July Trading Update

Tuesday 7th July 2015

Connect Group PLC, a leading specialist distributor operating in four divisions: News & Media, Books, Education & Care and Parcel Freight, is today issuing a Trading Update covering the 44 week period to 7 July 2015.

Total Group revenues for the 44 week period increased 3.1% on the same period last year, with overall performance marginally ahead of management expectations.
The performance of each division has been as follows:

Connect News & Media:

  • News revenues decreased by 3.4% compared with the same period last year with the benefit of new regional business offset by the absence of last year’s World Cup sticker sales.
  • Like for like revenues decreased by 3.5% for the 44 week period, comfortably within our medium term forecasts with newspaper cover price inflation strengthening and magazine performance continuing to improve.
  • Pass my Parcel recruitment continues as planned with over 2,400 parcel shops recruited to date, up from c.700 at the time of interim results in April and keeping us on track to achieve our ambition of c.3,000 by the financial year end. We are continuing dialogue with potential new clients and the launch of further services.
  • Media revenues increased by 1.9% as a result of new contract wins with like for like revenues decreasing 2.3%.

Connect Books:

  • Revenues decreased by 1.1% as we continue to focus on profitable sales. Like for like revenues increased by 2.3% for the 44 week period, showing improving momentum since the interim results.
  • Performance has been driven by the ongoing recovery in Trade sales as management actions from the stabilisation plan take effect, alongside Wordery’s continued impressive growth.

Connect Education & Care:

  • Revenues increased by 1.9% with like for like revenues increasing by 1.8% for the 44 week period, showing a stronger run rate since the interim results.
  • Core revenues were up by 2.9% and growth continues to be driven by strength in Primary Education and Early Years.
  • Momentum is building for the key peak trading period which has started in line with expectations supported by recent and ongoing investments in our new Warehouse Management System.

Connect Parcel Freight:

  • The division has continued its strong start within the Group and is ahead of management expectations, with total revenues increasing by 20.6% driven by market growth and new customers.
  • Planned operational synergies identified at the time of the acquisition remain on track.
  • As announced on 28 May 2015, Chris Ward was appointed Managing Director of the division, with effect from 29 June 2015.

There has been no change in the underlying financial condition of the Group since the interim results announcement on 22 April 2015.
The Group will announce its preliminary results for the twelve months ending 31 August 2015 on 14 October 2015.

Enquiries:

Connect Group PLC    
Mark Cashmore, Group Chief Executive    Tel: 01793 563641
Nick Gresham, Chief Financial Officer

Buchanan
Richard Oldworth / Sophie McNulty / Gabriella Clinkard   Tel: 020 74665000

 

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Press Contact

For all enquiries concerning press information, please contact:

Kerrie Colford
Group Communications & PR Manager
Phone: 01793 563516
Email: media@connectgroupplc.com

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