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CareTech Holdings (CTH)

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Thursday 17 June, 2021

CareTech Holdings

Interim Results

RNS Number : 1701C
CareTech Holdings PLC
17 June 2021
 

For immediate release  17 June 2021

 

 

CareTech Holdings PLC

("CareTech" or the "the Group")

 

Interim Results for the six months ended 31 March 2021

 

Strong operational and financial performance

 

CareTech Holdings PLC (AIM: CTH), a pioneering provider of specialist social care and education services for adults and children in the UK, is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 31 March 2021.

 

Operational highlights

 

· Continued resilience during COVID-19 pandemic with all sites remaining fully operational

· Extended Care Pathway through acquisition of a majority holding in diagnostic assistive technology provider Smartbox in October 2020 and formation of a Digital Technology division

· Portfolio of seven highly specialised facilities for the treatment and care of adults with complex learning disabilities, autism and mental health diagnoses, successfully transferred from The Huntercombe Group. The transfer was structured with no capital outlay and is expected to be immediately earnings accretive

· 13 new Children's Services developments opened with an active pipeline for H2 2021

· To support and recognise the importance of our front-line staff who have been key to supporting services users during the pandemic, the Group increased the minimum hourly rate above the national minimum wage to £9 per hour

 

Financial results

 

· Strong underlying performance of the business

· Revenue growth of 16.5% to £243.0m (2020: £208.5m) driven by organic growth, acquisition of Smartbox, transfer of adult's specialist services sites from The Huntercombe Group and constructive fee negotiations

· Underlying EBITDA increase of 19.1% to £49.4m (2020: £41.5m)

· Strong balance sheet with net debt reducing to 263.1m (£268.9m at 30 September 2020) and leverage reduced to 2.8x net debt/ adjusted EBITDA

· Net cash before non underlying operating activities of £49.2m (2020: £38.2m) and operating cash flow conversion of 99.7%

· Write back of £11.8m provision following Supreme Court judgement regarding sleep-in shifts in March

· Increased interim dividend of 4.6p (2020: 4.0p) declared and dividend policy reaffirmed

 

 

 

H1 2021

H1 2020

% change

Group revenue

£243.0m

£208.5m

+16.5%

Underlying EBITDA (i)

£49.4m

£41.5m

+19.1%

Underlying profit before tax (ii)

£33.6m

£25.5m

+31.6%

Underlying basic earnings per share (ii)

22.33p

18.11p

+23.3%

Statutory profit before tax

£42.3m

£17.7m

+139.7%

Statutory earnings per share

33.37p

9.49p

+251.6%

Operating cash flow before non-underlying items

£49.2m

£38.2m

+28.9%

Net debt ( iii)

£263.1m

£287.4m

(8.5)%

Net assets

£393.7m

£352.6m

+11.7%

Interim dividend

4.6p

4.0p

+15.0%

 

 

i. Underlying EBITDA is operating profit stated before depreciation, share based payments charge and non underlying items (which are explained in note 3).

ii.  Underlying profit before tax and underlying basic earnings per share are stated before non underlying items (explained in note 3).

iii. Net debt comprises Cash and cash equivalents net of bank loans and borrowings and HP leases previously accounted for under IAS17 excluding Project Teak sale and leaseback.

 

 

 

Commenting on the results, Farouq Sheikh, Executive Chairman of CareTech, said:

 

"The Group's first half performance has been strong with all operational divisions demonstrating considerable resilience during the ongoing pandemic. I am pleased to report that our trading performance is significantly ahead compared with the same period last year.

"COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of having community based, high quality social care facilities to relieve the pressures on the NHS. I am immensely proud of our staff during this period and their efforts and determination in ensuring all our service users receive high quality care in extremely challenging conditions.

"The addition of Smartbox to the portfolio has been a significant milestone and adds a new division enabling digital technology to extend our Care Pathway. Our belief is that digital adoption will play a significant role in enhancing the independence of our service users and our 100 Voices programme has reaffirmed our strategy. 

"We remain confident of our outlook, delivering further earnings and dividend growth and in the long-term prospects of the business."

 

Analyst briefing today

There will be a presentation of the results to analysts at 10.00am this morning via conference call. This presentation will be available after the conference call at https://www.caretech-uk.com/investors/reports-and-presentations/financial-reports.aspx .

 

 

For further information, please contact:

 

CareTech Holdings PLC                            01707 601800

Farouq Sheikh, Executive Chairman

Christopher Dickinson, Group Chief Finance Officer

 

Consilium Strategic Communications    020 3709 5700

Mary-Jane Elliott

Chris Welsh

Angela Gray

 

Panmure Gordon (Nomad and Joint Broker)                 020 7886 2500

Emma Earl

Freddy Crossley

Charles Leigh-Pemberton

 

Numis (Joint Broker)                                                        020 7260 1000

Jonathan Wilcox

James Black

Duncan Monteith

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.

 

About CareTech

 

CareTech Holdings PLC is a leading provider of specialist social care services supporting around 5,000 adults and children with a wide range of complex needs in more than 550 services across the UK employing more than 10,500 staff; and an emerging presence in international markets

Committed to the highest standards of care and care governance, CareTech's innovative Care Pathway covers Foster care, Children's Services, Adults Services and Technology Solutions. 

CareTech, which was founded in 1993, began trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2005 under the ticker symbol CTH. 

For further information please visit:  www.caretech-uk.com

 

 

Chairman's Statement

 

CareTech delivered strong and robust operational and financial performance for the six months to 31 March 2021.

 

The Group has remained fully operational with all sites open throughout the pandemic, delivering high quality care. The focus has been on the delivery of safe services and ensuring the safety of our employees and service users. To support our staff during this challenging period, the Group introduced a number of welfare and wellbeing initiatives as well as setting up a taskforce to support and co-ordinate CareTech's group-wide vaccination programme encouraging that staff take up the vaccine as key workers. This programme has gone well with over 7,000 of our staff having received a first dose of the vaccine. 

