HH Global has recorded a 4.4% rise in turnover to just shy of 100m in its accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012.
The Surrey-based print manager saw sales rise from £95m in 2011 to £99.2m in 2012, with the £4.2m growth being evenly split between the UK and rest of the world.
Gross profit margin increased from 19.4% to 21.2%; however, this was offset by an increase in operating expenses, from 17.9% of sales in 2011 to 20.4% in 2012.
HH attributed this to the cost of establishing a legal presence in Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Japan and initial trading losses in those markets, totalling £240,000, as well as £150,000 rebranding costs.
There was also a £190,000 increase in payroll costs arising from investment in the group's US team that the directors' said was "needed to expand in this important market".
As a result, adjusted EBITDA fell from £2.3m to £2m, while a marginally higher depreciation and amortisation charge and exceptional costs of £169,000 relating to irrecoverable German VAT from past financial years impacted the operating result.
This meant that group operating profit was down around 40% at £809,000 (2011: £1.4m) while pre-tax profit fell even further, down 74% from £676,000 to £176,000. Net profit for the year was £479,000 (2011: £961,000).
In their statement accompanying the accounts, the directors said: "Adjusted EBITDA of £2m in difficult changing markets, and after the investment in HH Global, is, in the view of the directors, a good performance and the past year will be seen as key in the development of the group.
"Despite uncertain economic times in Europe, HH Global is confident of expansion both East and West and is well placed to benefit in the Americas and Asia Pacific and India for new global business supported by the renewal of legacy contracts."
Other highlights included a further reduction in net debt from £6.7m down to £4.8m, notwithstanding further investment in the group's HHub IT platform – backed by a £1m three-year loan facility from HSBC – which saw capital expenditure rise from £700,000 in 2011 to £1.6m in 2012.Tweet
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