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Press release: Annual Results 2014

Key developments in 4th quarter and full year 2014

Revenue up 4% at € 63.0 million in 2014, as a result of more licence sales and more direct employees. Operating margin from ordinary continuing operations after exceptional items comparable to 2013 at 7%. In the second half of 2014 ICT announced and completed the divestment of its German activities to Alten GmbH. ICT strengthened its partnership with LogicNets Inc. and announced the acquisition of Strypes Bulgaria, a specialist in embedded software development. Sharp increase in net result to € 5.0 million (2013: loss of € 1.1 million), largely due to tax benefit resulting from the liquidation of ICT Software Engineering GmbH. For 2015, ICT expects an further improvement in operating profit from continuing operations compared with 2014.

Key figures

(in millions of €)

FY 2014

FY 2013*

Q4 2014

Q4 2013*

Revenu

63.0

60.8

3.7%

16.7

16.3

2.3%

Operating result from ordinary continuing operations (after exceptional items) (**)

4.4

4.2

1.7

1.2

Result after taxes from discontinued operations

(2.8)

(1.1)

Taxes

4.3

(1.1)

Net result

5.0

(1.1)

(in €)

Earnings per share

0.56

(0.13)

Dividend per share

0.23

0.15

53.3%

(*)  In conformity with IFRS 11, effective 1 January 2014, InTraffic (as a joint venture) is no longer consolidated in the statement of comprehensive income in revenue, costs and EBIT but is presented as a single line item in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income under financial income. The 2013 figures have been accordingly restated for comparison purposes. In conformity with IFRS 5, ICT Germany classifies as “Discontinued operations” following the decision to divest the operations and is presented as a separate line item in the income statement, being the total loss post tax of the German operations for the period as ‘result from discontinued operations’ (**)  Operating profit excluding impairment charges, including exceptional items.

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Automatisering N.V.: “2014 was a year of change for ICT. Not only did we divest our German activities, we have also taken important steps in the execution of our strategy. The acquisition of the strategic stake in our partner LogicNets brings us closer to becoming a multi-disciplinary system integrator. The acquisition of near-shore company Strypes in Bulgaria that we announced at the end of last year was another important step of the presented strategy. It provides us access to lower-cost quality solutions based on rapid development techniques, and a competitive edge in today’s market.  All these actions support us creating a stable platform from which we can further roll out our strategy and can grow our business sustainably. In 2015, we therefore expect to see a further improvement in operating profit from continuing operations compared with 2014.”

Notes to the results

ICT’s revenue came in at € 63.0 million in 2014, compared with € 60.8 million in 2013. As a result of licence sales and the increase in operational hours due to the increased number of direct employees in the Netherlands, ICT was able to realize 3.7% higher revenue than 2013. The license sales were due to the partnership ICT formed with LogicNets. The verticals Machine & Systems (including Energy and Healthcare) and Industrial Automation showed an increase in revenue. The other verticals and Improve Quality Services booked revenue which was in line with 2013.

The cost of sales, mostly material, expenses and outsourced work, increased to € 5.7 million (2013: € 5.0 million), mainly due to increased LogicNets licences.

Largely due to the growing average number of employees, personnel expenses increased to € 40.2 million in 2014 (2013: € 38.4 million). The focus on the reduction of indirect costs continued. In 2014, we renegotiated rental agreements and reduced personnel costs at support functions. Full effect of this will be attributable in 2015.

The operating profit from continuing ordinary operations before exceptional items in 2014 amounted to € 5.2 million (2013: € 5.6 million). This decrease was mainly due to pressure on secondment rates and increased expenses in marketing and sales. The margin was also impacted by the successful recruitment drive for young professionals, who were, as expected, not immediately fully productive.

As in 2013, ICT incurred exceptional costs in 2014 related to the investigation and realisation of strategic combinations. In 2014 these exceptional costs amounted € 0.8 million (2013: € 1.4 million).

