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Personal Group trading in line as CEO Mark Scanlon signals intention to step down

"The company has diversified over recent years to include a very strong technology component and is now present in all its addressable markets. I feel that now is an opportune time to hand over to a successor," Scanlon said

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"Mark is justifiably proud of the ... transformation of Personal Group from primarily a successful hospital cash plan insurer to the market defining employee services company," said chairman, Mark Winlow

Mark Scanlon is to step down as the chief executive officer of Personal Group Holdings plc (LON:PGH), the employee benefits and insurance specialist.

Scanlon plans to leave on or before September 17 of next year. A search is now on for a suitable successor.

WATCH: Personal Group 'firing on all cylinders' after strong start to the year

The announcement accompanied the release of the company’s results for the first half of 2018 that showed a 27% increase in underlying earnings (EBITDA) from a year earlier.

EBITDA from continuing operations rose to £4.7mln from £3.7mln the year before while profit before tax from continuing operations rose 27.7% to £3.9mln from £3.0mln the previous year.

Group revenue climbed 7.3% to £21.1mln from £19.6mln, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) more than doubling to £2.0mln from £0.9mln in the first half of 2017.

Solid performance

The core insurance division produced “a solid performance” with revenue slightly higher year-on-year, with new insurance sales up 6%.

PG Let’s Connect, the group’s salary sacrifice business, had an encouraging start to the year, with trading marginally ahead of this time last year and in line with management's expectations.

The company's balance sheet remained strong with cash and cash equivalents, increasing to £14.0mln from £12.6mln at the end of 2017; the company has no debt. The increase in cash balances was down to a combination of good trading, along with the planned sale of the company's equity portfolio.

The group said that momentum had continued into the second half of the year and trading remains in line with expectations. The focus for the second half of the year will be on investment in developing sales opportunities.

"It has been an encouraging start to the year, with all three business segments ahead of this time last year. SaaS sales continue to increase as expected; core insurance performance remains robust and growing; PG Let's Connect is rebounding and we are well positioned to provide our range of employee services to companies of all sizes and within all sectors,” Scanlon said.

"Having led the business for almost seven years and taken it through a period of growth and diversification I feel that now is an opportune time to hand over to a successor. Personal Group is in great shape, underpinned by the strength and depth of the team, and well positioned for the next phase of growth," Scanlon added.

Quick facts: Personal Group Holdings PLC

Price: 335 GBX

AIM:PGH
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £104.58 m
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