progress made in integrating Celtech into the wider Group. We are already starting to benefit from the acquisition synergies.”

“Our payment and loyalty operations continue to perform well and we are positioning the newly acquired ab-initio platform at the forefront of our expanded RMS offering. We continue to be cash generative under-pinned by material recurring revenues.”

“We are, as previously stated, also a second half weighted business, dependent on a small number of high value projects. However, we are confident that, with the investments we have made into the business, we are well positioned for growth in 2019 and beyond.”

Investor notes

After dipping, the Company recovered to a rally of 1.33% or 0.065p to 4.94p 25/09/19 13:24 BST. Analysts from finnCap reiterated their ‘Corporate’ stance on Universe Group stock. The Group’s p/e ratio is 13.94, no dividend yield is available.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, there were updates from; Microsaic Systems PLC (LON: MSYS), Petards Group plc (LON: PEG), SCISYS Group PLC (LON: SSY), Pebble Beach Systems Group PLC(LON: PEB), ULS Technology PLC (LON: ULS), Midwich Group PLC (LON: MIDW) and ProPhotonix Ltd (LON: PPIX).

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Jamie Gordon
Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.