 

On 6 October 2020, the Group announced the acquisition of a majority holding in Smartbox Assistive Technology Limited ('Smartbox'). This represented an important milestone towards building out a digital technology division to develop the use of technology led solutions to broaden our Care Pathway. Smartbox is a market-leading creator of software and hardware that helps disabled people without speech to have a voice and live more independently. It makes communication as quick, simple and effective as possible for many service users for whom speech difficulties can be a challenge. Smartbox solutions include communication aids, environmental control devices, computer control technology and interactive learning.

 

Smartbox has successfully transitioned into the Group, with the launch of a new 100 Voices initiative to ensure that Smartbox technology reaches adults and children in CareTech care homes, specialist schools and complex needs services. The long-term aim is to establish consistent provision of the life-changing technology to anyone that needs it in both care and special education settings.

 

On 30 November 2020, we completed the transfer of seven services previously operated by The Huntercombe Group. This broadens our Adult specialist service pathway by adding highly specialised facilities for the treatment of adults with complex Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental Health diagnoses. The sites have been integrated into the Group with financial performance exceeding our initial expectations.

 

The Group continues to have a strong, active development pipeline across the UK and is well placed to broaden our service offering and meet the needs of a growing and evolving marketplace.

 

Financial Results

 

Group revenue in the half year was £243.0m, a 16.5% increase over the corresponding period (March 2020: £208.5m) driven by organic growth, the acquisition of Smartbox in October 2020, the portfolio of assets transferred from The Huntercombe Group and fee increases.

 

The National Minimum and Living Wage increased to £8.91 from 1 April 2021. From 1 June 2021, the Group increased the minimum national hourly rate to 9.00 to recognise CareTech's front line staff who have been key to supporting service users during the pandemic. Annual fee negotiations with Local Authorities are progressing well and the Group expects fee increases to cover the majority of additional operational costs including increases to front line staff pay.

 

Divisional EBITDA before unallocated costs increased by 19.8% to £62.0m (2020: £51.8m) and Group underlying EBITDA(i) increased by 19.1% to £49.4m (2020: £41.5m). Underlying EBITDA(i) margin has increased from 19.9% to 20.3%.

 

Finance costs have reduced to £6.3m, reflecting the reduced margins payable as the Group has reduced its net debt/ adjusted EBITDA to 2.8x.

 

Underlying profit before tax(ii) increased by 31.6% to £33.6m (2020: £25.5m) and underlying basic earnings per share(ii) was 22.33p (2020: 18.11p). The Group's underlying tax charge was £7.0m, which represents an effective tax rate of 20.9%.

 

Underlying EBITDA to cash conversion(iii) was £49.2m which represents cash conversion rate of 99.7% for the period from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021. Key cash flow items during the first half include £6.6m on property acquisitions/ developments, £6.8m on maintenance capex and I.T, £5.4m on the acquisition of Smartbox, payment of the interim dividend of £4.5m, interest of £4.0m and corporation tax of £5.4m.

 

Non underlying items include the write back of a provision of £11.8m following the final judgement by the Supreme Court that social care staff are not entitled to the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts and a gain on the bargain purchase of 7 sites transferred from The Huntercombe Group given the transaction was structured with no capital outlay.

 

The Group has continued to adopt strict precautions in line with Government and Public Health guidance at all our sites during the third national lockdown, including enhanced levels of cleaning, additional hygiene facilities and social distancing. Additional funding in the form of infection control, lateral flow testing and workforce capacity grants continue to be received by the Group for its Adults Services provision which totalled £1.2m for the period against costs of £2.0m. 

 

Net assets have increased to £393.7m as at 31 March 2021 (2020: £352.6m).

 

 

Operating review

The operational performance of the business in the first half is in line with the Board's expectations.

 

The Group's net capacity as at 31 March 2021 increased to 5,135 places (September 2020: 4,984 places). At 31 March 2021, occupancy levels in the mature estate remained at 83% (September 2020: 83%) with blended occupancy increasing to 81% (September 2020: 80%).

 

The Group remains committed to providing the highest quality standard of care to those it looks after and its regulatory scores remain above sector averages. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CQC and Ofsted have suspended all routine inspections but undertaken a limited number of rated inspections. At March 2021, our CQC services rated good or outstanding was 88% and Ofsted at 82%. As easing continues and as CQC/ Ofsted inspections start to recommence, our aim is to achieve Good or Outstanding ratings across all of our facilities. 

During the first half, we have continued our ongoing focus to fill existing capacity, reconfigure services and develop new services across our 'Care Pathway'.

 

(1)  Adults Services

 

Capacity increased by 143 places to 2,140 with the increase primarily due to 142 beds transferred from the Huntercombe Group. These services complement our Adult Specialist Services division and broaden our care pathway in offering specialised services to adults with complex learning disabilities, autism and mental health diagnoses. Despite the turnaround required at these services, occupancy and financial performance have exceeded initial expectations and the relationships with Commissioners continues to go well with progress acknowledged.

 

 

 

% change

Revenue

£83.0m

£66.0m

25.7%

EBITDA before unallocated costs

£18.9m

£16.8m

12.4%

EBITDA margin

22.8%

25.5%

 

 

 

Revenue increased by 25.7% to £83.0m and EBITDA by 12.4% to £18.9m.

Adults Services has been robust and resilient throughout the pandemic with care costs being well managed and low agency usage. Developments in start-up phase, particularly in specialist services, and the lower initial margins at the recently acquired Huntercombe services has reduced the division's EBITDA margin.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CQC have suspended all routine inspections but undertaken a limited number of rated inspections. The Group has performed well in the CQC infection control inspection programme with a high number of our services achieving 'assured' from the regulator. CQC quality ratings at 31 March 2021 remained ahead of sector comparators at 88% Good or Outstanding (September 2020: 91%), the change being attributable to a limited number of services moving from Good to Requires Improvement. These sites each have a comprehensive improvement plan in place and the Group is confident they will be upgraded as the regulator returns to a more usual and regular pattern of inspections.

