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(JDG) Judges Scientific share chat

Discussion in 'General Share Chat (JDG)' started by Groucho, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Groucho

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    Press release

    18 September 2018


    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "the Company", or "the Group")

    Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018 and Trading Update


    Key financials

    · Revenues up 13% to a record £37.0 million (H1 2017: £32.7 million) including 5.7% Organic growth;

    · Adjusted* pre-tax profit up 50% to £6.6 million (H1 2017: £4.4 million);

    o Statutory pre-tax profit of £4.2 million (H1 2017: £2.1 million);

    · Adjusted* basic earnings per share up 52% to 83.4p (H1 2017: 54.8p);

    o Statutory basic earnings per share of 53.3p (H1 2017: 23.9p);

    · Interim dividend of 12.0p (H1 2017: 10.0p), an increase of 20%; covered 7 times by adjusted earnings;

    · Organic order intake up 2.3% compared with H1 2017;

    · Organic order book at 15.0 weeks (H1 2017: 15.4 weeks);

    · Cash generated from operations of £6.3 million (H1 2017: £4.4 million);

    · Adjusted* net debt of £2.2 million as at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: £8.0 million);

    o Statutory net debt of £2.4 million as at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: £7.6 million);

    · Cash balances of £14.4 million as at 30 June 2018 (31 December 2017: £10.7 million);

    · Bank debt refinanced with new facilities of £35 million;

    · Post period end buy-back by PFO of one half of the shares held by its minority holders for a cash consideration of £1.5 million, increasing the Group's share in PFO from 51% to 67.5%.

    Trading update

    · Adjusted profit before tax and Earnings per Share anticipated to be ahead of FY 2018 expectations.


    * Adjusted earnings figures are stated before adjusting items relating to hedging of risks materialising after the end of the period, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, share based payments and acquisition-related costs. Adjusted net debt notionally includes acquisition-related payments which had yet to be settled at the balance sheet date and excludes subordinated debt owed by subsidiaries to minority shareholders.


    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific, commented:

    "During the period, the Company achieved new records in terms of revenues, adjusted profit before tax, adjusted earnings per share and dividends. This strong momentum has been maintained since the end of the period and as such, the Board anticipates that full year adjusted profit before tax and EPS will be ahead of current market expectations.


    During the period we welcomed Charles Holroyd to the Board with Glynn Reece transitioning to become the Group's Company Secretary. The Group continues to pursue its disciplined strategy and benefits from a broad range of revenue streams, diversified by geography and market, partially insulating it against wider external volatility."
     
  2. Groucho

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  3. Groucho

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    17 January 2019


    Judges Scientific plc (the "Group" or "Judges")

    Trading Statement and Notice of Final Results


    The Board of Judges Scientific plc, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, updates shareholders and the market on the Group's trading performance for the financial year ended 31 December 2018.

    The trading climate was favourable throughout the year and the momentum in demand accelerated in the second half, resulting in 6.2% growth in organic* order intake for the year as a whole. This leaves the Group at the year-end with a total order book equivalent to 14.2 weeks of budgeted sales (31 December 2017: 14.9 weeks).

    The healthy commercial activity and the excellent exchange rates helped further drive sales, profits and cash generation; as a result, the Board anticipates that EPS for the full year ended 31 December 2018 will be slightly ahead of current market expectations as increased following the November 2018 trading update.

    Notice of Results

    Judges expects to announce its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018 on 19 March 2019.

    *Organic includes those businesses owned by the Group prior to 1 January 2017
     
  4. Groucho

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    19 March 2019

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    FINAL RESULTS

    Record revenue, order intake and cash generation underpinning 25% increase in dividend

    Judges Scientific, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, is pleased to announce its Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2018.

