Maiden divi ahead of schedule for Utilitywise

The first set of results as a listed company from Utilitywise, an independent utility cost management consultancy, sent shares to an all-time high as the company announced a maiden divi ahead of schedule.

The first set of results as a listed company from Utilitywise, an independent utility cost management consultancy, sent shares to an all-time high as the company announced a maiden divi ahead of schedule.

Full year figures for the year ending July 31st 2012 showed pre-tax profits of £3.47m, marginally up from the previous year's £3.34m, on revenues increasing to £14.4m from £10.9m the previous year.

Adjusted profit before tax, which excludes exceptional items, including £0.32m of costs relating to its listing on AIM, rose 16% to £3.9m from £3.3m the year before. Headline earnings per share climbed 23% to 5.4p from 4.4p the year before.

The £55m market cap company listed on AIM in June, raising £6.9m before expenses.

The group also released pro-forma figures which reflect the situation had the EMU Monitoring Utility Systems business, bought at the end of January 2012, been part of the business since the beginning of the preceding financial year.

On the pro-forma basis, adjusted profit before tax rose 23% to £4.3m from £3.5m the year before, while pro-forma earnings per share jumped 39% to 6.4p from 4.6p.

Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Thompson, said: "The new financial year has started strongly and the recent acquisition of Clouds is the first step in our strategy of selective acquisitions to complement our organic growth."

The maiden dividend is a penny per share, and Thompson said its payment ahead of schedule is "evidence of our continued confidence in the future."

House broker finnCap was understandably upbeat, saying: "The group has announced an adjusted pro-forma pre-tax profit (PBT) of £4.3m, up 25% year-on-year and 5% ahead of forecast. The underlying performance metrics of the business reflect strong momentum moving into the current year and our 2013 forecast PBT of £6.6m (+53%) remains unchanged.

"Despite a 31% share price rise since floating, the stock remains at an enterprise value to earnings before interest,tax, depreciation and amortisation (EV/EBITDA) discount to its peer group of 22% rising to 39% and the 2014 price earning growth (PEG) ratio is 0.20x, reflecting the above average growth profile. We retain our 90p target price."

CM

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