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30 July, 2020 - 12:44 By Tony Quested

Science Group boosts US sales ops after record H1 performance

Cambridge-based Science Group has posted record first-half results bolstered by the acquisition of Frontier Smart Technologies and organic services growth of 13 per cent.

Allied to shrewd cash management, Science Group was able to return a virus-busting performance for the six months to June 30..

Ahead of the board’s expectations, group revenue grew 56 per cent to £36.9 million, including the first full half-year contribution from Frontier allied to the organic services growth. Adjusted operating profit increased by 50 per cent to £4.9m.

Science Group says the balance sheet and cash position remain strong – providing the opportunity for further corporate activity. It is boosting investment in its US sales operations despite global economic uncertainties. Science Group is an international, science-led services and product development organisation with a significant freehold property asset base.

Following the Frontier acquisition in 2019 and an organisation restructuring, the group now comprises three operating divisions: R & D Consultancy; Regulatory & Compliance; and, of course, Frontier Smart Technologies.

The first half has benefitted from the group’s sector diversification and the greater scale resulting from the 2019 acquisition of Frontier, together with some unanticipated cost savings (for example delayed recruitment of new hires and significantly reduced travel) due to the pandemic. 

Within the services operating divisions, a combination of home-working and office/lab presence enabled the continuation of client projects. 

The group retains a robust balance sheet with gross cash (excluding client funds) at June 30 of £22m and net funds of £4.9m. 

For the six months, the R & D Consultancy business generated services revenue of £15.3m. Total revenue of £18.8m includes significant non-services (materials) pass-through revenue related to the Government ventilator project.

The global COVID-19 pandemic is likely to delay economic recovery in some global markets – impacting R & D investment programmes. But the group has decided to increase investment in its US sales organisation to address the reduction in international business travel which may persist for some time.

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