Promotions group confident as momentum picks up for new fiscal year

Christopher Lee, chief executive of Pebble Group
X The Business Desk

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Pebble Group, the Stretford-based corporate promotions specialist, says improved trading in the fourth quarter of the year to December 31, 2020, has continued into its new financial period and it views the future with confidence.

It announced results today that showed a fall in annual revenues from £107.2m in 2019 to £82.4m for 2020. However, pre-tax profits of £5m represented a £15.3m turnround from a £10.3m pre-tax loss in 2019.

On admission to AIM in December 2019, the group intended to make dividend payments of around 30% of profit after tax. However, given the impact of the pandemic, the focus on cash preservation and use of government job retention support schemes, the board considers a dividend payment for 2020 would be inappropriate. This position will be reviewed during 2021.

The group said it achieved a swift and deft response to the turbulence created by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Investment for growth acceleration continued in its Facilisgroup, which added a record number of new partners, while maintaining excellent retention levels.

The group retained all major clients in Brand Addition and implemented two significant new contracts.

It also achieved excellent cash management during 2020 with a year end cash balance of £7.1m, against £8.9m in 2019, after acquisition of software assets of £2.6m and settlement of IPO-related costs of £3.5m.

Pebble says its 2021 fiscal year has started well and the board views the prospects for the group with confidence, with its first quarter performance firmly in line with management expectations.

Chief executive, Christopher Lee, said: “We are pleased to issue the group’s results for the year ended 31 December 2020, our first full year as a listed company.

“The group safely navigated through the challenges of 2020 and, in parallel, reinforced its belief that the differentiated market positions and strategies of its businesses continue to provide significant opportunity for growth.”

He added: “The pandemic has temporarily interrupted the trajectory of our growth, but we are confident that the opportunities for the group remain strong.

“We look forward to updating shareholders on the progress of the group throughout the year.”