6 May 2020
EMIS Group plc
("EMIS Group" or "the Group")
Ahead of its AGM being held later today, EMIS Group issues the following update on trading and other matters.
The Board of EMIS Group, the UK leader in connected healthcare software and systems, is pleased to announce that trading for the year to date is in line with the Board's expectations. As reported on 18 March 2020 at the time of its 2019 Full Year Results, the Group is focussed on supporting its customers in tackling the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While continuing to meet service level obligations, the Group has dedicated a team to respond to urgent requests from NHS and Community Pharmacy customers for functionality changes and new patient-related, data-driven insights. As an example, the Group has announced its first research collaboration with The Nuffield Department of Primary Care at the University of Oxford and the Royal College of General Practitioners; a not-for-profit project focussed on coronavirus with almost 600 practices signed up so far. This NHS sponsored PRINCIPLE trial is testing the effectiveness of various treatments in the early phases of COVID-19. EMIS Health is also continuously working to support NHS frontline staff, who are doing an outstanding job in looking after the nation, through daily engagement with customers and users at central and local levels.
Financial position and trading
The Group continues to have market-leading positions and high levels of recurring revenue. It remains in a strong financial position, with the expected normal seasonal cash inflows increasing the cash position to £40.0m at 30 April 2020. The Group has no bank debt and undrawn banking facilities of up to £60.0m. Subject to approval at today's AGM, the 2019 final dividend payment of 15.6 pence per share, amounting to £9.8m, will be paid as planned on 11 May 2020.
As anticipated, following a good start to the year, trading patterns have altered due to the need for flexible working solutions for the Group's customers. While recurring revenues have continued as normal, as anticipated new business sales have been lower than in 2019 and weighted more towards lower-margin hardware. Costs continue to be controlled carefully to ensure any impact of delayed new business revenues is minimised, however there is currently no intention to furlough any staff.
This is in line with the Group's assessment of market conditions as set out at the time of the 2019 Full Year Results and, assuming that markets will improve gradually in the second half of the year, the Board's expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Given the strength of the Group's business model (including approximately 80% recurring revenue) and its strong cash position, the Board has decided to continue investing in the execution of the Group's strategic roadmap, rather than take short-term cost-saving measures in response to COVID-19.
Demand for the Group's Patient Access service has continued to grow, surpassing 10m registered users; up from 8.4m at the end of 2019. It is clear that digital health capabilities will be even more important post COVID-19 and Patient is well positioned, as the leading healthcare app in the UK, for continued growth. Patient's coronavirus hub has been accessed 3.4m times by 2.6m people and over 300,000 people have used the coronavirus symptom checker. Users also benefit from the most up to date news from Dr Sarah Jarvis, Patient's resident GP.
Investment in EMIS-X has been maintained and will be increased through 2020. Development of the EMIS-X platform continues as planned, with new functionality being completed on a regular basis and end user applications expected to launch from 2021.
As previously announced, and having completed nine years' service, Mike O'Leary will retire from the Board at the conclusion of the AGM today, with Patrick De Smedt taking over as Chair. The directors would like to thank Mike for his excellent contribution over many years and they look forward to working with Patrick in the future.
Andy Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of EMIS Group, said:
"While the Group continues to navigate short-term market volatility, the Board believes that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders to continue with the execution of the strategic product roadmap to deliver greater integration and efficiency in healthcare.
The investments being made by the Group and the capabilities being built will be even more relevant after COVID-19. The Board is confident the Group will create significant value for shareholders over time while delivering opportunities for customers in the NHS and in the private and consumer healthcare sectors."
For further information, contact:
EMIS Group plc Tel: 0113 380 3000
Andy Thorburn, CEO
Peter Southby, CFO
Numis Securities Limited (Nominated Adviser & Broker) Tel: 020 7260 1000
Oliver Hardy/Simon Willis/James Black
MHP Communications Tel: 020 3128 8572
Reg Hoare/Giles Robinson/Florence Mayo email@example.com
Notes to Editors
EMIS Group is the UK leader in connected healthcare software and systems. Its solutions are widely used across every major UK healthcare setting. EMIS Group's aim is to join up healthcare through innovative technology, helping to deliver better health outcomes to the UK population, supporting longer and healthier lives.
EMIS Group has two core business segments: EMIS Health and EMIS Enterprise.
EMIS Health is a supplier of innovative integrated care technology to the NHS, including primary, community, acute and social care.
EMIS Enterprise is focussed on growth in the business-to-business technology sector within the healthcare market, including management of medicines, partner businesses, patient-facing services and UK healthcare blockchain.
EMIS Group's brands include:
• EMIS Health, supplying innovative and essential technology to 10,000 healthcare organisations, in the number one or number two market positions in each of its major markets;
• Patient, the UK's leading independent provider of patient-centric medical and well-being information and related transactional services; and
• Egton, providing specialist ICT infrastructure, hardware and engineering services, and non-clinical software into health and social care.
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