    Highlights

    · Revenues up 9% to a record £77.9 million (2017: £71.4 million), including 5.5% Organic* growth;

    · Adjusted** operating profit up 35% to £14.7 million (2017: £10.9 million);

    o Statutory operating profit of £10.7 million (2017: £5.7 million);

    · Adjusted** basic earnings per share up 39% to 183.4p (2017: 131.9p);

    o Statutory basic earnings per share of 137.5p (2017: 65.6p);

    · Final dividend of 28p, totalling 40p for the year, an increase of 25%; covered 4.6 times by adjusted earnings;

    · Organic* order intake up 6.2% compared with 2017;

    · Order book at 14.4 weeks (1 January 2018: 14.9 weeks);

    · New 5-year acquisition facilities for aggregate £35 million;

    · Cash generated from operations of £15.7 million (2017: £10.9 million);

    · Adjusted** net cash of £0.9 million as at 31 December 2018 (31 December 2017: £8.0 million net debt);

    o Statutory net cash of £0.7 million at 31 December 2018 (31 December 2017: £7.6 million net debt);

    · Cash balances of £15.7 million as at 31 December 2018 (31 December 2017: £10.7 million).

    * Organic describes the performance of the Group including businesses acquired prior to 1 January 2017.

    ** Adjusted earnings figures exclude adjusting items relating to amortisation of intangible assets, acquisition-related costs, share based payments and hedging of risks materialising after the end of the year. Adjusted net debt includes acquisition-related liabilities and excludes subordinated debt owed by subsidiaries to minority shareholders.


    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific, commented:

    "2018 saw the Group achieve new records for order intake, sales, adjusted profits, cash generation and earnings per share; this was driven by strong demand for our products, continued operational improvements and very favourable foreign exchange rates. 2019 has started well and, with a robust balance sheet and a strong order book, Judges is well positioned to face an uncertain macro and political climate."

    Judges ScientificPLC - Final Results https://www.voxmarkets.co.uk/rns/announcement/421773b9-bd1d-4f0c-bd67-6c58037772db

    CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

    I am delighted to report that in the financial year ended 31 December 2018, the Group achieved new records in order intake, revenues, cash generation, adjusted pre-tax profit and adjusted earnings per share. In the absence of an acquisition the Group has achieved a net cash position at the year-end providing a robust position for future corporate development when opportunities arise. Pleasingly the performance has been achieved this year through organic growth and efforts to achieve operational excellence, highlighting the inherent commercial strength of the businesses within the Group. The long-term growth drivers in the scientific instruments industry remain robust and, whilst volatility in short term demand remains a feature within our sector, the climate - and exchange rates - were in our favour as evidenced by the consistently strong demand for our products observed over more than the last two and a half years.

    Delivering returns to our shareholders remains the core objective of the Group and as such the Board is pleased to be recommending a final dividend of 28p, making a total of 40p in respect of 2018, a 25% increase on the prior year (2017: 32p). As a result of this payment, the Company will have returned to its original shareholders in cumulative dividends more than twice the Company's original subscription price.

    Strategy

    The Group's strategy continues to be based on creating shareholder returns through highly selective and carefully structured acquisitions, underpinned by diversified, solid and consistent earnings and cash-flows arising from our existing businesses.

    The Group's policy is to acquire small/medium-sized scientific instrument companies, paying a disciplined multiple of earnings and to finance any acquisition, ideally, through existing cash resources and/or bank borrowings. We are highly selective in acquiring businesses with sustainable profits and cash-flows in order to obtain immediate and enduring earnings enhancement for our shareholders. It is paramount that acquisitions are completed only when the Directors are satisfied that the target business has sound underlying strength. On the back of the growth of our Group it has been able to promptly reduce the acquisition debt, generating the resources to reinvest in further acquisitions, subject always to our prudent approach on gearing.

    The underlying market for scientific instruments remains robust and the sector's long-term growth drivers provide comfort that the Group will continue to deliver durable returns for shareholders despite, as we have observed since 2014, the potential for some short-term variability in performance. Long-term market drivers are rooted in the global expansion of higher education and the need for improved measurement to support the relentless worldwide search for optimisation across science and industry.

    Our team

    This was the first year of activity for our new Chief Operating Officer, Mark Lavelle. His contribution has been very positive and we are confident that his impact on the quality of our operations will provide a strong and growing enhancement to organic profitability.

