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RPS profit slumps amid UK political uncertainty, US staffing challenges

By BFN News | 07:23 AM | Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Professional services firm RPS posted a sharp fall in annual profit, citing political uncertainty in the UK, looming regulatory change in the water sector and staff retention challenges in North America. Pre-tax profit for the year through December slumped to £4.8m, down from £41.0m on-year, as revenue fell 3.9% to £612.6m. Adjusted profit fell 26% to £37.3m. The company more than halved its annual dividend to 4.42p per share, down from 9.88p. RPS said political uncertainty in the UK impacted on its consulting business for much of the year, although that uncertainty was significantly reduced by the UK general election result in December. 'Despite strong markets in North America our performance was disappointing, largely due to ongoing retention and recruitment challenges in the region,' RPS added. Chief executive John Douglas said as the company entered 2020, trading conditions in its markets were generally satisfactory and that it anticipated more stable results. 'We will continue to invest, especially to deliver better connectivity, but we will do so in a measured way,' Douglas said. 'We remain focused on building a business that in due course is capable of delivering mid-single digit rates of organic growth and a double-digit operating margin.' 'The board remains confident in the medium term outlook for the group and anticipates that the year ahead will be broadly in line with 2019 with growth accelerating in 2021.' Story provided by

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