Q3 2020 results ICT Group

Strong third quarter; Revenue up 7%, EBITDA increased by 47%

Highlights Q3 2020

  • Revenue up 7% to € 38.3 million (Q3 2019: € 35.9 million), organic revenue growth 3.5%
  • EBITDA increased 47% to € 4.7 million (Q3 2019: € 3.2 million); reflecting the effect of measures taken in H1
  • EBITDA margin increased to 12.2% compared to 8.8% in Q3 2019

Highlights 9M 2020

  • Revenue increased 3% to € 119.7 million (9M 2019: € 115.7 million)
  • Organic growth in Q3 compensated the slowdown earlier this year, resulting in flat organic growth YTD
  • EBITDA was up 13% to € 13.5 million (9M 2019: € 12.0 million)

Outlook

  • Management increases outlook: EBITDA full year 2020 expected in the range of
    € 18 to € 19 million

Key figures

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.:
“We are pleased with the results achieved in the third quarter. The recovery that started in June continued during the summer months, resulting in productivity reaching the desired levels again towards the end of Q3. This translated in a positive revenue growth trend year to date. Business activity allowed for hiring again from June onwards, driving organic growth in the third quarter. 

To date COVID-19 is having a limited impact on the business, primarily impacting the secondment activities, while the project business sustained its favourable development. Our nearshoring activities in Bulgaria continue their strong performance. 

The cost reduction measures taken in the first half year are bearing fruit as evidenced by the strong increase in EBITDA in the third quarter, resulting in a solid improvement of our EBITDA margin to 12.2%. 

Although uncertainties in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic limit our visibility, we increase our outlook for the remainder of the year, based on the strong third quarter results and the effects of the measures taken.” 

Financial developments

In the third quarter of 2020 revenue increased by 7% to € 38.3 million from € 35.9 million in the same period last year. This increase is partly attributable to the acquisition of Proficium in November 2019 and Esprit in July 2020. Organically, revenue increased 3.5% compared to the third quarter 2019, following the recovery in productivity levels. For the first nine months of 2020 revenue came in at € 119.7 million, a 3% increase compared to the same period last year.

EBITDA showed an increase of 47% to € 4.7 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to € 3.2 million in the same period in 2019. The measures taken in the first half of the year to streamline the organisation and increase efficiency, impacting both direct and indirect costs, have paid off. Combined with the recovered productivity levels, this resulted in improved  profitability. The EBITDA margin increased to 12.2% (Q3 2019: 8.8%). Year-to-date the margin was 11.3% (YTD 2019: 10.4%).

Productivity levels improved in the third quarter, although COVID-19 continued to impact especially the secondment business. The nearshoring activities in Bulgaria performed very well, benefiting from projects being outsourced to Bulgaria. This resulted in increased revenue and improved margins.

To cover the employee participation plan and the LTI-plan (Long Term Incentive) of the Executive Board, ICT issued new shares to preserve cash. 132,096 new ordinary shares were issued, representing an increase of 1.4% of the outstanding share capital. The shares have been admitted to trading on 11 September 2020 after which the number of outstanding shares total 9.697.106 shares.

Outlook

Barring unforeseen circumstances, in particular the economic uncertainties related to COVID-19, management expects that revenue in the second half of 2020 will be higher than in the first half of 2020 with EBITDA for the full year 2020 expected to be in the range of € 18 to € 19 million.

Furthermore we continue to strongly believe in the attractiveness of the long term market perspectives as the digital transformation will continue 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%.

Improve once again ranked #3 in best IT-trainers in the Netherlands

We are very proud to announce that Improve, an ICT Group company, is once again ranked among the best IT-trainers in the Netherlands by Computable. According to the ranking list of Computable, Improve has achieved the 3rd position for the second time in a row, with an improved score from 8.74 in 2019 to 9.48 in 2020.

The trainers were assessed on various factors. Improve receives the highest position for:
* The involvement of the teachers/trainers.
* The level of the teachers/trainers.
* The applicability of the teaching material in practice.
* The value of the diploma or certificate.

Click here to see the full ranking list.