    Your Board was strengthened by the addition of Charles Holroyd as an independent Non-Executive Director. His general business acumen and knowledge of our sector will be of great benefit to the Group. Glynn Reece has left the Board but we are pleased that he will continue his long and successful association with Judges as Company Secretary.

    Of course, the good performance achieved in 2018 is primarily the result of the great competence and hard work of all our colleagues at every level. The Board and, I am sure, our shareholders are grateful for their efforts that have created such a positive performance.

    Alex Hambro

    Chairman

    18 March 2019


    CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S REPORT

    Performance

    Revenues

    Group revenues for the financial year ended 31 December 2018 progressed from £71.4 million to £77.9 million, an increase of 9%. This reflects Organic growth of 5.5% and the full year contribution of Oxford Cryosystems which was acquired in July 2017. For the year as a whole and excluding the business acquired since 1 January 2017 (this is the meaning of "Organic" in this Report and Accounts), revenues grew strongly across most of the mature economies with UK turnover increasing by 18%, the Rest of Europe up 22% and North America up 11%. China/Hong Kong was down 8% following the strong 39% growth the previous year; the Rest of the World was down by 17%. Customers outside the UK tend to appraise the value of what they purchase in currencies other than Sterling and the weakness in Sterling throughout most of the year assisted the strength of our exports. Country by country, the most impressive swings were in the USA (up £1.9 million) and in the UK (up £1.5 million) followed by the Czech Republic, Germany and Taiwan. The Group is a strong exporter and well diversified across the globe, with 27% of the Group's revenues earned in North America, 30% in the Rest of Europe, 10% in China/Hong Kong and 20% in the Rest of the World.

    Profits

    Profit before tax and adjusting items progressed 37% to £14.3 million (2017: £10.4 million). Organic operating contribution was up 30% driven by improved demand throughout the Group, by good progress at the business which had suffered operating issues and by the very favourable exchange rates prevailing since the Brexit vote. The operating subsidiaries combined produced a Return on Total Invested Capital of 27.6% (2017: 20.6%).

    The Group has continued to invest in the improvement of its existing products and the development of new products. Investment in research and development amounted to £4.6 million in 2018 (2017: £3.5 million), equivalent to 5.9% of Group revenue.

    Earnings per share were enhanced largely by the positive Organic trading performance but also by a full years ownership of Oxford Cryosystems and the impact of our increased shareholdings in Bordeaux Acquisition (from 51% to 75.5% in July 2017) and in PE.fiberoptics (from 51% to 67.5% in August 2018). Basic earnings per share before adjusting items advanced by 39% from 131.9p to 183.4p; fully diluted earnings per share before adjusting items also improved 39% to 180.6p (2017: 130.3p).

    Order intake

    The positive momentum benefitting the Group since June 2016 continued throughout 2018; this strength was observed across most Group companies and progress was made across all major export zones with the UK up 22%, Europe ahead by 14%, North America up by 14% and China/Hong Kong up 1% although the rest of the World was down 15%. This resulted in a 6% increase in Organic order intake compared to 2017. The robust demand enabled the improved sales and left the Group with a healthy order book at 31 December 2018 representing 14.4 weeks of budgeted sales (2017: 14.9 weeks).

    Cashflow

    The strong trading performance produced abundant cashflow with cash generated from operations of £15.7 million (2017: £10.9 million). At 31 December 2018 the Group was in a net cash position with adjusted net cash excluding subordinated debt owed to non-controlling shareholders (and for 2017, including sums still due in respect of an acquisition) amounting to £0.9 million (2017: £8.0 million net debt). Statutory net cash was £0.7 million (2017: statutory net debt of £7.6 million).

    Dividends

    Your Board is recommending a final dividend of 28p per share subject to approval at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 22 May 2019, which will make a total distribution of 40p per share in respect of 2018 (2017: 32p per share). Despite the proposed 25% increase, the total dividend per share is more than four and a half times covered by adjusted earnings per share (2017: four times).

    The proposed final dividend, if approved by shareholders, will be payable on 5 July 2019 to shareholders on the register on 7 June 2019 and the shares will go ex-dividend on 6 June 2019.

