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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Science Group Plc LSE:SAG London Ordinary Share GB00B39GTJ17 ORD 1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 250.00 240.00 260.00 250.00 250.00 250.00 3,445 01:00:00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Support Services 57.2 -1.6 -4.5 - 103

Science Group PLC Interim Results for six month period ended 30/6/20

28/07/2020 7:00am

UK Regulatory (RNS & others)


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TIDMSAG

RNS Number : 2240U

Science Group PLC

28 July 2020

 
 
     28 July 2020 
 

SCIENCE GROUP PLC

('Science Group', the 'Group' or the 'Company')

INTERIM RESULTS

FOR THE SIX MONTH PERIODED 30 JUNE 2020

Summary

-- Strong performance, ahead of the Board's expectations, against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic

-- Group revenue growth of 56% to GBP36.9m (H1 2019: GBP23.6m), including first full half-year from Frontier Smart Technologies and organic services growth of 13%

   --      Adjusted operating profit increased by 50% to GBP4.9m (H1 2019: GBP3.3m) 
   --      Successful post-acquisition restructuring and turnaround of Frontier Smart Technologies 
   --      Group organisation evolving to maximise business synergies and scale operations 

-- Balance sheet and cash position remain strong providing opportunity for further corporate activity

Enquiries:

 
 Science Group plc 
                                             Tel: +44 (0) 1223 875 
 Martyn Ratcliffe, Chairman                                    200 
 Rebecca Archer, Finance Director             www.sciencegroup.com 
 
 Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Nominated 
  Adviser and Joint Broker) 
                                              Tel: +44 (0) 20 7710 
 Nick Adams, Alex Price                                       7600 
 
 Liberum Capital Limited (Joint Broker) 
                                              Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 
 Neil Patel, Cameron Duncan                                   2000 
 
 MHP Communications 
                                              Tel: +44 (0) 20 3128 
 Reg Hoare, James Bavister, Pete Lambie                       8100 
                                             sciencegroup@mhpc.com 
 

Interim Results 2020

Science Group is an international, science-led services and product development organisation with a significant freehold property asset base. Following the Frontier acquisition in 2019 and an organisation restructuring, the Group now comprises three operating divisions: R&D Consultancy; Regulatory & Compliance; and Frontier Smart Technologies.

The Group achieved record results in H1 2020, whilst also successfully managing the challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the Group adjusted operating profit increased by 50% to GBP4.9 million (H1 2019: GBP3.3 million) on Group revenue of GBP36.9 million (H1 2019: GBP23.6 million). The 56% revenue growth included organic services revenue growth of 13% (excluding materials). Adjusted profit before tax was GBP4.6 million (H1 2019: GBP2.9 million) and adjusted basic earnings per share were 8.8 pence (H1 2019: 5.9 pence).

The first half of 2020 has benefitted from the Group's sector diversification and the greater scale resulting from the 2019 acquisition of Frontier, together with some unanticipated cost savings (for example delayed recruitment of new hires and significantly reduced travel) due to the pandemic. Within the services operating divisions, a combination of home-working and office/lab presence enabled the continuation of client projects. The very strong performance during this unprecedented event is a credit to the employees of Science Group.

The Group retains a robust balance sheet with gross cash (excluding client funds) at 30 June 2020 of GBP22.0 million (30 June 2019: GBP24.0 million) and net funds of GBP4.9 million (30 June 2019: GBP7.2 million). The long term debt is secured on the freehold properties and was increased in the period by an additional GBP1.5 million at an effective fixed rate of 3.0% as announced on 29 May 2020. Excluding treasury shares, at 30 June 2020, the Company had 41.6 million shares in issue (30 June 2019: 41.1 million) and held 0.4 million (30 June 2019: 0.9 million) of shares in treasury. (Alternative performance measures are provided in order to enhance shareholders' ability to evaluate and analyse the underlying financial performance of the Group. Refer to Note 1 for detail and explanation of the measures used.)

R&D Consultancy

The R&D Consultancy Division reflects the increasing convergence of the Applied Science, Product Development and Advisory business activities. This Division incorporates not only leading science and engineering capabilities but also expertise in key vertical sectors, namely: Medical; Consumer; Food & Beverage; and Industrial. The Medical sector had a particularly strong performance in the first half, including participation in the UK Government's urgent ventilator initiative.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the R&D Consultancy business generated services revenue of GBP15.3 million (H1 2019: GBP13.6 million). Total revenue of GBP18.8 million (H1 2019: GBP14.4 million) includes significant non-services (materials) pass-through revenue in H1 2020 related to the UK Government ventilator project.

Whilst the R&D Consultancy Division performed well in the first half of 2020, the ongoing effects of Covid-19 around the world are resulting in a cautious return of our clients to office/laboratory working environments which may delay the economic recovery in some markets, potentially impacting R&D investment programmes. The Board is carefully monitoring this economic uncertainty but has decided to increase investment in the USA sales organisation to address the reduction in international business travel which may persist for some time.

Regulatory & Compliance

The Regulatory & Compliance Division includes the North American and European operations of TSG, acquired in 2017, and the Leatherhead Food Research business, acquired in 2015. The Group's European regulatory and compliance activities have now been integrated, a natural evolution of the TSG and Leatherhead operations, with the businesses now being managed under a single Managing Director.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the Regulatory & Compliance Division generated revenue of GBP10.0 million (H1 2019: GBP8.7 million). This organic growth of 15% resulted from a strong performance of the TSG businesses benefitting from the increased demand for products responding to the pandemic. This momentum is anticipated to continue in the second half of the year, particularly in the USA, although the reported growth rate will reduce, reflecting a stronger prior year H2 comparator.

