H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) released its financial results for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2018. Revenues increased 4 percent, driven by improved client volumes and net average charge in its U.S. tax businesses. Earnings per share from continuing operations increased 52 percent, to $2.98, primarily driven by the company's lower effective tax rate, as well as improved pretax earnings.
For fiscal 2018, approximately 20.0 million returns were prepared by or through H&R Block in the U.S., a 2.5 percent increase over fiscal 2017. Client trajectory improved in the company's U.S. Assisted business as a result of stronger client retention, with a 0.6 percent decline in returns compared to a 2.5 percent decline in fiscal 2017. Growth in online U.S. DIY returns outpaced the industry at 10.3 percent due to product enhancements and more effective marketing. Additionally, the company reported increases in net average charge in both Assisted and DIY.
"We achieved our goal of improving the client trajectory and delivered positive financial results for the fiscal year," said Jeff Jones, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer. "We're also making progress on our multi-year strategic framework. As we look ahead to fiscal 2019, we will make strategic investments to enhance the relevance of our brand, strengthen technology platforms, and improve the fundamental value clients receive from H&R Block. I'm excited about the future and look forward to sharing more about our plans on our investor call this afternoon."
"We are pleased with our financial performance this year, with revenue growth, strong margins, and improved earnings," said Tony Bowen, H&R Block's chief financial officer. "Our improved results, along with our strong balance sheet and cash position, provide a solid foundation as we invest in our strategic evolution."