    The Company's shareholders are reminded that a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) is in place to enable shareholders to automatically reinvest their dividends into additional Judges shares should they so wish.

    Trading environment

    The long-term fundamentals supporting demand for scientific instruments remain positive. Market demand is being driven primarily by increased worldwide investment in higher education and a growing trend towards optimisation across science and industry; optimisation requires measurement.

    Despite these positive long-term trends, the markets across which Judges and its peers operate are characterised by a degree of shorter-term variability, influenced mostly by government spending, currency fluctuations and the business climate in major trading blocs, particularly the USA and China. In smaller territories, year-on-year comparisons are not necessarily illustrative of performance, partly due to the high value of some individual orders and the long gestation period often occurring before purchasing intentions crystallise into orders and sales. Alongside these external variables, the uncertainty in research funding in the UK resulting from Brexit may have a continuing influence on commercial activity in some of our businesses.

    As a large percentage of the Group's sales are overseas, exchange rates have a significant influence on the Group's business: Judges' manufacturing costs are largely denominated in Sterling and most of its revenue originates from countries where the standard of value is the Euro (one quarter of total revenue) or the US Dollar (two thirds of total revenue). The currency movements in the run-up to the Brexit vote and since have had a positive influence (mitigated to an extent by hedging) on our margins and our competitiveness. Exchange rates during 2018 have been nearly the most favourable we have seen since 2009.

    Acquisitions

    As a buy and build group, the acquisition of new businesses is a fundamental feature of Group strategy. Executing this effectively is required to ensure that long-term value is generated for shareholders.

    The industry in which we operate consists of a multitude of small global niches as highlighted by the diverse nature of the new entrants to our Group. The UK is recognised in this arena as a centre of excellence for product innovation and manufacturing with world-leading businesses. Our Group has built a reputation over the past decade as an experienced and well-financed buyer and a supportive home for businesses in our sector whose owners wish to sell. We are trusted to act decisively and to complete deals under the initial terms agreed. For the businesses we acquire, the Group offers advice and support wherever necessary, participates in succession planning and implements robust financial controls. We trust subsidiary management teams with the day-to-day running of their businesses. This has been a successful operating model for the Group, as management teams are given responsibility for their own destinies, as well as an environment in which they can thrive.

    In 2018 no acquisition was completed. This is a reflection of the disciplined attitude of your Board and the erratic nature of deal origination given that most of our acquisitions arise from the seller's intention to retire.

    Thirteen years after Judges backed the management buy-out of PE.fiberoptics ("PFO"), one of its original founders retired. PFO offered to buy-back half of its own shares using part of its surplus cash. All shareholders except Judges took advantage of the offer and, as a result, the Group's percentage holding in PFO increased from 51% to 67.5%.

    Current trading and prospects

    Judges has started 2019 with a strong financial position and a solid order book; order intake in the first ten weeks of the new year was ahead of the corresponding prior year period.

    Our business will continue to be influenced by public spending around the world and trade tensions (including Brexit) could impact our performance. More significantly, following a resolution on Brexit, which will be addressed at some point, Sterling's fate ought to be driven again by economic rather than political factors; we are well hedged for the current year but a stronger Sterling would not be positive in the medium term. Our well diversified Group has shown its resilience and the underlying strength of our business justifies some optimism for the current year.

    David Cicurel

    Chief Executive

    18 March 2019
     
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    18 September 2019

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "the Company", or "the Group")

    Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019

    Key financials **

    § Revenues increased 9% to a record £40.2 million (H1 2018: £37.0 million);

    § Adjusted*pre-tax profit increased 27% to £8.4 million (H1 2018: £6.6 million);

    - Statutory pre-tax profit increased to £6.9 million (H1 2018: £4.2 million);

    § Adjusted* basic earnings per share increased 30% to 108.7p (H1 2018: 83.4p);

    - Statutory basic earnings per share increased to 90.1p (H1 2018: 53.3p);

    § Interim dividend of 15.0p (H1 2018: 12.0p), an increase of 25%; covered 7 times by adjusted earnings;

    § Order intake increased 4% compared with H1 2018;

    § Order book at 13.2 weeks (H1 2018: 15.0 weeks);

    § Cash generated from operations increased to £8.5 million (H1 2018: £6.3 million);

    § Adjusted* net cash increased to £7.4 million as at 30 June 2019 (31 December 2018: £0.9 million);

    - Statutory net cash increased to £7.2 million as at 30 June 2019 (31 December 2018: £0.7 million);

    § Cash balances increased to £20.8 million as at 30 June 2019 (31 December 2018: £15.7 million).

