GB Group, Chester digital identity firm, in £52m H1 loss

Shares of Chester-based digital identity data company GB Group (GBG) fell as much as 6% after it said first-half revenue slipped 1.1% to £132.4 million for the six months ended September 30, 2023, and it made an operating loss of £52.6 million.

GB Group said it made the operating loss “after taking account of £76.5 million of costs for amortisation of acquired intangibles, share-based payments and exceptional items.”

It said of these costs £74.7 million “were non-cash items” and the operating loss “is primarily as a result of the £54.7 million non-cash impairment of goodwill …”

The firm added: “Significant increases to central bank interest rates since 31 March 2023 have resulted in an increase in the pre-tax discount rate applied to the US cashflows in our impairment assessment, from 12.3% at 31 March 2023 to 13.0%, which has resulted in an exceptional non-cash goodwill impairment charge of £54.7 million.”

GB Group, experts in digital location, identity verification and identity fraud software, said earlier in November that CEO Chris Clark intends to retire and will step down from the board on January 30, 2024, but will be available to the company until July 30, 2024.

Dev Dhiman was promoted to CEO designate. Dhiman will assume the role of chief executive officer and join the board on January 30, 2024. 

In his outlook, Clark said: “The board is pleased with both the strategic progress achieved and first-half financial performance against the backdrop of the continued macroeconomic conditions.

“Our ongoing focus on simplicity and efficiency has delivered a strong profit performance in the first-half and underpins our FY24 profit expectations, which will benefit from stronger margins in the second half. 

“Second-half performance to date has been in-line with our expectations and we anticipate that FY24 revenue growth will be broadly in line with current expectations.

“The stabilisation we have seen in Identity supports our confidence in delivering some year-on-year Identity growth in the latter part of the year. 

“As announced on 8 November 2023, I will be retiring from GBG and my full-time executive career at the end of January 2024. I am delighted that my successor, Dev Dhiman, currently managing director of our APAC region, has been chosen and promoted from within GBG.  

“Looking to the future, I am confident that Dev will continue to focus on the strategic progress that enables GBG to maximise the opportunity in its markets to achieve profitable growth and deliver sustainable value for shareholders.

“I wish to take this final opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the entire team at GBG for all that we have achieved together over the last seven years, and also to all of our stakeholders for their ongoing support, especially our customers who are our foremost priority.

“It has been a real privilege to lead this fantastic business as we have become one of the global leaders in digital identity.”