 

(2)  Children's Services

 

 

 

 

Half Year

 

Revenue

£134.3m

£121.5m

10.6%

EBITDA before unallocated costs

£38.1m

£30.9m

23.3%

EBITDA margin

28.4%

25.4%

 

 

 

Capacity increased to 1,981 (September 2020: 1,959). The increase comprises of 37 beds introduced through new developments, 21 beds withdrawn as closed homes, 1 bed withdrawn for reconfiguration and an additional 7 places brought into service. Revenue and EBITDA grew by 10.6% and 23.3% respectively.

 

There was strong operational performance across the division with a strong pipeline of referrals. The Group has continued to fill existing capacity with a combination of longer stay placements and positive fee increases improving the EBITDA margin of the division. A number of new developments are in progress with the purchase of 17 new properties which will open during the year.

 

OFSTED ratings have remained at the high levels of 82% Good or Outstanding across the Group.

 

 

(3)  Foster Care

 

 

 

 

Half Year

 

Revenue

£19.3m

£21.0m

(8.3)%

EBITDA before unallocated costs

£3.8m

£4.0m

(4.6)%

EBITDA margin

20.0%

19.2%

 

 

 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, capacity decreased by 14 places to 1,014 and occupancy fell leading to a decline in revenue of 8.3%. EBITDA also reduced by 4.6% with an increase in margin to 20%.

 

Fostering operationally performed solidly despite a number of placements moving on due to age and transitions against a challenging backdrop due to the pandemic. The focus continues to be to maintain our presence in terms of placements and fees in a highly competitive segment.

OFSTED ratings for all our Foster Care services are 100% Good or Outstanding.

 

 

(4)  Digital Technology

 

Following the acquisition of a majority holding in Smartbox in October 2020 and given the Group's ambitions to build out its digital healthcare capabilities, a new Digital Technology division has been created.

 

 

 

Revenue

£6.4m

EBITDA before unallocated costs

£1.1m

EBITDA margin

17.5%

 

 

Smartbox delivered strong performance in H1, ending the period with revenues at £6.4m, 36% up on the previous year. This reflects a 47% growth in system volumes with a total of 1,355 devices sold in 18 different countries around the world. The increase in volumes is attributable to an increase in NHS orders (as they work through a backlog of cases due to COVID-19), the launch of the flagship Grid Pad 15 device, as well as the positive response to CareTech's ownership.

 

 

Net debt

 

As at 31 March 2021, unaudited net debt was 263.1m compared with 268.9m at 30 September 2020, with net debt/unaudited adjusted EBITDA falling to 2.8x. Strong operating cash flow has been deployed to purchase 17 new developments, to acquire and integrate Smartbox and transition adult specialist service sites transferred from the Huntercombe Group in November 2020. The Group's capital allocation policy remains to deploy free cash flow to organically invest in the business, add developments to the portfolio, assess bolt-on acquisition opportunities and continue a progressive dividend policy.

 

The Group has completed the extension of its Term Loan A facility of £161.2m which will now mature in August 2023. The margin of the facility and covenants remain unchanged, reflecting the highly cash generative nature of the business and de-leveraging profile. In addition, arrangements have been put in place to amend the reference rate for the Group's loans and interest rate swaps to Compounded Daily SONIA.

 

Our People

The Group's annualised retention rate has improved and sits at 76% (September 2020: 75%). Throughout the pandemic the Group has continued to reach out to displaced sectors such as retail, hospitality and leisure which has increased the number of applications received. Using our 'values based recruitment' process coupled with 'skills profiles', we have been able to attract some excellent talent into the sector who share our values and want to make a difference.

Although always higher than the industry average, our retention rates have improved further, and this is attributed primarily to some of the exciting welfare and well-being initiatives that the Group is embracing; we have focused on #timetotalk, a Group wide programme encouraging staff to take time out to reach out to each other and normalise conversations around welfare and mental health.

Throughout the COVID-19 vaccination window we have provided colleagues with extensive information on the vaccine and have encouraged staff to take up the vaccine as key workers. This has been widely welcomed by staff and we continue to provide them with regular updates on the vaccine and have offered discussions with trained Physicians through webinars. This programme has exceeded our expectations and over 7,000 of our staff have now received a first dose of the vaccine.

 

To support and recognise the importance of our front-line staff who have been key to supporting services users during the pandemic, the Group increased the minimum hourly rate above the national minimum wage to £9 per hour. To continue with staff engagement, we are in the process of setting up a staff consultative committee, which will be employee led and will focus on 'workforce matters'. Reports and updates from staff will be provided directly to Professor Moira Livingston, the Board's People Sponsor. It is our desire to continue to build a strong supportive culture by giving the staff a stronger voice on how they would like to see the future shape and direction of CareTech.

As part of the Groups on-going commitment to reward and recognise our Senior Leaders, the Group launched the 2020 Long Term Incentive Plan ('LTIP') in December 2020. We have over 20 participants in the plan and believe that an annual LTIP will further align the interests of award holders with shareholders with the continued focus on Quality outcomes for the people that we support. 

 

 

Social Responsibility

 

As we adjust our business to a post-Covid world we are taking the opportunity to formalise and embed our inherent culture of responsibility and care through development of a comprehensive sustainability programme that encompasses environmental and social issues. This will help us to futureproof against climate related risks and enable us to respond to social shifts in important topics such as diversity equity & inclusion, meeting the expectations of all our stakeholders, in particular the brilliant people who work so hard to deliver outstanding results for those in our care.

 

In 2021 we will launch our first set of targets in an ESG report using the World Economic Forum's newly developed ESG framework. We will also launch a set of KPIs that demonstrates CareTech's significant social impact and delivery of our purpose; to enable children, young people and adults with complex needs to gain independence, to live, work, learn and engage in their communities.

