Managing Director’s Statement – Tony Bateman
Given the difficult trading conditions we are experiencing due to Brexit our half year results are very strong. There remains low consumer confidence and in addition there remains a reluctance to make investments until we fully understand what will happen to the economy following Brexit.
Following the decision of the referendum to leave the EU, we determined that we needed to revisit our Business Plan in order to ensure that we were able to deal with the impact of Brexit. We determined that we were likely to see low levels of economic growth, which has proved to be correct. Given an orderly exit from the EU then we consider that economic growth will continue at these levels in the short term, although the provision of certainty is likely to result in further investment in the sectors in which we are active.
Our half year figures show a 12.5% increase in revenue across the Group to £13.58m and also an 18.5 % increase in profit before tax to £2.49m. Our employee numbers now are just below 300. We currently have 12 offices around the country and we are in the process of opening our 13th office in the north of England which will give us a greater coverage in this area. Discussions are ongoing regarding further potential acquisitions.
In January of 2018 we increased our headline rates in order to deal with the inflationary pressures we were seeing in respect of our own costs. This has been one of the reasons why we have seen an increase in revenue, but we have also expanded our work in both our traditional areas of Planning, Urban Design and Environment and in our more recent areas of Transportation, Economics, Heritage and Property.
Our Brexit Business Plan determined that we needed not to be reliant on any one client or any one area of work. We introduced at that time a diversification strategy in order to achieve resilience and also to increase revenue and profitability. We continue to deliver on this strategy. The new work areas and our new offices in Liverpool, Peterborough and also now a further office in the north of England are direct responses to this strategy.
We continue to see growth in revenue in all our work areas and given an orderly exit from the EU we believe that we can continue to deliver in this difficult market.
The second half of this year will remain a challenging market, but with the measures we have put in place and the potential further expansion into areas that will increase revenue, we remain, as we did last year, confident of achieving a result which exceeds our budget expectations.
You can download the full Half Year Report here or on the link below.
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