Frontier Smart Technologies ('Frontier')

Following the completion of the acquisition of Frontier in October 2019, a substantial accelerated restructuring programme was successfully executed, including the closure of the Romanian operations, a streamlining of product lines and the restructuring/relocation of the Cambridge and London operations. This intense programme, which produced a substantial reduction in the operating cost base, positioned Frontier to report an adjusted operating profit in the first half of 2020, despite revenue being impacted by the pandemic. For the six months ended 30 June 2020, Frontier reported revenue of GBP7.5 million (H1 2019: GBPnil) and an adjusted operating profit margin of 7% (H1 2019: nil), although the underlying adjusted operating profit margin was 9% after adding back the IFRS 3 revaluation of acquired inventory.

Importantly, whilst the market was severely affected as a result of Covid-19 by first the closure of China manufacturing operations and then retail outlets in Europe, Frontier not only reported a respectable profitability but also maintained its market share. As a result, orders for the second half of the year are anticipated to be close to pre-Covid-19 plan levels and it is anticipated that the Frontier business will continue to see the benefits of the turnaround.

Freehold Properties

Science Group owns two freehold properties, Harston Mill near Cambridge and Great Burgh in Epsom. The last independent valuation in March 2018 indicated aggregate values of these properties in the range GBP22.6 million to GBP33.9 million. The properties are held on the balance sheet on a cost basis at GBP21.3 million (30 June 2019: GBP21.5 million). Great Burgh is owned by a property subsidiary of Science Group plc, which is the preferred structure. For legacy reasons, Harston Mill is currently owned by the trading company, Sagentia Limited, and it is the declared intention to address this anomaly. However, this action if/when effected will result in a tax payment outflow of approximately GBP2 million and has prudently been deferred following the Covid-19 outbreak.

For the six months ended 30 June 2020, the rental and associated services income derived from the Group's freehold properties was GBP2.2 million (H1 2019: GBP1.9 million). Income of GBP0.6 million (H1 2019: GBP0.5 million) was generated from third-party tenants and GBP1.6 million (H1 2019: GBP1.4 million) from the Group's operating businesses. Adjusted operating profit was GBP0.8 million (H1 2019: GBP0.7 million). Intra-group charges are eliminated on Group consolidation but the reported profit for each operating business includes property rental at market rates. (The prior year results of Freehold Properties have been restated, refer to Note 4 for further details).

The Group's debt of GBP17.1 million at 30 June 2020 (GBP16.8 million at 30 June 2019) is secured against the freehold property assets and the associated interest charge for the six month period was GBP0.4 million (H1 2019: GBP0.4 million). Interest on the debt is reported below operating profit in the consolidated results.

Corporate

The corporate function is responsible for Group and PLC matters, together with the strategic development of Science Group. In the period, Corporate costs were GBP0.9 million (H1 2019: GBP0.9 million).

In light of uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic and its economic consequences, the Board, did not recommend the payment of a dividend at the Annual General Meeting. The Board will consider whether or not an interim dividend is appropriate later in the year.

Summary

In summary, the performance of the Group in the first half of 2020 has been ahead of the Board's pre-Covid-19 expectations, despite the operational challenges resulting from the pandemic. The excellent first half provides a solid platform for the rest of the year.

While actively recruiting for key roles to strengthen the Group and to position the organisation in a post-Covid-19 world, the Board recognises the inherent uncertainty and lack of predictability in the months ahead and will therefore remain prudent. However, with a strong balance sheet including significant cash resources, the Board continues to cautiously explore both add-on acquisitions and larger opportunities to increase the scale of the Group.

Consolidated Income Statement

For the period ended 30 June 2020

 
                                              Six months    Six months          Year 
                                                   ended         ended         ended 
                                                 30 June       30 June   31 December 
                                                    2020          2019          2019 
                                             (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                      Note        GBP000        GBP000        GBP000 
                                            ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
Revenue                                4          36,895        23,593        57,247 
Operating expenses before 
 adjusting items                                (31,970)      (20,303)      (50,543) 
 
Adjusted operating profit              4           4,925         3,290         6,704 
                                            ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
Acquisition integration costs                      (127)             -       (3,571) 
Gain on revaluation of investment 
 net of professional fees                              -           648             - 
Loss on remeasurement of 
 equity-accounted investee                             -             -         (491) 
Amortisation of acquisition 
 related intangible assets                       (1,259)       (1,003)       (2,345) 
Share based payment charge                         (691)         (506)       (1,167) 
Gain on settlement of legal 
 claim                                                 -           687           687 
Operating profit/(loss)                4           2,848         3,116         (183) 
 
Finance income                                         5             -            22 
Finance costs                                      (376)         (358)         (852) 
Share of loss of equity-accounted 
 investee, net of tax                                  -             -         (592) 
 
Profit/(Loss) before income 
 tax                                               2,477         2,758       (1,605) 
Income tax charge (including 
 R&D tax credit of GBP142,000 
 (H1-19 GBP216,000))                   6           (465)         (325)         (226) 
                                            ------------  ------------  ------------ 
Profit for the period                  4           2,012         2,433       (1,831) 
                                            ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
 
 
Earnings per share 
Earnings per share from continuing 
 operations (basic)                    7            4.8p          6.1p        (4.5)p 
Earnings per share from continuing 
 operations (diluted)                  7            4.6p          6.0p        (4.4)p 
 