 

During the first half, the CareTech Charitable Foundation has continued to broaden its range of partnerships, including:

 

· Support for the Open University for its Carers Scholarships Fund, a unique initiative that supports unpaid carers to gain access to free OU education and wraparound careers support

· The first grant provided from the social care sector for The Prince's Trust's Health and Social Care programmes, which is working in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care and Health Education England, to secure careers for 10,000 young people in the health and social care sector across England

· Headline partner for the new Social Care Action Fund, seeking to find evidence-based improvements to the social care provision for autistic adults, delivered by leading UK autism research charity Autistica and supported by the National Institute of Health Research.

 

 

Dividend

 

Our policy to increase the dividend broadly in line with the movement in underlying diluted earnings per share continues. In line with this policy, the Board recommend an interim dividend of 4.6p (2020: 4.0p) per share, to be paid on 19 November 2021 to shareholders on the register at the close of business on 22 October 2021.

 

Outlook and prospects

 

Underlying trends remain positive for the Group and we are well placed to offer high quality care to our service users which represents good value to Commissioners. We are confident in meeting market expectations for the full year.

 

Looking ahead and as COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, the Group is in a strong position to broaden our Care Pathway. This will be achieved through expanding our offering in the UK, enhancing our services in the Gulf region and broadening our digital technology platform in order to deliver an innovative approach focussed on improving outcomes for individuals.

 

Farouq Sheikh

Chairman 

17 June 2021

(i)  Underlying EBITDA is operating profit before depreciation, share-based payments charge and non underlying items (explained in note 3);

(ii)  Underlying profit before tax and underlying diluted earnings per share are stated before non underlying items (explained in note 3).

(iii)  EBITDA to cash conversion is calculated as operating cash flows before non underlying items divided by underlying EBITDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

for the six months ended 31 March 2021

 

 

 

 

Six months ended

Six months ended

Year ended

 

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

 

Unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

 

Before non

 

Before non

 

Before non

 

 

 

underlying

Total

underlying

Total

underlying

Total

 

 

items(i)

unaudited

items(i)

unaudited

items(i)

audited

 

Note

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

Revenue

2

242,964

242,964

208,526

208,526

429,966

429,966

Cost of sales

 

(160,441)

(160,441)

(139,105)

(139,105)

(282,029)

(282,029)

Gross profit

 

82,523

82,523

69,421

69,421

147,937

147,937

Other income

 

-

1,181

-

-

-

2,550

Administrative expenses

 

(42,823)

(35,028)

(36,615)

(43,943)

(74,356)

(97,125)

Operating profit

 

39,700

48,676

32,806

25,478

73,581

53,362

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underlying EBITDA (i)

 

49,359

50,540

41,452

41,452

90,932

93,482

Depreciation

 

(9,422)

(9,422)

(8,496)

(8,496)

(17,021)

(17,021)

Share-based payments charge

 

(237)

(237)

(150)

(150)

(330)

(4,449)

Non underlying items

3

-

7,795

-

(7,328)

-

(18,650)

Operating profit

 

39,700

48,676

32,806

25,478

73,581

53,362

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial expenses

4

(6,097)

(6,329)

(7,268)

(7,810)

(13,928)

(15,539)

Profit before tax (ii)

 

33,603

42,347

25,538

17,668

59,653

37,823

Taxation

5

(7,029)

(3,541)

(4,717)

(6,451)

(11,325)

(10,772)

Profit for the period

Non-controlling interest

 

Profit for the period attributable to equity shareholders of the parent
 

 

 

 

26,574

(1,852)

 

 

24,722

 

38,806

(1,852)

 

 

36,954

 

20,821

(654)

 

 

20,167

11,217 (654)

 

 

10,563

48,328 (1,933)

 

 

46,395

27,051 (1,933)

 

 

25,118

Earnings per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

6

 

33.37p

 

9.49p

 

22.88p

Diluted

6

 

31.79p

 

9.45p

 

22.03p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the year attributable to owners of the parent:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchange movements on overseas net assets

 

(623)

(623)

-

-

53

53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Items that will not be reclassified to income statement:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchange movements on overseas net assets of non-controlling interest

 

(547)

(547)

-

-

45

45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other comprehensive income for the year

 

(1,170)

(1,170)

-

-

98

98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total comprehensive income for the year

 

25,404

37,636

-

-

48,426

27,149

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-controlling interest

 

(1,305)

(1,305)

-

-

(1,978)

(1,978)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profit for the year attributable to owners of the parent

 

24,099

36,331

-

-

46,448

25,171

 

 

 (i)  Underlying EBITDA is operating profit before depreciation, share-based payments charge and non underlying items (explained in note 3).

 

Condensed Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity at 31 March 2021

 

 

 

Share

capital

Share

premium

Shares held by Executive Shared Ownership Plan

Merger

reserve

Foreign Currency Translation Reserve

Retained

earnings

Total Attributable to owners of the parent

Non-controlling Interest

Total

Equity

 

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

£000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 1 October 2019

545

121,304

(3,537)

125,536

-

90,559

334,407

957

335,364

Profit for the year

-

-

-

-

-

25,118

25,118

1,933

27,051

Other comprehensive income

-

-

-

-

53

-

53

45

98

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue of ordinary shares

18

10,043

(9,997)

-

-

-

64

-

64

Equity-settled share-based payments charge

-

-

-

-

-

4,449

4,449

-

4,449

Redemption of share options

-

-

229

-

-

-

229

-

229

Acquisition

2

1,732

-

306

-

-

2,040

7,927

9,967

Dividends

-

-

-

-

-

(13,006)

(13,006)

-

(13,006)

Transactions with owners recorded directly in equity

20

11,775

(9,768)

306

-

(8,557)

(6,224)

7,927

1,703

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 30 September 2020

565

133,079

(13,305)

125,842

53

107,120

353,354

10,862

364,216

Profit for the year

-

-

-

-

-

36,954

36,954

1,852

38,806

Other comprehensive income

-

-

-

-

(623)

-

(623)

(547)

(1,170)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue of ordinary shares

