Cohort’s final results came in ahead of our forecasts with a record revenue, adjusted operating profit and closing cash performance delivered. The 22% underlying organic revenue growth and 17% underlying operating profit growth was augmented by the MCL and J+S acquisitions, both of which were immediately earnings enhancing. With a closing order book of £134.0m, including a contribution of £38.0m from the acquisitions, we believe Cohort is set for a period of sustained organic growth. In addition, a significant outperformance on cash, some of which is expected to partially reverse in FY16, leaves the group with a very strong balance sheet to pursue further targeted acquisitions and deliver organic growth.
Cohort’s full year results benefited from growth across all divisions as it began to deliver against contracts won over the past two years. Revenues increased by 40% to £99.9m (2014: £71.6m), with organic growth of 22%, adjusted PBT increased by 23% to £10.2m (2014: £8.3m), and adjusted EPS increased by 7% to 20.45p (19.15p). With a particularly strong operating cash flow performance delivered in the year, net funds increased to £19.7m despite the £17.0m paid out for MCL and J+S. With confidence maintained, the group increased the dividend by 19% to 5.0p.
The underlying performance of the group was very creditable, with each division delivering revenue and operating profit growth, highlighting that the group is firmly back on the front foot. The acquisitions of MCL and J+S demonstrated how the group is enhancing its position in its chosen niches either through integrating bolt-in businesses to expand the product and service of a division, as in the case of J+S into SEA, or the addition of a standalone division, as with MCL. Both businesses contributed positively and have opened further opportunities from customers and potential export regions.
We continue to believe that Cohort is well positioned to deliver sustained organic growth over the coming years. Following the outperformance in FY15, we are increasing our FY16 PBT and EPS forecasts by 3% and 5% respectively. With the strong order intake providing good visibility from the £134m closing order book, our SOTP-based fair value increases to 367p/share.