Adjusted earnings per share 
 from continuing operations 
 (basic)                               7            8.8p          5.9p         11.6p 
Adjusted earnings per share 
 from continuing operations 
 (diluted)                             7            8.5p          5.8p         11.3p 
                                            ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

For the period ended 30 June 2020

 
                                                 Six months    Six months          Year 
                                                      ended         ended         ended 
                                                    30 June       30 June   31 December 
                                                       2020          2019          2019 
                                                (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                                     GBP000        GBP000        GBP000 
                                               ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
Profit/(Loss) for the period 
 attributable to: 
Equity holders of the parent                          2,012         2,433       (1,669) 
Non-controlling interests                                 -             -         (162) 
                                               ------------  ------------  ------------ 
Profit/(Loss) for the period                          2,012         2,433       (1,831) 
                                               ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
Other comprehensive income 
 Items that will or may be reclassified 
 to profit or loss: 
Fair value (loss)/gain on interest 
 rate swap                                            (536)         (375)         (408) 
Exchange differences on translating 
 foreign operations                                     799            13         (939) 
Deferred tax on interest rate 
 swap                                                   101            71            77 
Other comprehensive (expense)/income 
 for the period                                         364         (291)       (1,270) 
 
Total comprehensive income for 
 the period attributable to: 
Equity holders of the parent                          2,376         2,142       (2,939) 
Non-controlling interests                                 -             -         (162) 
                                               ------------  ------------  ------------ 
Total comprehensive income for 
 the period                                           2,376         2,142       (3,101) 
 
 

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Shareholders' Equity (unaudited)

For the period ended 30 June 2020

 
          Group   Issued    Share  Treasury    Merger  Translation     Share  Retained     Total         Non-    Total 
                 capital  premium     Stock   reserve      reserve     based  earnings         -  controlling   equity 
                  GBP000   GBP000    GBP000    GBP000       GBP000   payment    GBP000    Share-    interests   GBP000 
                                                                     reserve            holders'       GBP000 
                                                                      GBP000               funds 
                                                                                          GBP000 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  -------- 
 Balance at 1 
  January 2019       421    8,230   (2,764)    10,343          260     3,475    20,993    40,958            -   40,958 
 Purchase of 
  own 
  shares               -        -      (94)         -            -         -         -      (94)            -     (94) 
 Issue of 
  shares 
  out of 
  treasury 
  stock                -        -     1,423         -            -         -       733     2,156            -    2,156 
 Dividends paid        -        -         -         -            -         -   (1,840)   (1,840)            -  (1,840) 
 Share based 
  payment 
  charge               -        -         -         -            -       506         -       506            -      506 
 Deferred tax          -        -         -         -            -         -         -         -            -        - 
 on share based 
 payment 
 transactions 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Transactions 
  with owners          -        -     1,329         -            -       506   (1,107)       728            -      728 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  ------- 
 
 Profit for the 
  period               -        -         -         -            -         -     2,433     2,433            -    2,433 
 
 Other 
 comprehensive 
 income: 
 Fair value 
  (loss) 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -         -            -         -     (375)     (375)            -    (375) 
 Exchange 
  differences 
  on 
  translating 
  foreign 
  operations           -        -         -         -           13         -         -        13            -       13 
 Deferred tax 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -         -            -         -        71        71            -       71 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Total 
  comprehensive 
  income for 
  the 
  period               -        -         -         -           13         -     2,129     2,142            -    2,142 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Balance at 30 
  June 2019          421    8,230   (1,435)    10,343          273     3,981    22,015    43,828            -   43,828 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  ------- 
 
 
 Group            Issued    Share  Treasury   Merger  Translation     Share  Retained     Total         Non-     Total 
                 capital  premium     Stock  reserve      reserve     based  earnings         -  controlling    equity 
                  GBP000   GBP000    GBP000   GBP000       GBP000   payment    GBP000    Share-    interests    GBP000 
                                                                    reserve            holders'       GBP000 
                                                                     GBP000               funds 
                                                                                         GBP000 
 Balance at 1 
  July 2019          421    8,230   (1,435)   10,343          273     3,981    22,015    43,828            -    43,828 
 Purchase of 
  own 
  shares                              (109)                                               (109)            -     (109) 
 Issue of 
  shares 
  out of 
  treasury 
  stock                -        -       884        -            -         -     (624)       260            -       260 
 Dividends paid        -        -         -        -            -         -         -         -            -         - 
 Share based 
  payment 
  charge               -        -         -        -            -       661         -       661            -       661 
 Deferred tax 
  on share 
  based 
  payment 
  transactions         -        -         -        -            -         -      (25)      (25)            -      (25) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  -------- 
 Total 
  contributions 
  and 
  distributions        -        -       775        -            -       661     (649)       787            -       787 
                                                                             --------  --------  -----------  -------- 
 Changes in 
 ownership 
 interests 
 Acquisition of 
  subsidiary 
  with 
  NCI                  -        -         -        -            -         -         -         -        2,763     2,763 
 Acquisition of 
  NCI without 
  change 
  in control           -        -         -        -            -         -   (3,265)   (3,265)      (2,601)   (5,866) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  -------- 
 Total changes 
  in ownership 
  interests            -        -         -        -            -         -   (3,265)   (3,265)          162   (3,103) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  -------- 
 Total 
  transactions 
  with owners          -        -       775        -            -       661   (3,914)   (2,478)          162   (2,316) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  -------- 
 
 Loss for the 
  period               -        -         -        -            -         -   (4,102)   (4,102)        (162)   (4,264) 
 