Additude Academy: Digital information meetings on September 30

Excellent software developers are rare, especially if the professional also has to meet specific requirements. Techrecruiter Additude, an ICT Group company, specialises in finding the right candidate at the right company. Within its own Academy, Additude trains candidates on behalf of and according to the wishes of the client.

At the beginning of 2020, Additude started organising intensive training programs. Such as the PLC Engineer training program, which will start in the autumn of 2020. Additude will train a group of PLC Engineers in this program, who will work for a client after completion. This is carried out on behalf of five companies:

– Network operator TenneT
– CoNet (IT-specialist in the industrial sector)
– Systeemintegrator EKB
– Kaak Group (supplier of equipment for industrial bakeries)
– Indeff

Additude organised five digital information meetings on Wednesday 30th of September to recruit new participants and to inform them about the training program. The training starts in October, whereby the training path consists of three parts:

Part 1: Personal leadership
In this training the candidates develop their competences in the field of collaboration, communication, personal presentation, personal effectiveness and decisiveness.

Part 2: Theoretical course
The theoretical course focuses mainly on the PLC domain and Scrum. The turnaround time is two weeks and the course is concluded with an assessment in PLC and PSM1.

Part 3: Practical course
As part of the total course, it is very important that the theoretical knowledge acquired is applied in practice. The junior PLC Engineers work in scrum teams and in sprints to deliver a functioning “application”.

NedMobiel and Proficium join forces and continue as INNOCY B.V.

ICT Group N.V. divisions NedMobiel and Proficium together comprise the consultancy and engineering firm of the future. With effect from 1 October 2020, they will operate under the name INNOCY B.V.

While the INNOCY name may be new to the market, NedMobiel and Proficium have more than proven their mettle in the Infrastructure industry. Over the past few years, for example, they were involved in the development of nearly every new road and railway tunnel in the Netherlands. They were responsible for ensuring the safety, management and technology of these connections. They also contributed their consulting expertise to almost all DBFM (Design, Build, Finance and Maintenance) contracts in the Netherlands. INNOCY’s services are aimed at the full lifecycle of complex infrastructure projects.

In this new partnership, INNOCY combines the strengths of both technical service providers, as well as adding new services such as data & information and infrastructure development, thereby ensuring full control of all aspects of the infrastructure lifecycle and enabling the provision of integral services. In addition, INNOCY can provide support in the development of strategies, concepts and design solutions in a variety of areas, including sustainability, mobility, climate change, shortage of raw materials, urbanisation and Smart Cities. INNOCY is a true LIFECYCLE MASTER.

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group: “We are extremely pleased with the added value of INNOCY within our Smart Cities proposition. The merger of these two successful companies will allow us to offer our customers even better and more comprehensive services. INNOCY provides solutions for all levels of an organisation and efficiently links the strategic and operational levels.”

INNOCY B.V. has its registered offices in Breukelen, the Netherlands:
De Corridor 14T
3621 ZB Breukelen, the Netherlands

+31 (0)88 584 1000
info@innocy.nl
www.innocy.nl

ICT Group opens new head office in Rotterdam

As of September, the head office of ICT Group has been relocated to the center of Rotterdam. Our new office is based on the 19th floor of the FIRST Office Building. The current Barendrecht office will be used for our project related business.

Jos Blejie: “We are very happy that when we needed to expand we were able to obtain office space in this new building, as FIRST Rotterdam received an “Excellent certificate” from BREEAM-NL because of its sustainability.”

ICT Group Rotterdam

The main installations in the new building include approximately 200 solar panels, which are located on the roof of the building. An underground cold-heat storage heats and cools the entire building. Apart from this the building is equipped with a greywater circuit, which uses rainwater to flush toilets. These utilities fit perfectly in ICT Group’s focus on sustainability. Furthermore its location opposite to Rotterdam Central Station, makes the building easily accessible by public transport.

Our new address is:
ICT Group N.V.
Weena 788
3014 DA Rotterdam

We look forward to welcoming you at our new office, where we of course comply with all regulations regarding Covid-19.

Woody chooses Additude Sweden as new digital partner

Swedish building supplier Woody Bygghandel and Additude Sweden, an ICT Group company, initiate a major co-operation around E-commerce and the digital area, as Woody now wants to take the next step in their digitalization process. Woody uses modern techniques to offer new services, better availability and better service to both customers and the local builder merchants of the Woody group.

