SOLUCOM : H1 2014/15 revenues up 13% - Operating income on ordinary activities up 15% - Priority on growth despite still difficult market conditions

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On 24 November 2014, Solucom's Board of Directors met to approve the Group's 2014/15 interim financial statements for the six-month period ended 30 September 2014, the details of which are summarised below. The Statutory Auditors have performed a limited review of the Group's interim financial statements.
 

 Consolidated interim figures at 30/09 (¤m) H2 2014/15 H2 2013/14 Change
Revenue 73.7 64.9 +13%
Operating income on ordinary activities 7.6 6.6 +15%
Ebit margin 10.3% 10.2%  
Operating income 7.6 6.3 +20%
Group share of net income 4.3 3.7 +15%
Net margin 5.8% 5.7%  

At end-September 2014/15, Solucom reported 13% growth in consolidated interim revenues to ¤73.7m. On a like-for-like basis, excluding the contributions from Lumens Consultants and Trend Consultants, organic growth came out at 10% over the six-month period.

This solid first-half performance has put the Group ahead of schedule with regard to its full-year guidance despite a more difficult-than-expected market environment.

All sectors of activity reported growth during the first six months of the year. Growth was notably sustained by certain major client accounts in the banking sector which are actively pursuing their digital transformation programmes.

Operating indicators solid but visibility limited
Solucom pursued its active recruitment strategy throughout the first half of the financial year making for an increase in headcount levels to 1,374 employees at the end of the period, versus 1,327 at end-March 2014.

The activity ratio came out at 83%, stable on full-year 2013/14.

Prices edged up slightly reaching an average of ¤715 over the six-month period, although it should be noted that this increase was slower than expected.

The order book narrowed from 3.2 months at end-March 2014 to 3.0 months at the interim stage, underscoring the fact that visibility is limited.

Operating income on ordinary activities up 15%
Operating income on ordinary activities in H1 2014/15 increased 15% on the year-earlier level to ¤7.6m, making for an operating margin on ordinary activities of 10.3%, versus 10.2% in H1 2013/14, in line with the Group's full-year guidance.

Group share of net income also advanced 15% to reach ¤4.3m over the six-month period, implying a net margin of 5.8%.

Net cash of ¤15.7m at end-September 2014
Thanks to the company's solid cash-flow generation capacity and its tight client management strategy, Solucom's gross cash position remained high, coming out at ¤19.1m at the interim stage with net cash of ¤15.7m, versus ¤16.6m at end-March 2014 and ¤8.7m at end-September 2013.

Priority on growth
Trading conditions in Solucom's markets over the past few months have been less favourable than expected and the economic outlook has taken another turn for the worse. Budgets are still under tight control and pressure on prices shows no sign of letting up.

Nevertheless, the company remains confident that demand will gradually pick up. The integration of digital technologies and the changes they engender are in fact key elements required in the corporate-transformation process.

In this context, Solucom is banking on achieving its growth targets. In addition, the company is maintaining its recruitment and intensive sales-investment objectives and also plans to pursue its targeted acquisition strategy designed to strengthen its value offering, as the recent acquisition of Audisoft Oxéa illustrates. Solucom also considers to carve out footholds in new countries abroad.

Full-year growth targets raised
On the back of the Group's first-half growth performance and the consolidation of Audisoft Oxea since 1st November 2014, Solucom has raised its full-year growth objective from 8% to 12%.

In terms of margins, the Group is maintaining its operating margin on ordinary activities objective of between 11% and 13%, including the consolidation of Audisoft Oxea. This target range could however come under increased strain due to the market conditions to which Solucom is exposed and the Group's priority on growth.

Solucom listing on the EnterNext© PEA-PME 150 index
Solucom was recently listed on the new "EnterNext© PEA-PME 150" index, launched on 17 November. Listing on this index, which comprises 150 small and mid caps selected among the most liquid companies eligible to benefit from the French government's PEA-PME share savings plan, offers Solucom increased visibility with institutional and individual investors alike.

Next publication: 21 January 2015 (after market close), publication of Q3 2014/15 revenues.
 

About Solucom
Solucom is a management and IT consulting firm.

Solucom's customers are among the top 200 large companies and public bodies. For them, Solucom is capable of mobilizing and combining the skills of 1,300 staff members.

Our mission statement? To place innovation at the heart of business lines, target and steer transformations that are sources of added value, and turn the information system into an actual asset designed to serve corporate strategies.

Solucom is listed on Euronext Paris and Solucom shares are eligible for the 'PEA-PME' scheme.

The consulting firm has been granted the innovative company award from BPIFrance.