 Other 
 comprehensive 
 income: 
 Fair value 
  (loss) 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -        -            -         -      (33)      (33)            -      (33) 
 Exchange 
  differences 
  on 
  translating 
  foreign 
  operations           -        -         -        -        (952)         -         -     (952)            -     (962) 
 Deferred tax 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -        -            -         -         6         6            -         6 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  -------- 
 Total 
  comprehensive 
  income for 
  the 
  period               -        -         -        -        (952)         -   (4,129)   (5,081)        (162)   (5,243) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  -------- 
 Balance at 31 
  December 2019      421    8,230     (660)   10,343        (679)     4,642    13,972    36,269            -    36,269 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  -------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  -------- 
 
 
Group             Issued    Share  Treasury    Merger  Translation     Share  Retained     Total         Non-    Total 
                 capital  premium     Stock   reserve      reserve     based  earnings         -  controlling   equity 
                  GBP000   GBP000    GBP000    GBP000       GBP000   payment    GBP000    Share-    interests   GBP000 
                                                                     reserve            holders'       GBP000 
                                                                      GBP000               funds 
                                                                                          GBP000 
 Balance at 1 
  January 2020       421    8,230     (660)    10,343        (679)     4,642    13,972    36,269            -   36,269 
 Purchase of 
  own 
  shares               -        -     (166)         -            -         -         -     (166)            -    (166) 
 Share based 
  payment 
  charge               -        -         -         -            -       691         -       691            -      691 
 Deferred tax 
  on share 
  based 
  payment 
  transactions         -        -         -         -            -         -      (63)      (63)            -     (63) 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Transactions 
  with owners          -        -     (166)         -            -       691      (63)       462            -      462 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  ------- 
 
 Profit for the 
  period                                                                         2,012     2,012            -    2,012 
 
 Other 
 comprehensive 
 income: 
 Fair value 
  (loss) 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -         -            -         -     (536)     (536)            -    (536) 
 Exchange 
  differences 
  on 
  translating 
  foreign 
  operations           -        -         -         -          799         -         -       799            -      799 
 Deferred tax 
  on interest 
  rate 
  swap                 -        -         -         -            -         -       101       101            -      101 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Total 
  comprehensive 
  income for 
  the 
  period               -        -         -         -          799         -     1,577     2,376            -    2,376 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------  --------  -----------  ------- 
 Balance at 30 
  June 2020          421    8,230     (826)    10,343          120     5,333    15,486    39,107            -   39,107 
---------------  -------  -------  --------  --------  -----------  --------  --------            -----------  ------- 
 

Consolidated Balance Sheet

At 30 June 2020

 
                                                                                   At 31 
                                                   At 30 June     At 30 June    December 
                                                         2020           2019        2019 
                                          Note    (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)   (Audited) 
                                                       GBP000         GBP000      GBP000 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 Assets 
 Non-current assets 
 Acquisition related intangible 
  assets                                               12,512          6,492      13,222 
 Goodwill                                              13,998         11,239      13,808 
 Property, plant and equipment                         24,766         25,955      25,870 
 Investment                                                 -          3,741           - 
 Deferred tax assets                                       51            168          47 
                                                       51,327         47,595      52,947 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 Current assets 
 Inventories                                            1,781              -       2,060 
 Trade and other receivables                            9,450          8,527      10,239 
 Current tax asset                                        264             20         482 
 Cash and cash equivalents - 
  Client funds                             8            4,121          1,430       1,517 
 Cash and cash equivalents - 
  Group Cash                               8           22,001         23,979      13,912 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
                                                       37,617         33,956      28,210 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 
 Total assets                                          88,944         81,551      81,157 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 
 Liabilities 
 Current liabilities 
 Trade and other payables                              23,862         14,601      20,581 
 Current tax liabilities                                  577            460         226 
 Provisions                                9              669            201         172 
 Borrowings                               10            1,200          1,200       1,200 
 Lease liabilities                        11            1,423            807       1,212 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
                                                       27,731         17,269      23,391 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 Non-current liabilities 
 Provisions                                9              506            196         480 
 Borrowings                               10           15,908         15,604      15,013 
 Lease Liabilities                        11            1,736          1,998       2,111 
 Derivative financial liabilities                         651             82         115 
 Deferred tax liabilities                               3,305          2,574       3,778 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
                                                       22,106         20,454      21,497 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 Total liabilities                                     49,837         37,723      44,888 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 
 Net assets                                            39,107         43,828      36,269 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 
 Shareholders' equity 
 Share capital                                            421            421         421 
 Share premium                                          8,230          8,230       8,230 
 Treasury stock                                         (826)        (1,435)       (660) 
 Merger reserve                                        10,343         10,343      10,343 
 Translation reserves                                     120            273       (679) 
 Share based payment reserve                            5,333          3,981       4,642 
 Retained earnings                                     15,486         22,015      13,972 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 Total equity                                          39,107         43,828      36,269 
                                                -------------  -------------  ---------- 
 

