Revenues up 8.3%
Recurring operating margin up 9.6 %
Net income Group share up 12.5% to €23.9 million
On 14 March 2018 Aubay’s Board of Directors, chaired by Christian Aubert, approved the consolidated financial statements for the 2017 financial year.
Recurring operating margin target achieved
The recurring operating margin of 9.6% falls within the initial target range of 9% to 10%, and is slightly above the 9.5% guidance provided when full-year revenues were announced on 25 January 2018. This is an excellent performance considering the reduced number of billable days and the consolidation of recent acquisitions (in Spain and Italy) whose margins are currently lower than Aubay’s standard margin.
Once again, the results for 2017 confirm Aubay’s ability to generate organic growth and win market share while maintaining healthy profit margins among the highest in the sector.
The recurring operating margin amounted to 10.8% in France and 8.3% in the international segment, compared with 9.9% and 9.4% respectively in 2016.
Operating income up 12.1%
Operating income amounted to €33.7 million, up 12.1% due to a significant reduction in “Non-recurring operating income and expenses” compared to 2016. compared to 2016.
Net debt of €5.5 million
The financial position was impacted by the acquisition of business assets in Italy during the second half and by the planned financing of its specific working capital amounting to €5 million.
Operating cash flow before change in working capital increased from €32.9 million in 2016 to €34.2 million. Net cash flow from operations fell from €16.4 million to €13.3 million as a result of the aforementioned change in working capital.
Gross financial debt amounted to €22.2 million at 31 December 2017 compared to €19.7 million a year earlier. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to €16.7 million, resulting in net debt of €5.5 million compared with net cash of €4.4 million at 31 December 2016.
12.5% increase in net income Group share
Net income Group share rose 12.5% to €23.9 million and marked a new historical record in terms of income. Earnings per share amounted to €1.83 compared to €1.63 in 2016.
Application of IFRS 15 from 1 January 2018
The main impact of the application of IFRS 15 from 1 January 2018 relates to purchases and resale of equipment and licences that Aubay may carry out on behalf of its customers. These transactions are now recorded on a net basis (the revenue amount invoiced to the customer net of the amounts invoiced by suppliers).
The impact of the application of IFRS 15 in 2017 would have been:
– A €4.9 million decrease in revenues, i.e. 1.4% of reported revenues;
– No impact on recurring operating income, although there would have been an impact on the recurring operating margin, which would have increased to 9.7% in accordance with the decrease in revenues.
Proposed dividend of €0.47
The Board of Directors will ask the General Meeting to vote on a 2017 dividend of €0.47, compared to the €0.41 dividend paid out in 2016. As a reminder, an interim dividend of €0.23 was paid in November 2017. The Annual General Meeting will take place at the registered office at 9.00 am on Tuesday 15 May.
The market environment remains favourable, exactly in line with the positive trend seen in the previous quarters, primarily due to the combined effect of investments in digital technology, required adaptations to regulatory constraints and efforts to streamline existing systems. The start of the year is promising, with all operating indicators pointing in the right direction.
Aubay will focus on achieving a sound level of organic growth in accordance with its medium-term target of between 5% and 7%.
The 2018 revenue target after application of IFRS 15 has been set at €395 million, including additional revenues of €23 million resulting from the first full-year consolidation of the business assets acquired in Italy (in 2017 these assets were only consolidated for Q4).
In view of positive price trends against a backdrop of growth and gradually improving visibility, the 2018 and medium-term recurring operating margin target has been revised upwards to between 9.5% and 10.5% compared to 9% and 10% to date.
Organic or like-for-like revenue growth: growth for a given period calculated on the basis of a constant consolidation scope excluding revenues of companies acquired or disposed of since the previous period. As Aubay conducts most of its business in the euro zone, it is completely or virtually unaffected by changes in exchange rates.
Recurring operating income: operating income before the cost of bonus shares and other income and expenses that are unusual, abnormal or infrequent, which are shown on a separate line in order to present a clearer view of the performance generated by recurring business.
Recurring operating margin: this indicator, expressed as a percentage, is obtained by dividing recurrent operating income by revenues.
Net debt or net cash: this indicator represents the difference between cash and debt. If negative, it is referred to as net debt, and if positive, as net cash.
Q1 2018 revenues will be released on Wednesday 18 April 2018 after market close.
For further information, visit the Finance section on the group website at www.aubay.com