RSM Tenon slashes losses in first half

NATIONAL accountancy group RSM Tenon has reported an improved half-year performance, the result of a major drive to slash costs and reduce headcount.

The firm, which has offices in Manchester and Chorley, announced an underlying loss of £0.6m for the first half of its current financial year and has said it remains in its bankers considering the size of the group’s debt.

The firm made an underlying loss of £10.9m for 2011, prompting a series of cutbacks and restructuring.

For the six months to December 31, 2012, the group’s underlying EBITDA was £1.5m (2011 EBITDA loss £8.2m). Revenue of £88.4m was down by £9.8m and operating costs at £86.9m were down by £19.5m.

Tim Ingram, Chairman, said: “The significant progress in turning RSM Tenon around is evidenced by these results.  The business is now smaller, better organised and properly managed.  In a challenging market, we still have much to do, but the direction has been clearly set.”
Chris Merry, Chief Executive, added: “Markets for our services remain tough and I am grateful to our clients and staff for their continued loyalty.  We are delighted that the business is returning to operating profitability and now seek a period of stability to move into a growth phase for RSM Tenon.”

The firm’s debt is now £80.4m, compared with £76.5m at the end of 2012, but within its £93m lending facility.

The group said it had taken a cautious approach to headcount reduction, preferring not to replace staff who had left rather than launch a redundancy programme.

On average it had 2,666 employees during 2012 compared to 3,166 in 2011.

The firm said: “Headcount reductions have had an impact on revenue and consequently we approach any further reductions in staff with extreme care.  Most importantly, we continue to recruit in key areas, including at partner level, and have been delighted to welcome 247 new joiners during the first six months of the financial year.”