Share plc’s main subsidiary is The Share Centre, which is a self-select retail stockbroker that also offers share services for corporates and employees.
Q418 created a challenging background for retail investors and hence for Share, but its FY18 results showed revenue slightly ahead of our estimate and a move into EBITDA and operating profit in the second half. Revenue was £21m +12%, EBITDA £0.5m (loss £0.4m) and operating loss £0.3m (£0.79m). There was a marginal loss at the pre-tax level of £22,000. The dividend was increased by 37% to 0.55p reflecting the strong balance sheet (£9m cash vs a reduced capital requirement of £3.9m) and the improvement in profitability. Assets under administration increased by 3% to £4.9bn against the background of a 13% decline in the equity market.
The uncertain macro background has been unhelpful but Share reported an increase in activity among its customers at the time of its results. Looking through market fluctuations, completion of Share’s digital transformation and a levelling out in related spending will be positive. Full benefits from the enhanced customer experience and its acquisition and partnership strategy should also be increasingly evident. Share announced that the third of the acquisitions announced last year is from J.P. Morgan AM covering c 20,000 accounts and £750m AUM for investors in investment trusts: an endorsement of the service offered.