2020 Half-Yearly Results
Strong resilience in unprecedented circumstances
Maintaining key performance indicators at high levels
Aubay’s Board of Directors, which met on September 16, 2020 under Chairman Christian Aubert, approved the consolidated financial statements for the first six months of 2020. The financial statements have been reviewed by the company’s Statutory Auditors who will shortly issue their reports.
Against the backdrop of an exceptional economic and health crisis, the Group relied on the strong resilience of its business model, reflected in the continued high levels of its key financial indicators in terms of business, profitability and cash flow generation. This performance was driven by the unwavering commitment of all employees and a clear strategy on business lines, customers and skills.
Revenue for the first six months of the year came in at €214.8 million, up 3.2%, practically stable on a like-for‑like basis, demonstrating very strong resilience in the context of the health crisis (see July 22, 2020 press release).
Operating profit from ordinary activities stable at €18.8 million and net income at €11.3 million
The Group’s recurring operating margin came in at 8.7%, versus 9.2% in 2019, at the upper end of the projected range, down only 50 basis points, and breaking down as 7.5% for business in France and 10.1% for international business. The Group was able to sustain a high productivity rate of 92.7% excluding short-time working measures, which concerned a maximum of 4% of employees at the height of the crisis.
After recognizing non-current expenses of €1.4 million, operating profit from ordinary activities came in at €18.8 million compared to €19.1 million one year ago, i.e., a limited decline of 1.5%.
Financial expense remained stable at €302 thousand.
The tax expense amounted to €5.8 million, reflecting an effective tax rate of 34%, stable year on year.
Net income for the first half of 2020 amounted to €11.3 million, stable compared to June 30, 2019, representing 5.3% of revenue.
Strong improvement in net cash (excluding rental liabilities) to €22.6 million
Despite a traditionally unfavorable seasonal effect, cash flow from operations for the period was excellent with over €18 million compared to €12 million last year. This can be attributed to good working capital management, with an improvement in the average customer payment time of three days. The company has not requested any extension for paying its expenses, particularly with regard to tax or social security.
Cash flow largely covered the limited investments made during the period and the payment of €3.5 million in dividends to shareholders.
Overall, net cash (excluding rental liabilities) amounted to €22.6 million at June 30, 2020 compared to €11.7 million at end 2019.
Outlook for 2020
Operations pursued during the Summer as expected. Visibility continues to gradually improve with demand almost back to normal since September. The upturn in activity, with the signing of many new contracts, some of which are significant for the service centers, has also made it possible to resume hiring in all regions.
Having had a better first half of the year than anticipated in the midst of the crisis, and assuming the health situation stabilizes, Aubay aims to achieve the following performance in 2020:
- Annual revenue of between €420 million and €425 million,
- Operating margin from ordinary activities of 9%.
Interim dividend of €0.33
In light of this reassuring performance, the Board of Directors has decided to pay an interim dividend of €0.33 per share for the current fiscal year on November 10, 2020.
2020 third-quarter revenue: Wednesday, October 21 after the close of trading.