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows

For the period ended 30 June 2020

 
                                               Six months    Six months          Year 
                                                    ended 
                                                  30 June         ended         ended 
                                                     2020       30 June   31 December 
                                              (Unaudited)          2019          2019 
                                                   GBP000 
                                                            (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                                                 GBP000        GBP000 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
 Profit/(Loss) before income tax                    2,477         2,758       (1,605) 
 Adjustments for: 
 Share of loss of equity-accounted 
  investee, net of tax                                  -             -           592 
 Loss on remeasurement of equity-accounted 
  investee                                              -             -           491 
 Amortisation on acquisition related 
  intangible assets                                 1,259         1,003         2,345 
 Depreciation on property, plant 
  and equipment                                       580           349           776 
 Impairment of right of use asset                     540             -           796 
 Depreciation of right of use asset                   548           396         1,033 
 Net interest cost                                    376           358           830 
 Gain on revaluation of investment                      -         (954)             - 
 Share based payment charge                           691           506         1,167 
 Decrease in inventories                              279             -         1,863 
 Decrease in receivables                              825         1,198         3,432 
 Increase/(decrease) in payables 
  representing client funds                         2,604          (57)          (30) 
 Increase/(decrease) in payables 
  excluding balances representing 
  client funds                                        366       (2,887)       (3,846) 
 Change in provisions                                 510         (768)         (933) 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 Cash generated from operations                    11,055         1,902         6,911 
 
 Loan interest paid                                 (300)         (303)         (781) 
 UK corporation tax paid                            (292)          (64)         (554) 
 Foreign corporation tax paid                        (24)          (92)         (196) 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 Cash flows from operating activities              10,439         1,443         5,380 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
 
 Interest received                                      5             -            22 
 Purchase of property, plant and 
  equipment                                          (38)         (208)         (555) 
 Purchase of investments                                -       (2,787)       (4,118) 
 Cash flow used in investing activities              (33)       (2,995)       (4,651) 
 
 Issue of shares out of treasury                        -         2,156         2,416 
 Repurchase of own shares                           (166)          (95)         (203) 
 Dividends paid                                         -       (1,840)       (1,840) 
 Acquisition of NCI                                     -             -       (5,869) 
 Proceeds from bank loans                           1,500         4,750         4,750 
 Repayment of bank loans                            (600)         (600)       (1,200) 
 Repayment of revolving credit facility                 -             -       (5,000) 
 Payment of lease liabilities                       (742)         (390)         (998) 
 Cash flows used in financing activities              (8)         3,981       (7,944) 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 
 
Increase/(decrease) in cash and 
 cash equivalents in the period                    10,398         2,429       (7,215) 
Cash and cash equivalents at the 
 beginning of the period                           15,429        23,007        23,007 
Exchange gains/(losses) on cash                       295          (27)         (363) 
Cash and cash equivalents at the 
 end of the period                                 26,122        25,409        15,429 
                                             ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

Cash and cash equivalents is analysed as follows:

 
                                       Six months    Six months    Year ended 
                                            ended         ended   31 December 
                                          30 June       30 June          2019 
                                             2020          2019     (Audited) 
                                      (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)        GBP000 
                                           GBP000        GBP000 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
Cash and cash equivalents - Client 
 funds                                      4,121         1,430         1,517 
Cash and cash equivalents - Group 
 cash                                      22,001        23,979        13,912 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
                                           26,122        25,409        15,429 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

Extracts from notes to the financial statements

1. General information

The financial information for the 6 months ended 30 June 2020 set out in this interim report is unaudited and does not constitute statutory accounts as defined in Section 434 of the Companies Act 2006. The financial information included for the year ended 31 December 2019 has been extracted from the 2019 Financial Statements of Science Group plc. The Group's statutory financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019 have been filed with the Registrar of Companies. The auditor's report on those financial statements was unqualified and did not contain a statement under Section 498(2) or Section 498(3) of the Companies Act 2006.

These unaudited interim results have been approved for issue by the Board of Directors on 27 July 2020.

The group and company financial statements of Science Group plc for the year ended 31 December 2019 were prepared under IFRS (as adopted by the EU) and have been audited by KPMG LLP. Copies of the Financial Statements are available from the company's registered office: Harston Mill, Harston, Cambridge, CB22 7GG and can be found on the company's website at www.sciencegroup.com .

Science Group plc (the 'Company') and its subsidiaries (together 'Science Group' or 'Group') is an international, science-led services and product development organisation with a freehold property asset base.

The Company is the ultimate parent company in which results of all the Science Group companies are consolidated.

The Company is incorporated in England and Wales and is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (SAG).

Alternative performance measures

The Group uses alternative (non-Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ('non-GAAP')) performance measures of 'adjusted operating profit', 'adjusted earnings per share' and 'net funds' which are not defined within the International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRS'). These are explained in the 2019 Financial Statements and the calculations are as follows:

(a) Adjusted operating profit

The calculation of this measure is shown on the Consolidated Income Statement.

(b) Adjusted earnings per share

The calculation of this measure is disclosed in Note 7.

(c) Net funds

This measure is calculated as follows:

 
In GBP000 unless otherwise   At 30 June  At 30 June  At 31 December 
 stated                            2020        2019            2019 
---------------------------  ----------  ----------  -------------- 
Cash and cash equivalents 
 - Group cash                    22,001      23,979          13,912 
Borrowings                     (17,108)    (16,804)        (16,213) 
---------------------------  ----------  ----------  -------------- 
Net funds                         4,893       7,175         (2,301) 
---------------------------  ----------  ----------  -------------- 
 

2. Accounting policies

The principal accounting policies applied in the preparation of these interim financial statements are unchanged from those set out in the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2019. These policies have been consistently applied to all the periods presented.

2.1 Basis of preparation

These interim consolidated financial statements are for the six months ended 30 June 2020. They have been prepared based on the measurement and recognition principles of International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the EU and IFRC interpretations issued and effective at the time of preparing these statements.

The financial statements have been prepared on the historical cost basis except for certain financial instruments and share based payments which are measured at fair value.

