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.

ICT provides business update

ICT Group N.V. (“ICT”) will update its shareholders on business developments in its AGM, which will be held via audio webcast today.

As indicated in its Q1 results press release, the impact of COVID-19 was still rather limited in the first quarter of 2020, since the lockdown measures took effect in the 2nd half of March. The impact is therefore more significant in the second quarter. The diversification in revenue portfolio and mix in industry sectors is supporting ICT’s business resilience. The activities in Bulgaria and in sectors including public infrastructure and high-tech are hardly impacted by COVID-19, while the time hire services in the industrial automation industry sector are in particularly impacted. As a result, ICT Group’s productivity levels faced a decline of approximately 5% in Q2 to date compared to Q1 2020.

ICT is taking multiple measures to cut and control costs and to preserve cash, including the decision to propose to retain all 2019 earnings to today’s AGM. ICT did not apply for governmental support (NOW – 1) in the Netherlands.

Management is confident that ICT is well positioned to return to its pre-COVID-19 performance levels as soon as current challenging economic circumstances improve. Long term market perspectives remain attractive as we continue to believe in the ongoing digital transformation in all the markets we operate in.

ICT convenes Annual General Meeting

AGM only electronically accessible for shareholders

ICT Group N.V. (“ICT”) today published the convocation and related documents for its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) that will be held on Wednesday 24 June 2020.

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ICT is doing everything possible to keep its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders safe. This includes avoiding unnecessary travel and large gatherings. The Supervisory Board has therefore decided, following the Temporary Act COVID-19 Justice and Safety (the “Emergency-Act”), that the AGM 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 AGM at ava2020@ict.eu.

On the Company’s website you will find further information with regard to registration and instructions about how to submit votes or questions prior to the AGM. In addition all documents, including the agenda, an explanation of the agenda items as well as the accompanying documents and the 2019 Annual Report are available on the website.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation in relation to COVID-19 measures and will inform shareholders through the Company’s website if any changes regarding the AGM occur.

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%

.

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.

ICT awarded silver medal for corporate responsibility

ICT Group N.V. (ICT) is proud to announce that they received the silver medal level of achievement for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from EcoVadis, a leading Sustainability assessor.

With this result ICT is in the top 12% of companies assessed by EcoVadis in the Computer programming, consultancy and related activities industry. We were able to score a balanced score in all four topics: Environment, labor & human rights, sustainable procurement and ethics.

EcoVadis_score ICT Group

“Sustainability assessments like EcoVadis require that companies continuously improve their achievements, because the bar is constantly raised in terms of societal expectations” states Roy Jansen, COO of ICT. “We will continuously strengthen our sustainability programs in 2020 and beyond.”

ICT Group is awarded a new framework agreement with E.ON Sverige AB

Additude, an ICT Group Company, is proud to announce the strengthening of their cooperation with E.ON Sverige AB through a new framework agreement regarding IT consultants and Work packages. This agreement is valid for two years and applies for operations both in Sweden and abroad.

Additude was founded in 2009 and is a local entrepreneur-driven IT and engineering company, as wells a part of ICT Group, focusing on smarter Industries, Smarter cities and Smarter healthcare. Additude has had an annual average growth that by a wide margin exceeds the industry average. The ICT Group is active in Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Bulgaria with 1450 colleagues globally. For more information: Sam Aston, CEO Additude Group +46 733-77 61 60 or Jim Roslund, VP Sales Additude Group +46 703-79 17 23.

ICT Group gaat de besturing lokale functies Blankenburgverbinding ontwikkelen

BAAK, het bouwconsortium dat in opdracht van Rijkswaterstaat de nieuwe Blankenburgverbinding gaat aanleggen, heeft voor de implementatie van de besturing van lokale functies binnen de tunnels de hulp van ICT Group (ICT) ingeroepen. Het gaat om de hardware, software en tooling voor de besturing van verschillende functies, zoals de brandblusvoorziening, ventilatoren en het overdruksysteem.

Na aanbesteding koos het bouwconsortium voor ICT. “Ze bleken het meest onder de indruk te zijn van onze aanpak”, vertelt Menno Kamminga, Business Development Manager Infrastructuur bij ICT, trots. “Wij werken volgens de landelijke tunnelstandaard van Rijkswaterstaat, hebben ervaring in de bediening van lokale functies binnen tunnels en ontwikkelen en testen volgens een systeem waarbij de aantoonbaarheid dat de software doet wat het moet doen essentieel is. Dat gaf ons een voorsprong ten opzichte van de andere offertes.”

