ICT certified Microsoft Azure Business Partner

ICT (ICT) has joined a select group of twelve certified Microsoft Azure Business Partners. This was announced during the second edition of the “Graduation Party”, provided by Microsoft. Microsoft recognizes ICT as a partner with a successful “track record” based on Azure. Which means ICT successfully implemented total solutions including service contracts based on own intellectual property (IP) in several customer cases. ICT has been working for many years with Microsoft. This recognition confirms the strong partnership between the two parties. John Koot, IoT Business Development Manager ICT: “ICT was two years ago a Windows Azure Circle Partner. Recognition as a certified partner is the next step to let the market see that we successfully completed projects that are close to the process, whether it is a train or an electric charging station. With our embedded knowledge we connect all the devices together to end up in the Cloud. In the Cloud, we offer thanks to our solution, iOTA (Internet of Things Analytics) Predictive Services Solution, customers the opportunity to turn their data into new services, such as Predictive Maintenance / Diagnostics. This recognition underlines our strategy to provide our customers with tangible solutions around the “Internet of Things” (IoT).” iOTA_Product_Landscape             In the world of IoT, there are many challenges for traditional businesses to look for new revenue models. ICT has developed a program for this. The “Lean Forward Program” is based on the Lean Startup concept adapted to the existing products and services. All this is based on the experience gained and the higher pace of the “Smart Industry”. Designing for IoT is not about solving problems, it is about looking for the possibilities it can offer in the near future. Lean forward program                           The Microsoft Partner Network helps partners to strengthen their knowledge so that these partners are seen as market leaders with knowledge of the latest technology to serve the customers better. For more information on ICTs iOTA Predictive Services Solution, Lean Forward Program, white papers and references, please visit www.predictive-services.com.

Press Release: ICT Automatisering appoints Koen van Wijk as CTO

ICT has appointed Koen van Wijk as CTO (Chief Technology Officer). Following ICT’s new strategy to mix traditional business with new innovative products and solutions, ICT decided to create a new position within the company.

Koen van Wijk (38) has a master degree in Information Technology. After working for companies such as ASML, Bergson and Braincenter he founded Strypes Bulgaria in 2008 and became the company’s CEO. Next to C and Python, Strypes Bulgaria focuses on the delivery of Java and Microsoft technologies according to an agile development methodology. In 6 years time the company has increased its number of employees to over 70 professionals mainly operating for Dutch companies. ICT acquired Strypes Bulgaria last year and completed the transaction early this year.

Next to his responsibility for nearshoring operations Koen van Wijk will, in his new role, be responsible for boosting ICT’s innovation agenda. This includes the development of new leading edge technologies, products and solutions.

Annual Report 2014 ICT Automatisering available online

Today ICT NV (ICT) published its Annual Report for 2014. The report can be found here. ICT invites its shareholders to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM). The meeting takes place on May 13, 2015 in the Novotel Rotterdam, KP van der Mandelelaan 150. The meeting will start at 10 AM. The call for the AGM, the agenda and explanatory documentary is published on the website.

Lloyd’s Register Rail select ICT Automatisering’s iOTA for its Intelligent Rail Services