Going concern - the Directors have considered the current cash balance of GBP22.0m (excluding client funds) and assessed forecast future cash flows for the next 12 months. There are no events or conditions which cast significant doubt on the ability of the Group to continue as a going concern. The term loan has no operating covenants while the Group net bank debt is less than GBP10 million. On the basis of the forecast future cash flows, the Directors do not expect the Group net bank debt to exceed GBP10 million at any time during the forecast period. The Directors are satisfied that the Group has adequate cash and financing resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future, being a period of at least a year following the release of these unaudited interim results and therefore continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the interim financial statements.

3. Financial risk management

3.1 Financial risk factors

The Group's activities expose it to a variety of financial risks: market risk (including currency risk, fair value interest risk and price risk), credit risk, liquidity risk and cash flow interest-rate risk. The Group's overall risk management programme focuses on the unpredictability of financial markets and seeks to minimise potential adverse effects on the Group's financial performance.

4. Segmental information

The Group is structured into 4 reporting Segments: Services Operating Business, Product Operating Business, Freehold Properties and Corporate. The Services Operating Business comprises two operating divisions: R&D Consultancy and Regulatory & Compliance. Frontier Smart Technologies, the third operating division, is the Product Operating Business. The performance of the Operating Businesses are shown separately from the value generated by the Group's significant freehold property assets and the Corporate costs to provide greater transparency and facilitate shareholder analysis of the component parts of the Group.

Financial information is provided to the chief operating decision makers ('CODMs') in line with this structure. The divisions of R&D Consultancy and Regulatory & Compliance have been aggregated resulting in one Services Operating Business segment because the divisions have similar economic characteristics such as similar long-term average gross margins, trends in sales growth and operating cash flows and are also similar in respect of their nature, delivery and types of customers that the services are provided to. This aggregation does not impact the user's ability to understand the entity's performance, its prospects for future cash flows or the user's decisions about the entity as a whole as it is a fair representation of the performance of each division.

In the Services Operating Business Segment, services revenue includes all consultancy fees and other revenue includes recharged materials, expenses and licence revenue generated directly from the Services Operating Business activities. Product Operating Business revenue includes sales of chips and modules which are incorporated into digital radios. The Freehold Properties segment includes the results for the two freehold properties owned by the group. Income is derived from third party tenants from the Harston Mill site and from the Services and Product Operating Businesses which have been charged equivalent to market-based rents for their utilised property space and associated costs. Corporate costs include PLC/Group costs.

The segmental analysis is reviewed to operating profit. Other resources are shared across the Group.

 
Services Operating Business      Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                      ended          ended   31 December 
                               30 June 2020   30 June 2019          2019 
                                                  Restated 
                                (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                     GBP000         GBP000        GBP000 
                              -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Services revenue                     25,268         22,302        46,885 
Other                                 3,506            785         1,825 
Revenue                              28,774         23,087        48,710 
                              -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
Adjusted operating profit             4,520          3,485         8,221 
                              -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
Amortisation of acquisition 
 related intangible assets            (757)        (1,003)       (2,006) 
Share based payment charge            (569)          (453)       (1,008) 
Gain on settlement of legal 
 claim                                    -            687           687 
                              -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Operating profit                      3,194          2,716         5,894 
                              -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
 
 
Product Operating Business                      Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                                     ended          ended 
                                              30 June 2020   30 June 2019   31 December 
                                                                                   2019 
                                               (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                                    GBP000         GBP000        GBP000 
                                            --------------  -------------  ------------ 
Product revenue                                      7,541              -         7,540 
Revenue                                              7,541              -         7,540 
                                            --------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
Adjusted operating profit/(loss)                       495              -       (1,283) 
                                            --------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
Acquisition and integration 
 costs                                               (127)              -       (3,571) 
Loss on remeasurement of equity-accounted 
 investee                                                -              -         (491) 
Amortisation of acquisition 
 related intangible assets                           (502)              -         (339) 
Share based payment charge                            (77)              -          (12) 
Operating loss                                       (211)              -       (5,696) 
                                            --------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
 
Freehold Properties             Six months ended  Six months ended    Year ended 
                                    30 June 2020      30 June 2019   31 December 
                                                          Restated          2019 
                                     (Unaudited)       (Unaudited) 
                                          GBP000            GBP000     (Audited) 
                                                                          GBP000 
                                ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
Inter-company property income              1,573             1,436         2,874 
Third party property income                  580               506           997 
Revenue                                    2,153             1,942         3,871 
                                ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
 
Adjusted operating profit                    794               732         1,503 
                                ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
Share based payment charge                   (7)               (8)          (14) 
Operating profit                             787               724         1,489 
                                ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
 
 
Corporate                           Six months ended  Six months ended    Year ended 
                                        30 June 2020      30 June 2019   31 December 
                                                              Restated          2019 
                                         (Unaudited)       (Unaudited) 
                                              GBP000            GBP000     (Audited) 
                                                                              GBP000 
                                    ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
Adjusted operating loss                        (884)             (927)       (1,737) 
                                    ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
 
Gain on revaluation of investment 
 net of professional fees                          -               648             - 
Share based payment charge                      (38)              (45)         (133) 
Operating loss                                 (922)             (324)       (1,870) 
                                    ----------------  ----------------  ------------ 
 
