Morse says trading in line; adds Paul Shelton to the board

Source: Morse

Morse ('Morse' or 'the Group'), the advisory & execution professional services company, holds its AGM at 10.00am today.

The following statement will be made by the Chairman, Richard Lapthorne:

"The Group continues to trade in line with management's expectations. At our full year results, we stated that revenue was reaching a level of support from which we could progress and that stabilisation of revenue has continued into the new financial year. Morse's focus on providing specialist sector expertise and commitment to invest in people and resources to build on that was evidenced in our recent acquisition of consultancy services business, Xayce plc which provides back office transformation services to organisations in Insurance, Retail Banking and Local Government. Its integration is progressing well and it is expected to deepen the Group's industry sector knowledge in financial services and the public sector and to accelerate the development of Morse's management consultancy business.

Evidence of our strengthening position in the Public Sector and extensive experience in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) came with the selection of Morse as the preferred bidder of ICT managed services to South Tyneside & Gateshead as part of the Government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, with the contract representing approximately £23 million of revenues to Morse over the next five years, with an option to extend on similar terms for a further five years.

Our success with Carillion at South Tyneside & Gateshead endorses our strategy in the public sector to focus on the Government's transformation agenda and we are confident that this positions us very strongly for selection in other BSF projects in the future.

This being my last AGM as Chairman of Morse, I am delighted that the business has now established itself so effectively and successfully as a differentiated professional services firm. The Group's strong management team has set clear and ambitious performance targets of a 7.2% operating margin producing an absolute operating profit of £20 million over the medium term and the strong sense of increased confidence at Morse is very clear. I have every confidence in the continued success of the business and the ability of management to deliver against their stated targets and remain very proud of my longstanding connection with the Group."

Board Appointment

Morse also announces today the appointment of Paul Shelton as an Independent Non-executive Director of the Company, serving on its Audit, Nominations and Remuneration Committees, with immediate effect.

Paul Shelton joined the Rose Partnership as Managing Partner in March 2006. He was a Partner with PwC Consulting for 18 years, where he held a number of roles, including Head of the Financial Services Practice, European Board Member responsible for People and Knowledge and Global Head of the Insurance practice. He also spent three years with IBM, where he was responsible for business development across Europe for their business process outsourcing practice. Paul is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Alcock, Chief Executive of Morse, said: "We are delighted to welcome Paul to the Board. His financial expertise coupled with his extensive experience in the professional services arena at PwC Consulting will be of real value to our business and further build on the strength of our Board."

There are no other details to be disclosed in respect of the requirements of paragraph 9.6.13R of the Listing Rules of the UK Financial Services Authority.

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