P-E International Plc has reported a loss of $433,000 for the six months to December 31. The management and computer consultancy saw turnover increase by 5.7% to $68,750, while pre-tax profits fell 61.5% to UKP1.6m and net profits dropped by 62.8% to UKP923,000 with an exceptional item of UKP541,000. The company made three acquisitions last […]
P-E International Plc has reported a loss of $433,000 for the six months to December 31. The management and computer consultancy saw turnover increase by 5.7% to $68,750, while pre-tax profits fell 61.5% to UKP1.6m and net profits dropped by 62.8% to UKP923,000 with an exceptional item of UKP541,000. The company made three acquisitions last year – Handley-Walker, David Bellamy Associates and Fray Data – and these figures include a first-time contribution from Handley-Walker Group Plc. European systems and computers services had a relatively good year with fees up 15% to UKP5m. The UK systems business is said to have made excellent profits and P-E has made its first foray into facilities management with its association with Northern Computing Services. Computer services and management consultancy in Scotland were profitable, and staff numbers increased during the 12 months. Nonetheless, retiring chairman Hugh Lang says that market conditions deteriorated further in the second half. Fees emerged well below mid-year expectations and P-E believes that its second half performance make 1991’s results the most unsatisfactory for 20 years. Although overseas fee revenues rose by 14.3%, P-E made further cuts and reduced staffing by some 15%. Of the UKP68.7m total, Handley-Walker contributed UKP5.5m, and pre-tax profits fell from UKP4.21m to UKP1.62m, of which UKP325,000 is attributable to the Handley-Walker acquisition. Also, pre-tax profit was hit by interest payments of UKP404,000, up by 95.2%, and an exceptional item of UKP541,000 for redundancy costs although P-E faced an UKP584,000 exceptional item last time. P-E claims that its balance sheet was affected by a number of items, including the triennial revaluation of group headquarters which was UKP2.1m less than 1988’s figure. The net effect of the changes, combined with reassessment of deferred consideration payable on previous years’ acquisitions, was a 4% reduction in shareholders’ funds to UKP13.23m. Net gearing rose to 22% from 6%, but P-E says it is pleased with the progress made by the recent acquisitions. Fray Data has strengthened Dutch business, while David Bellamy Associates takes the company into the relatively new field of environmental consultancy. In terms of percentage fees by sector, manufacturing represents 44%, up from 38%, and the second largest sector is oil, gas and chemicals with 14%, down from 16%. Overseas business grew by 14.3% to UKP13.07m from UKP11.44m, and the main markets are Benelux, Germany, Hong Kong and the US. P-E says that there has been an upturn in first quarter of 1992 due to improved sales and a reduced cost base. However, the company is uncertain when the UK will emerge from the recession, and is unwilling to raise false expectations by over-optimistic forecasts. Its immediate priorities are to restore margins and generate cash.