ANS Group Plc
LSE : ANS

July 15, 2010 02:01 ET

Final Results for the year ended 31 March 2010

                                                                                        15/07/2010
                                                                                      GB0009606764
                                           ANS GROUP PLC
                                          (PLUS: ANS.PL)
                                  ("ANS Group" or the "Company")
                                                 
                          Final Results for the year ended 31 March 2010

Headlines

Turnover Increased by £1.2m to £13.3m up 10%
Gross Profit increased by £537,000 to £3.9m up 16%
Gross Margins increased from 27.9% to 29.5%
Investment of circa £500,000 within overheads
Adjusted Operating Profit (excluding investment of circa. £0.5m) up 21%
Cash Reserves increased by £1m to £4.3m up 32%
44% of Gross Profit from recurring revenues
Second Interim dividend maintained at 2.75p (2009-2.75p)
Strong start to the current year

Chairman's Statement

I  am  delighted  to  report another year of positive results for your company.  The  company  has
increased Gross Profit by 16% (and an average of 17% year on year for the past six years). We have
delivered  turnover growth of 10% (24% year on year for the past six years) and our cash  balances
at  the end of the year reached a record high of £4.3m compared to £3.3m in the previous year.   A
strong focus on managed services and recurring revenues has led to 44% of Gross Profit coming from
these  areas.  These important metrics demonstrate that your company continues on  its  course  of
growth  despite the incredibly difficult market conditions in which we find ourselves. As reported
at  the  half  year,  we  chose  to invest significantly during the past  year  in  several  areas
including:  two additional directors, key sales and technical staff, infrastructure  renewals  and
quality  management systems which has equated to nearly £0.5m. The Board feel that this investment
was required in order to take the company forward to the targeted objective of £30m turnover. This
investment  has  already  started to produce returns with the award of  the  much  coveted  Buying
Solutions  Framework  Agreement  along  with  key industry  accolades  and  accreditations  and  a
significantly improved start to the first quarter of the year. We believe that this  use  of  cash
will provide enhanced returns for the business in the coming years.

Financial Highlights

Turnover has grown 10% from £12.1m to £13.3m with Gross Profit growing 16% which given the  market
conditions  is  an  excellent result. Even though the market has become more competitive  we  have
managed to improve Gross Margin from 27.9% to 29.5%. This is a result of our focus on the high end
technical solutions with specific key vendors and investment in new staff and systems. With 44% of
Gross  Profit  now  being  of a recurring nature the predictability of  the  business  profits  is
continuing to grow.

Our  Administrative costs show an increase of £785,000 the bulk of which is a result of the  £0.5m
investment  undertaken during the year. The majority of this has been in employment related  costs
which  were  planned for the development of the business and were necessary to  facilitate  growth
over the coming years. This investment has already made significant returns including the award of
the Buying Solutions Framework Agreement, Quality Standard ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Further to this
there has been a marked improvement in our orders received during the second half of the year,  as
well as the first quarter of this year being significantly ahead of last year.

The  increase in costs during the year has led to a fall in Operating Profit from £1.1m  to  £0.9m
which reflects the planned investment made.

Interest  received was down from £98,000 to £33,000 due the drop in base rate to 0.5%.  Profit  on
disposal of business of £82,000 was primarily due to the disposal of the company's interest in the
trade and assets of Viapost Ltd.

The company remains well capitalised with cash reserves of £4.3m and no debt.

Dividends

I am pleased to announce that we have maintained our second interim dividend at 2.75p (2009-2.75p)
per share. Having previously paid an interim dividend of 1.25p (2009-1.25p) per share this gives a
total  for  the  year of 4p (2009-4p) per share. The dividend will be paid by 31  August  2010  to
shareholders on the register at the close of business on 30 July 2010.

