Filta Group targeting new avenues for growth as its end markets recover

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Filta Group Holdings PLC (AIM:FLTA), the fryer management and commercial kitchen services specialist, plans to resume dividend payments if current trading trends continue this financial year.


In its results statement for the first half of the year, the group revealed that the underlying market fundamentals continued to improve in its primary markets of North America, the UK and mainland Europe.


In the UK, where the majority of Filta’s revenues are derived from the provision of services directly to its customer base through company-owned activities, the pick-up has been slower than in the US, reflecting a more cautious easing of lockdown restrictions, but is now gaining momentum with monthly revenues in June some 60% higher than in January.


In mainland Europe, where the relaxing of social distancing restrictions have persisted longer than the UK, revenues remain suppressed, but there is an encouraging level of interest from potential new franchisees, Filta said.


Across the pond in the US, the speed of the recovery has been well beyond management’s expectations, and that’s with many of the group’s larger customers, which include sports stadia and universities, only just cranking back into action in the third quarter.


Revenue in the first half of 2021 rose to GBP9.69mln from GBP8.30mln the year before. Revenues in the second quarter were 29% higher than in the first quarter.


Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) soared to GBP1.29mln from GBP222,222 while the group posted a profit before tax of GBP206,535 compared to a half-year loss in 2020 of GBP782,373.


The cash balance at the end of June was unchanged from the end of 2020 level of GBP4.2mln, while net debt was halved to GBP0.8mln from GBP1.6mln at the end of December.


“With rising vaccination rates and the continued reopening of hospitality and leisure markets, we anticipate that our customers will experience increased consumer demand, allowing us to focus our efforts on capturing these growth opportunities. Internally, and in conjunction with our major customers, we have targeted bringing new initiatives to the market that will allow us to continue supporting their needs whilst providing us additional avenues for growth. In particular, we are committed to leading the way in addressing sustainability issues and in providing more cost-effective and efficient solutions with innovations that are already generating significant customer interest,” said Jason Sayers, the chief executive officer of Filta.


“We are carrying good momentum into the second half of the year and, although we are mindful of continuing risks to the economic recovery in the countries in which we operate, Filta is developing initiatives focused on growing the core business and addressing one of the key industry concerns of sustainability. We are excited about the potential in our business pipeline and believe that we are well placed to deliver attractive growth and shareholder returns,” he added.


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