FIRST HALF YEAR 2018: SOLID PERFORMANCE
– Growth momentum maintained –
Highlights H1 2018
- Revenue increased 20% to € 60.9 million, 5% organic growth
- Underlying EBITDA up 9% to € 5.8 million (H1 2017: € 5.3 million). Including one-off costs related to the contract termination fees at InTraffic (€ 0.8 million), EBITDA was € 5.1 million
- Net profit came in at € 5.7 million (H1 2017: € 2.6 million), including one-off accounting gains of
€ 4.1 million related to the acquisition of InTraffic and the revaluation of ICT’s stake in GreenFlux
- Acquisitions of InTraffic and NedMobiel completed
- Outlook 2018: ICT expects further growth in revenue and EBITDA in the second half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2018
Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.:
“ICT Group continues its growth momentum and achieved revenue and EBITDA growth. This growth is supported by favourable market conditions and driven by the right strategic actions, positioning the company higher in the value chain. Our recent acquisitions NedMobiel and InTraffic further strengthened our offering in Smarter Cities, allowing us to serve any client in the field of mobility and infrastructure. Having achieved leading positions in Smarter Cities and Smarter Industries, our focus will now shift to strengthening our position in Smarter Health in the coming periods. Moreover, we cautiously look for international expansion in our traditional Industrial activities. Our key challenge remains attracting and retaining professionals, while keeping salary increases in balance with tariffs.”
In January 2018 ICT completed the purchase of 100% of the shares of NedMobiel B.V., a Dutch expert consultancy company for complex infrastructures. With some 25 professionals, NedMobiel has approximately € 3 million revenues. This acquisition supports ICT’s transition from a leading software integrator to a total technology and service provider, by increasing revenue from projects as well as from consulting services.
ICT completed the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the shares of InTraffic B.V. ICT now holds 100% of the shares of InTraffic. The acquisition of InTraffic enables ICT to further expand its position in the strategic ‘Smarter Cities’ theme. Together with the recent NedMobiel acquisition and the unit Water and Infrastructure ICT is now able to fully service Water, Rail and Road infrastructures and mobility.
InTraffic’s current margin is below ICT Group’s target margin range. In cooperation and integration, the focus will be on increasing efficiency. The objective is to bring InTraffic’s margins more in line with ICT’s overall margins. InTraffic, located in Nieuwegein, designs and builds applications for Traffic Management, Infrastructure Monitoring and Travel Information. The company was founded in 2003 as a joint venture between ICT and engineering company Movares. With 150 professionals InTraffic generates annual turnover of approximately € 19 million.
Notes to the results
Performance ICT Group
In the first half year of 2018 ICT Group’s revenue came in at € 60.9 million, up 20% compared to € 50.7 million reported in H1 2017. The revenue growth showed a consistent trend. Organically, excluding the contribution of HTS, NedMobiel and three months full consolidation of InTraffic, revenue increased by 5%. This was mainly driven by the good performance of ICT Netherlands where project activities, especially in the area of Automotive and Water & Infra, increased substantially.
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. All underlying markets benefited from good market circumstances and have shown growth in the first half of 2018. Smarter Cities nearly doubled, due to the acquisitions of NedMobiel and InTraffic’s remaining 50% stake. Organically Smarter Cities realised 17% growth. The declining revenue in Smarter Health is a result of a delay in the delivery of foetal heart monitors at BMA and lower productivity in the ICT Healthcare unit.
Personnel costs increased significantly to € 37.4 million (H1 2017: € 31.0 million), primarily because of an increase in number of employees and salary increases.
Other operating expenses also increased to € 12.1 million (H1 2017: € 8.9 million), mainly because of the recent acquisitions. The investment levels in H1 2018 increased compared to the first half of 2017. ICT continued its increased outlays in recruitment and education. The costs related to strategic initiatives and the realisation of acquisitions and partnerships amounted to € 0.2 million (H1 2017:
€ 0.1 million). Furthermore, following the acquisition of InTraffic, one-off costs of € 0.8 million were incurred as contract termination fees. Other operating expenses also included one-off costs of € 0.4 million related to the 40-year anniversary of the company and start-up costs of € 0.2 million for ICT Belgium BVBA.
Underlying EBITDA for the first six months of 2018 increased to € 5.8 million, compared to € 5.3 million in the comparable period in 2017. Including the one-off costs of € 0.8 million related to the contract termination fees at InTraffic, EBITDA decreased by 5% compared to the same period last year.
The underlying EBITDA margin decreased from 10.5% in H1 2017 to 9.5% in H1 2018. This decrease in the underlying EBITDA margin is the balanced effect of a good performance at ICT Netherlands, the substantially lower EBITDA margins at InTraffic and lower results at Raster and BMA.
Performance per segment
ICT Netherlands showed a strong performance in the first half of 2018. Revenue increased 13% to
€ 44.4 million in H1 2018 from € 39.3 million in the same period last year. The increase is the result of positive market circumstances and firm recruitment efforts which led to more FTE’s and increased productivity. Organically, revenue was up approximately 9%. EBITDA increased 31% from € 3.6 million in the first half of 2017 to € 4.7 million in H1 2018. As a result of more project activities, licences and materials sales grew significantly compared with last year.