    Outlook

    § Adjusted profit before tax and earnings per share anticipated to be ahead of FY 2019 expectations***.


    * Adjusted earnings figures are stated before adjusting items relating to hedging of risks materialising after the end of the period, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, share based payments and acquisition-related costs. Adjusted net cash notionally includes acquisition-related payments which had yet to be settled at the balance sheet date and excludes subordinated debt owed by subsidiaries to non-controlling shareholders.

    ** In the absence of any material acquisition since 1 January 2018, this statement shows no distinction between total and organic performance.

    *** Judges Scientific's compiled analyst forecast range for adjusted profit before tax (year to 31 December 2019): £14.8m to £15.1m, with an average consensus of £15.0m. The forecast range for Adjusted earnings per share: 184.7p to 190.5p, with an average consensus of 188.4p.


    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific, commented:

    "The delivery of record revenue, adjusted profit before tax, earnings per share, cash generation and dividends for the first half is testament to the Group's pursuit of operational excellence. Orders to date are in line with our expectations, despite a subdued second quarter. The strong first half financial performance and healthy order book give the Board confidence that full year adjusted profit before tax and EPS will exceed current consensus market expectations."
     
  8. Groucho

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    21 November 2019

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "the Company", or "the Group")

    Special dividend



    The Board of Judges Scientific today announces that in order to prioritise the interests of its shareholders it has decided to pay a special dividend of £2.00 per ordinary share, totalling £12.4 million.

    The Board has assessed the Group's cash resources, its robust cash generation and the Group's ability to borrow for acquisitions, which result from a sustained period of strong performance. The special dividend will absorb a modest proportion of the resources available to conduct acquisitions and the Board is therefore confident that this special dividend will not interfere with the execution of Judges' unchanged buy-and-build strategy.

    Payment of the special dividend will be on Tuesday 10 December 2019 to shareholders on the register on Friday 29 November 2019. The shares will go ex-dividend on Thursday 28 November 2019. The special dividend will be funded from existing cash balances.



    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific, commented:

    "The payment of this special dividend is a reflection of our constant focus on shareholders' interests. Following this payment, the Group will have returned to shareholders four and a half times the IPO price."
     
  9. Groucho

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    Press Release

    4 December 2019

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    Acquisition of Moorfield Nanotechnology Limited

    Judges Scientific, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary Quorum Technologies Limited ("Quorum") has today acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Moorfield Nanotechnology Limited ("Moorfield" or the "Acquisition"), a maker of coating instruments based in Knutsford, Cheshire. The Board expects the Acquisition to be immediately earnings enhancing.

    The purchase price of Moorfield, paid in cash at completion, amounts to £2.3 million. This includes an earn-out based on Moorfield's adjusted EBIT in the year to 30 June 2019, capped at £0.7 million. An additional payment will be made to reflect any excess cash balances over and above the ongoing requirements of the business. The Board expects such payment to be covered by the cash inherited at the completion date.

    The consideration for the Acquisition has been financed from the Group's £35 million acquisition facility from Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets.

    Information on Moorfield

    Moorfield specialises in the design and manufacture of physical and chemical vapour deposition instruments used to cover materials with thin films. Moorfield's systems are used for academic and industrial research, including semiconductors, photovoltaics, graphene and 2D materials.

    Moorfield was established in 1989 by Jonathan and Vivienne Whitehead. Jonathan Whitehead will continue in his current role for a year to facilitate a smooth transition; Jonathan Edgeworth, the Managing Director, will continue to lead Moorfield as an autonomous business in close cooperation with Quorum.