All our news on: www.solucom.fr

Solucom
Pascal IMBERT
CEO
Phone: +33 1 49 03 20 00
Sarah LAMIGEON
Communication Director
Phone: +33 1 49 03 20 00
Actus Finance
Mathieu OMNES
Analysts & investor relations
Phone: +33 1 72 74 81 87
Nicolas Bouchez
Press office
Phone: +33 1 77 35 04 37

Annex 1: consolidated income statement at 30/09/14

(In ¤ '000)
 

  30/09/14 30/09/13 31/03/14
TURNOVER 73 654 64 931 141 622
Purchased consumables 1 726 1 534 3 185
Personnel costs (including profit share) 55 561 48 101 102 155
External costs 7 553 7 081 14 290
Taxes and duties 1 096 1 113 2 347
Net depreciation and provision charges 73 612 1 493
Other income and expenses on ordinary activities 30 (105) (92)
EBIT 7 616 6 595 18 243
Other operating revenues and charges (62) (297) (557)
OPERATING PROFIT 7 554 6 298 17 686
Interest Income 29 32 56
Financial expenses 122 129 254
NET BORROWING COSTS 92 97 198
Other financial income and expenses 7 (3) (12)
PROFIT BEFORE TAX 7 468 6 199 17 476
Tax burden 3 203 2 501 6 530
NET PROFIT FOR PERIOD 4 265 3 697 10 946
Minority interests 0 0 0
NET PROFIT (Group's share) 4 265 3 697 10 946
       
Net earnings (Group's share) per share (¤) (1) (2) 0,87 0,76 2,24
Diluted earnings (Group's share) per share (¤) (2)
 
0,87 0,76 2,24

Data certified by the Auditors, following a limited review of the accounts
 
(1) Average weighted number of shares over the period excluding treasury shares.
(2) In accordance with IAS 33, a retrospective restatement has been made to calculate the net earnings per share as at 30/09/13 and as at 31/03/14, on the basis of the number of shares as at 30/09/14.

Annex 2: Consolidated balance sheet as at 30/09/14

(In ¤ '000)
 

  30/09/14 31/03/14
Goodwill 40 789 41 077
Intangible fixed assets 1 210 1 292
Tangible fixed assets 1 810 2 220
Investments - due in more than one year 928 975
Other non-current assets 3 099 3 210
NON CURRENT ASSETS 47 836 48 774
Clients and apportioned accounts 47 389 49 367
Other debtors 6 591 6 696
Cash and cash equivalentsInvestments 19 056 20 034
CURRENT ASSETS 73 036 76 097
TOTAL ASSETS 120 872 124 871
     
Equity 497 497
Issue, merger, and contribution premiums 11 218 11 218
Consolidated reserves and earnings 53 066 52 165
SHARE CAPITAL (GROUP'S SHARE) 64 782 63 880
Minority interests 0 0
TOTAL SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY 64 782 63 880
Long-term provisions 5 561 3 934
Borrowings (due in more than one year) 3 082 3 131
Other long term liabilities 379 1 002
NON-CURRENT LIABILITIES 9 022 8 067
Short-term provisions 1 171 1 637
Borrowings (due in less than one year) 313 345
Suppliers and apportioned accounts 5 890 5 653
Income tax and social security liabilities 32 797 38 388
Other current liabilities 6 898 6 901
CURRENT LIABILITIES 47 069 52 925
TOTAL LIABILITIES 120 872 124 871

Annex 3: change in consolidated cash position as at 30/09/14

(In ¤ '000)
 

  30/09/14 30/09/13 31/03/14
Total net consolidated profit 4 265 3 697 10 946
Elimination of non-cash items      
Depreciation and provisions charges 541 819 1 940
Capital losses / (Gains) from disposals, net of tax (12) 1 3
Other expenses and income 142 (1 069) (1 218)
Gross cash flow margin (1) 4 937 3 448 11 671
Change in working capital requirements (2 806) (5 555) (1 022)
Net cash flow from operating activities 2 130 (2 107) 10 648
Acquisition of intangible and tangible assets (617) (529) (1 428)
Disposal of fixed assets 14 0 0
Change in long-term investments (788) 906 864
Impact of changes in consolidation scope 0 (2 530) (5 949)
Net cash flow from investment operations (1 391) (2 153) (6 513)
Dividends paid to shareholders of the parent company (1 620) (1 555) (1 571)
Dividends paid to minority interests of consolidated companies 0 0 0
Other cash flows from financial operations (98) (82) (650)
Net cash flow from financing operations (1 718) (1 637) (2 221)
Net change in cash and cash equivalents (978) (5 897) 1 914
Impact of change in foreign exchange rates 3 (1) (1)
Opening cash position 20 012 18 098 18 098
Closing cash position 19 036 12 201 20 012

(1) After net borrowing costs and after tax
The amount of taxes paid amounted to ¤ 6,256 thousand as at 30/09/14 and ¤ 5,350 thousand as at 31/09/13.
The amount of interest paid amounted to ¤ 106 thousand as at 31/09/14 and to ¤ 104 thousand as at 31/09/13.
 

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