Motivcom is a cash-generative business with a good dividend yield and a strong management team - it has fans among professional and private investors alike. With AIM shares
finally allowed into ISAs since August, this looks a suitable piece for a broad portfolio.
The group is split into two core areas; incentives and loyalty schemes for employees and customers, and managing meetings and events.
The former has been the more robust in the difficult post-crash years but margins have come under pressure on both sides.
New interim results from Motivcom show impressive profits growth thanks to cost cutting measures, despite a dip in revenues in incentives and events.
Top line revenues were down 6% to £46m but the company historically suffers from lumpy revenues and expects better lumps in the second half than the first this year. Moreover gross profit is a more sensible revenue measure and this was broadly flat, dragged down by a 14% fall from Events.
Headline profit before tax increased by 37% to £1.8m, with earnings per share up 48% to 4.87p.
The company has a progressive dividend policy, not that common among its AIM peers, and lifted the payout 20% to 1.8p per share, after having already spent £3.3m on a share buyback in April.
Finance Director Sue Hocken explains: "Our target is one-third/two-thirds dividend, so it looks like we're heading towards 5.4p for the year, all things being equal."
As 55% of the company's shares are held by the board, their interests are very much aligned with the remainder and provide good motivation to keep growth going.
The company operates a flatter board than most, with no Chief Executive. Hocken and John Sylvester, Executive Director for Motivation and Incentive Services, are the group's media faces.
Speaking to DigitalLook/Sharecast, Sylvester said after a challenging few years which had spoiled the perfectly ascending growth charts on his company presentation, things were looking up.
"Incentives & Loyalty is seeing the benefit of an increasingly confident client base and that continues to grow. And in Event Management we have a lead indicator that is showing plus-20%."
Employee engagement is a growing phenomenon, with the government setting up an employee engagement task force to improve national productivity. Furthermore, as the UK economy improves and employment increases, companies will be encouraged to take this area ever more seriously.
The group's house broker says: "We continue to view Motivcom as attractively valued, as it has a compelling niche in the marketing communications sub-sector while its strong balance sheet and dividend provide income support."
Analyst Paul Richards has maintained full year estimates of £4.7m profit and 12.8p earnings, rising to £5.0m and 14.1p in 2014.