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RNS Number : 8625Y

Appreciate Group PLC

19 January 2022

19 January 2022

Appreciate Group plc

Q3 FY22 Trading Update

Strong Q3 Performance - YTD billings ahead of FY2020 and FY2021

Appreciate Group plc (the 'Group'), the UK's leading multi-retailer redemption product provider to corporate and consumer markets, today provides an update on its key Q3 trading period for the three months ended 31 December 2021 of the current financial year (FY22). Due to the irregular impact of lockdowns in FY21, we have used FY20 as the primary comparison, the financial period prior to the pandemic, as well as providing FY21 data.

Highlights

-- Underlying Q3 billings* of GBP96.1m were 13% ahead of Q3 FY20 (GBP85.1m) and broadly similar to Q3 FY21 (GBP96.8m)

o A strong December performance with billings of GBP45.6m, up 41% versus same month in FY20 (GBP32.4m). Compared to our record month in December FY21 billings were down 2%

o Further growth in digital billings with a 13% year on year rise to GBP27.2m (Q3 FY20: GBP5.9m; Q3 FY21: GBP24.1m)

   --    Total year-to-date billings up to 31 December 2021 were 8% up on FY20, and 10% ahead of FY21 

-- Q3 was the best-ever quarter for our Corporate business with billings of GBP77.6m (Q3 FY20: GBP68.3m; Q3 FY21: GBP77.3m)

-- Q3 billings via Highstreetvouchers.com were GBP18.4m, up 9.5% from GBP16.8m in Q3 FY20, and down 5.4% from GBP19.5m in Q3 FY21 (which benefited from increased customer demand during tighter lockdown restrictions)

-- Free cash as at 31 December 2021 stood at GBP36.0m (31 December 2019: GBP19.1m; 31 December 2020: GBP33.5m)

 
 Underlying         Q1         Q2        Q3     YTD Total  December    YTD total 
  billings*                                                             excluding 
                                                                       free school 
                                                                      meals scheme* 
                                                                            * 
 FY2022          GBP38.7m   GBP45.7m  GBP96.1m  GBP180.5m  GBP45.6m       GBP167.6m 
                ---------  ---------  --------  ---------  --------  -------------- 
 FY2021          GBP21.3m   GBP46.4m  GBP96.8m  GBP164.6m  GBP46.6m       GBP153.0m 
                ---------  ---------  --------  ---------  --------  -------------- 
 FY2020          GBP41.4m   GBP40.1m  GBP85.1m  GBP166.5m  GBP32.4m       GBP166.5m 
                ---------  ---------  --------  ---------  --------  -------------- 
 % diff (FY22 
  vs FY21)           +81%        -2%       -1%       +10%       -2%            +10% 
                ---------  ---------  --------  ---------  --------  -------------- 
 % diff (FY22 
  vs FY20)            -7%       +14%      +13%        +8%      +41%             +1% 
                ---------  ---------  --------  ---------  --------  -------------- 
 

* Underlying billings represents Corporate & Gifting only and excludes Christmas savings, which largely completes between December and April. The Christmas Savings' order book for Christmas 2021 (i.e. FY22) completed with billings of GBP164.0m.

** Year to date billings through free school meal scheme were GBP12.9m (FY21: GBP11.5m)

ERP Progress

The first phase of the Enterprise Resource Planning implementation was successfully delivered earlier in January 2022. This replaced the legacy back office systems that support our HighStreetVouchers.com website and will enable us to operate more efficiently, whilst underpinning our plans for growth.

Reinvigorating Christmas Savings

Our marketing campaign to recruit Christmas Savings' customers for Christmas 2022 got underway on Boxing Day, using a more targeted and insight-based approach, integrated across multiple channels. An update on progress of the campaign will be provided in our year-end trading statement expected in April. View the TV advert .

Great Place To Work certification retained

Great Place To Work certification has been achieved for the second year in succession, including an improved Trust Index. This reflects continued progress from our cultural transformation.

Outlook

   --    We are on track to deliver in line with our expectations for the year as a whole. 

-- The momentum seen in Q3 has been continued in the early weeks of Q4 with underlying billings ahead of the previous two financial years as at 17 January 2022. These are 8% up on FY20 and 10% higher than FY21.

Ian O'Doherty, Chief Executive Officer, at Appreciate Group plc, commented:

"The Group has delivered a strong peak quarter, underpinning our expectations for the year as a whole, and providing further evidence that our strategy to provide a robust and scalable platform for growth is delivering.

" Our underlying billings year-to-date are now ahead of the previous two years and we are seeing continued growth in digital solutions and in our Corporate proposition, which represents the bulk of this business. The results provide confidence in our brand, proposition and positions in our markets.

"We remain confident in the Group's prospects to deliver long-term growth, notwithstanding economic and pandemic related uncertainties."

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by Appreciate Group to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR").

 
 Appreciate Group        Liberum                MHP Communications 
  plc                     (NOMAD and broker) 
 Ian O'Doherty, CEO      Richard Crawley        Reg Hoare 
  Tim Clancy, CFO         Jamie Richards         Katie Hunt 
                                                 Charles Hirst 
 Andy Hammerton, Head 
  of Corporate Affairs     Tel: 020 3100 2222     Tel: 020 3128 8193 
                                                  Email: appreciategroup@mhpc.com 
  Tel: 0151 653 1700 
 

Notes to Editors:

Appreciate Group is one of the UK's leading gifting, pre-payment and engagement companies, and experts at creating joyful experiences and connecting people to the things in life they enjoy the most.

Everything Appreciate Group does is focused on creating more joy in the world, and it is proud to be trusted to help its customers create moments they can treasure and remember, whether they are giving, celebrating or rewarding.

Appreciate Group is a financial services business with a wide portfolio of brands which provide solutions for its consumer and business customers. Its consumer-facing brands meet a range of prepayment and gifting needs, while its business products help corporate customers reward and recognise their employees and clients.

Appreciate Group is home to many of the country's most-loved gifting, pre-payment and engagement solutions including Park Christmas Savings, highstreetvouchers.com and Love2shop, and we are fast-becoming the home of digital innovation in gifting.

Whether it's saving towards the perfect family Christmas or celebrating with gift cards and vouchers, we create and supply products that millions of people trust when it comes to giving and receiving with family, friends or colleagues.

Park Christmas Savings: As the UK's largest family Christmas savings club, Park Christmas Savings has helped over 2.7 million families budget for Christmas on a short-term or year-round basis.

Love2shop: Love2shop offers gift cards and gift vouchers available to spend at stores and attractions across the UK. They are also used through our Love2shop Business Services providing corporate partners with incentives and rewards for their employees and clients.

Appreciate Group plc's shares are traded on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange.

The Park Prepayments Protection Trust is designed to increase protection for customers' prepayments. The Trust has three directors, two of whom are independent of Appreciate. Details of the trust are set out here: https://www.getpark.co.uk/CORPORATE/declaration.pdf

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