The Prime People Board will be declaring an interim dividend of 1.80p per share (2019: 1.80p) payable on 6 December 2019 to those shareholders on the register on 22 November 2019.
Other financial highlights include:
Group revenue of £13.17m was 4.72% higher than the same period last year (H1 2019: £12.57m).
Group Net Fee Income ("NFI") was £8.80m (H1 2019: £7.99m). Their overseas business showed strong performance, with NFI for Asia increasing to £4.83m (H1 2019: £3.87m) and contributing 57.90% of Group permanent NFI (H1 2019: 52.16%). NFI recorded during the period by our Hong Kong subsidiary, Command Recruitment Group (HK) Ltd ("CMD"), was £2.28m (H1 2019: £1.68m), detailed in Note 3(a) within the NFI for the Group's Asia regional performance. NFI for the UK business was £3.71m (H1 2019: £3.86m) and Rest of World was £0.26m (H1 2019: £0.27m).
Contract NFI represented 5.17% of Group NFI against 7.21% in H1 2019.
Administrative costs for the Group were £7.07m (H1 2019: £6.40m) during the period which included planned expenditure for enhancing technology to drive efficiencies across our business, greater advertising spend, and higher professional costs associated with their continued focus on organic growth.
In the UK, profit before tax was £0.48m against £0.62m in H1 2019. Our Asia business, which covers the Group activities in Hong Kong and Singapore, generated a profit before tax before adjustment for minority interest of £1.24m for the period (H1 2019: £0.95m), of which £0.84m related to CMD (H1 2019: £0.58m).
Our newly established business in Germany, disclosed under Rest of the World, reported a small profit and is indicating good opportunities for growth.
The charge for Group taxation of £0.31m (H1 2019: £0.10m) is based on the expected annual effective tax rate of 19% in UK (H1 2019: 19%), 16.5% in Hong Kong (H1 2019: 16.50%), and 17% in Singapore (H1 2019: 17%).
Basic earnings per share for the period were 9.33p (H1 2019: 10.95p).