-

367

-

-

-

-

367

-

367

Redemption of share options

-

-

389

-

-

-

389

-

389

Equity-settled share-based payments charge

-

-

-

-

-

567

567

-

567

Acquisition

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1,450

1,450

Recognition of liabilities with non-controlling interest

-

-

-

-

-

(4,351)

(4,351)

-

(4,351)

Dividends

-

-

-

-

-

(4,525)

(4,525)

(1,006)

(5,531)

Other movement in non-controlling interest

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

(1,040)

(1,040)

Transactions with owners recorded directly in equity

-

367

389

-

-

(8,309)

(7,553)

(596)

(8,149)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 31 March 2021

565

133,446

(12,916)

125,842

(570)

135,765

382,132

11,571

393,703

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                

 

 

 

 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet at 31 March 2021

 

 

31 March 2021

31 March

2020

30 September

2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

£000

£000

£000

Non-current assets

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment

617,498

615,515

604,096

Right-of-use-assets

113,160

70,317

87,790

Other intangible assets

90,296

87,505

83,084

Goodwill

86,716

84,307

84,604

 

907,670

857,644

859,574

Current assets

 

 

 

Inventories

3,003

1,925

1,937

Trade and other receivables

64,627

65,669

51,055

Cash and cash equivalents

61,290

36,408

54,273

 

128,920

104,002

107,265

Total assets

1,036,590

961,646

966,839

 

Current liabilities

 

 

 

Trade and other payables

Contingent consideration payable 

65,057

4,537

59,003

2,308

55,017

1,569

Lease liabilities

5,098

6,719

6,208

Deferred income

35,258

39,251

30,309

Corporation tax

14,053

16,272

14,757

 

124,003

123,553

107,860

Non-current liabilities

 

 

 

Loans and borrowings

319,481

320,399

318,955

Provisions

7,545

14,803

21,286

Lease liabilities

115,040

82,615

82,480

Deferred tax liabilities

Derivative financial instruments

70,876

5,942

65,923

1,771

69,844

2,198

 

518,884

485,511

494,763

Total liabilities

642,887

609,064

602,623

Net assets

393,703

352,582

364,216

 

Equity attributable to equity shareholders of the parent

 

 

 

Share capital

565

550

565

Share premium

133,446

131,363

133,079

Shares held by Employee Benefit Trust

(12,916)

(13,305)

(13,305)

Merger reserve

125,842

127,342

125,842

Other reserves

(570)

-

53

Non-controlling interest

11,571

9,453

10,862

Retained earnings

135,765

97,179

107,120

Total equity attributable to equity shareholders of the parent

393,703

352,582

364,216

 
 

Consolidated Cash Flow Statement for the six months ended 31 March 2020

 

 

Six months ended

Six months ended

Year ended

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

£000

£000

£000

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

Profit before tax

42,347

17,668

37,823

Financial expenses

6,329

7,810

15,539

Depreciation

9,422

8,496

17,021

Amortisation of intangible assets

5,184

4,537

10,186

Impairment of goodwill

584

-

-

Sleep-in provision

(11,777)

-

-

Gain on bargain purchase

(5,758)

-

-

COVID-19 income

(1,181)

-

(2,550)

COVID-19 expense

1,977

-

3,422

Share-based payments charge

237

150

4,449

Acquisition transaction costs

423

231

545

Other non-underlying items

1,572

2,560

4,497

Operating cash flows before movement in working

49,359

41,452

90,932

capital and non underlying items

 

 

 

Increase in inventory

(197)

-

(46)

(Increase)/decrease in trade and other receivables

(8,285)

681

5,563

Increase/(decrease) in trade and other payables 

8,338

(3,948)

(2,227)

Operating cash flows before non underlying items

49,215

38,185

94,222

  Integration and restructuring costs 

(971)

(2,308)

(3,795)

  Payment of charitable donations

(601)

(308)

(702)

 COVID-19 receipts

1,181

-

2,550

 COVID-19 payments

(1,977)

-

(3,420)

  Payment of acquisition costs

(423)

(231)

(545)

  Cash inflows from operating activities

46,424

35,338

88,310

  Tax paid

(5,423)

(1,984)

(3,899)

Net cash from operating activities

41,001

33,354

84,411

 

Cash flows from investing activities

 

 

 

Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment

-

186

1,536

Business combinations net of cash acquired (Note 7)

(5,447)

(1,440)

(2,000)

Acquisition of property, plant and equipment

Acquisition of software

(13,432)

(1,286)

(11,131)

(1,703)

(23,842)

(2,840)

Payment of deferred consideration

-

-

(739)

Net cash used in investing activities

(27,885)

Cash flows from financing activities

 

 

 

Proceeds arising from the issue of share capital (net of costs)

756

294

294

Interest paid

(3,941)

(6,745)

(10,737)

Cash outflow arising from non underlying finance expenses

(645)

(411)

(1,053)

Proceeds from shareholder loans

-

1,808

1,808

Payment of finance lease liabilities

(4,457)

(3,197)

(8,797)

Dividends paid to non-controlling interest

(1,007)

-

-

Dividends paid

(4,525)

(4,093)

(13,006)

Net cash (utilised in)/generated from financing activities

(13,819)

(12,344)

(31,491)

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

7,017

6,922

25,035

Exchange gain on cash and cash equivalents

-

248

-

Cash and cash equivalents at start of the period

54,273

29,238

29,238

Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period

61,290

36,408

54,273

 

 

 

Net debt as defined by the Group's banking facilities comprises:

 

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

£000

£000

£000

Cash and cash equivalents

61,290

36,408

54,273

Loans and borrowings

(317,762)

(320,399)

(317,122)

Shareholder loan

(1,719)

-

(1,833)

Lease liabilities (i)

(4,909)

(3,436)

(4,204)

Net debt at end of the period

(263,100)

(287,427)

(268,886)

 

(i) Net debt includes vehicle finance leases included in lease liabilities.
 