The operating profit from continuing ordinary operations after exceptional items in 2014 amounted to   € 4.4 million (2013: € 4.2 million). The operating margin was 7%, in line with 2013.

Despite numerous attempts in recent years to make its German business profitable, ICT concluded in the first half of 2014 that the German activities would not contribute to a positive result in 2014. In view of this and the fact that in Germany ICT did not have the necessary critical mass to serve the multinational corporations, ICT decided to discontinue its German activities. As a result of the decision to divest, ICT Germany is recognised as “Discontinued operations”. The result from this divestment of the operations and the consequent liquidation amounted to a loss of € 2.8 million in 2014 of which € 0.8 million from ordinary operations (2013: loss of € 1.1 million), € 2.0 million from the consequent liquidation of the German subsidiaries.

Improve Quality Services was again critically assessed for goodwill impairment purposes. In the previous two years, ICT booked an impairment of € 4.9 million on the goodwill for Improve Quality Services B.V., due to the development of results over the previous years and the expectation that its profitability would improve albeit at a slower pace than previously believed feasible. In 2014, the results improved versus 2013, but were again lower than our expectations. ICT expects future improvement to be in line with the improvement realised in 2014, resulting in an additional impairment of € 1.2 million.

Corporate income tax related to continuing business activities excluding exceptional items in 2014 amounted € 1.4 million. Combined with a deferred tax benefit of € 5.6 million in the Netherlands, as a result of the liquidation of the German subsidiary, corporate income taxes in 2014 amounted to € 4.3 million positive (2013: € 1.1 million negative).

Net profit for the year amounted to € 5.0 million, compared with a loss of € 1.1 million in 2013. This translates into earnings per ordinary share of € 0.56. The number of outstanding ordinary shares stood at 8,747,544 on 31 December 2014, unchanged from a year ago.

Q4 2014 results

Revenue in Q4 2014 increased slightly to € 16.7 million compared to the last quarter of 2013. An operating result from continuing ordinary operations of € 2.3 million was realized, a slight decrease compared to last year.

Balance sheet structure

Mainly as the result of the addition of the net profit of € 5.0 million for 2014, shareholders’ equity increased to € 34.0 million. The balance sheet total increased by € 2.9 million to € 49.4 million at year-end 2014, from € 46.5 million at year-end 2013, as a result of the investment in LogicNets and the deferred tax asset related to the decision to liquidate the German entity. Solvency (shareholders’ equity/total assets) improved to 68.7% at year-end 2014 from 65.2% at year-end 2013, which represents a very sound basis.

Cash flow development

The net cash flow from continuing operations amounted to € 3.5 million positive in 2014 (2013: € 4.0 million positive) as a result of positive operating profit and a low tax rate due to income tax reimbursement.

Developments within Verticals

Revenue at the Machine & Systems Vertical (including Energy and Healthcare) was up 4.4% at € 29.5 million, from € 28.2 million in 2013. Revenue growth was due to LogicNets License sales and more demand from customers. However, last year saw continued strong pressure on secondment rates. The relatively small Healthcare and Energy Verticals are developing in line with expectations, while the Healthcare Vertical acquired a number of interesting contracts. The operating result was lower than in 2013 and came in at € 2.6 million (2013: € 3.1 million). The operating margin was lower in 2014, largely as a result of pressure on secondment rates and slightly lower productivity. The drop was partly compensated by increased operating margins as a result of LogicNets license sales.

The revenue at the Logistics Vertical was in line with 2013 at € 9.3 million. During the second and the third quarters of the year, this vertical saw less demand from clients, which had a negative effect on productivity.  As a result the operating result came in at € 0.6 million in 2014 (2013: € 1.0 million).

The Industrial Automation Vertical saw revenue increase by 9.0% to €15.9 million, from € 14.6 million in 2013, due to increased demand for projects, and as a result of project related material sales. The operating result improved to €1.5 million in 2014 from € 0.9 million in 2013, due to the higher customer demand, which in turn resulted in growth in the number of employees and higher productivity. In addition, this vertical also improved its project execution, which led to improved results compared with 2013.