Operational Review

In  March  2010,  the  company  was awarded access to the Government  Buying  Solutions  Framework
Agreement  which  for a company of our size is testament to the dedication and hard  work  of  the
whole  team. This is one of the benefits arising from the investment in both our Quality Assurance
Systems  and  upgrades  to our Integrated Management Information System.  However  the  long  term
benefits should be seen during the life of this 3 year contract award as we are now able to access
areas of government projects that were off limits to ANS in the past.

ANS,  is  one  of  only  13 companies to make LOT 2 of the Commoditised IT Hardware  and  Software
framework  agreement  to  supply  IT infrastructure hardware, with  potential  contracts  worth  a
significant value over three and a half years. The Framework is estimated to be worth  £6  billion
turnover  over the next three and a half years from which ANS Group as a supplier will benefit  in
part.

The  Unified  Communications and Collaboration portfolio, where we combine technologies  from  our
strategic partners Cisco and Microsoft to deliver cost efficient business solutions, has delivered
growth of 5%.

The  Data  Centre  division where Storage and Virtualisation partners Cisco,  VMware,  NetApp  and
Microsoft  deliver outstanding efficiency and cost reduction benefits, accounts  for  47%  of  our
business.  This has grown by 14% during the year and the benefits are being delivered  across  the
whole of our customer base, NHS, Local Government and the commercial sector.

Throughout the current year we have seen further development of the ANS Managed Service  offerings
where the company's recurring revenues have grown 36% to £4.9 m. Our support team maintained their
outstanding  levels  of  customer  service once again this year,  as  reflected  in  our  customer
retention performance of over 96%.

Our  focus  on  technical  excellence has continued with the  launch  of  our  Infrastructure  3.0
architecture in December 2009.  Infrastructure 3.0 will be central to our development as a quality
and  trusted  partner for IT Solutions using next generation technology such  as  Cisco's  Unified
Computing and Nexus Switching, VMware's Server and Desktop Virtualisation and NetApp's Intelligent
Storage  and Deduplication to streamline and unify our customer's infrastructure. We have  adapted
and  developed  our key specialisations to develop systems from which our customers generate  real
value  both from an operational and financial perspective.  Our first Infrastructure 3.0  contract
win  makes  Tameside  Hospital NHS Foundation Trust the first English-based NHS  site  to  embrace
Cisco's  new  technology which is set to transform its computer network into a unified intelligent
data  centre infrastructure. This demonstrates the ability of the company to assist the  NHS  with
its objective of introducing efficiency savings.


Appointment of new Technical Director - Andy Barrow

Andy  was  promoted to the position of Technical Director in April 2010 from his role as  head  of
technical pre-sales where he was responsible for overseeing the architecture and implementation of
our  portfolio  of  solutions to our clients. His new position will  allow  him  to  identify  new
opportunities  for  the  group to capitalise upon and help to propel  the  current  business  plan
forward.  Andy  is  both  well qualified and experienced in all technical areas  of  the  business
however,  his real strengths lie in the Cisco and VMware arenas. He is CCIE certified in  Security
for  Cisco and has been with ANS Group since it acquired the Cisco partner, BIOS, four years  ago.
Andy  has  already demonstrated that he will be a major asset to the Board. His  recent  work  and
participation in the development of our new offering, Infrastructure 3.0, helped turn  the  vision
into a reality and he will be a major asset to the Board as the company develops and grows.


Accreditations and Key Partnerships

This  year  our focussed strategy has been the development of the Infrastructure 3.0  architecture
and  we  have invested maximum effort into enhancing our accreditation portfolio surrounding  this
solution.  ANS were the first Cisco tier 2 Partner to achieve success in the UCS ATP program.  UCS
or  Unified  Computing  System represents a radical simplification of  traditional  architectures,
dramatically  reducing  the  number  of devices that need to  be  purchased,  cabled,  configured,
powered,  cooled,  and  secured.  The solution delivers end-to-end  optimisation  for  virtualised
environments  while  retaining the ability to support traditional OS  and  application  stacks  in
physical  environments.  This accreditation means that ANS Group is  one  of  a  select  group  of
companies in the UK who are able to provide specialist support to organisations who are looking to
implement  this  innovative type of computing power to enhance a virtualised infrastructure.  More
uniquely,  ANS  are  the only Cisco Gold Partner with a UCS ATP to carry a  Cisco  Gold  Star  for
customer  satisfaction. In addition, we have become the fastest growing NetApp partner  and  moved
from  Gold  to  Platinum Partner status within one year, truly highlighting our  strength  as  the
leading  storage vendor.  This demonstrates our level of commitment to being at the  forefront  of
development  in storage and virtualisation and ANS VMware sales have been at their highest  levels
to date.


