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Parity Group Ord GBP0.02 NEX:PTY.GB NEX Common Stock
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Parity Group PLC Trading Statement

05/02/2019 9:30am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


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RNS Number : 1076P

Parity Group PLC

05 February 2019

Parity Group PLC

5 February 2019

Parity Group plc ("Parity" or the "Group")

Board Changes and Trading Update

Parity (AIM:PTY), the technology focussed consultancy and staffing business, today announces changes to the Board and provides a post-close update on trading in respect of the year ended 31 December 2018.

Board changes

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Bayfield as Chief Executive Officer. This appointment will ensure Parity has the breadth of management to drive progress with our strategic focus on the growth opportunities we see in data consultancy services. Alan Rommel, currently Chief Executive Officer, will move into the role of Chief Operating Officer, a Board position.

Matthew Bayfield joined Parity's senior management team in May 2018 to drive the development and growth of the data proposition within the Parity Consultancy Services business. His experience is closely aligned to the new strategic focus of the Group as an acknowledged expert in the data market, having operated on the Group Board for Ogilvy & Mather as their Head of Data for EMEA, as well as founding and leading a number of data strategy, research and insight businesses, taking three to successful commercial exit.

Alan Rommel, having returned the business to profitable growth, restructured it to focus on its strong core capabilities, and significantly reduced its debt, will now focus on digitising aspects of the core business and ensuring the operational structure effectively supports the strategy to create sustainable growth of the Group.

Trading update

Having been greatly encouraged by the opportunities won and identified in higher-margin data consultancy services, the Board has restructured the Parity Consultancy Services division ("PCS") to focus on this market. We see strong synergies with our Parity Professionals division ("PP") which, whilst continuing to grow its own revenues, is able to introduce PCS services to a broader client base and offer a flexible portfolio of services, whether clients want us to consult and deliver a solution, or want us to provide the talent to support their programmes.

The Group expects to deliver growth in revenues and to meet the recently revised market expectations for adjusted profit before tax(1) in the financial year ended 31 December 2018. Net debt is expected to be lower than the balance at 31 December 2017 of GBP1.6m.

Given the scale of the opportunity we see in data consultancy, we believe the time is right to accelerate our programme of investment in management, marketing and brand development. The Board expects to remain profitable during this period of increased investment, though adjusted profit before tax(1) is now expected to be lower in 2019 than expected for 2018. However, the subsequent improved alignment of our operational structure with the market opportunity, enhanced relationship management, and greater market outreach with a refined proposition will provide a sound basis for sustained profitable growth in future years.

Matthew Bayfield commented: "Parity has a strong reputation for providing trusted advice having built and nurtured relationships with both clients and contractors in the IT space for over 45 years. Building on our strengths, we can provide advice and resources that reflect our heritage of IT and data experience. Data is now of greater importance than ever and Parity can empower and enable clients to take advantage of this. Now is the time to invest in building the capability and capacity we need to take full advantage of this opportunity."

John Conoley, Non-Executive Chairman of Parity Group, commented:

"We are confident that the Group's focus and investment in data consultancy services will provide a strong foundation for sustained profitable growth in future years. We are delighted to appoint Matthew to the position of CEO. Alan Rommel, supported by our CFO Roger Antony, has worked tirelessly to drive Parity's turnaround and Matthew is ideally placed to accelerate this strategy. 2019 looks like it will be an exciting year and I wish Matthew luck in leading us onward."

Notes

   (1)     Adjusted profit before tax represents Profit before tax from Continuing Operations prior to non-recurring items 

The following details in relation to the appointment of Mr Matthew Bayfield, aged 44, are disclosed in accordance with Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules:

 
 Current directorships   Past directorships held within 
                          the last five years 
----------------------  ------------------------------- 
 Field London Limited    nhouse Commercial Limited 
                          nhouse Developments Limited 
                          Turn SQ Limited 
 

Mr Bayfield holds 500,000 share options in the Company which are exerciseable from 3 May 2021 subject to performance conditions, at a price of 13.25 pence per share.

There are no other disclosures required in accordance with Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules.

Certain information contained in this announcement would have constituted inside information (as defined by Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014) ("MAR") prior to its release as part of this announcement and is disclosed in accordance with the Company's obligations under Article 17 of MAR.

Contacts:

Parity Group PLC www.parity.net

John Conoley (Chairman) 0208 543 5353

Matthew Bayfield (CEO)

WH Ireland Limited www.whirelandcb.com

Mike Coe / Chris Savidge +44 (0) 117 945 3470

MHP Communications Parity@mhpc.com

Katie Hunt / Kelsey Traynor +44 (0)203 128 8100

This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact rns@lseg.com or visit www.rns.com.

END

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February 05, 2019 04:30 ET (09:30 GMT)

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