Equals Group plc (LON:EQLS), a technology-led international payments group focused on the SME marketplace, today posted its financial results for the first half of 2021 and provided a post-end period trading update (1 July 2021 to 10 September 2021).

  • During the third quarter of 2021 (with 14 days left), revenues amounted to £9.2 million, up 58% from £5.8 million registered in the same period last year.
  • According to Equals, Q3 2021 is already a record quarter with 14 business days remaining.
  • B2B revenues continue to drive growth – they are now greater than 80% of overall book.
  • Equals Solutions, the new multicurrency product aimed at larger businesses, contributed £1.2 million of revenue, or 13% of total, in Q3-2021 to date.

Commenting on the Interim Results, Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals Group plc, said:

“The planned pivoting away from retail and travel towards B2B has paid-off spectacularly in H1-2021. This trading performance and momentum has sustained since the period end and is being supported by fast growing revenues amounting to £9.2 million in the period from 1 July to 10 September, making this a record quarter with 14 business days left to run, with numerous new first-rate customers, and strong take-up of our enlarged product suite.

Whilst, like other businesses we have seen market-forces led cost pressures, particularly in staff and IT, we have contained these robustly, sought further efficiencies and have grown revenue at a much faster pace”.

Let’s mention that the Group had a solid H1 2021, with Group turnover – representing the quantum of underlying transactions through its platforms, up by 48% overall and by 65% in the B2B segment.

Group revenues amounted to £16.9 million, up 23% (H1-2020: £13.8 million) and within that, the B2B segment grew by 25%.

When expressed as revenue over turnover, the Group’s margin averaged 73 basis points (‘bps’) against 88 bps in H1-2020. The Board is comfortable with this change, as it had already anticipated the product shift would increase turnover but at a lower margin. This was more evidenced in Banking Services where the aggregate return reduced to 50 bps from 69 bps in H1-2020.

The Equals Spend B2B expense platform, whose customers are corporates, continues to recover strongly from the impact of the pandemic with revenues 63% higher than H1-2020 and 21% higher than H2-2020.

Gross profit amounted to £10.2 million, up 17% (H1-2020: £8.7 million).

Operating expenditure above adjusted EBITDA was £8.2 million, 5% lower than H2-2020 (H2-2020: £8.7 million) reflecting the continued cost reduction programme, but 13% higher than the ‘furlough-subsidised’ H1-2020 (H1-2020: £7.3 million).