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Driver Group expects a 16% decline on yearly profits

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Driver Group PLC (LON:DRV) said it expects to report underlying profit before tax for the year to September 30 to come in at £2.5mln.

It would be a 16% decline from last year’s £3mln following the challenges posted by COVID-19.

As of September 30, Driver had £8.2mln in the bank.

The company, which provides expert witnesses in disputes, said activity levels overall have been broadly consistent with those achieved in the first half, with a strong performance in the UK and Europe offset by a weaker result in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

The £2.5mln figure does not include the one-off severance cost of the previous chief executive, Gordon Wilkinson, who left the consultancy in May “by mutual agreement” after four years in the role.

The firm also restructured its Middle East and Asia Pacific (APAC) operations to meet the changing business demands in those regions and appointed Stefan Panourgias, who previously headed the Group’s Qatar operations, to head its operations in the region.

Alasdair Snadden, who runs the Singapore office, will now lead the APAC segment.

In August, the AIM-listed firm opened a new office in New York, while in September it formed a strategic partnership with Africa’s leading claims and dispute resolution consultancy to provide improved access to that market.

March Wheelerm chief executive, said: 

Mark Wheeler, CEO of Driver Group, said the business had performed well during the year and managed the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to stay profitable and cash generative throughout the year in spite of a reduced level of activity. 

” I am confident that the reduced cost base and renewed focus on our core business of higher-margin expert witness and dispute resolution in both APAC and the Middle East will deliver improved operating performance.”

Shares surged 16% to 51.5p on Monday morning.

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