Argentex Group PLC (LON:AGFX), the service led, tech enabled provider of currency management and payment services to international institutions and corporates, has issued its results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2023. 1
· Group revenue increased by 28% to £25.0m (H122: £19.5m) with revenues from new products and geographies now representing 23% of revenues (H1 22 : 14%)
· Operating profit increased by 16% to £5.2m (H122: £4.5m) and adjusted operating profit2 increased by 13% to £5.4m (H122: £4.8m)
· Group EBITDA margins maintained at 29% with a modest decrease in operating margins to 21% (H1 22: 23%) as a result of planned investment
· Earnings per share (EPS) of 2.8p basic and 3.1p adjusted (H1 22: 2.4p basic and 2.7p adjusted)
· Continued strong cash generation funding investment in growth with £3m net increase in cash
· Interim dividend of 0.75p per share reflecting strong performance over the six-month period and confidence in the Group’s future prospects
1 As previously announced, at the end of the last financial year, the Group transitioned from a 31 March year end to a 31 December year end. Comparisons with H122 included in financial highlights refer to the six-month period to 30 June 2022.
2 Adjusted operating profit excludes one off costs in relation to the set-up of overseas offices and any restructuring costs incurred in the period, in line with accounting policy.
· Continued delivery of our three-pillar diversification and growth strategy, with enhanced higher-margin product mix and new geographies contributing to volume and client growth:
o Despite an increasingly challenging macro-economic environment, clients3 trading increased by 8% to 1,493 (H1 22 : 1,381) with 305 new clients traded in the period (H1 22: 284)
o Wallet share increasing evidenced by 18% growth in average revenue per client traded to £16.5k
o New business revenue growth indicative of enhanced client quality driven by broader product offering, with average revenue per new client traded up by 55% to £18.6k
o Investment in new higher margin products including Structured Solutions now contributing meaningfully, accounting for 15% of revenues (H1 22: 9%)
o Alternative Transaction Banking, which launched in late March, is already outperforming management’s expectations
3 Refers to clients as corporate or institutional, discounting private clients.
· Strong progress across Group’s three strategic pillars:
§ Number of full-time employees increased by 28 to 165 over the period to support the Group strategy in either front office or growth-related Argentepositions.
§ Further investment planned to support technology development, international growth and anticipated market share gains
o Technology & Product
§ Digital revenues have increased 100% during the period with 16% of clients using the platform (H1 22 : 11%)
§ Phase two of our technology and product strategy and the overall digital transformation programme continued with Alternative Transaction Banking successfully launching in late March and already trading ahead of expectations
§ Phase three is well underway, with the development of mass payments and hedging analysis tools in addition to ongoing digital transformation to support increased operational efficiency
§ Increase in Technology & Product investment to £2.6m (H1 22: £1.7m)
o International expansion
§ Revenue contribution of Argentex Europe more than doubled to £1.8m (H1 22: £0.8m), providing a gateway to Continental Europe, with 24% of these revenues generated outside of The Netherlands
§ Through leveraging the credible licence from the Dutch National Bank, the Group has now launched its Alternative Transactional Banking product in Europe
§ Argentex Australia continues to generate revenue, pending grant of the wholesale Australian Financial Services License
· As announced, Nigel Railton (previously Senior Independent Director) was appointed Chair of Argentex on 1 September 2023. Lord Digby Jones stepped down as Chair on 1 September 2023 and will continue as a Non-Executive Director.
Despite more challenging trading conditions post period end, the Group continues to deliver double digit growth of 20%, with revenues increasing to £35m to 05 September 2023 (same period 2022 – £29m). Whilst the core UK corporate currency management business remained resilient, our Institutional and European divisions have more recently experienced a greater season reduction in market activity.
The Board has implemented a focused strategy to develop an increasingly diversified business, underpinned by new higher margin products and investment in technology. This strategy is helping to drive improved customer adoption, which is abating the impact of short-term macroeconomic fluctuations, meaning the Group remains well positioned to deliver profitable growth through the cycle.
The Group continues to trade in-line with the Board’s expectations for the full year. Our approach to balancing cost discipline with re-investment for growth remains unchanged, enabled by a strong balance sheet and continued high levels of cash generation.
Harry Adams, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I am very pleased to announce another strong set of results for Argentex, despite a continuation of the prevailing macro-economic challenges, demonstrating significant progress in the diversification and growth of our offering both by product and geography. Our core business is driving double-digit revenue growth supported by the return on investments across new technology and product initiatives.
“Our business is attracting high quality corporates and institutions looking for a trusted, service-led and tech-enabled provider of currency management and payment services. The performance of our newly launched Alternative Transaction Banking product has exceeded initial expectations, demonstrating the potential of new tech-enabled products to increase our share of wallet while diversifying our revenue streams with new, higher-margin products. Phase three of our technology and product strategy provides further opportunity to enhance this trend, with a pipeline of new products in development.
“Our people are a key differentiator to the Group. We know that for our business to excel and deliver its ambition, the business needs to attract and retain a high quality and diverse team. We therefore place great value in investing in their wellbeing and our culture, as the business continues to grow.
“Our focus remains to capitalise on the significant market opportunities to grow wallet share across an increasing international, high quality client base whilst prioritising a sustainable model that delivers for all of our stakeholders.
“On behalf of everyone at Argentex, I would like to welcome Nigel Railton into his new position as Chair, taking over from Lord Digby Jones who left the role on 1 September with our thanks, remaining a Non-Executive Director of the Group.”
A meeting for analysts will be held virtually at 9.30am today, 13 September 2023. Analysts wishing to attend this event can register via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Argentex’s Half Year results announcement will also be available today on the Group’s website at www.argentex.com.