ICT REPORTS REVENUE GROWTH AND SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN EBITDA
ACQUISITIONS AND NEW ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE MARK IMPORTANT STEPS IN STRATEGY EXECUTION
- Revenue up 14% to € 71.8 million, 4% organic growth
- EBITDA came in at € 7.1 million, an increase of 53%
- Strypes Bulgaria contributed significantly; the collaboration with ICT Netherlands resulted in a broadening of the client base and healthy growth
- Net result came in at € 3.6 million (FY 2014: € 5.0 million, incl. € 5.6 million deferred tax benefit)
- The net operational cash flow amounted to € 6.1 million positive in 2015 (2014: € 3.8 million positive)
- Proposed dividend of € 0.24 per share for the year 2015
- For 2016, ICT expects further growth of revenue and EBITDA compared with 2015
Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Automatisering N.V.: “The year 2015 has been a dynamic year for ICT, in which we have made good progress with the implementation of our strategy. The organizational model has been further aligned with ICT’s business approach; customer-centric with a clear focus on the targeted markets. The acquisitions of Strypes and Raster are, in their own way, important steps on our strategic roadmap to becoming a total technology & service provider. Although market circumstances in The Netherlands did improve in 2015 compared to 2014, the market remained challenging. Nevertheless we have been able to realize healthy top line growth, both organically as well as through acquisitions. 2 Furthermore our profitability showed a marked improvement to which all our activities contributed. In 2016, we will continue to execute the defined strategy and further leverage our recent acquisitions. We are confident that this will lead to a further improvement in both revenue and profitability.”
Progress in 2015 To support clients in the most optimal way, ICT aims to get as close to them as possible by fully understanding the way they operate, their environment and their needs. ICT therefore aligned its organizational structure with its business approach. The change from verticals into business units does not only allow working closer to the markets and customers, but has also rooted ownership and innovation deeper in the business units. The acquisitions done in 2015 all contributed to the strategic goals. From the near shoring capabilities of Strypes to the products from systems integrator Raster. Focus in 2016 ICT continuously works on the execution of its strategic road map. The transition to the business unit structure is expected to fully mature in 2016. Attracting and retaining people remains a top priority, for which providing technological challenge and an entrepreneurial environment is key. Furthermore, ICT will continue to further leverage the recent acquisitions, including a more effective utilisation of the near-shoring capacity of Strypes, plus the state-of-the-art LogicNets platform. Raster will team up with the ICT industrial automation business to open up new markets. In addition the acquisition of BMA in February 2016 further enhances ICT’s position in the field of Smarter Health.
Notes to the results
As of 2015, in line with IFRS requirements and the new reporting and organizational structure, ICT Netherlands (ICT NL) and ICT Nearshoring (Strypes Bulgaria) are presented as separate segments. The other individual legal entities, comprising ICT Poland, Improve Quality Services and Raster, are presented aggregated as ‘Other’. ICT’s revenue came in at € 71.8 million in 2015, an increase of 14% on the € 63.0 million reported in 2014. Revenue increased organically by 4%, driven by a modest market improvement, enabling a slight increase in average tariffs and FTE. Revenue at ICT Netherlands improved slightly, to € 61.0 million in 2015 from € 60.3 million in 2014. The challenging conditions in the Oil and Gas industry indirectly impacted the Industrial Automation activities of ICT in the Netherlands and resulted in lower secondment demand from customers. The second half of the year did however show an improvement over the first half of 2015. Furthermore, licences and materials sales were lower, mainly due to lower licence sales related to the LogicNets platform. ICT realised profitable growth in all other markets. ICT managed to record positive results in the High Tech, Water & Infrastructure, Automotive and Logistics markets. This is in line with expectations, and reflects the improvement in economic conditions. The relatively modest sized Healthcare and Energy activities realised higher growth percentages. ICT further expanded the Healthcare and Energy operations by winning new assignments and starting new commercial partnerships. Strypes Bulgaria (ICT Nearshoring) recorded revenue of € 5.7 million. Strypes’ broadened client base decreased the firm’s dependency on its largest client. The commercial collaboration between ICT Netherlands and Strypes Bulgaria was