Acht sprints

Maar dat is niet de enige reden dat de keuze op ICT is gevallen. “We hebben in onze voorstellen goed uitgewerkt hoe we onze software gaan integreren met het 3B-systeem dat op hetzelfde moment wordt ontwikkeld; het systeem voor bediening, bewaking en besturing dat door medewerkers van Rijkswaterstaat wordt gebruikt. Zij kunnen via dit systeem op afstand slagbomen sluiten of de verlichting aanpassen. Voordat ICT een sprint oplevert aan BAAK wordt een eerste integratietest gehouden met de coördinerende besturingslaag en de veldapparatuur. Op deze wijze wordt ervoor gezorgd dat eventuele integratieproblemen vroegtijdig worden onderkend en opgelost. Een goede samenwerking met de andere leveranciers in de keten was voor BAAK essentieel en een belangrijk criterium voor het gunnen van de opdracht. Door Agile samen te werken kunnen wij het systeem in acht sprints opleveren.”

Foutloos programmeren

Als laatste scoorde ICT ook goed op de inzet van een codegenerator, een tool die standaardinformatie vertaalt naar codes. “Als meerdere mensen aan een project werken, kunnen programmeerverschillen ontstaan. Met deze tool genereer je code die foutloos is”, aldus Martijn Schram, Business Unit Manager Water & Infra. “Bijkomend voordeel is dat de bouwstenen die worden opgeleverd voor de Blankenburgtunnel, hiermee ook eenvoudig aan te passen zijn voor gebruik in andere, vergelijkbare projecten.”

Planning

De nieuwe Blankenburgverbinding gaat onder de Nieuwe Waterweg door en verbindt Rozenburg met Vlaardingen. De planning is dat de nieuwe verbinding in 2024 opengaat. “De software en hardware van het lokale bedieningsplatform moet over een jaar gereed zijn. Hiermee is dus de nieuwe software ruim voor de civiel afronding van de tunnels gereed”, aldus Kamminga.

Regie

ICT heeft tijdens de selectie alle vrijheid gekregen. “BAAK heeft ons als experts aangesproken en gevraagd om onze input.” Waar Kamminga vooral content mee is, is dat ICT in dit project de verantwoordelijkheid heeft over zowel de hardware als de software van het lokale besturingsplatform. “Dat maakt een project beter beheersbaar, we hebben het heft zelf in handen.”

Mediabron: www.blankenburgverbinding.nl

ICT Group publishes annual report 2019

ICT Group N.V. has today published its annual report 2019 on its website (www.ict.eu/annualreport).

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will take place on 13 May 2020, 10:30 CET at Novotel Rotterdam, K.P. van der Mandelelaan 150, Rotterdam. The convocation for the AGM, including the agenda, the accompanying explanatory notes and other information, will be published on the company website no later than 31 March 2020.

Press release: FULL YEAR RESULTS 2019 ICT GROUP

Revenue increase of 20%; EBITDA margin impacted by lower productivity in the second half

Highlights FY 2019

  • Full year revenue came in at € 155.5 million, up 20%; organic growth was 3%
  • Pre-IFRS 16 EBITDA came in lower at € 11.7 million (FY 2018: € 13.5 million), as a result of lower productivity levels in the second half of the year. EBITDA amounted to € 16.5 million including IFRS 16 effects
  • Pre-IFRS EBITDA margin came in at 7.5% (FY 2018: 10.4%)
  • Net profit amounted to € 2.7 million (FY 2018: € 9.5 million) also due to € 3.5 million lower accounting gains
  • Acquisition of Additude marks international expansion into Sweden

Highlights Q4 2019

  • Revenue in Q4 came in at € 39.7 million (Q4 2018: € 37.2 million); organic revenue was down 6%
  • Pre-IFRS EBITDA came in at € 3.3 million in Q4 2019 (Q4 2018: € 5.4 million)
  • Proposition in Smarter Cities strengthened by acquisition of Proficium 

Jos Blejie, CEO of ICT Group N.V.:

“2019 got off to a good start with strong revenue growth, both organically, particularly in the high-tech and automotive industries, and as a result of acquisitions. During the summer we were confronted with the abrupt termination of several projects, causing a considerable decrease in productivity. We have taken immediate measures and increased focus and efforts of the team. At the same time we have been confronted with a more prudent buying behaviour in the industry in the latter part of 2019. In comparison with the excellent last quarter of 2018 these effects caused an organic decline in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The year was also marked by significant strategic steps in terms of growing our international footprint, increasing our successful nearshoring activities and strengthening our position in Infra & Mobility. We are on track to achieve the desired revenue split between secondment, projects and proprietary IP, thus creating a more robust business model. In 2019 we have put more focus in our investment initiatives, with a specific aim at Mobility as a Service and the OrangeNXT solutions. To further drive our international reach we will expand OrangeNXT and Additude to other countries and anticipate building more of our solutions in our nearshoring facilities in Bulgaria. Therefore we are confident that we are able to deliver on our mid-term objectives by 2022.”

Strategy update

In 2019 ICT refined its proposition by further focussing on areas where the company can truly make a difference for its customers. ICT excels in technological solutions in Engineering R&D and Industrial Automation, sustainable mobility, infrastructure and healthcare. ICT’s Software as a Service solutions (OrangeNXT) are also offered across these markets, as are its nearshoring offerings.

International expansion

The acquisition of Additude in Sweden early 2019 was an important step in the international expansion of the company. In line with its strategic direction, ICT expects Additude to become the platform for the Northern European market, offering high-profile industrial technology consulting services.

Accelerating nearshoring

To further enlarge its nearshoring position in Bulgaria, ICT acquired two start-up companies in 2019, Kodar and Up2. Kodar closely collaborates with the University of Plovdiv, which increases ICT’s access to technical talents in the second largest city of Bulgaria. With Up2 ICT gains access to talents in the world of app development. At the end of 2019 the Group employs over 250 professionals in Bulgaria, representing a growth of 26% compared to 2018.

 Mobility as a Service

In the year under review ICT took important steps towards strengthening its offering in the field of MaaS. With the acquisition of BNV Mobility, one of the leading smart mobility services firms in the Netherlands, in Q2 2019, ICT significantly increased its position in the mobility market. To enable more efficient and decisive operations, BNV’s activities were fully integrated into InTraffic. The MaaS platform (TURNN) was further developed and commercialized. At the end of 2019 TURNN was involved in several pilots in Groningen, Drenthe, Limburg and the Eindhoven area. 

Strong growth in software solutions

ICT’s offering of proprietary software solutions showed very strong growth in the past year. OrangeNXT welcomed HelloFresh, an innovative player in the meal-kit market, as a large new customer of the MobileNXT SaaS platform. The platform enables HelloFresh to manage its expanding supply chains efficiently and reduce costs while optimising the consumer experience.

Focus in 2020

In 2020 ICT aims to further strengthen its position both in the industries it services and in the geographies in which the company operates. ICT aims to expand its international operations. The company will also continue to fuel the growth of own IP solutions, such as OrangeNXT. At the same time business processes will be further optimised throughout the whole Group by implementing one way of working. Reducing complexity within the organisation through further integration and centralisation will increase effectiveness and efficiency.

Notes to the results

In the financial analysis below focus is put on the pre-IFRS 16 results because it facilitates a fair comparison.

Performance ICT Group

In 2019 ICT Group’s revenue came in at € 155.5 million, an increase of 20%, organically revenue increased 3%. Revenue growth was mostly attributable to the acquisitions of InTraffic (acquired and consolidated in April 2018), Additude (acquired in January 2019 and consolidated as of February 2019), BNV Mobility (acquired in March 2019 and consolidated as of April 2019) and Proficium (acquired in and consolidated as of November 2019). After a strong first half, organic revenue growth was significantly impacted by the sudden termination of a number of projects in the second half by certain large clients.

Revenue added value increased 13% compared to 2018, reflecting an increase of projects and related equipment as well as an increase in use of freelance professionals.

The personnel costs increased 22% to € 93.6 million (post-IFRS 16: € 91.5 million) compared to € 76.7 million in 2018, mainly a combination of the increase in FTEs and higher wages.

