2017 Half-Yearly Results
Current operating margin: 8.2%
Group net income: +5.9% to €10.1 million
Strategic acquisition in Italy
2017 revenue target revised upward to €353 million
Aubay’s Board of Directors which met on 13 September 2017 under Chairman Christian Aubert has approved the consolidated statements for the first half of 2017 during which the Group delivered another strong performance in line with its yearly targets.
Current operating margin of 8.2% and increase in operating income
The first half of 2017 was another buoyant period for Aubay Group, with revenues increasing 3.7% in organic terms to stand at €170.4 million despite a challenging basis of comparison given the lower number of billable days than in 2016 (one working day less).
The loss of one day also affected Aubay’s current operating margin which amounted to 8.2% as against 8.8% in 2016. Like-for-like in terms of working days, the Group’s margin would have been identical to last year.
This performance, which is strictly in line with Aubay’s strategic roadmap, is consistent for the Group’s activities both within and outside France and proof of its capacity to replicate its business model across all of the regions in which it is present.
Recurring operating income for the period amounted to €14.4 million, up 3.7% in line with revenues.
Half-yearly net income at a record €10.1 million and 5.9% of revenues
Breaking the €10 million barrier for the first time ever, Aubay’s net income is the highest ever recorded by the Group for the first six months of a year. Up 3.8% over the period, it is also in line with the increase in revenues.
Net cash position of €3.0 million
Group cash flow amounted to €14.3 million for the first half of 2017 compared with a figure of €15.2 million for the same period in 2016. Cash flow from operations came in at €5.7 million compared with a negative €0.2 million, thanks notably to the careful management of the Group’s working capital.
The Group repurchased 12.5% of the capital of its subsidiary, Cast Info, taking its stake to 87.5%, and acquired the remainder of the capital of Norma4 (8%), which has now merged with Aubay Spain. Together, the total cost of these acquisitions came to €2.8 million.
The company also paid €3.6 million in dividends to its shareholders, taking its net cash position to €3.0 million on 30 June 2017.
Acquisition in Italy
Aubay Group has finalized the acquisition of a going concern in Italy which is expected to generate around €30 million in revenues over a full year and employs 600 members of staff primarily divided between Rome, Milan and Bologna. The IT consulting and services its offers are identical to those proposed by Aubay, and its clients mainly belong within the Telecoms sector (operators and equipment manufacturers).
The concern’s gross margin is around the same as Aubay’s although the current operating margin is lower. Drawing on its experience in the integration of new teams, Aubay has set itself a period of 2 years to bring it up to standard.
With this operation, Aubay is continuing with its strategy to strengthen its main entities in Europe. As a result, revenues for Italy will be close to €100 million over a full year.
The operation will also allow for a more balanced sector exposure for the Group, taking Telecoms to 15% of revenues behind banking (37%) and insurance (24%).
The going concern will be consolidated from 1 October 2017 and should contribute €7 million to Group revenues in the final quarter of 2017.
Outlook for 2017
Aubay’s business indicators for the third quarter are all up on the first half. Demand from its main clients is still robust which suggests that the Group can look forward to a strong end to the year.
Accordingly, the Group has confirmed the targets announced on the publication of its yearly results on 15 March 2017 which were based on its initial scope, and has revised them upwards to factor in the acquisition in Italy, namely:
- Organic growth of between 5% and 7% in revenues to €353 million.
- A current operating margin of between 9% and 10% for the year.
Interim dividend of €0.23 per share
Given Aubay’s excellent half-yearly results and strong outlook, the Group’s Board of Directors has approved the payment on 10 November 2017 of an interim dividend of €0.23 per share for the current financial year. As a reminder, the interim dividend for 2016 was €0.18 per share.
Recurring operating income: this indicator corresponds to operating income before the cost of free shares and other income and expenses that are unusual, abnormal or infrequent and that are booked separately in order to facilitate the understanding of an entity’s current operating performance.
Current operating margin: this indicator, which is expressed as a percentage, is the ratio of recurring operating income to revenue.
Net debt or net cash: this indicator represents the difference between an entity’s cash and financial debt. If the result is negative, it is referred to as net debt. If it is positive, it is referred to as net cash.