13/09/2021

Strong H1 performance, well-positioned for growth

Smart Metering Systems plc (AIM: SMS, the Group), the fully integrated energy infrastructure company owning and managing meter assets, energy data, grid-scale batteries and other carbon reduction (“CaRe”) assets, has published its half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2021. 

£’m (unless stated otherwise) H1 2021 H1 20201
Alternative performance measures    
Index-linked annualised recurring revenue (ILARR)2 84.2 75.9
Pre-exceptional EBITDA3 26.1 27.8
Underlying profit before taxation4 9.6 9.1
Underlying basic EPS (p)5 4.20 5.02
     
Statutory performance measures    
Group revenue 51.7 54.2
EBITDA 22.4 214.1
Profit before taxation 5.0 194.5
Basic EPS 0.90 171.07
Dividend per share (p) 18.75 4.58
Net cash/(debt) 5.6 44.5

1 2020 measures include the financial performance of the disposed I&C meter portfolio up to the date of sale on 22 April 2020.
2 ILARR is the revenue generated from meter rental and data contracts at a point in time. Includes revenue from third-party managed meters.
3 Pre-exceptional EBITDA is statutory EBITDA excluding exceptional items.
4 Underlying profit before taxation (PBT) is profit before taxation excluding exceptional items and amortisation of certain intangibles.
5 Underlying basic EPS is underlying profit after taxation divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares for the purpose of basic EPS. H1 2021 underlying profit after taxation includes the non-recurring effect of a change in the deferred tax rate from 19% to 25%, following the UK Government’s enactment of the Finance Bill 2021 in May, detailed further in the Financial Review section below.
A reconciliation between reported and underlying performance is detailed in the Financial Review section below.

Highlights

Financial

  • ILARR at 30 June 2021 up 9% on year-end (31 December 2020: £77.0m) and up 11% on the prior period (30 June 2020: £75.9m) to £84.2m
  • Revenue down 5%, to £51.7m (H1 2020: £54.2m), up 8% once adjusted for the I&C meter portfolio disposal
  • Pre-exceptional EBITDA down 6%, to £26.1m (H1 2020: £27.8m), up 22% once adjusted for the I&C meter portfolio disposal
  • Underlying profit before taxation up 5%, to £9.6m (H1 2020: £9.1m), up 87% once adjusted for the I&C meter portfolio disposal
  • Net cash at 30 June 2021 of £5.6m (30 June 2020: net cash of £44.5m), reduction reflects continued investment in revenue-generating assets
  • 27.5p per share dividend intended in respect of full year FY 2021 (full year FY 2020: 25.0p), to be paid in quarterly instalments starting October 2021
  • Assuming no further pandemic-related restrictions, the Board expects FY 2021 underlying PBT to be marginally ahead of its previous expectations

Smart meters

  • Strong recovery in smart meter installations post COVID-19
  • Net increase in contracted smart meter order pipeline to 2.75m (31 December 2020: c.2.0m)

Grid-scale batteries

  • 470MW grid-scale battery pipeline established
  • 240MW of the total pipeline now acquired, of which 90MW are under construction and progressing in line with earlier expectations

Acquisition of Industrial & Commercial (I&C) large power Half Hourly (HH) meter portfolio

  • Completed in April 2021 for £8.4m
  • 15,000 I&C meters acquired from a large energy supplier, adding c.£1.1m to the Group’s I&C meters ILARR
  • Data service contracts also acquired, initially generating a further c.£2m of data ILARR

Developing CaRe assets

  • Behind-the-meter smart solar and battery solution launched with pilot projects in up to 1,500 homes; additional pipeline developing
  • Installation of electric vehicle charge points commenced as part of Virgin Media Park and Charge project
  • Continued progress in the development of wider CaRe products and services

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

  • Tangible progress towards ‘net-zero by 2030’ target
  • Several new social initiatives launched
  • Highest scoring for corporate governance by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)

Fund raising and banking facilities

“The Group has continued its strong financial performance throughout the first six months of the year, delivering encouraging growth and a pleasing recovery in smart meter installation rates. This performance underlines the resilience of our business, the defensive nature of the metering infrastructure asset class and the index-linked sustainable cash flows it generates, despite the ongoing disruption of COVID-19. We are well positioned for future growth.

“As we set out at our inaugural Capital Markets Day in June, we have a considerable market opportunity for our metering, data and battery CaRe products, with further growth opportunities for our developing CaRe products. Our recent smart meter contract win with a large energy supplier will further expand our long-term index-linked recurring revenues and leverages on the scalability of our well established end-to-end integrated model.

“Today’s proposed fundraising and increased banking facility significantly strengthen our position within the UK energy market and provides funding for our growth strategy. Driven by our fully integrated and scalable technology platform "METIS", SMS is committed to decarbonising the UK energy system and helping to deliver on the ‘net-zero’ agenda.

“In the light of recent trading and assuming no further pandemic-related restrictions, the Board expects FY 2021 underlying PBT to be marginally ahead of its previous expectations.”

Alan Foy Chief Executive Officer

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For further information

Smart Metering Systems plc
0141 249 3850
Alan Foy, Chief Executive Officer
Dilip Kejriwal, Head of Investor Relations

Cenkos Securities plc (Joint Broker and Nomad)
0131 220 6939 / 020 7397 8900
Neil McDonald
Peter Lynch

Investec Bank plc (Joint Broker)
020 7597 5970
Christopher Baird / Henry Reast

RBC Capital Markets (Joint Broker)
020 7653 4000
Matthew Coakes / Evgeni Jordanov / Jack Wood

Instinctif
Tim Linacre / Guy Scarborough / Sarah Hourahane
020 7457 2020
SMS@instinctif.com

Notes to editors

Smart Metering Systems plc (www.sms-plc.com) is a fully integrated energy infrastructure company owning and managing meter assets, energy data, grid-scale batteries and other carbon reduction (“CaRe”) assets. The Group manages and optimises these assets through its in-house technology and data analytical platform “METIS”.

Established in 1995, SMS provides a full end-to-end service, from funding and installation to management and maintenance, with a highly skilled workforce, deep engineering expertise and well-established industrial partnerships.

SMS is leading the low carbon, smart energy revolution in the UK and is committed to reducing its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. SMS has been recognised with the London Stock Exchange’s Green Economy Mark every year since it was introduced in 2019.

SMS plc is headquartered in Glasgow with a national presence across twelve UK locations.

SMS’s shares are listed on AIM.

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