The partnership involves both recruitment of key personnel to strengthen Woody’s competence in the digital area as well as new development, management and support of Plattan – Woody’s solution for E-commerce and Digital Business. The agreement also includes migrating Plattan to the Microsoft Azure platform.

Peter Sjödahl, CEO of Woody Bygghandel, says that “Additude SE is a complete supplier that works with cutting edge technology and has the ability to offer all the skills and services that Woody needs in the area of E-Commerce and digital business. With Additude as a new partner, Woody  will move their positions forward in E-Commerce and the digital business, both centrally, for local part-owners and customers.”

Sam Aston, CEO of Additude, indicates that “for Additude it is both a privilege and a confirmation of the competence of our company to be a part of Woody’s journey and digitization process. Woody Bygghandel, with its long and successful history in its field, is in the middle of an exciting journey to renew the business and further apply modern IT technology for both partners and B2B customers. We are proud to have the privilege of helping Woody with this”, Sam Aston concludes.

ABOUT THE COMPANIES:
Additude, with head office in Malmö, Sweden, is a modern IT consulting firm with leading consultants in innovation, tech and headhunting. The combination of breadth, range of services and the deep specialization of each unit makes Additude a strong partner that can deliver both support in innovation, strategic advice and complete technology solutions in construction, design, electronics, embedded systems and software.

Woody Bygghandel, founded in 1944, is one of the leading building suppliers in Sweden. The chain is owned by 50 local builder merchants with a total over 100 stores all over Sweden and on Åland that work together in areas such as purchasing, marketing, IT, environment & sustainability as well as education.

To know more about the collaboration, watch this video.

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H1 2020 results ICT Group

Solid first half 2020

Highlights H1 2020

  • Revenue in H1 2020 increased 2% to € 81.4 million (H1 2019: € 79.8 million), organically down 1.3%
  • EBITDA was stable at € 8.9 million (H1 2019: € 8.8 million)
  • COVID-19 impact was limited in Q1, effects were more visible in April and May and as of June productivity recovered
  • Precautionary measures taken to cut costs and to preserve cash already bear fruits as of June
  • Revised financing agreement in place, including additional € 10 million credit facility and extension of repayment schedule
  • Management expects revenue and EBITDA for the second half of 2020 to be in line with the first half of 2020

Key figures

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.:
“First and foremost I would like to thank our clients and employees for their flexibility and loyalty during these uncertain times. It shows that passion for technology unites and continues also when working from home. Pre-corona we saw productivity levels steadily improving; however the crisis impacted productivity in April and May. During June productivity levels increased again. Revenue slightly increased in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year. Particularly our secondment services in Sweden and the Netherlands were impacted by COVID-19. Our activities in Bulgaria showed a substantial organic growth. Overall our projects in high tech and public infrastructure continued at the same level as before COVID-19. We also saw the favourable development of our SAAS (software as a service) activities continue. Our diversified revenue portfolio offers strength and resilience.

As evidenced by the performance in June, we are well positioned to benefit quickly when business activities overall would return again to normal levels. Based on this positive trend we expect the results in the second half of the year to be in line with the first half of 2020. In addition we continue to strongly believe in the attractiveness of the long term market perspectives as the digital transformation will continue in all the markets we operate in.”

COVID-19 measures

In light of the COVID-19 crisis ICT has taken necessary measures to cut and control costs, with a strong focus on cash management. These measures already have an effect as of June. ICT did not apply for governmental support (NOW – 1) in the Netherlands.

ICT concluded a revised financing agreement which includes an additional € 10 million government secured facility by Rabobank, to provide ICT with a back-up financing facility in case the crisis would further intensify. Furthermore, we agreed on a 6-month extension of the redemption schedule and a temporary increase of the net debt / EBITDA ratio to 3.5.

Personnel

At 30 June 2020, ICT Group employs 1,503 people (1,453 FTEs), around 2.4% higher than at year-end 2019.

Notes to the results

Performance ICT Group
ICT Group’s revenue came in at € 81.4 million in the first half of 2020, a 2.0% increase compared to € 79.8 million reported in H1 2019. Organically, excluding acquisitions and divestments, revenue decreased by 1.3%.