Other operating expenses decreased slightly from € 24.0 million in 2018 to € 23.6 million in 2019 (post-IFRS 16: € 20.9 million), as a result of cost efficiency measures. In 2018 other operating costs included one-off contract termination fees of € 0.8 million, following the acquisition of InTraffic. The costs related to strategic initiatives and the realisation of acquisitions and partnerships increased significantly in 2019 to € 0.7 million, compared to € 0.3 million in 2018.

EBITDA came in at € 11.7 million (post-IFRS 16: € 16.5 million), 13% down compared to € 13.5 million in 2018. The EBITDA margin decreased to 7.5% (2018: 10.4%). This was due to the lower productivity that impacted both the secondment business and projects in the second half of the year.

IFRS 16

IFRS 16 ‘Leases’ is effective as of 1 January 2019. Under this new IFRS standard an asset, defined as the right to use the leased item, and a financial liability, representing the present value of future lease payments to be made, are recognised. Consequently, IFRS 16 leads to a shift from operating lease costs to depreciation and amortisation and financial expenses. In 2019 IFRS 16 had an effect of € 4.8 million on EBITDA and an equal and opposite impact on depreciation and amortisation.

Performance per segment

Change in segmentation

In line with the new reporting structure, as of 1 January 2019 ICT changed its reporting segments. The activities in the Netherlands are segmented along the end-markets: Engineering R&D, Industrial Automation (including Raster IA), Infra & Mobility (including InTraffic, BNV, and NedMobiel) and Healthcare Technology Solutions (including BMA). In addition, Bulgaria and Sweden are separate segments. The segment Other includes Improve, OrangeNXT, ICT Belgium, CIS Solutions, ICT Motar and Group holding costs.

Engineering R&D

In this segment, ICT is active in the R&D of the industrial sectors Automotive, High Tech and Machine Building.
In the first half of the year this segment benefited from the high demand in the Automotive industry which translated into a strong performance. In the second half market developments across the spectrum of industries ICT serves weakened. The abrupt termination of a number of projects significantly impacted profitability of this segment during the second half of the year.

Industrial Automation

In the Industrial Automation segment, Logistics & Transport, Industry and Outsourced services are the main business units for ICT. In the first half ICT divested Raster Products. Raster Industrial Automation remains part of the ICT Group.
Port Logistics showed good growth in revenue and profitability, all other units showed a stable performance.

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. InTraffic improved its margin to the average ICT Group level.
The Infra & Mobility segment experienced lower productivity in the Energy and Water & Infrastructure activities and results were also impacted by the upfront outlays in Mobility as a Service.

Healthcare Technology

To strengthen the efficiency of the total Healthcare offering, the integration of the different activities into one ICT Healthcare, which started in the first half of the year, is now completed. Although the part of the healthcare market ICT serves stagnated, sales of foetal heart monitors increased, which resulted in an improved performance compared to last year. This performance was offset by a weak performance of the other secondment activities in the Healthcare entity. 

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the nearshoring activities realised healthy growth in both revenue and EBITDA, mainly driven by ongoing demand for nearshoring services. The economies of scale are translating in better margins. The investments in the past period are bearing fruit and the nearshoring activities are performing within the desired margin bandwidth again.

Sweden

With the acquisition of Additude in January this year, ICT expanded to Sweden. The integration into the ICT Group is complete and cross selling opportunities are being exploited. Given the business model of Additude, with a large pool of freelancers, it operates below the average ICT margin.
Productivity in the second half was lower than anticipated, which impacted the margins.

In the segment ‘Other’, Improve showed a slightly lower performance. OrangeNXT doubled its revenue in 2019, driven by product development and new customers. Despite this successful year of operations, OrangeNXT posted start-up losses as expected. Holding costs increased as a result of higher M&A costs.

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. Total amortisation for 2019 (pre-IFRS) amounted to € 5.4 million (2018: € 3.8 million). Depreciation (pre-IFRS) for 2019 amounted to € 1.4 million (2018: € 1.2 million).

The result from associates came in at a loss of € 0.9 million (2018: € 0.4 million loss). The loss is mainly attributable to GreenFlux which, as anticipated, is still loss-making and also reflects ICT’s share of an impairment by GreenFlux on its assets.

Financing expenses came in at € 1.1 million in 2019, an increase compared to € 0.9 million in 2018, due to increased financing.