In 2014, revenue at the Automotive Vertical amounted to € 5.6 million, in line with 2013. The vertical realized an operating result of € 0.3 million, which was lower than in 2013 (€ 0.5 million). Demand from customers was in line with 2013. Productivity was particularly high in the first three quarters of 2014, with a slight drop in the fourth quarter. Results were lower than in 2013 due to the hiring of new young professionals, who were not immediately fully productive. In the fourth quarter of the year, results were also negatively impacted as a result of work transferred to Alten GmbH in Germany, the company to which ICT sold its German Automotive activities.

The revenue at Improve Quality Services came in at € 3.2 million in 2014, at the same level as last year. With € 0.3 million, the operating result is better than last year (2013: € 0.2 million), as Improve’s training activities picked up in the Netherlands.

In the first half 2014, the performance of InTraffic B.V. (50/50 joint venture) was lower than expected due to a delay in orders. In the second half of 2014 InTraffic managed to recover. ICT’s share in the net profit for 2014 is € 0.3 million (2013: € 0.3 million).

Personnel

The total number of employees at year-end 2014 was 4% higher than at year-end 2013. This was mainly due to the recruitment of (young) direct professionals. For 2015, we expect the growth in the number of FTEs to be in line with our revenue development.

Dividend

It is proposed to the General Meeting of Shareholders that a dividend will be paid out for the 2014 financial year at the amount of € 0.23 per share in cash based on the number of ordinary shares outstanding at year end 2014. This represents a pay-out ratio of 40% of the net profit, in line with the dividend policy.

Significant events after the balance sheet date

On 6 January 2015, the Group acquired 100% of the shares and voting interests of Strypes Bulgaria. Strypes Bulgaria is a specialist in embedded software development based on modern agile methodologies. The remaining 10% of the shares of Improve was acquired on 1 January 2015 for the amount of € 250,000.

Composition of the Supervisory Board

The term of the Chairman, Mr. Theo van der Raadt and Mr. Friedrich Fröschl expires in 2015.  The Board intends to submit a proposal to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on 13 May 2015 to reappoint Mr. Van der Raadt and Mr. Fröschl for an additional four-year term.

Outlook

ICT’s focus in 2014 was on the execution of its strategy. ICT took additional steps to put its house in order, the most significant of which was the sale of ICT’s Germany-based activities. In the second half of 2014, ICT strengthened its strategic partnership with LogicNets. In January 2015 ICT acquired and obtained control in Strypes, a next-generation agile near-shoring company in Bulgaria. ICT will continue its strategy of offering innovative and effective product/market solutions, enriched with state-of-the-art technology, combining autonomous growth with growth through acquisitions. As a result of the above, for the full year 2015 we expect a further improvement in the operating profit from continuing operations compared with 2014.

Cautionary statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are always based on assumptions and estimates relating to uncertain events over which ICT Automatisering N.V. has no control. They concern, for example, measures taken by the Dutch and other governments, currency movements, price fluctuations, changes in law and regulations, legal precedents and market developments. ICT Automatisering N.V. would like to stress that the contents of this press release are based on the information that is currently available. The reality can always deviate from expectations for the future. ICT Automatisering N.V. has no obligation to update the statements contained in this document, unless required by law.

Annexes: Extracts from Consolidated Financial Statements 2014

  • Consolidated statement of total comprehensive income
  • Consolidated balance sheet
  • Consolidated statement of changes in equity
  • Consolidated statement of cash flows
  • Other financial information

Click here to download the Annex of the Annual Resuls of 2014

Contact for media and press

Carla Stuifzand

Marketing Communications Director / Corporate Spokesperson

t +31 88 90 82 000

e carla.stuifzand@ict.nl

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