an important contributor to the growth of ICT’s nearshoring activities. The segment ‘other’ (Improve, ICT Poland and Raster) recorded revenue of € 6.2 million. Improve and ICT Poland profited from better market circumstances. The companies gained new customers and consequently revenue improved. Raster contributed to revenue for one quarter of 2015 in the segment ‘other’ and performed in line with expectations. Cost of sales The cost of materials and subcontractors increased € 0.5 million to € 6.2 million in 2015 (2014: € 5.7 million). This increase was the net effect of an increase of € 0.9 million due to the acquisitions of Strypes 3 and Raster and a net drop of € 0.4 million in the cost of sales at ICT Netherlands, due to lower LogicNets licence sales. Costs / personnel expenses Personnel costs increased overall to € 43.5 million (2014: € 40.2 million), mainly as a result of the increase in number of employees. As Strypes is the main contributor to this increase, the average cost per FTE decreased. Other operating expenses also increased as a result of the acquisition of Strypes and Raster. ICT incurred costs and made outlays on office accommodation, marketing & sales and for the improvement of finance and human resources processes. As in 2014, ICT once again incurred costs in connection with the investigation and realisation of acquisitions and partnerships. In 2015, these costs amounted to € 0.6 million (2014: € 0.8 million). EBITDA for the full year 2015 increased by 53% to € 7.1 million, compared to € 4.7 million in 2014. The acquisition of Strypes made a strong contribution to this improvement, adding € 1.6 million. Organic increase of EBITDA amounted to 13.6%. The EBITDA margin increased from 7.4% to 9.9% in 2015. Amortisation and depreciation The acquisition of Strypes Bulgaria was completed on 6 January of last year. On the basis of the Purchase Price Allocation, ICT has valued the company’s order backlog and customer relations; the latter to be amortised over a period of five years as from acquisition date. As a result, amortisation for 2015 amounted to € 1.2 million (a € 543,000 one-off on backlog and € 650,000 on customer relations). ICT completed the acquisition of Raster on 16 September 2015. The Preliminary Purchase Price Allocation valued the software and customer relations at € 4.2 million combined, to be amortised over a period of six and eight years respectively, resulting in an annual amortisation of € 620,000. As Raster was only acquired in September of last year, amortisation amounted to € 154,000 in 2015. Depreciation for the year 2015 amounted to € 0.5 million (2014: € 0.3 million). The operating profit amounted to € 5.3 million in 2015 (2014: € 3.2 million). The operating margin was 7.4%, compared to 5.0% in 2014. Result from Joint Ventures The result from joint venture InTraffic amounted to € 0.3 million. InTraffic performed well and in line with last year. Result from associates The result from associates, mainly ICT’s participation in LogicNets, was negative. Sales of the LogicNets software platform are lagging. ICT firmly believes in the strategic importance of the platform, but given the delay in the roll-out of the platform ICT revalued its stake in LogicNets. This resulted in a downward valuation of € 0.4 million in the last quarter of 2015, bringing the result from associates to a loss of € 0.6 million in 2015. Corporate income tax amounted to € 1.1 million in 2015. In 2014 taxes amounted to € 4.3 million positive mainly as a result of a deferred tax benefit of € 5.6 million in the Netherlands, related to the liquidation of the German subsidiary. Net profit for the year amounted to € 3.6 million, compared with € 7.8 million (or € 3.4 million adjusted for the € 5.6 million deferred tax benefit and € 1.2 million impairment charges) in 2014. This translates into earnings per ordinary share of € 0.41. The number of outstanding ordinary shares remained unchanged during the year at 8,747,544.
Q4 2015 results
Revenue in Q4 2015 increased 22% to € 20.1 million compared to the last quarter of 2014 (€ 16.5 million). The fourth quarter EBITDA showed, in line with the full year, 49% growth to € 2.3 million (2014: € 1.6 million).
Cash flow movement
The group cash (and cash equivalents) position amounted to € 6.7 million at year-end 2015, compared to € 11.3 million at year-end 2014. The net operational cash flow amounted to € 6.1 million positive in 2015 (2014: € 3.8 million positive). Cash flow from investment activities amounted to € 11.8 million negative, compared to € 0.3 million positive cash flow in 2014. The largest impact on the cash flow from investment activities in 2015 came from the net investments less cash acquired related to the acquisition of Strypes (€ 3.9 million) and Raster (€ 6.8 million). Dividends paid to shareholders of ICT N.V. amounted € 2.0 million (2014: € 1.3 million). The net cash flow amounted to € 4.7 million negative (2014: € 2.7 million positive).