Taxes in 2019 amounted to € 1.0 million compared with € 2.1 million in 2018.

Net profit in 2019 included a one-off accounting gain of € 0.7 million, as a result of the revaluation of ICT Group’s stake in GreenFlux following the second round of investment by other shareholders. Net profit in 2018 included one-off accounting gains of € 4.1 million in total, of which € 3.5 million was related to the revaluation of the 50% stake in InTraffic already held by ICT and € 0.6 million to the revaluation of ICT Group’s stake in GreenFlux (first round of investment by other shareholders).

Reported net profit for 2019 came in at € 2.7 million (2018: € 9.5 million). This represents earnings per share of € 0.27 (2018: € 0.99). As a result of stock dividend the number of outstanding ordinary shares increased to 9,565,010 at 31 December 2019 (31 December 2018: 9,463,878).

Cash flow developments

In 2019 the net operational cash flow amounted to € 14.4 million (2018: € 11.1 million). The increase is the net effect of increased tax payments, IFRS 16 effects and positive results of disciplined working capital management.

In 2019 the cash outflow on investment activities amounted to € 17.6 million, compared with € 10.2 million in 2018. The main elements of this outflow were the purchase price cash considerations for the acquisitions of Additude, BNV, the payment of the earn-out for the remainder of BMA and Proficium and investments in product development and housing facilities. Cash inflow concerned the sale of Raster Products.

The cash inflow from financing activities amounted to € 2.8 million (2018: cash outflow € 0.9 million). The main elements are the net effect of dividend paid (€ 2.3 million cash outflow) and the increased acquisition financing and the lease liabilities (following IFRS 16).

The net cash position at 31 December 2019 was € 5.8 million (31 December 2018: € 6.2 million). The net cash outflow amounted to € 0.4 million in 2019 (2018: € 0.1 million).

Balance sheet structure

Shareholders’ equity increased to € 54.5 million at the end of 2019 from € 54.2 at the end of 2018, mainly following the net effect of the dividend payment of € 2.3 million and net profit of € 2.7 million. The balance sheet total increased to € 124.4 million at year-end 2019 from € 95.6 million at year-end 2018 as a result of the acquisitions of Additude, BNV and Proficium. In addition the implementation of IFRS 16 lease accounting caused a balance sheet increase of € 13.1 million (lease assets as well as liabilities). The solvency ratio (shareholders’ equity/total assets) stood at 44% at year-end 2019, although lower compared with 57% at year-end 2018, it reflects ICT’s sound financial basis.

Personnel

At 31 December 2019 ICT Group employed 1,413 FTEs (1,468 employees), 15% higher than the 1,227 FTEs (1,274 employees) at year-end 2018. The recent acquisitions and ongoing recruitment efforts contributed to this increase.

Dividend

ICT proposes a dividend of € 0.30 per share for the 2019 financial year (2018: € 0.38). The proposed dividend is subject to the approval of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) to be held on 13 May 2020. For the calculation of the proposed dividend, the net profit realised is adjusted for the accounting gains recognised in 2019 as well as non-cash amortisation amounts. This results in an adjusted net profit for the full year 2019 of € 7.2 million. The proposed dividend of € 0.30 per share represents a pay-out ratio of 40% of adjusted net profit, which is in line with ICT’s dividend policy. ICT offers the option of distribution of the dividend in cash or in shares.

ICT will calculate the dividend payment in shares one day after the end of the optional period on the basis of the weighted average price of ICT shares during the last five trading days of the optional period, which shall end on 2 June 2020. The dividend in cash or in shares will be payable on 4 June 2020.

Outlook

ICT remains fully focused on profitable growth and will continue to execute its buy-and-build strategy; combining healthy organic growth with selective acquisition opportunities.

We foresee demand in the markets we serve in the first half of 2020 to be in line with the second half of 2019. The global economic circumstances are anticipated to remain uncertain in 2020 and therefore we refrain from giving an outlook for 2020. Despite these uncertainties we do see ongoing demand for digital transformation projects. We remain fully committed to deliver on our mid-term objective of increasing annual revenue to between € 200 and € 230 million by 2022, with a targeted EBITDA margin between 13% and 15% (including IFRS 16 effects).

Click here to download the Annex of the Annual Results of 2019.