NCC Group share price jumps on "slightly better than feared" full-year results despite losses

Lynsey Barber
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NCC is reviewing its strategy after profit warnings (Source: Getty)

UK-listed cyber security firm NCC Group has posted a loss after a string of profit warnings and a strategic review... but shares jumped eight per cent as the market opened as the numbers turned out to be "slightly better than feared".

The figures

Pre-tax losses came in at £55.3m in the year to the end of May, tumbling from a £9.4m profit for the same period last year.

Revenue grew by 17 per cent to £244.5m.

It took a write down of £62m and total charges of £71m. Net debt inched down by £5.1m since levels in the first half of the year to £43.7m.

Why it's interesting

The Manchester-based firm which provides the cyber expertise for tracking people in Channel 4 TV show Hunted, has issued a string of profit warnings since December last year and chief executive Rob Cotton stepped down in March as a result.

Despite the growing threat of cybercrime on which many a security firm is cashing in on, NCC was hit by several large contract losses.

Investors are likely pleased that today's results are in line with expectations and the strategic review is coming along... and that no more surprises have been sprung.

"We continue to believe there is long term value within both the Escrow and Assurance businesses but feel that at the current price the shares are up with events and retain our Hold recommendation," said analysts at N+1 Singer.

Shorecap analysts said: "The specialist IT Assurance and Escrow services group reports full year results to end May slightly better than we had feared, though the challenges of the past year are apparent in the one-off charges taken in these results."

What NCC Group said

“The last financial year was very challenging, with the business performance falling well short of original expectations, as well as outgrowing some of our business processes and controls," said executive chairman Chris Stone.

“However, and more importantly, it is clear that the business has a number of notable strengths. We still enjoy significant organic growth in our core segments and have a strong balance sheet. Furthermore, in a constantly evolving and complex market, our unique skills and capabilities are recognised by our customers as putting us at the forefront of the market."

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