Notes

 

1.  Accounting policies

 

This interim report has been prepared on the basis of the accounting policies expected to be adopted for the year ending 30 September 2021. These are anticipated to be in accordance with the Group's accounting policies as set out in the latest annual financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2020.

The Group financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the EU ("Adopted IFRS") and those parts of the Companies Act 2006 as required to be adopted by AIM-listed companies. AIM-listed companies are not required to comply with IAS 34 'Interim Financial Reporting' and accordingly the Company has taken advantage of this exemption.

In the current year, the following new and revised standards and interpretations have been adopted:

 

Title

Subject

Amendment to IFRS 16 'Leases' COVID-19 - Related Rent Concessions (May 2020)

COVID-19 - Related Rent Concessions

Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards

Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards

Amendments to IFRS 3 (Oct 2018)

Definition of Business

Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8 (Oct 2018)

Definition of Material

IFRS 17

Insurance Contracts

Amendments to IFRS 10 and IAS 28 (Sept 2014)

Sale or Contribution of Assets between an Investor and its Associate or Joint Venture

 

The amendments and interpretations listed above which were adopted did not affect the amounts reported in these interim financial statements.

 

The financial information in this interim report does not constitute statutory accounts for the six months ended 31 March 2021 and should be read in conjunction with the Group's annual financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2020. Financial information for the year ended 30 September 2020 has been derived from the consolidated audited accounts for that period which were unqualified.

 

The condensed consolidated interim financial statements for the six months to 31 March 2021 have not been audited or reviewed by auditors pursuant to the Auditing Practices Board guidance on Review of Interim Financial Information.

This unaudited interim report was approved by the Board on 16 June 2021.

Going concern

 

The Group is financed by bank loan facilities that mature in August 2023. The Directors have considered the Group's forecasts and projections, and the risks associated with their delivery, and are satisfied that the Group will be able to operate within the covenants imposed by bank loan facilities for at least twelve months from the date of approval of the condensed consolidated financial information. In relation to available cash resources, the Directors have had regard to both cash at bank and a £25m committed undrawn revolving credit facility. The Group has undertaken extensive activity to identify and mitigate its exposure to plausible risks which may arise from COVID-19. Based on the Directors' current assessment of the likelihood of the COVID-19 risks arising together with their assessment of the planned mitigating actions being successful, the Directors have concluded it is appropriate to prepare the accounts on a going concern basis.

 

2.  Segmental information

 

IFRS 8 requires operating segments to be determined based on the Group's internal reporting to the Chief Operating Decision Maker ("CODM"). The CODM has been determined to be the Chief Executive Officer as he is primarily responsible for the allocation of resources to segments and the assessment of the performance of each of the segments.

The CODM uses underlying EBITDA as reviewed at monthly Executive Committee meetings as the key measure of the segments' results as it reflects the segments' underlying trading performance for the period under evaluation. Underlying EBITDA is a consistent measure within the Group.

Inter-segment turnover between the operating segments is not material.

The interim results report segmental information on the Group's four operating divisions (and the comparative information has been represented on this basis):

· Adults Services;

· Children's Services;

· Foster Care; and

· Digital Technology

 

The condensed segmental results for the six months ended 31 March 2021, six months ended 31 March 2020 and year ended 30 September 2020 and the reconciliation of the segment measures to the respective statutory items included in the consolidated financial information are as follows:

 

Six months ended

31 March 2021

unaudited

£000

Six months ended

Year ended

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

unaudited

audited

£000

£000

Adults Services

 

 

 

Client capacity

2,140

1,967

1,997

Revenue

83,019

66,043

136,219

EBITDA before unallocated costs

18,913

16,833

35,676

 

 

 

 

Children's Services

 

 

 

Client capacity

1,981

1,948

1,959

Revenue

134,345

121,479

252,863

EBITDA before unallocated costs

38,130

30,916

69,561

 

 

 

 

Foster Care

 

 

 

Client capacity

1,014

1,129

1,028

Revenue

19,252

21,004

40,884

EBITDA before unallocated costs

3,847

4,031

8,563

 

 

 

 

Digital Technology

 

 

 

Revenue

6,449

-

-

EBITDA before unallocated costs

1,126

-

-

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

Client capacity

5,135

5,044

4,984

Revenue

243,065

208,526

429,966

EBITDA before unallocated costs

62,016

51,781

113,800

 

 

 

 

Total Group revenue

 

 

 

Segmental revenue

243,065

208,526

429,966

Less: Intercompany sales and other revenue

(101)

-

-

Group revenue

242,964

208,526

429,966

 

Reconciliation of EBITDA to profit after tax

Six months ended

31 March 2021

unaudited

£000

Six months ended

Year ended

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

unaudited

Audited

£000

£000

Underlying EBITDA before unallocated costs

62,016

51,781

113,800

Unallocated corporate overheads

(12,657)

(10,329)

(22,868)

Underlying EBITDA

49,359

41,452

90,932

Depreciation

(9,422)

(8,496)

(17,021)

Share-based payments charge

(237)

(150)

(330)

Non underlying items

8,976

(7,328)

(20,219)

Operating profit

48,676

25,478

53,362

Financial expenses

(6,329)

(7,810)

(15,539)

Profit before tax

42,347

17,668

37,823

Taxation

(3,541)

(6,451)

(10,772)

Profit after tax

38,806

11,217

27,051

Profit attributable to:
Owners of the parent

 

36,954

 

10,563

 

25,118

Non-controlling interest

1,852

654

1,933

 

Operations of the Group are primarily carried out in the UK, the Company's country of domicile. The AS Group, registered in the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") has generated revenue in the UAE (£12.9m). On 5 October 2021 the Group acquired a majority shareholding in Smartbox Assistive Technology Limited and associated subsidiaries. Revenue by Smartbox has been generated in Europe (£2.2m), North and Central America (£0.9M), Australasia (£0.3m) and Middle East and Africa (£0.3m). All other revenues arise within the UK.

No asset and liability information is presented above as this information is not allocated to operating segments in the regular reporting to the Group's CODM and are not measures used by the CODM to assess performance and to make resource allocation decisions.