Strypes Bulgaria (“ICT Nearshoring”) reported an increase in revenue from € 4.6 million in H1 2017 to € 4.8 million in the first six months of 2018. The investments in the organisation, mainly in quality improvement are ongoing. This resulted in an operational margin at the same level as in the first half of 2017. EBITDA came in at € 0.9 million in H1 2018 (H1 2017: € 0.9 million).
InTraffic is consolidated as of 1 April 2018 and contributed revenue of € 4.4 million in the second quarter. EBITDA included one-off costs of € 0.8 million, resulting from contract termination fees and amounted to a loss of € 0.6 million.
The segment ‘Other’ recorded revenues of € 9.1 million (H1 2017: € 7.4 million). The market for Improve was positive and the company performed in line with the first six months of 2017. For Raster the challenging market conditions in the oil and gas sector continued, which negatively impacted the company’s performance. BMA performed less compared with last year mainly due to a delay in the delivery of foetal heart monitors. NedMobiel performed in line with expectations and realised margins in line with ICT Group’s target margins in the first half of 2018.
Other financial information
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. The amortisation for InTraffic and NedMobiel in the first half of 2018 amounted to € 0.4 million. Total amortisation in the first half of 2018 amounted to € 1.8 million (H1 2017: € 1.2 million). Depreciation for the first half of 2018 amounted to
€ 0.5 million (H1 2017: € 0.5 million).
The operating profit amounted to € 2.8 million in H1 2018 (H1 2017: € 3.7 million). As a result of lower EBITDA and higher amortization, the operating margin decreased to 4.6%, compared to H1 2017 (7.2%).
Results from joint ventures and associates
InTraffic was still reported as a joint venture in the first quarter of 2018. The results in Q1 2018 were in line with Q1 2017. The result from associates amounted to a loss of € 0.2 million (H1 2017: € 0.2 million loss), mainly attributable to GreenFlux. LogicNets achieved a break-even result in the first half of the year. CIS Solutions (Germany) developed in line with plan which resulted in a small loss in the first half of 2018.
Financing expenses increased to € 0.5 million in the first six months of 2018, from € 0.3 million in the comparable period in 2017, as a result of increased financing for the recent acquisitions and a loss on the devaluation of loans to Valuemaat that filed for bankruptcy in the first half of 2018 (€ 0.2 million).
Taxes in the first half of 2018 amounted to € 0.7 million compared with € 0.7 million in the first half of 2017.
One-off accounting gains
As a result of the acquisition of the remaining 50% in InTraffic, ICT had to recognize a one-off accounting gain of € 3.5 million, related to the revaluation of the 50% stake in InTraffic already held by ICT.
Following the investment by new shareholders in GreenFlux, ICT’s stake dilutes from 24.49% to 19.57%. As a result of the revaluation of its stake in GreenFlux, ICT realized a one-off accounting gain of € 0.6 million.
The impact of step up accounting and purchase price allocation of both transactions is explained in detail in the notes to the interim financial statements.
Net profit for the first six months of 2018 increased to € 5.7 million, compared with € 2.6 million in H1 2017. An amount of € 5.6 million is attributable to the shareholders of ICT Group N.V. (H1 2017:
€ 2.5 million). This translates into earnings per share of € 0.59 (H1 2017: € 0.27). The number of outstanding ordinary shares increased during the first half year 2018 to 9,463,878 (31 December 2017: 9,411,301) due to stock dividend.
Cash flow movement
In the first half of the year, net operational cash flow amounted to € 3.7 million positive (H1 2017: € 0.5 million negative). The net cash position per 30 June 2018 was € 2.0 million positive (31 December 2017: € 6.3 million positive). This decrease was the balanced effect of the purchase price paid for acquisitions, new financing arranged for these acquisitions, the repayments of existing acquisition financing, the payment of dividend, investments in housing facilities, and normal working capital patterns.
Balance sheet structure
In the first half of 2018, shareholders’ equity increased to € 50.4 million (31 December 2017: € 47.7 million) mainly as a result of the net effect of net profit of € 5.7 million and dividend paid of € 2.4 million. The balance sheet total increased from € 81.6 million at year-end 2017 to € 95.3 million at 30 June 2018, as a result of the acquisition of InTraffic and NedMobiel. Solvency (shareholders’ equity/total assets) stood at 52.8% at the end of June 2018 (58% at year-end 2017).
At 30 June 2018, ICT Group employs 1,199 people (1,148 FTEs), around 16% higher than at year-end 2017. The acquisitions of InTraffic and NedMobiel and ongoing recruitment efforts contributed to this increase.
ICT will continue to focus on growth, organically as well as through acquisitions. With the full consolidation of InTraffic and the acquisition of NedMobiel the company increased its size in Smarter Cities. Increasing its size in Smarter Health remains a focus point for the company. ICT will continue to be disciplined and cautious in its acquisition strategy.
ICT expects its capital expenditures and research & development expenditures to increase in 2018, in line with the increased scale of the company. ICT invests in creating a strong platform to bring the transformation into a total solution provider to the next level. The battle for talent continues and attracting and retaining the right people remains to be one of our key priorities.
Based on the above, ICT expects further growth in revenue and EBITDA in the second half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2018.