    Moorfield's accounts for the financial year to 30 June 2019 show revenues of £2.5 million and pre-tax profits of £0.6 million. Net tangible assets amounted to £1.7 million, including cash of £1.5 million.

    Moorfield's operating profit for the year ended 30 June 2019, adjusted to eliminate non-recurring items and to reflect Moorfield's ongoing cost base within Judges, would have totalled £0.6 million.

    Information on Quorum

    Quorum is a world leading manufacturer of instruments used to coat samples for electron microscopy; Quorum's main market is life sciences and the association with Moorfield will open new horizons into material science.

    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges, said:

    "Moorfield is an excellent company with quality products, which will complement Quorum's pre-eminent capabilities in the coating sector. This cash generative acquisition enhances our earnings and fits within the Judges disciplined growth model. We are delighted to welcome Jonathan, Jonathan and their colleagues to Judges' family."
     
  10. Groucho

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    16 January 2020

    Judges Scientific plc (the "Group" or "Judges")

    Trading Statement and Notice of Final Results


    The Board of Judges Scientific plc, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, updates shareholders and the market on the Group's trading performance for the financial year ended 31 December 2019.

    Year-on-year Organic* order intake progressed 3.3%. Over the year as a whole demand was healthy but uneven during the year; in particular order intake in December was less buoyant than in 2018. Despite this, the Group starts the new year with a comfortable Organic* order book, stable in value compared to the 2018 year-end and equivalent to 13.2 weeks of budgeted sales (31 December 2018: 14.2 weeks).

    The Group's performance has been driven by continued healthy demand, by a strong focus on timely deliveries and by the still excellent exchange rates; as a result, the Board anticipates that EPS for the full year ended 31 December 2019 will be slightly ahead of market expectations which were revised upwards following the publication of the interim results on 18 September 2019.

    Notice of Final Results

    Judges expects to announce its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2019 on 18 March 2020.

    *Organic includes those businesses owned by the Group prior to 1 January 2018
     
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    24 February 2020

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    Statement regarding COVID-19



    The Board of Judges continues to closely monitor developments in China and the potential effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on its business.

    With the current scale of the outbreak, and provided it does not last more than three months and remains largely contained within China, it is not expected that there will be a significant impact to the Group's 2020 trading.

    The Group operates with an average 3-month order book, so in the near term the current travel restrictions are expected to only have a temporary impact, deferring rather than reducing revenue. Unaudited revenues for China/Hong Kong represented £9.5 million in 2019.

    In relation to Judges' supply chain, direct and indirect supply from China varies from business to business in the Group, with only one subsidiary having significant supply chain exposure. The Board is monitoring developments closely and at this stage of the outbreak, currently considers that supply chain disruptions will be manageable.

    The situation remains under active review by the Board.
     
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    18 March 2020

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    FINAL RESULTS

    Record revenue, order intake and cash generation underpinning 25% increase in dividend

    Judges Scientific, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, is pleased to announce its Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2019.

    Financial Highlights

    · Revenues up 5.9% to a record £82.5 million (2018: £77.9 million), including 5.6% Organic* growth;

    · Adjusted** operating profit up 18% to £17.4 million (2018: £14.7 million);

    o Statutory operating profit of £14.1 million (2018: £10.7 million);

    · Adjusted** basic earnings per share up 21% to 222.5p (2018: 183.4p);

    o Statutory basic earnings per share of 183.1p (2018: 137.5p);

    · Final dividend of 35p, totalling 50p for the year, an increase of 25%; covered 4.5 times by adjusted earnings (this excludes the special dividend of £2 paid on 10 December 2019);

    · Organic* order intake up 3.3% compared with 2018;

    · Organic order book at 13.2 weeks (1 January 2019: 14.4 weeks); total order book 13.6 weeks;

    · Cash generated from operations of £19.1 million (2018: £15.7 million);

    · Adjusted** net debt of £2.0 million as at 31 December 2019 (31 December 2018: £0.9 million net cash);

    o Statutory net debt of £0.3 million at 31 December 2019 (31 December 2018: £0.7 millionnet cash);

    · Cash balances of £14.1 million as at 31 December 2019 (31 December 2018: £15.7 million).