Awards

At  ANS  we  take the industry awards seriously as they are a valid reflection of the  effort  and
level  of  technical  expertise  that  we invest when we choose  our  best  of  breed  partnership
solutions.

At  the recent NetApp Partner Awards, the company was awarded the 'Best Newcomer of the Year'  and
'Marketing  Excellence of the Year' for Infrastructure 3.0. This was the first time  any  reseller
had  been given two awards by NetApp. These awards fully compliment our VMware Partner of the Year
award  which  we  received  in December 2009. The awards demonstrate our  commitment  to  our  key
partners whose technologies we combine to produce our Infrastructure 3.0 offering.

Once  again  this year ANS entered the Best Companies to work for in 2010 and for the second  year
running  received the highest rating possible, 3 stars. Following this, ANS were  shortlisted  for
the  Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to work for and jumped from position 24 to 9.  This
was  a  huge achievement as these results are gathered from confidential employee surveys. Finally
ANS  picked up the Manchester Evening News Business of the Year 2009, a prestigious award  from  a
leading local publication which is a fantastic achievement for ANS and all of our staff.


Outlook

Having  decided  to  invest for the future the Board believes that the £0.5m  invested  in;  staff
(numbers  up  25%),  infrastructure,  the  successful Buying  Solutions  application  and  quality
management systems, has positioned the business to achieve considerable growth without any further
significant  step changes in the overhead costs. ANS has a strong management team  with  a  robust
business infrastructure that is already showing signs of rising to the challenges ahead. The first
quarter's  performance  is already well in advance of last year with the technical  delivery  team
revenues breaking all records previously set. The order book is also considerably larger than that
in  2009 and that provides us with the confidence that our cost and efficiency saving portfolio of
solutions  are positioned perfectly for our customers needs. Although for the last  6  months  the
rate  of  closure  on  orders has taken much longer, a consequence of the  scrutiny  of  customers
spending budgets, this has not resulted in the loss of any major business. In fact orders that had
been  ongoing for a number of months have now closed in quarter one with some exciting  wins  that
have given us the confidence to look forward positively at the coming year.

The  Board and management continue to focus their efforts on maintaining and delivering controlled
growth, good treasury management and increasing shareholder value.

In  the recent emergency budget Mr. Osborne stated that NHS capital budgets would remain protected
and  that  the focus would be on efficiency savings and investments. The Board believe  that  your
company  is  well placed to assist the NHS reduce its overall IT costs with our current  strategic
solutions.  Whilst ANS has grown its public sector business during the year the overall proportion
has remained the same at around 55%.

The  company  has a comprehensive market leading solutions portfolio, a growing recurring  revenue
stream and is operationally well placed to take advantage of any improvement in market conditions.
We  believe  that our 'spend to save' solutions are beneficial to most businesses even during  the
critical conditions of a severe downturn. I therefore view the future with great confidence.

Once  again  I  would like to thank all of the staff for their extraordinary efforts during  these
extraordinary times and for producing extraordinary results.

