Technology services provide boost in tough period for promotions specialist

Christopher Lee, chief executive of Pebble Group

Stretford-based corporate promotions specialist Pebble Group saw revenues fall 30% in the first half of the year but is seeing signs of recovery as lockdown eases.

Pebble Group provides promotional products and services through two businesses – merchandise business Brand Addition and SaaS [software as a service] business Facilisgroup.

Brand Addition, which accounted for nearly 90% of the group’s revenues a year ago, had a tough first six months. Revenues were down £15m, to £28.5m, and it relied on the furlough scheme and temporary pay cuts to reduce costs.

However Facilisgroup, which it acquired in December 2018, grew its revenues by 10%, to £5.1m. It has also continued to expand its partner network, which is a key driver of sales.

“The board feels positive about the trajectory of the recovery at Brand Addition, and the strength of Facilisgroup,” said chief executive Christopher Lee.

“Whilst we do not expect a significant return of conferences or events until at least H2 2021, the current sales trend and the contracted, long-term nature of our client relationships give us confidence in the re-emergence of sales demand through 2021, where we are targeting a return towards 2019 levels.”

Pebble Group has had an interesting first year on the Alternative Investment Market after it floated last December at 105p-per-share. It quickly rose to nearly 160p in February, before losing more than half its value as the market fell in the early stages of the coronavirus crisis.

It bounced back to 115p in July before falling back to close last night at 92p, giving the business a market value of £155m.