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Revenue growth of 6%; COVID-19 impact limited in Q1

Highlights Q1 2020

  • Revenue in Q1 2020 up 6% to € 41.6 million (Q1 2019: € 39.4 million), organically flat
  • EBITDA decreased 7% to € 4.5 million (Q1 2019: € 4.8 million) due to lower productivity levels
  • COVID-19 impact was limited in Q1, effects will be more significant as of April.
    Due to the uncertainty of the extent and duration of the crisis, the full year impact cannot be estimated yet
  • Multiple precautionary measures taken to cut costs and to preserve cash
  • Decision not to distribute 2019 dividend

Key figures

(in € millions) Q1 2020 Q1 2019 Δ
Revenue 41.6 39.4 6%
EBITDA 4.5 4.8 -7%

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Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.:
“After a weak fourth quarter last year we saw productivity levels slowly but steadily improving over the first quarter of 2020, on balance resulting in organic revenue coming in at the same level as the first quarter last year. Obviously, COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on economic activities since mid-February, also in some of the markets ICT is operating in. The impact on the performance of ICT was still rather limited in the first quarter of 2020. Around 95% of our activities for our clients can be done remotely.

Nevertheless we anticipate that the impact will deepen the longer the lockdown measures continue. Although our order portfolio is currently well filled and we benefit from being well-diversified in both activities and exposure to various sectors, we notice a slowdown in order intake. Therefore we expect that it will become more challenging to sustain performance levels at the level of the first quarter. Particularly secondment services will be affected. Our projects in R&D Engineering and vital infrastructures are less sensitive to a sudden economic downturn, but might follow suit if the economic uncertainty persists.

We remain confident that we are well positioned to benefit when economic activity rebounds. Our measures are geared at increasing our business agility, whilst working to retain our professional workforce. This will allow us to weather the current crisis, and remain well positioned to benefit quickly when business activities return to normal levels.”

Financial developments

In the first quarter of 2020 revenue increased by 6% to € 41.6 million from € 39.4 million in the same period last year. This increase is attributable to the acquisitions of Additude (consolidated as of February 2019), BNV Mobility (consolidated as of April 2019) and Proficium (consolidated as of November 2019). Organically, revenue was at the same level as Q1 last year.

EBITDA decreased 7% to € 4.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 compared to € 4.8 million in the same period in 2019. This decrease is fully attributable to the lower productivity levels that, despite an improving trend throughout the quarter, are still lower for the full quarter compared with the same period last year.

The EBITDA margin came in at 10.9% (Q1 2019: 12.3%).

At ICT Netherlands the productivity levels, although improving, were lower than the strong performance in this segment in Q1 last year. The impact from COVID-19 was especially noticeable in the sectors Machines & Systems and Logistics & Transport. In the public domain of Infra & Mobility performance is stable. The productivity in the healthcare activities has slightly improved.

The nearshoring activities in Bulgaria performed well with increased revenues. The productivity levels of the Swedish activities are still lower than anticipated, although representing an improvement compared to the fourth quarter 2019.

In the segment ‘Other’, Improve has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak as the market for trainings has stalled. OrangeNXT performed in line with expectations, despite the difficulty to gain new sales orders in the current environment.

COVID-19 measures

ICT anticipates that the impact from COVID-19 will deepen the longer the lockdown measures persist. Therefore ICT is taking necessary measures to cut and control costs, and remaining focused on cash management. ICT has proactively reached out to its financing banks to discuss extension of its loans and to postpone redemption schedules. ICT will also consider opting for the various governmental business support measures as and when necessary.

In view of the necessary prudence, ICT has decided to withdraw its intended 2019 dividend proposal and to propose to the AGM to retain all earnings.

ICT offers support for the obstetric care of pregnant women with a medical risk. ICT Healthcare has decided to make its product Sense4Baby, a portable and wireless system for pregnancy monitoring at home, available free of charge during the Corona crisis.

Outlook

Given the uncertainty about the length and depth of the virus outbreak and its impact on the global economy, we refrain from giving an outlook for 2020. We continue to believe in the ongoing digital transformation in all the markets we operate in. We remain fully committed to deliver on our mid-term objective of increasing annual revenue to between € 200 and € 230 million, with a targeted EBITDA margin between 13% and 15%. However, the timelines for achieving these objectives could be impacted by the current crisis.

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