Personnel costs increased to € 49.1 million (H1 2019: € 46.4 million), in line with the increase in FTE’s and salary increases.

Other operating expenses decreased from € 10.6 million in H1 2019 to € 9.6 million in the first half of 2020, mainly as a result of the measures taken in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The costs related to strategic initiatives in H1 2020 amounted to € 0.1 million compared to € 0.5 million in H1 2019.

For the first six months of 2020 EBITDA was more or less stable at € 8.9 million, compared to € 8.8 million in the comparable period in 2019. The EBITDA margin decreased slightly to 10.9% (H1 2019: 11.1%).

Performance per segment

Engineering R&D
In this segment, ICT is active in the R&D of the industrial sectors Automotive, High Tech and Machine Building.
The HighTech activities were not impacted by COVID-19 and are performing in line with expectations. We do see an impact in the Automotive activities, but at the same time the sales funnel looks promising. The Machine & Systems unit, in particular the secondment business, was impacted significantly. Customers are scaling back development programmes, which is impacting productivity. We do however see customers starting up again.

Industrial Automation
In this segment Logistics & Transport, Industry and Outsourced services are the key markets for ICT.
This segment serves customers that have been heavily impacted by the crisis. Especially the activities in the units Logistics &Transport and Industry were significantly impacted in the second quarter. However we do see demand increasing again.

Infra & Mobility
In the public domain ICT focuses on services around capital assets in the area of Water, Energy, Road and Rail infrastructure as well as Mobility.
This segment experienced little impact of COVID-19. Many projects in the public domain are continuing, however we do see some pressure on secondment activities within the Water & Infra unit. The TURNN entity, ICT’s Mobility as a Service activities, continued its positive development. After a number of successful pilots the first customer contracts, with both municipalities and large companies, were won and completed.

Healthcare Technology
The performance of the Healthcare unit is affected by COVID-19. This is mainly the case at the consultancy activities that were already operating at lower productivity levels before the crisis. The activities focused on the sale of the foetal care products did show a positive performance.

Bulgaria
ICT’s nearshoring entity Strypes saw a further increase in customer demand, which translated into substantial organic growth. Our strategic decision to accelerate our nearshoring activities clearly paid off. Strypes is well positioned to capitalize upon the increasing demand for nearshoring activities. The integration of Kodar and Up2 is ongoing and progressing according to plan. EBITDA margins further increased during the first half of 2020.

Sweden
Additude, acquired in February 2019, is now fully integrated into ICT. Also here COVID-19 had an impact in the second quarter. On the other hand one of the largest contracts was recently prolonged. Hiring activities are under pressure from COVID-19, therefore recovery of the margins is lagging behind.

Other
The segment ‘Other’ includes a number of small entities as well as the holding costs of the group. As Improve is mainly engaged in trainings, the second quarter was heavily impacted by COVID-19. OrangeNXT is performing in line with plan although COVID-19 is putting some pressure on the growth rate. Nevertheless OrangeNXT progresses out of the start-up phase and realised a small profit. The results of the German and Belgian entities have been slightly positive.

Other financial information

ICT has attributed a value to and is amortising several intangible assets, including order backlog, software and customer relations of its acquisitions. Amortisation in the first half of 2020 amounted to € 2.6 million (H1 2019: € 2.6 million). Depreciation for the first half of 2020 amounted to € 3.5 million (H1 2019: € 3.1 million).

The result from associates amounted to a profit of € 0.4 million (H1 2019: € 0.3 million loss). The profit was mainly the result of a one-off gain realised at one of the associates.

Financing expenses came in at € 0.6 million in the first six months of 2020 (H1 2019: € 0.5 million).

Taxes in the first half of 2020 amounted to € 0.5 million compared with € 0.5 million in the first half of 2019.

Reported net profit for the first six months of 2020 came in at € 2.1 million (H1 2019: € 2.5 million). In the net profit for H1 2019 a one-off accounting gain of € 0.7 million was included as a result of the revaluation of ICT Group’s stake in GreenFlux. The earnings per share came in at € 0.20 (H1 2019: € 0.27). The number of outstanding ordinary shares were stable compared to year-end 2019 and amounted to 9,565,010.

