AGM Trading Update
17 June 2020
STM Group Plc (AIM:STM), the cross-border financial services provider, announces a trading update ahead of its Annual General Meeting to be held at 11.00am today.
STM acted quickly to implement working from home and workplace practices to meet government guidelines and ensure the safety of employees and customers. These protocols currently remain in place; however senior management is working towards formulating a 'return to office' policy which can be rolled out subject to updated government guidance.
Customer service levels have been maintained during this period with a limited impact being seen on the Group's ability to service existing customers and onboard new business. New business pipelines continue to build, albeit conversion timelines on flexible annuity remain slower than anticipated. Trading in the first four months of the year has been in line with the Board's revised expectations.
STM's implementation of its Target Operating Model and IT projects to improve performance and enhance operating margins continue as planned. Additionally, the launch of the Group's new UK brand - 'Options, for your tomorrow' - post the integration of the Carey Group has been completed successfully, with an accompanying trade press and social media campaign rolled out to build its profile and awareness.
Growth through acquisition remains core to STM's medium term ambitions and the Board continues to actively pursue acquisitions that will strengthen the Group's position as a niche pensions administrator in the UK market.
The judgment handed down on 18 May 2020 in favour of Carey in the Adams v Carey case represents an important clarification for the pensions industry. For the first time, there is clear case law for what is expected of a SIPP provider, although we note that the judge has not yet determined whether he will allow an appeal. Expectations are that the Financial Ombudsman Service will need to take this precedent into account in any subsequent rulings.
The recurring revenue business model and strength of the Group balance sheet gives the Board confidence that STM is well placed to navigate the challenges presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and can continue to pursue its growth strategy as we emerge from this period of uncertainty.
The Board will provide a trading update for the six months to 30 June 2020 ahead of entering its close period in late July.
The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014.
For further information, please contact:
|STM Group Plc|
|Alan Kentish, Chief Executive Officer
Therese Neish, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: Via Walbrook
|Matt Goode / Simon Hicks - Corporate Finance
Tim Redfern / Richard Chambers - ECM
|Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500|
|Tom Cooper / Paul Vann||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7933 8780|
|Mob: +44 (0) 797 122 1972|
Notes to editors:
STM is a multi-jurisdictional financial services group which is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. The Group specialises in the administration of client assets in relation to retirement, estate and succession planning and wealth structuring.
Today, the Group has operations in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Jersey and Spain. STM has developed a range of pension products for UK nationals and internationally domiciled clients and has two Gibraltar Life Assurance Companies which provide life insurance bonds - wrappers in which a variety of investments, including investment funds, can be held.
STM's growth strategy is focussed on both organic initiatives and strategic acquisitions.
Further information on STM Group can be found at www.stmgroupplc.com