    Strategic Highlights

    · Moorfield Nanotechnology acquired on 3 December 2019 for a consideration of £2.3 million plus excess cash.


    Outlook and COVID-19

    · The Group commenced 2020 in a strong financial position with a solid order book, both of which remain robust.

    · The impact of COVID-19 is being closely monitored with all necessary precautions being taken across Group businesses.

    · Pandemic will affect scientific conventions and our ability to travel safely to our customers and therefore impact order intake, sales and installations.

    · Effect on current year trading performance will be limited if the outbreak only lasts a further two months and will have a progressively growing and more significant impact thereafter.

    · It is currently expected that the impact on the Group will only be temporary and, that with its robust financial position, the Group's ability to conduct its business model will remain intact.


    * Organic describes the performance of the Group including businesses acquired prior to 1 January 2018.

    ** Adjusted earnings figures exclude adjusting items relating to amortisation of acquired intangible assets, acquisition-related costs, share based payments and hedging of risks materialising after the end of the year. Adjusted net debt includes acquisition-related liabilities and excludes subordinated debt owed by subsidiaries to non-controlling shareholders.


    Alex Hambro, Chairman of Judges Scientific, commented:

    "In 2019 the Group achieved new records for order intake, sales, adjusted profits, cash generation and earnings per share; this was driven by strong demand for our products, continued operational improvements and very favourable foreign exchange rates. The uncertainty of COVID-19 is clouding the immediate future but the Group's strong financial position ensures it is able to continue pursuing its business model."

    Judges ScientificPLC - Final Results #JDG https://www.voxmarkets.co.uk/rns/announcement/4b7f4205-06b7-450b-a8de-1b4bd5093e1a #voxmarkets undefined
     
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    28 April 2020

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    Notice of AGM

    Posting of Report and Accounts



    Judges Scientific, a group involved in the buy and build of scientific instrument businesses, announces that it has posted the copies of the Group's Annual Report and Accounts and Notice of Annual General Meeting. The Company's Annual General Meeting ("AGM") will be held at will be held in St John's Wood, London on Wednesday 20 May 2020 at 12.00 noon.

    Following the UK Government's introduction of social distancing measures and guidance on non-essential travel and public gatherings, the Company will not be able to hold the AGM in the normal way and as such shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM in person.

    As shareholders cannot attend in person, the Board encourages all shareholders to vote by submitting a proxy in advance of the AGM. To ensure that their vote counts, shareholders should only appoint the Chair of the AGM to act as their proxy. Given the current circumstances, we strongly encourage shareholders to vote online via www.signalshares.comby logging on, selecting the "Proxy Voting" link and following the instructions given. If you have not previously registered for electronic communications, you will first be asked to register as a new user, for which you will require your investor code (which can be found on your share certificate). Shareholders who hold their shares in the CREST system should lodge their votes electronically in the ordinary course.

    The Company will also, before the meeting, produce a recording in which David Cicurel will answer questions submitted to the Company in writing by shareholders no later than close of business on 12 May 2020. Shareholders who wish to submit a question should email enquiries@judges.uk.com with their name and shareholding. We cannot guarantee all questions will be able to be answered during this recording.

    The recording will subsequently be uploaded onto the Company's website www.judges.uk.com on 14 May 2020, ahead of the voting deadline of 18 May 2020.
     
  14. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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    Exemplary Remuneration at Judges Scientific

    I recently commented negatively on the remuneration section of the Annual Reports of Greggs and Avast. Today I read another Annual Report from Judges Scientific (JDG) and it’s a completely different story.

    I have held shares in this company which is a scientific instrument maker since 2010. The share price then was 327p. It’s now 4940p. Led by CEO David Cicurel in that period, as the Annual Report says the “Management is focused on shareholder value – profitability, cash generation, debt reduction, dividend growth and return on capital”. Return on Total Invested Capital last year was 31.4% and according to ShareScope my compound annual return from holding the shares has been 25.6% per annum.