Cash flow movement

In the first half of the year, net operational cash flow increased significantly to € 6.8 million positive (H1 2019: € 3.8 million positive), partly due to postponement of tax payments. Also the net cash position increased and amounted to € 8.0 million positive per 30 June 2020 (31 December 2019: € 5.8 million positive). This increase was the result of the positive effect of cash preserving measures including the resolution at the AGM not to declare a dividend and the extension of the redemption schedule of the company’s loans, combined with the positive development of the operational cash flow.

Balance sheet structure

At the end of the first half of 2020, shareholders’ equity stood at € 56.6 million (31 December 2019: € 54.5 million). The balance sheet total increased from € 124.4 million at year-end 2019 to € 129.3 million at 30 June 2020. Solvency (shareholders’ equity/total assets) was unchanged at 44% at the end of June 2020 (44% at year-end 2019), reflecting a sound financial basis.

Outlook

Long term market perspectives remain attractive as 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%.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, in particular in relation to COVID-19, management expects that revenue and EBITDA in the second half of 2020 will be in line with the first half of 2020.

In these unprecedented times, our diversified revenue portfolio offers strength and resilience, while we put the well-being and safety of our employees and customers first at all times.

Click here to download the Annex: Condensed consolidated interim financial statements 30 June 2020

ICT acquires Esprit Management & IT Services

ICT Group N.V. (ICT) has acquired 100% of the shares of Esprit Management & IT Services B.V. (Esprit). Esprit was founded in 1999 and is active in technical software development and recruitment services in the technical automation domain. It employs over 20 professionals and generates annual turnover of around € 2 million.

After an initial integration period Esprit and Additude Netherlands, the Dutch branch of the Swedish company Additude acquired by ICT in 2019, will be merged. The strong reputation of Additude in recruitment services combines perfectly with the excellent position of Esprit in recruitment and consulting services in technical software development. Their combined offering will broaden ICT’s services to its clients and also open up an additional part of the labor market for ICT. Marc Reijnen, founder of Esprit, will lead the integration and further development of this new combination within ICT.

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT: “I am pleased with Esprit becoming part of ICT. Esprit has a strong and consistent track record within the industrial automation sector and embedded software development in the Netherlands, offering both synergies as well as complementary services to ICT. We welcome Esprit to the ICT Group and to become part of the ambition to lead the ongoing digitalisation for our clients.”

ICT Group convenes extraordinary meeting of shareholders

ICT Group N.V. (ICT) today published the convocation for its Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders (EGM) that will be held via a live video-webcast on Thursday 20 August 2020. The key agenda item is the proposal to appoint Janneke Niessen
(1977, Dutch nationality) as member of the Supervisory Board.

The EGM will be organized in the same manner as the recent AGM, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and following the Emergency-Act. The EGM will only be electronically accessible for shareholders via a live video-webcast. Shareholders can vote through an electronic proxy and have the opportunity to submit questions to ICT prior to the EGM at bava2020@ict.nl.

ICT Group nominates Janneke Niessen for appointment to Supervisory Board

ICT Group N.V. (ICT) today announces the nomination of Mrs. Janneke Niessen for appointment as member of the Supervisory Board of ICT Group. Her nomination made by the Supervisory Board will be on the agenda of an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 20 August 2020. The convocation for this meeting will be published shortly.

Janneke Niessen (1977, Dutch nationality) is a serial entrepreneur and investor. In the past she has started and exited 2 international tech companies. She is co-initiator of InspiringFifty, an initiative that aims to increase diversity in tech by making female role models more visible. Mrs. Niessen furthermore holds supervisory and advisory board positions at various organisations, including Codam and FutureNL.

Theo van der Raadt, chairman of the Supervisory Board of ICT Group: “We are very pleased with the nomination of Janneke Niessen as member of the Supervisory Board of ICT Group. Her broad and extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor in sectors related to digitalisation and Industry 4.0 as well as her involvement with many start-ups, both as mentor and investor, will be highly valuable to the company.”

This press release contains information that qualifies as inside information within the meaning of Article 7(1) of the EU Market Abuse Regulation.