Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/16/rm_q1_results/

RM reports first-half loss, nasty sales dip

But ups its divvy, forecasts goodness ahead

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Business, 16th May 2011 10:17 GMT

Education technology provider RM saw revenue decline 15 per cent in the first six months of the company's fiscal year.

Sales fell to £133m for the period ended 31 March, compared to £156.4m for the same H1 in 2010.

It was also hit with a first-half pre-tax loss of £1.4m, after restructuring charges of £1.8m and a £1.2m charge for share-based payments. In the same period in 2010, RM reported profit of £1.2m.

"We experienced challenging market conditions in our core markets in the first half, as customers continued to respond to changes in policy and funding in both the UK and the US," said RM boss Terry Sweeney, who was reiterating earlier financial statements about the current state of the firm's business.

"We have realigned our cost base through a restructuring programme to reflect the changed conditions and to protect group profitability," he added.

Despite RM's chief admitting that the company continues to face problems in its US and UK wings of the biz, due to the Coalition's relocation of education funds and sluggish performance Stateside, the supplier raised its interim dividend by six per cent to 1.47 pence.

It also predicted full-year profit to be in line with market expectations.

"RM continues to win new strategic customers, and to extend current relationships across all our divisions. Demonstrating the resilience of our business, we have seen 12 per cent growth in our forward committed revenues to £436m. This reflects the value that our customers see RM adding through our expertise and deep understanding of education," said Sweeney.

Shares in RM on the London Stock Exchange are currently trading down 7.33 per cent at 123.25 pence. ®