Lloyd’s Register Rail selecteert ICT’s Internet of Things Analytics (iOTA) product voor de Intelligent Rail Services Lloyd’s Register Rail (LRR) has announced that it has selected iOTA, ICT’s Internet of Things Analytics product, as the basis of the SmartFleet platform for its Intelligent Rail services. ICT delivered the SmartFleet platform and LRR has taken it into operation. Big data is making headway in the rail sector. Rolling stock is fitted with on-board diagnostics systems that register a variety of situations and events. This involves substantial amounts of data. ICT’s iOTA product takes care of the centralised processing and storage of that data and it can also provide various possibilities for analysis of the big data sets. LRR have extensive expertise in the field of materials and processes to translate the raw data into useable information. Consultants from LRR and ICT have together added that expertise to the iOTA solution using a number of specific enrichment and business rules modules. Alexander Bal, Programme Manager Intelligent Rail at LRR says: “SmartFleet enables transport firms to solve problems proactively and improve the quality of their operations. This is another step in the ongoing improvement of our services using IoT and big data technology. The huge quantity of data also allows us to use Business Intelligence technologies to conduct deep analyses, which in turn benefits our customers. This is another area where our cooperation with ICT will be very helpful.” Aart Wegink, Sales Director ICT: “Everybody is talking about ‘The Internet of Things’ these days. The iOTA product enables ICT to translate the Internet of Things into added value for Lloyds. ICT’s big data services translate bulk data into useable and manageable information for its clients. So ICT is very pleased that Lloyds Register Rail has used the iOTA solution for this important step in the creation of new services.” The iOTA platform provides a complete and safe solution for the automated aggregation, consolidation and analysis of this data. iOTA uses the Microsoft Azure public cloud. In addition to LRR, clients such as Heerhugowaard, PowerMatchingCity and GreenFlux are already using ICT’s iOTA technology. The iOTA platform is available in a subscription (pay-per-use, Cloud-based) and in a licence model. (www.predictive-services.com) About Lloyds Register Rail Lloyd’s Register Rail (LRR), based in Utrecht, is a leading consultancy in the rolling stock and infrastructure sector, with 200 employees. Our consultants and engineers provide advice on the purchase, maintenance and performance enhancement of trains, trams and metros, rail infrastructure and the interaction between infrastructure and material. Our motto is ‘Working together for a safer world’ and increasing safety and reliability is our top priority. LRR is part of the Lloyd’s Register Group, with 9,000 employees in 78 countries, active in Marine, Energy, Management Systems and Rail. For more information, visit our website at: www.lr.org.

King opens BioWarmteCentrale Purmerend with a swipe

24,000 households and 1,000 businesses in Purmerend are connected to so-called district heating. Last month, his Majesty the King opened BioWarmteCentrale “Purmer” for the purpose of Purmerend district heating. Already since the beginning of the eighties, the residents of Purmerend make use of district heat. Previously district heating used gray waste heat. Today, 80% of the demand is durable. The BioWarmteCentrale burns wood chips coming from the Dutch state forest maintenance. King Willem Alexander opened the BioWarmteCentrale by swiping the touch screen on a special designed panel. The screen provides insight how much the power station is really green and what the savings are. This panel was developed by ICT. It shows actual results through a live connection with the power station. Purmerend citizens are not only provided with heat but the panel will also provide clear information about the new BioWarmteCentrale. For more information, you can contact Heine.van.wieren@ict.nl.   RTEmagicC_SVP_2015_03_13_074_02.jpg         RTEmagicC_SVP_2015_03_13_080_02.jpg            

Press release: ICT and InMotion annouce partnership

Today ICT (ICT) and Stichting Automotive Technology InMotion (InMotion) announce a partnership. InMotion is an automotive race team that consists of students of Eindhoven University of Technology and Fontys University of Applied Sciences. InMotion aims to participate in the 24h race of Le Mans in 2017 with their IM01 race car. Furthermore they set out to break the all time record on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife. As predecessor of the IM01, InMotion is currently developing the IM/e race car which embodies an all-electric test platform for technologies to be used on the IM01, e.g. several active systems.News_20150310-2 Together ICT and InMotion will develop the Electronic Control Units (ECU’s) for the complete IM/e race car. ICT provides its Model based development Production Platform: Motar, consisting of the ECU’s hardware and platform software, while InMotion develops the control algorithms (application software) for these ECU’s.News_20150310-1 Colin Diederen, Public Relations Manager InMotion: “We are proud to team-up with an innovation-driven company like ICT. With their platform, we can create the perfect ECU and architecture for our test vehicle. This is a major step towards the development of our Le Mans racer, the IM01”. Eeuwke Wielinga, ICT’s Business Unit Manager Automotive & Mobility: “We are excited to contribute to the goal of InMotion to deliver the first race car on the roadmap to the IM01 in 2015. Both InMotion and ICT share the passionate drive of technological innovation and the desire to apply groundbreaking technology on cars. Being at the forefront of many of the latest developments we successfully developed the Motar-platform for the automotive industry. ICT’s Motar-platform consists of both hardware and software. The platform offers seamless integration of MATLAB / Simulink control algorithms on production class automotive hardware built up on an AUTOSAR architecture. As such it forms an excellent basis for automotive control development on various HW platforms.” For further information about InMotion: www.inmotion.tue.nl Further information about ICT’s Motar-platform

