H1 2017 RESULTS: CONTINUED ORGANIC REVENUE GROWTH
– Recent acquisitions integrated –
Highlights H1 2017
- Revenue increased 20% to € 50.7 million, 6% organic growth
- EBITDA up 28% to € 5.3 million (H1 2016: € 4.2 million)
- Net profit at € 2.6 million, an increase of 20% (H1 2016: € 2.1 million)
- Focus in H1 2017 on integration and consolidation of acquisitions
- Continued investments in the organization to support future growth
- Acquisition of high technology automation services provider HTS
- Outlook 2017: ICT expects further growth in revenue and EBITDA in the second half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2017
Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.: “In the past six months we have prioritized the integration of the acquisitions of the past year to safeguard a proper basis to consolidate future potential, without losing focus on driving organic growth. Nozhup, that is now fully integrated, contributes positively to the Group’s results. With our latest acquisition HTS, that will primarily service Smart Industries, we passed the milestone of 1,000 employees. With this increased group of dedicated professionals, we are fully committed to further executing the company strategy, making the world a little smarter every day. We also continued our investments in the organization, companywide, to ensure a stronger foundation on which we can further build our company. We are confident about the second half of the year and therefore expect further growth in revenue and EBITDA in the second half compared to the first half of 2017.
In June 2017 ICT acquired High Tech Solutions B.V. (“HTS”), a Dutch based well-respected industrial automation project and services provider. HTS employs 25 professionals on an HBO / academic level. HTS delivers consultancy services in various markets within the domain of Smarter Industries.
During the first six months of 2017 we continued our investments in new platforms and start-ups. Developments at ICT Mobile are promising and a new platform was launched together with start-up company Valuemaat.
By the end of the first half of 2017, ICT passed the mark of 1,000 employees.
Notes to the results
In the first half year of 2017 ICT Group’s revenue came in at € 50.7 million, up 20% compared to € 42.1 million reported in H1 2016. The revenue growth showed a consistent trend. Organically, excluding the contribution of Nozhup and HTS, revenue increased by 6%. This was driven by an increased number of staff and productivity in line with last year.
Revenue at ICT Netherlands increased 22% to € 39.3 million in H1 2017 from € 32.3 million in the same period last year. The increase is mainly attributable to Nozhup that was acquired in September 2016, and fully integrated within ICT Netherlands in the first half of 2017. Organically, revenue was up approximately 5%. Main contributor to this organic growth was the business unit Automotive. Productivity levels were in line with last year. The average tariff increase was in line with the average salary increase. EBITDA came in at € 3.6 million in H1 2017 (H1 2016: € 2.6 million). Licences and materials sales were in line with last year.
Strypes Bulgaria (“ICT Nearshoring”) reported a 46% increase in revenue from € 3.2 million in H1 2016 to € 4.6 million in the first six months of 2017. In 2016 Strypes started to upgrade the organizational effectiveness to safeguard continued and sustainable strong growth of the nearshoring activities. In the first six months of 2017 these investments, in among others quality controls, continued and will continue in the second half. EBITDA amounted to € 0.9 million in H1 2017 (H1 2016: € 0.6 million).
The segment ‘Other’ recorded revenues of € 7.4 million (H1 2016: € 7.1 million). Improve had a slow start to the year, due to postponement of assignments. Recovery is expected in the second half of 2017. After a good 2016, in 2017 Raster experienced margin pressure as a result of more difficult market circumstances. BMA performed in line with last year.
ICT’s growth strategy focuses on the themes Smarter Industries, Smarter Cities and Smarter Health. Within these themes, ICT delivers added value to its customers.
Due to the acquisitions of Nozhup and HTS growth in the themes Smarter Industries and especially Smarter Cities was higher than in the Smarter Health theme.
