A message from our CEO, Tony Strong
As Opus Trust Group comes to the end of its first full financial year in a pandemic, I want to share with you the journey we have been on. What an incredible year it has been for us all, both personally and professionally. The pandemic has changed so many elements of our lives inside and outside of work. How wonderful it is that we are starting to see a return to some normality, whether seeing friends and family, visiting high street shops, having a haircut, or enjoying a long-awaited pint in a pub garden.
As CEO, I have been incredibly proud of the way our employees have stepped up to deal with tough pandemic challenges. Their hard work, commitment, and loyalty has ensured our customers continued to enjoy incredible levels of service throughout the pandemic. The feedback we have received from our customers illustrates this perfectly.
From Adrian Flux, the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance broker: “We would just like to pass on our thanks to everyone at Opus Trust Communications for their efforts to ensure that your usual high standard of service has continued throughout the pandemic. We appreciate that every business has found themselves facing challenges during these extraordinary times, and it has been a great help that our printing services are continuing to be dealt with reliably, enabling us in turn to support our customers. Thank you.”
From Liberata, a leading supplier of services and software to public and private sector: “This past year has been unlike any year we have faced. Delivering services throughout the pandemic has been a significant challenge, and despite all of the challenges, Critiqom has been proactive and adaptive to our needs and provided a partnership approach in working with us during this difficult period.”
At the start of the first lockdown, we saw an immediate drop in manufacturing volumes, as our clients started to react to their own business challenges. Some sectors were affected more than others. We set up a COVID19 task force which acted quickly to safeguard our teams, with all office-based staff working from home. We introduced new working practices to protect our production staff. Our task force continues to meet several times a week, keeping management informed, ensuring agility when responding to any challenges.
Through all of this we welcomed new customers to the Opus Group family. We onboarded these new customers with incredible efficiency, thanks to genuine cooperation between client and supplier.
When many organisations were delaying projects, we built and commissioned a new server room, not missing a beat in service delivery and ensuring secure data management for many years to come. We invested in a state-of-the-art inbound scanning solution, helping to take the pressure off our customers by managing their inbound physical and electronic mail.
We successfully completed numerous ISO audits, maintaining all ISO certifications. We even acquired a new business – DocCentrics – to support our digital strategy by further enhancing our omnichannel services and bringing essential digital skills to our business, for the benefit our customers.
As some sectors started to recover, we were able to return all staff to standard working hours. Our production volumes have steadily increased, with some sectors now at higher levels than before the pandemic.
Our financial year ended on 31st March. Despite the incredible challenges of the pandemic, initial estimates suggest Opus Group revenues have increased by 16% year-on-year with a 39% improvement in operating profit which will result in a modest profit before tax. These are impressive results against the backdrop of a crisis, the likes of which we have never seen, and are also testament to the incredible hard work of our staff and the continued loyalty of our customers.
Of course, the pandemic is not over. We must not become complacent. But there are signs of green shoots. We are recruiting in several areas of our business. We continue to develop our digital communications platform. Our approach during the pandemic means we benefit from a healthy balance sheet, no debt and positive cashflow. As a result, we enter a new financial year with plans to build our business both organically and through further acquisition. Our customers can be assured that their mission critical customer communications – paper and digital – are in safe hands.
With best wishes,
Chief Executive Officer