    What more could shareholders want? Perhaps a directors’ remuneration scheme that is simple and reasonable! Judges certainly meets that requirement.

    The Remuneration Report is only 3 pages which is all we could wish for. For executive directors there is a reasonable base salary plus an annual bonus of 25% of salary if earnings per share targets are met and are higher than a previous high watermark. They also receive share options issued at market value (not at zero cost note), and there is also a performance condition attached to those.

    In total the remuneration of all directors, including the non-executives, was £816,000 when post-tax profits were about £11 million. The CEO received £243,000. Another good point is that there is a vote on remuneration at the AGM which many AIM companies choose to omit. I don’t think there will be many Judges shareholders voting against that resolution.

    Why cannot all public companies have such simple remuneration schemes? And with a level of remuneration that is not excessive?

    Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )
    https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/remuneration/exemplary-remuneration-at-judges-scientific/

    https://www.judges.uk.com/financial-performance/reports.html
     
  15. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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    14 May 2020

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", or the "Company")

    AGM Q&A

    Further to its announcement on Wednesday 28 April 2020, Judges Scientific, the group focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector, can confirm that a recording in which David Cicurel answers shareholder questions ahead of the Company's AGM, is now available on the Company's website at https://www.judges.uk.com/financial-performance/investor-presentation.html.

    https://www.judges.uk.com/__assets_...8---JDG-Full-Year-Results-Presentation-vf.pdf
     
  16. Groucho

    Groucho Member

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    20 May 2020

    Judges Scientific plc

    ("Judges Scientific", "Judges", the "Company" or the "Group")

    AGM Update

    Judges Scientific, the group focused on acquiring and developing companies in the scientific instrument sector, today provides the following update ahead of its AGM which is being held in St John's Wood, London today at 12.00 noon.

    Update on Trading

    Across the Group, organic order intake as of 15 May was down 18.5% compared to the same period in 2019, caused by the closure of universities, the cancellation of scientific conferences and our inability to travel. This reduction in order intake has not been evenly spread across our key geographies with China/Hong Kong and the UK each decreasing 4%, North America experiencing a reduction of 25%, the Rest of the World reducing by 22%, whilst Rest of Europe decreased 11%. However, the order book is still comfortable and as at 30 April 2020 stood at 11.9 weeks.

    While the prohibition on travel has interfered with our ability to crystallise orders and perform installations, the crisis has also stimulated our businesses to make better use of online alternatives and has given some engineering teams additional time to progress their R&D projects uninterrupted.

    The Group has operated profitably in each of the first four months of this year and has generated positive operating cash-flow for the period. As a result, the Group has maintained a robust balance sheet with solid liquidity.

    Operational Update

    Throughout these unprecedented times, the main priority for the Group has been to protect the safety of our colleagues. Whilst approximately half of our staff are working from home, thanks to the Group's decentralised structure, our businesses have been able to put in place highly tailored and specific logistical solutions to allow manufacturing to continue throughout the crisis, whilst continuing to adhere to the UK government's rules and guidelines around social distancing and hygiene.

    Despite the challenges faced, the Group has only suffered minor supply chain issues, all of which have been mitigated and managed accordingly. As noted above customer closures have resulted in a minority of deliveries being postponed.

    Management actions taken to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

    The Board of Judges believe that it is important to take prudent steps to ensure the business remains well placed to deliver shareholder value. These include:

    · In parallel with its staff all Judges directors (including non-executives) reduced their fixed remuneration in proportion to the reduction suffered by the other employees;

    · Approximately 20% of our workforce have been furloughed; and

    · Lloyds Bank has agreed to repurpose £5 million of our acquisition line into a working capital facility to further buttress our position.

    Outlook

    The Board continues to believe that the Group is in a robust position to weather the impact of the pandemic.

    The COVID-19 crisis has created significant and open-ended global uncertainty, with an associated impact on economic activity. It remains to be seen where and when demand, deliveries and installations will return to normal levels as each jurisdiction in which the Group operates is working independently according to that country's needs. The Board will provide a further update to its trading, in the ordinary course, in its July trading update covering the period to 30 June 2020.
     

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