 
Group                                                                 Six months                                  Year 
                                         Six months     Six months         ended          Six months             ended 
                                              ended          ended       30 June               ended       31 December 
                                            30 June        30 June          2020             30 June              2019 
                                               2020   2020 Organic      Acquired                2019   Total (Audited) 
                                  Total (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)   Total (Unaudited)            GBP000 
                                             GBP000         GBP000        GBP000              GBP000 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
Services revenue                             25,268         25,268             -              22,302            46,885 
Product revenue                               7,541              -         7,541                   -             7,540 
Third party property 
 income                                         580            580             -                 506               997 
Other                                         3,506          3,506             -                 785             1,825 
Revenue                                      36,895         29,354         7,541              23,593            57,247 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
 
Adjusted operating profit                     4,925          4,430           495               3,290             6,704 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
 
Acquisition and integration 
 costs                                        (127)              -         (127)                   -           (3,571) 
Gain on revaluation 
 of investment net of 
 professional fees                                -              -             -                 648                 - 
Loss on remeasurement 
 of equity-accounted 
 investee                                         -              -             -                   -             (491) 
Amortisation of acquisition 
 related intangible assets                  (1,259)          (757)         (502)             (1,003)           (2,345) 
Share based payment 
 charge                                       (691)          (614)          (77)               (506)           (1,167) 
Gain on settlement of 
 legal claim                                      -              -             -                 687               687 
Operating profit/(loss)                       2,848          3,059         (211)               3,116             (183) 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
Finance charges (net)                         (371)          (371)             -               (358)             (830) 
Share of loss of 
 equity-accounted 
 investment, net of tax                           -              -             -                   -             (592) 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
Profit/(loss) before 
 income tax                                   2,477          2,688         (211)               2,758           (1,605) 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
Income tax (charge)/credit                    (465)          (560)            95               (325)             (226) 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
Profit/(loss) for the 
 period                                       2,012          2,128         (116)               2,433           (1,831) 
                                 ------------------  -------------  ------------  ------------------  ---------------- 
 

In the Freehold Properties segment, income includes GBP1.6 million (H1 2019: GBP1.4 million) generated from inter-segment recharges. The corresponding cost is included within the Operating Business segments and is eliminated on consolidation.

Restatement of segmental reporting comparatives

Results for H1 2019 have been restated. This follows a review subsequent to H1 2019 on the methodology and calculation of the charge of property costs to the Operating Business segments. There is no change to revenue or operating profit at the consolidated level.

5. Revenue

The Group's operations and main revenue streams are those described in the last annual financial statements. The Group's revenue is derived from contracts with customers.

Disaggregation of revenue

In the following table, revenue is disaggregated by geographical market and by the currency in which the contract is denominated for the Operating Business. Property revenue is generated in the UK and denominated in GBP.

 
                                                  For the 6 months ended 30 June (Unaudited) 
                                                  USD        EUR       GBP    Other    Total 
Currency                                       GBP000     GBP000    GBP000   GBP000   GBP000 
                                     ----------------  ---------  --------  -------  ------- 
2020                                           17,316      1,669    17,844       66   36,895 
2019                                            8,677      1,821    13,016       79   23,593 
 
 
                      North America  Europe (excl UK)         UK      Asia    Other    Total 
Geographical market          GBP000            GBP000     GBP000    GBP000   GBP000   GBP000 
                      -------------  ----------------  ---------  --------  -------  ------- 
2020                         11,215             6,752     10,475     8,188      265   36,895 
2019                          9,943             6,473      6,224       219      734   23,593 
 

6. Income tax

The income tax charge for the period ended 30 June 2020 is charged at the effective tax rate calculated for the period using reasonable estimates and incorporating both current and deferred taxation:

 
                                                              Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                                                   ended          ended   31 December 
                                                            30 June 2020   30 June 2019          2019 
                                                             (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                                                  GBP000         GBP000        GBP000 
                                                           -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Profit/(Loss) before tax                                           2,477          2,758       (1,605) 
                                                           -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Current taxation                                                 (1,114)          (596)       (1,280) 
Current taxation - adjustment in respect of prior years                -           (84)           311 
Deferred taxation                                                    507            139           579 
Deferred taxation - adjustment in respect of prior years               -              -         (242) 
R&D tax credit                                                       142            216           406 
                                                           -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Tax charge                                                         (465)          (325)         (226) 
                                                           -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
Effective tax rate                                                 18.8%          11.8%         14.1% 
                                                           -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 

The Group claims Research and Development tax credits under both the R&D Expenditure Credit scheme and the Small or Medium-sized scheme.

7. Earnings per share

The calculation of earnings per share is based on the following results and number of shares:

 
                                     Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                          ended          ended   31 December 
                                                                        2019 
                                   30 June 2020   30 June 2019     (Audited) 
                                    (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)        GBP000 
                                         GBP000         GBP000 
                                  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Profit/(loss) for the financial 
 period                                   2,012          2,433       (1,831) 
                                  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
  Weighted average number of 
  shares: 
For basic earnings per share         41,681,034     40,206,807    40,767,070 
For fully diluted earnings 
 per share                           43,314,594     40,835,968    42,024,977 
                                  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
  Earnings per share:                     Pence          Pence         Pence 
Basic earnings per share                    4.8            6.1         (4.5) 
Fully diluted earnings per 
 share                                      4.6            6.0         (4.4) 
                                  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 

The calculation of adjusted earnings per share is as follows:

 
                                    Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                         ended          ended   31 December 
                                  30 June 2020   30 June 2019          2019 
                                   (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                        GBP000         GBP000        GBP000 
                                 -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Adjusted* profit after tax 
 for the period                          3,671          2,363         4,735 
                                 -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
  Weighted average number of 
  shares: 
For basic earnings per share        41,681,034     40,206,807    40,767,070 
For fully diluted earnings 
 per share                          43,314,594     40,835,968    42,024,977 
                                 -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 
  Adjusted earnings per share:           Pence          Pence         Pence 
Basic earnings per share                   8.8            5.9          11.6 
Fully diluted earnings per 
 share                                     8.5            5.8          11.3 
                                 -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 

