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Personal Group sees continuation of record new insurance sales

The employee services market is being driven by increasing competition for staff in a tight labour market and recognition of the commercial value of investing in and retaining staff
Man holding wallet
The company provides employee benefits, serving 550 businesses, reaching more than 2mln UK employees

Employee services provider Personal Group Holdings plc (LON:PGH) has seen a continuation of record new insurance sales in the first two months of 2018.

In its full-year results statement for 2017, the group hailed its fifth successive year of record new insurance sales and added that it looks like 2018 has continued in the same vein.

Revenue from continuing operations in 2017 was affected by the delayed roll-out of a salary sacrifice offering for the Royal Mail group and other key customers and declined to £45.2mln from £53.6mln the year before, but was a shade ahead of the consensus forecast of £45.9mln.

The Royal Mail launched the company's “Let's Connect” offer this month.

READ: Personal Group launches salary sacrifice technology for Royal Mail after earlier delay

The group saw a 77% rise in software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue to £2.7mln from £1.5mln the year before.

Underlying earnings (Ebitda) was also a little ahead of the market's expectations at £10.8mln, albeit down from £11.4mln the year before.

Profit before tax from continuing operations was £9.5mln, down from £10.5mln in 2016 but bang in line with expectations.

The debt-free group ended 2017 with cash of £16.2mln, up from £12.6mln the year before.

The full-year dividend has been increased by 3.2% from the year before to 22.7p.

"2017 was a strong year across much of the group's operations, which is reflected in the Ebitda of £10.8mln, which was marginally ahead of current market expectations,” said Mark Scanlon, the chief executive officer of Personal Group.

“This performance again demonstrates the strength of the underlying business and was despite the transient issue of the HMRC review into Salary Sacrifice, which delayed sales at our PG Let's Connect business into 2018.

“As we continue in the current financial year, the company is better placed than ever to realise the significant opportunity presented by the employee services market, which is being driven by increasing competition for staff in a tight labour market and recognition of the commercial value of investing in and retaining staff. This issue is common to organisations big and small, public and private all of which we are now very able to serve," Scanlon added.

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