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

ICT Automatisering delivers process control system for vaccine production at Bilthoven Biologicals

Delivery to biotech company includes new systems for the production of polio vaccines ICT (ICT) has won a contract from biotech company Bilthoven Biologicals in Bilthoven for the delivery of new systems for the production of polio vaccines. In 2014, UNICEF contracted Bilthoven Biologicals for the production of more than 150 million polio vaccines for its “Global Polio Eradication Initiative’ programme. To facilitate production on this huge scale, ICT is currently working on the modernisation of the control systems used for a large proportion of the production equipment. This assignment is subject to the very strict regulations governing the pharmaceutical industry. Martin Bijl, Business Development Manager at ICT: “We are a trusted partner in complex projects in the pharmaceutical industry. This specific project requires know-how of the Siemens PCS7 system and electro-technical expertise in hardware for the system cabinets and installation activities. ICT is therefore extremely proud that it has been given the opportunity to work on this appealing programme to protect children across the globe against infectious diseases like polio.” Joan van Houtum, Senior Buyer at Bilthoven Biologicals: “Bilthoven Biologicals chose to work with ICT following a tender procedure. ICT has a proven track record in projects requiring software control systems as well as hardware and installation. They use a solid project method and offer the right combination of expertise and experience in the pharmaceutical industry.” The contract covers the following tasks: The deliverly and programming of the Siemens PCS7 controllers and control stations; The design, construction and connection of the system cabinets, including wiring to the field signals; Batch control in Simatic Batch; Design and implementation of the recipes. ICT will execute all its tasks in line with ISA standard S88. Bilthoven Biologicals has also closed a multi-year contract with ICT for the service and maintenance of the production automation systems. About Bilthoven Biologicals Bilthoven Biologicals emerged from the privatisation of the vaccine production activities of the former Nederlands Vaccin Instituut (Dutch Vaccine Institute – NVI). In 2012, the owner of the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer and part of the Cyrus Poonawalla Group, acquired these activities from the NVI. This created a powerful combination of expertise, network and facilities, which Bilthoven Biologicals makes use of to realise its ambitions: protect children across the globe from infectious diseases. This unique cooperation now produces more 100 million vaccines every year. www.bbio.nl

ICT welcomes Microsoft MVP to join Bulgaria team

ICT (ICT) is very pleased to welcome its next Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) joining the group. Mihail Mateev will join ICT’s near shoring team – Strypes – in Bulgaria. Mihail Mateev is a Solutions Architect, a so-called Senior Technical Evangelist and Microsoft Azure MVP. Until recent he was a frequent blogger for Infragistics Inc before joining ICT. Mihail worked in various areas related to technology Microsoft such as Silverlight, WPF, Windows Phone, LightSwitch, ASP.Net MVC, Windows Store Applications, MS SQL Server and Microsoft Azure. He is also a writer of many jQuery related blogs and administrator of Azure related events in Bulgaria. Recently ICT announced the  acquisition of Strypes Bulgaria, a specialist in embedded software development based on modern agile methodologies. Strypes employs highly educated and experienced professionals with a variety of skills including Microsoft Azure. Koen van Wijk, Business Unit Manager Near Shoring Services: “We are very pleased that Mihail had decided to join our company. As a Microsoft partner, we value the fact that we have a great deal of Azure knowledge in-house, this knowledge is applied throughout the organization in many different solutions. Expanding our Azure knowledge with the help of an expert such as Mihail is a well considered move that will help us strengthen our business.” Already in 2012, ICT hired  John Koot – Business Development Manager within ICT – who has earned for the 4th year in a row Microsoft’s MVP Award for 2015 as a Windows Embedded MVP. Combining the expertise of Mihail and John, ICT will be able to expand the Microsoft Client and Azure propositions which will lead to new customer solutions.