Balance sheet structure
As a result of the net effect of dividend paid of € 2 million and net profit of € 3.6 million, shareholders’ equity increased to € 35.5 million. The balance sheet total increased to € 58.2 million at year-end 2015, from € 49.4 million at year-end 2014, as a result of the acquisitions made last year. Raster was partly financed through an acquisition financing facility of € 3.0 million, while the balance sheet total also includes an earn-out obligation of € 1.5 million for Strypes. Solvency (shareholders’ equity/total assets) stood at 61% at year-end 2015, compared with 69% at year-end 2014, which represents a very sound financial basis.
Renewed and extended credit facility
To create room for the execution of ICT’s buy and build strategy, ICT renewed and extended its credit facilities in the third quarter of 2015. The renewed facility consists of three credit facilities. The first facility of € 1.5 million is used for providing guarantees and securities. The second credit facility amounts to € 6 million; this is committed and can be used for working capital financing. The third credit facility also amounts to € 6 million and can be used to finance acquisitions. An amount of € 3 million of the acquisition facility was used for the acquisition of Raster in the third quarter of 2015.
In the past year, ICT was able to hire 127 FTE. 81 of these were young professionals, while 46 were more experienced seniors. The total number of employees at year-end 2015 was 21% higher than at year-end 2014. This was due to acquisitions and increased recruitment efforts. Attrition of staff remained acceptable at 11 %.
ICT shall propose to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to be held on 11 May 2016 that a dividend be paid out for the 2015 financial year in the amount of € 0.24 per share in cash, based on the number of ordinary shares outstanding at year-end 2015. For the purpose of the calculation of the proposed dividend, the net profit is adjusted for the non-cash amortisation amounts and the downward valuation of LogicNets. This results in an adjusted net profit for the full year 2015 of € 5.3 million. The proposed dividend of € 0.24 per share represents a pay-out ratio of 40% of the adjusted net profit.
Significant events after the balance sheet date
On 5 February 2016, ICT acquired 51% of the shares of BMA (Bureau Medische Automatisering), a leading Dutch Healthcare software company based in Houten. The purchase consideration for 51% of the shares amounts to € 3.2 million in total and comprises a cash payment of € 2.4 million and an amount paid in (newly issued) ICT shares of € 0.8 million (97,707 shares).
Composition of the Supervisory Board
The term of Mr. Deepak Luthra expires in 2016. The General Meeting to be held on 11 May 2016, will be asked to reappoint Mr. Luthra for a second four-year term.
ICT’s primary focus continues to be the execution of its strategy. ICT will further leverage the acquisitions of Strypes, Raster and BMA. ICT continues to aim for organic growth in combination with growth through acquisitions. ICT expects the capital expenditures and research & development expenditures for 2016 to be in line with those recorded in 2015. For 2016 we expect the growth in the number of FTE to be in line with our revenue development. Given the strategic progress made and its acquisitions, ICT expects a further improvement in revenue and EBITDA in 2016 compared with 2015, despite continued challenging conditions in various geographical markets and industries. 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. In this press release, where information has been presented in thousands or millions of units, amounts may have been rounded. Accordingly, totals of columns or rows of numbers in tables or charts may not be equal to the apparent sum of the individual items. Actual numbers may differ from those contained herein due to such rounding. 2015 financial information The 2015 financial information included in the Extracts from Consolidated Financial Statements attached to this press release are derived from the Annual Report 2015. This Annual Report has been authorized for issue. The Annual Report has not yet been published by law and still has to be adopted by the Annual General Meeting on 16 May, 2016. In accordance with section 393, title 9, book 2 of the Netherlands Civil Code, Deloitte Accountants B.V. has issued an unqualified auditor’s opinion on the Annual Report. Annexes: Extracts from Consolidated Financial Statements 2015 – Consolidated statement of total comprehensive income – Consolidated balance sheet – Consolidated statement of changes in equity – Consolidated statement of cash flows – Other financial information – Segment information Click here to download the Annex of the Annual Results of 2015