Scott Fletcher
ANS Group Plc


 AUDITED PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT                                                    
 YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH 2010                                                         
                                                                                    
                                                                          2010            2009
                                                                            £               £
 Turnover                                                              13,265,355      12,092,371
 Cost of sales                                                          9,352,090       8,716,132
                                                                                    
 Gross Profit                                                           3,913,265       3,376,239
                                                                                    
 Administrative expenses                                                3,025,872       2,240,916
                                                                                    
 Operating Profit                                                         887,393       1,135,323
                                                                                    
 Profit on disposal of business                                            81,616         290,363
 Interest receivable and similar income                                    32,855          97,917
 Interest payable and similar charges                                           0             504
                                                                                    
 Profit on ordinary activities before taxation                          1,001,864       1,523,099
                                                                                    
 Tax on profit on ordinary activities                                     263,563         280,064
                                                                                    
 Profit on ordinary activities after taxation                             738,301       1,243,035
                                                                                    
                                                                                    
                                                                                    
 Earnings per ordinary share                                                 6.26           10.32
 Diluted earnings per ordinary share                                         6.08            9.97



 AUDITED BALANCE SHEET                                                              
 31ST MARCH 2010                                                                    
                                                                          2010            2009
                                                                            £               £
 Fixed assets                                                                       
 Intangible assets                                                        724,690              0
 Tangible assets                                                          122,816        137,941
 Investments                                                               38,567        555,327
                                                                                    
                                                                          886,073        693,268
                                                                                    
 Current assets                                                                     
 Debtors: due after more than 1 year                                      550,000        300,000
 Debtors                                                                2,534,584      4,216,342
 Investments                                                                1,998         49,811
 Cash at bank and in hand                                               4,282,998      3,254,523
                                                                                    
                                                                        7,369,580      7,820,676
                                                                                    
 Creditors: amounts falling due within one year                        (6,062,656)    (6,138,415)
                                                                                    
 Net current assets                                                     1,306,924      1,682,261
                                                                                    
                                                                                    
 Total assets less current liabilities                                   2,192,997      2,375,529
                                                                                    
 Capital and Reserves                                                               
 Called up share capital                                                   120,738        121,263
 Share premium account                                                   1,293,347      1,261,997
 Employee Benefit Trust share reserve                                     (522,480)             0
 Other reserve                                                             264,403         38,512
 Profit and loss account                                                 1,036,989        953,757
                                                                                                 
                                                                                    
 Shareholders' funds                                                     2,192,997      2,375,529


The  financial information set out herein in respect of the years ended 31 March 2010 and 31 March
2009  does  not constitute the company's financial statements within the meaning of s434 Companies
Act  2006  for those periods but has been derived from the audited financial statements for  those
years  and  the  unaudited  financial information within the  Chairman's  Statement  in  the  2010
accounts. The Company's financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2010 will be delivered to
the Registrar of Companies shortly. The auditors have reported on those accounts; their report was
unqualified and does not contain statements under s498 (2) or (3) Companies Act 2006

The  financial  statements, including comparative figures, reflect the  activities  of  the  solus
company; group financial statements are no longer required.

The Directors of ANS Group are responsible for the contents of this announcement.

ENQUIRIES

ANS GROUP PLC
Scott Fletcher, Chairman
TEL: 0161 227 1000
scott.fletcher@ansgroup.co.uk

St Helens Capital Partners LLP
Tel: 020 7368 6959
Mark Anwyl or Duncan Vasey


About ANS Group

Operating  in  a  diverse  range  of business areas within the public  and  private  sectors,  our
technology solutions help simplify business challenges. Our Infrastructure 3.0 architecture is set
to  transform the future of IT networks, using next generation technology to streamline and  unify
the  infrastructure.   As  one  of the only companies to hold the necessary  specialisations  with
Cisco,  VMware  and  NetApp,  ANS is uniquely positioned to deliver this  unified  infrastructure,
helping clients achieve a higher level of performance, at a much lower cost.

Based  in Manchester, ANS Group delivers consistently high levels of customer service through  all
project deployments and on-going support to its 400 plus client base. As an award winning business
and  with  our  impressive portfolio there comes huge reassurance that you will  be  working  with
people  who  fully understand the growing range of technology solutions, giving you the confidence
that  your IT network and your business will be in the safe hands of infrastructure and technology
solutions experts.

Contact Information

  • ANS Group Plc