 

3.  Non underlying items

 

Non underlying items are those items of financial performance which, in the opinion of the Directors, should be disclosed separately in order to improve the readers understanding of the trading performance of the Group. Non underlying items comprise the following:

 

 

Six months ended

Six months ended

Year

ended

 

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

Note

£000

£000

£000

COVID-19 income

 

(1,181)

-

(2,550)

 

 

 

 

 

Included in operating profit

 

(1,181)

-

(2,550)

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 expense

 

1,977

-

3,422

Acquisition expenses

(i)

423

231

545

Integration and restructuring costs

(ii)

971

2,252

3,769

Charitable donations

(iii)

601

308

728

Sleep-in provision

(iv)

(11,777)

-

-

Gain on bargain purchase

(v)

(5,758)

-

-

Goodwill write off

 

584

-

-

Share based payments charge

 

-

-

4,119

Amortisation of intangible assets

 

 

5,184

 

4,537

 

10,186

 

Included in administrative expenses

 

(7,795)

7,328

22,769

 

 

 

 

 

Fair value movements relating to derivative financial instruments

 

(vi)

 

(759)

 

131

 

557

Put-option interest

 

152

-

-

Charges relating to derivative financial instruments

Leases imputed interest

(vi)

(vii)

606

233

181

230

591

463

 

 

 

 

 

Included in financial expenses

 

232

542

1,611

 

 

 

 

 

Tax on non underlying items

Tax effect:

 

 

 

 

Current tax

(viii)

(1,976)

(608)

(5,988)

Deferred tax 

(ix)

(1,512)

2,342

5,435

 

 

 

 

 

Included in taxation

 

(3,488)

1,734

(553)

Total non underlying (income)/expenses

 

(12,232)

9,604

21,277

 

(i)  In accordance with IFRS 3 (as revised) items associated with business combinations have been taken to the income statement as incurred

(ii)  The Group incurred a number of costs relating to the integration of the Cambian acquisition and reorganisation of the internal operating, finance and management structures as outlined in the Scheme of Arrangement dated 19 September 2018.

(iii)  These charges represent charitable donations made to the Caretech Charitable Foundation ("Foundation"), an independent grant- making corporate foundation registered with the Charity Commission. Funded and founded by Caretech Holdings plc, the Foundation has an independent Board of Trustees responsible for delivering its Charitable Objects. The Trustees include Haroon Sheikh, Farouq Sheikh, Christopher Dickinson and Michael Adams, Directors of the Group.

(iv)  The Group held a sleep-in provision of £11.8m for the 2020 financial year end. On 24 March 2021, the Supreme Court made a final judgement that social care staff are not entitled to the national minimum wage for sleep-in shifts and the provision of £11.8m has been written back.

(v)  Gain on bargain purchase arising from the Huntercombe acquisition, see note 7.

(vi)  Non underlying items relating to the derivative financial instruments include the movements during the year in the fair value of the Group's interest rate swaps which are not designated as hedging instruments and therefore do not qualify for hedge accounting, together with the quarterly cash settlements and accrual thereof.

(vii) Imputed interest recognised as a result of the ground rent transaction with Alpha Real Capital LLP in 2019.

(viii)Represents the current tax on items (ii) and (vi) above.

 

 

(ix)  Deferred tax arises in respect of the following:

 

 

 

Six months ended

Six months ended

Year

Ended

 

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

 

£000

£000

£000

Derivative financial instruments

 

(144)

25

107

Intangible assets

 

714

1,367

1,373

Fixed assets

 

942

-

1,925

Change in tax rate

 

-

(3,762)

(7,592)

Other adjustments

Prior year adjustments

 

-

-

28

-

(282)
(966)

Total

 

1,512

(2,342)

(5,435)

 

 

4.  Financial expenses

 

Six months

ended

Six months ended

Year

ended

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

£000

£000

£000

On bank loans and overdrafts

4,257

5,893

11,186

Interest expenses on lease liabilities

1,840

1,375

2,742

Financial expenses before non underlying items

6,097

7,268

13,928

Amounts relating to derivative financial instruments (note 3) 

(153)

312

1,148

Leases imputed interest (note 3)

233

230

463

Put-option interest

152

-

-

Total financial expenses

6,329

7,810

15,539

 

 

5.  Taxation

 

Six months

ended

Six months ended

Year

ended

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

audited

 

£000

£000

£000

Current tax expense

 

 

 

Current period

(6,738)

(5,087)

(10,494)

Non underlying items (note 3)

1,976

608

5,988

Prior year adjustments

-

-

(374)

Total current tax

(4,762)

(4,479)

(4,880)

 

 

 

 

Deferred tax expense

 

 

 

Current period

Deferred tax on non underlying items (note 3)

(291)

1,512

370

(2,342)

(840)

(5,434)

Prior year adjustments

-

-

382

Total deferred tax

1,221

(1,972)

(5,892)

Total tax in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income

(3,541)

(6,451)

(10,772)

Effective tax rate on profit before tax (before non underlying items)*

20.9%

18.5%

30.0%

      

 

*The underlying effective tax rate for the interim period was 20.9% (2020 interim: 18.5%). Caretech expects the full year underlying effective tax rate to be 18.6%.

 

On 3 March 2021, the Government announced an increase in the rate of corporation tax to 25% effective from 1 April 2023. This tax rate change had not been substantively enacted at 31 March 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.  Earnings per share

Six months ended

Six months ended

Year

ended

 

31 March 2021

31 March 2020

30 September 2020

 

unaudited

unaudited

Audited

 

£000

£000

£000

Profit attributable to ordinary shareholders

36,954

10,563

25,118

Non underlying (income)/expenses (note 3)

(12,232)

9,604

21,277

Profit attributable to ordinary shareholders before underlying items

24,722

20,167

46,395

Weighted number of shares in issue for basic earnings per share

110,735,386

111,363,524

109,772,214

Effects of share options in issue

5,494,231

365,110

4,220,077

Weighted number of shares in issue for diluted earnings per share

116,229,617

111,728,634

113,992,292

           

 

Diluted earnings per share is the basic earnings per share adjusted for the dilutive effect of the conversion into fully paid shares of the weighted average number of share options outstanding during the period.

