RWS Holdings today announced its final results for the fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2020.
RWS Life Sciences increased revenues by 6% to £69.5 million, a record high for the life sciences division. Of particular note, growth in COVID-19 related clinical trials, translation work for vaccines, anti-viral medications, and antibody testing equipment was largely offset by COVID-19 related delays in other clinical trial areas. “The Group’s focus on life sciences and technology customers, who are thought to be likely beneficiaries in a post COVID-19 world, puts RWS in a strong position,” said Andrew Brode, chairman of RWS.
RWS Moravia saw record revenues of £173.6 million, up 5%. Adjusted operating profit increased by 8%, excluding an adverse exchange rate movement of £3.4 million caused by the weaker US dollar; including this, operating profit was £24.8 million (In 2019, it was £26.2 million). Growth was driven by strong sales to several major technology clients, particularly during the initial COVID-19 lockdown period, and increased revenue from a broader range of sectors and companies, including financial services, online sales platforms, and web services providers.
RWS IP Services saw revenues down 10% to £112.8 million against a strong comparative due to a one-off surge in European Patent Office work in the prior year. COVID-19 impacted second half revenues, particularly within the automotive, aerospace, and oil and gas sectors, as certain clients looked to reduce costs. There were, however, several new client wins, though onboarding has continued to be impacted by the pandemic.
Two highly complementary acquisitions expanded technology capabilities and geographical reach. Iconic Translation Machines, a specialist in neural machine translation and AI solutions, and Webdunia, a leader in translation, localization and technology services based in India, were acquired in June 2020 and have been integrated and are performing well.
Post year-end acquisition of SDL in November 2020 created the world’s largest language services and technology group. Following the acquisition of SDL, the RWS Group has no net debt. The SDL integration is currently underway, with divisional structure and new senior management team confirmed. The integration is expected to deliver a broader range of best-in-class solutions for clients’ language requirements.
“The new financial year has begun positively, slightly ahead of our expectations,” said Brode. “We look forward with confidence to achieving further progress in 2021.”