Fisher (James) - Preliminary Results

James Fisher and Sons plc (FSJ.L) ("James Fisher" or "the Group"), the leading marine service provider, announces its results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

 

2018

2017

restated**

 % change

Revenue

£561.5m

£499.3m

+13%

Underlying operating profit *

£62.1m

£54.1m

+15%

Underlying operating margin *

11.0%

10.8%

+20bps

Underlying profit before tax *

£56.1m

£48.6m

+15%

Underlying diluted earnings per share *

89.5p

78.7p

+14%

Statutory profit before tax

£55.4m

£47.3m

+17%

Statutory diluted earnings per share

88.9p

76.9p

+16%

Total dividend per share

31.6p

28.7p

+10%

Highlights:

·      All four divisions increased revenue and underlying operating profit;

·      Strong organic growth in revenue of 12% and underlying operating profit of 19%;

·      Two submarine rescue systems delivered to the Indian navy;

·      First long-term maintenance contract in Renewables;

·      Strong cash conversion of 157% (2017: 57%), net debt:ebitda 1.3 times (2017: 1.7 times);

·      Total dividend up 10% to 31.6p per share.

*  excludes separately disclosed items (note 4)

** 2017 restated for IFRS 15 'Revenue from contracts with customers' (note 11)

  organic growth is at constant currency and adjusted for business acquisitions.

Chairman's Statement

I have pleasure in presenting my first full year statement to shareholders since I was appointed Chairman at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM), a year which saw James Fisher produce another strong set of financial results, with growth across all four divisions which was predominately organic.

The Board remains focused on delivering the Group's established strategy which aims to deliver long-term growth in shareholder value through a mixture of organic growth supplemented by niche acquisitions across a broad international landscape.

In December, the Board received notice from Nick Henry of his intention to retire from his position as Chief Executive Officer by the end of 2019. The notice period ensures sufficient time to complete a thorough search process, which has already commenced, and to facilitate a smooth transition of responsibilities. Nick will be leaving the Group in a strong position with a clearly defined strategy that has delivered double digit growth in underlying earnings and dividends, an experienced senior management team and significant growth opportunities in the future.

Recognising that every company is now expected to make a contribution to society and engage positively with all our stakeholders I have introduced an initiative to develop a Group sustainability strategy extending from responsible sourcing to supply chain resilience, lean manufacturing, customer engagement, reputational enhancement, corporate risk through to end of life and recycling. We acknowledge the scientific body of evidence that human activity is playing a large part in changes to our climate and we accept our responsibility to address this as part of our normal business activities

Outlook

James Fisher performed well in 2018 and, with a strong pipeline of opportunities at the start of 2019, the Board has a high degree of confidence for the year ahead. The Group operates across a number of sectors with a broad geographical spread which adds resilience in times of economic uncertainty and our strategy of adding complementary skills and disciplines to the Group through niche acquisitions has served us well.  The unwinding of the working capital commitment for the Indian submarine rescue vehicles went to plan and with our record of strong cash generation we closed the year with a robust balance sheet. I am confident that we will deliver further progress for our shareholders in the years ahead.