 

 

Earnings per share (pence per share)

 

 

 

Basic

33.37p

9.49p

22.88p

Diluted

31.79p

9.45p

22.03p

Earnings per share before non underlying items (pence per share)

 

 

 

Basic

22.33p

18.11p

42.26p

Diluted

21.27p

18.05p

40.7p

 

 

7. Business Combinations

 

On the 5 October 2020, the Group acquired a majority holding in Smartbox Assistive Technology Limited and associated

subsidiaries, and Sensory Software International Limited (Collectively "Smartbox") a creator of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions (the "Investment").

 

To facilitate the acquisition, the Group has established a new subsidiary, Smartbox Holdings Ltd, which is 70% owned by the Group, with the remaining minority ownership held by the Smartbox management team. Smartbox Holdings Ltd acquired 100% of Smartbox.

 

The Group will pay up to £12.0m comprising of an aggregate initial purchase price £9.1m, funded through an equity contribution and loan note from the Group and equity contribution from the minority holders of Smartbox Holdings Limited. Earn-outs of up to £3.6m payable over a two-year period from completion. The Group expects this amount to be paid over a two-year period from the date of completion and has valued the contingent consideration at the fair value on acquisition date. The expected range of the amount payable is between £0 to £3.6m. The Group's contribution will be funded from existing cash resources.

 

Smartbox is a market-leading creator of software and hardware that helps disabled people without speech to have a voice and live more independently. It makes communication as quick, simple and effective as possible for those service users for whom speech difficulties can be a challenge. Its solutions include communication aids, environmental control devices, computer control technology and interactive learning.

 

Smartbox, headquartered in Malvern, UK with offices in Bristol and Pennsylvania US, was acquired by Tobii AB in 2018. Following a full inquiry from the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Tobii was required to sell Smartbox on competition grounds, providing the Group an opportunity to secure a majority equity stake in the innovative tech firm.

 

The provisional acquisition table is as follows:

 

Book values

£000s

Fair value

adjustments

£000s

Total

£000s

Intangible assets

-

5,217

5,217

Property plant & equipment

249

-

249

Right-of-use asset

1,111

-

1,111

Trade and other receivables

1,126

-

1,126

Inventory

878

-

878

Cash

2,163

-

2,163

Corporation tax

43

-

43

Deferred tax

(15)

(991)

(1,006)

Trade and other payables

(110)

-

(110)

Lease liability

(1,111)

-

(1,111)

Net Assets on acquisition

4,334

4,226

8,560

Less: Non-controlling interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consideration paid

 

 

12,028

Goodwill

 

 

3,468

 

 

 

 

Consideration paid was:

 

 

£000

Cash

 

 

9,060

Contingent consideration

 

 

2,968

Total consideration

 

 

12,028

 

 

 

 

Reconciliation to the cash flow statement

 

 

£000

Cash paid

 

 

9,060

Cash contribution by existing owners

 

 

(1,450)

Cash acquired

 

 

(2,163)

Payments for business combination net of cash acquired

5,447


Goodwill arises as a result the surplus of consideration over the fair value of the separately identifiable assets acquired.

Costs relating to this acquisition are expensed in the Income Statement in accordance with IFRS3 and are identified in note 3 non underlying items.

Goodwill is attributable to the future economic benefits arising from assets which are not capable of being individually identified and separately recognised, these include value of the assembled workforce within the business acquired. Other intangible assets acquired comprise technology, customer relationships and the Smartbox trade name.

On 30 November 2020, the Group completed the transfer of seven services previously operated by The Huntercombe Group. These services are highly specialised facilities for the treatment and care of adults with complex learning disabilities, autism and mental health diagnoses. They consist of three hospitals, two care homes with nursing, a number of single accommodation units with residential care registration and the support of people in their own tenancies in a step-down facility. The capacity of the services today is 142 beds. The transfer was structured with no capital outlay and is expected to be immediately earnings accretive.

 

The provisional acquisition table is as follows:

 

Book values

£000s

Fair value

adjustments

£000s

Total

£000s

Intangible assets

-

6,566

6,566

Property plant & equipment

-

440

440

Right-of-use asset

-

30,828

30,828

Deferred tax

-

(1,248)

(1,248)

Lease liability

-

(29,853)

(29,853)

Dilapidation provision

-

(975)

(975)

Net Assets on acquisition

-

5,758

5,758

Consideration paid

 

 

-

Gain on bargain purchase

 

 

(5,758)

 

 

 

 

 

Directors and Advisers

 

Company Number Solicitors

04457287  Charles Russell Speechlys 

                                                                                                  5 Fleet Place

Registered Office London EC4M 7RD

5th Floor, Metropolitan House 

3 Darkes Lane   Ashurst LLP

Potters Bar                                                                                 Broadwalk House

Herts EN6 1AG    5 Appold Street

                                                                                                   London EC2A 2HA

Directors

Farouq Sheikh  (Group Executive Chairman) Registrars

Haroon Sheikh  (Group Chief Executive Officer)  Link Asset Services

Christopher Dickinson  (Group Chief Financial Officer)  Northern House

Michael Adams  (Care Partnerships Director)  Woodsome Park

Karl Monaghan  (Non-Executive Director)  Fenay Bridge

James Cumming  (Non-Executive Director)  Huddersfield 

Moira Livingston   (Non-Executive Director)  West Yorkshire HD8 0GA 

 

Company Secretary  Auditor 

Christopher Dickinson                                                                Grant Thornton UK LLP

                                                                                                    30 Finsbury Square

Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker London 

Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited  EC2A 1AG

One New Change 

London EC4M 9AF 

 

Joint Brokers 

Numis 

10 Paternoster Sq.

London

EC4M 7LT 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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