*Calculation of adjusted profit after tax:

 
                                  Six months     Six months    Year ended 
                                       ended          ended   31 December 
                                30 June 2020   30 June 2019          2019 
                                 (Unaudited)    (Unaudited)     (Audited) 
                                      GBP000         GBP000        GBP000 
-----------------------------  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Adjusted operating profit              4,925          3,290         6,704 
Finance income                             5              -            22 
Finance costs                          (376)          (358)         (852) 
-----------------------------  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Adjusted profit before tax             4,554          2,932         5,874 
Tax charge at approx blended 
 average tax rate of 19.4% 
 (H1-19: 19.4%)                        (883)          (569)       (1,139) 
-----------------------------  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
Adjusted profit after tax              3,671          2,363         4,735 
-----------------------------  -------------  -------------  ------------ 
 

8. Cash and cash equivalents

 
                                       Six months    Six months    Year ended 
                                            ended         ended   31 December 
                                          30 June       30 June          2019 
                                             2020          2019     (Audited) 
                                      (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)        GBP000 
                                           GBP000        GBP000 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
Cash and cash equivalents - Client 
 funds                                      4,121         1,430         1,517 
Cash and cash equivalents - Group 
 cash                                      22,001        23,979        13,912 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
                                           26,122        25,409        15,429 
-----------------------------------  ------------  ------------  ------------ 
 

The Group receives cash from clients for the purpose of payment of registration fees to regulatory bodies and other project pass through costs. Client funds are separated in the day to day operations of the business, are separately identified for reporting purposes and are unrestricted.

9. Provisions

 
                           Onerous  Dilapid-  Restruct-uring    Legal    Total 
                             lease    ations          GBP000 
(Unaudited)                 GBP000    GBP000                   GBP000   GBP000 
-------------------------  -------  --------  --------------  -------  ------- 
At 1 January 2019              225       262             142      705    1,334 
Increase in provision            -        13               -        -       13 
Utilisation of provision     (126)         -            (20)      (5)    (151) 
Release of provision          (94)         -               -    (687)    (781) 
Loss/(Gain) on foreign 
 currency fluctuations         (5)         1             (1)     (13)     (18) 
-------------------------  -------  --------  --------------  -------  ------- 
At 30 June 2019                  -       276             121        -      397 
Assumed on business 
 combination                     -       300               -        -      300 
Increase in provision            -        18               -        -       18 
Utilisation of provision         -                      (31)        -     (31) 
Loss/(Gain) on foreign 
 currency fluctuations           -      (32)                        -     (32) 
-------------------------  -------  --------  --------------  -------  ------- 
At 31 December 2019              -       562              90        -      652 
Increase in provision            -        13               -      562      575 
Utilisation of provision         -      (26)               -     (59)     (85) 
Release of provision             -         -               -        - 
Loss/(Gain) on foreign 
 currency fluctuations           -        31               -        2       33 
-------------------------  -------  --------  --------------  -------  ------- 
At 30 June 2020                  -       580              90      505    1,175 
-------------------------  -------  --------  --------------  -------  ------- 
 
 
                            At 30 June    At 30 June  At 31 December 
                                  2020          2019            2019 
                           (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)       (Audited) 
                                GBP000        GBP000          GBP000 
------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
Current liabilities                669           201             172 
Non-current liabilities            506           196             480 
------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
                                 1,175           397             652 
------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
 

Legal provisions represent the best estimate of the future cost of responding to US subpoenas relating to litigation and investigations directed at third parties. The restructuring provision relates to the costs associated with the closure of the Central/Eastern Europe offices.

10. Borrowings

 
                                At 30 June    At 30 June  At 31 December 
                                      2020          2019            2019 
                               (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)       (Audited) 
                                    GBP000        GBP000          GBP000 
----------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
Non-current bank borrowings         15,908        15,604          15,013 
Current bank borrowings              1,200         1,200           1,200 
----------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
                                    17,108        16,804          16,213 
----------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
 
 

The Group has increased the 10-year fixed term loan by GBP1.5 million on otherwise similar terms.

An additional interest rate swap has been taken to fix the interest rate of the incremental debt at an effective rate of 3.0%. The rates fixed via similar swap instruments of 3.5% for the original loan in 2016, and 4.0% for the first extension of the loan in 2019, remain in place. Consequently, the resulting effective interest rate for the term loan is 3.5%.

11. Lease liabilities

 
                                  At 30 June    At 30 June  At 31 December 
                                        2020          2019            2019 
                                 (Unaudited)   (Unaudited)       (Audited) 
                                      GBP000        GBP000          GBP000 
------------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
Non-current lease liabilities          1,736         1,998           2,111 
Current lease liabilities              1,423           807           1,212 
------------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
                                       3,159         2,805           3,323 
------------------------------  ------------  ------------  -------------- 
 

Lease liabilities arise on leased properties held by the Group. The leases have remaining periods of between 1 and 4 years from the balance sheet date.

12. Subsequent events

There have been no subsequent events to report.

13. Critical accounting estimates and judgements

In preparing these interim financial statements, management has made judgements and estimates that affect the application of accounting policies and the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expense. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

The significant judgements made by management in applying the Group's accounting policies and the key sources of estimation uncertainty were the same as those described in the last annual financial statements.

- Ends -

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.

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