Other operating expenses also increased, mainly because of the recent acquisitions. In the first half of 2017 the investment levels were similar to those in 2016. The investments focused primarily on housing and further operational effectiveness of the organisation. In addition, ICT continued investing more heavily in recruitment. The costs related to strategic initiatives and the realisation of acquisitions and partnerships amounted to € 0.1 million (H1 2016: € 0.3 million).
EBITDA for the first six months of 2017 increased by 28% to € 5.3 million, compared to € 4.2 million in the comparable period in 2016. The EBITDA margin increased from 9.9% in H1 2016 to 10.5% in H1 2017. The increased scale, following the acquisitions, leads to a more effective use of the indirect cost base.
Amortisation and depreciation
ICT has attributed a value to and is amortising several intangible assets, including order backlog, software and customer relations of its recent acquisitions. Amortisation in the first half of 2017 included Nozhup and amounted to € 1.2 million (H1 2016: € 0.9 million). Depreciation for the first half of 2017 amounted to € 0.5 million (H1 2016: € 0.3 million).
The operating profit amounted to € 3.7 million in H1 2017 (H1 2016: € 3.0 million). As a result of the higher amortization, the operating margin was 7.2%, at the same level as H1 2016 (7.1%).
Results from joint ventures and associates
The results from InTraffic were in line with last year and contributed € 0.1 million to the results
(H1 2016: € 0.1 million). The total result from joint ventures and associates amounted to a loss of € 0.2 million (H1 2016: € 0.1 million loss).
Interest expenses increased to € 0.3 million in H1 2017, from € 0.2 million in the first six months of 2016, as a result of increased financing for the recent acquisitions.
Taxes in the first half of 2017 amounted to € 0.7 million compared with € 0.7 million in the first half of 2016.
Net profit for the first six months of 2017 increased to € 2.6 million, compared with € 2.1 million in H1 2016. An amount of € 2.5 million is attributable to the shareholders of ICT Group N.V. (H1 2016: € 2.1 million). This translates into earnings per share of € 0.27 (H1 2016: € 0.24). The number of outstanding ordinary shares increased during the first half year 2017 to 9,411,301 (31 December 2016: 9,288,309) due to stock dividend and to the employee share participation plan.
Cash flow movement
In the first half of the year, net operational cash flow amounted to € 0.5 million negative in H1 2017 (H1 2016: € 0.3 million negative). The net cash position per 30 June 2017 decreased to € 1.0 million negative (31 December 2016: € 5.6 million positive). This was mainly due to the purchase price cash consideration of the acquisition of HTS, the payment of dividend, the repayments of existing acquisition financing and investments in housing facilities.
Balance sheet structure
In the first half of 2017, shareholders’ equity increased to € 44.5 million (31 December 2016: € 43.7 million) as a result of the net effect of dividend paid of € 2.1 million, net profit of € 2.6 million, and an equity increase of € 0.3 million as a result of issuing new shares (for the share participation plan for personnel and stock dividend). The balance sheet total increased from € 79.2 million at year-end 2016 to € 84.7 million at 30 June 2017, as a result of the acquisitions in the last six months. Solvency (shareholders’ equity/total assets) stood at 53% at the end of June 2017 (55% at year-end 2016).
At 30 June 2017, ICT Group has 1,014 employees (971 FTEs), around 6% higher than at year-end 2016. The acquisition of HTS, a low attrition in the first half of the year as well as increased recruitment efforts contributed to this increase.
ICT will continue to further leverage the strategic platform it has successfully built over the past years, aimed at organic growth combined with acquisitions. The aim of the acquisition strategy is to achieve strong positions in each of ICT’s three main themes. ICT continues its focus on the smarter themes by further deploying its solutions in Internet of Things enabling a digital transformation for its customers. Overall ICT has benefited from favourable economic circumstances. The markets in which ICT operates are expected to continue this favourable trend in the second half of the year. Some markets, such as Oil and Gas are more challenging than others.
Based on the above, ICT expects further growth in revenue and EBITDA in the second half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2017.