SOLUCOM : H1 operating income on ordinary activities up 19% - Full-year growth revised upwards

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On 23 November 2015, Solucom's Board of Directors met to approve the Group's H1 2015/16 interim financial statements for the six-month period ended 30 September 2015, the details of which are summarised below. A limited review of these results was conducted by the Group's statutory auditors.
 

 Consolidated full-year figures at 30/09 (€m) H1 2015/16 H1 2014/15
restated (1)
% change H1 2014/15
reported
 Revenues 91.4 73.7 +24% 73.7
 Operating income on ordinary activities 9.4 7.9 +19% 7.6
 Ebit margin 10.3% 10.7%   10.3%
 Operating income 9.1 7.9 +16% 7.6
 Group share of net income 5.2 4.5 +17% 4.3
 Net margin 5.7% 6.1%   5.8%

(1) Interim 2014/15 results restated to factor in the application as of the beginning of 2015 of the IFRIC 21 standard relative to the accounting of levies.

 

After a dynamic first-half performance, Solucom posted interim revenues of €91.4m at end-September 2015, up 24% on year-earlier levels. Excluding the consolidations of Audisoft Oxéa, Hudson & Yorke, Arthus Tech, and the assets of Hapsis, like-for-like growth came out at 15% over the period.

This interim performance reflects a sharp improvement in trading conditions relative to 2014, with a gradual recovery in demand over the period driven notably by new project launches and initiatives undertaken related to the digital revolution.

Against this profitable backdrop, the firm stepped up its recruitment efforts which, together with the acquisitions of Hapsis and Arthus Tech, boosted the number of employees from 1,514 at end-March 2015 to 1,618 at end-September 2015.

 

Prices up 3%

In H1 2015/16, the consultant utilisation rate came out at 83%, stable on 2014/2015 levels.

The average daily rate advanced 3% on 2014/15 full-year levels to €741 on the back of a favourable basis of comparison and the last wave of companies consolidated by the Group.

At end-September 2015, visibility remained limited with the H1 2015/16 order book standing at 3.3 months.
 

Group share of net income up 17%

At the interim stage, operating income on ordinary activities advanced 19% on H1 2014/15 levels to €9.4m.

The Ebit margin is 10.3% over the period versus 10.7% for the year-earlier level.

In the first half, Solucom carried out the first series of investments linked to the Up 2020 strategic plan. In this respect, the Group stepped up operations at the international level and undertook further measures in the fields of innovation and digitisation.

Factoring in other operating income and expenses amounting to €0.3m (the bulk of which comprising costs attached to the last series of acquisitions carried out by the Group) operating income rose 16% year-on-year to €9.1m.

Group share of net income advanced 17% to € 5.2m, representing a net margin of 5.7%.

 

Net cash of €14.3m at 30 September 2015

Despite cash outlays related to the acquisitions of Hapsis and Arthus Tech over the period, and the dividend paid out relative to fiscal year 2014/15, the firm boasted a surplus net cash position of €14.3m, versus €22.6m at end-March 2015. Acquisitions earn-outs stand at €1.3 m.

At the interim stage, shareholders' equity stood at €76.5m.

 

Pursue of dynamic growth over H2

Solucom enjoyed robust growth in the first half of the year; a performance which is perfectly in keeping with the Up 2020 strategic plan. The first six months of the year were particularly eventful at the international level with the acquisition of Arthus Tech in Switzerland, a partnership concluded with the firm, ShifIN in the Gulf Region, and targeted prospection efforts carried out in other geographic zones.

In the second half, Solucom will prioritise the consolidation of its most recent acquisitions and pursue its actions abroad.

At the same time, the firm will also focus on identifying and, where appropriate, seizing the most relevant growth opportunities with regard to its strategy.

 

Merger project between with Kurt Salmon's business in Europe[1]

Solucom has entered exclusive negotiations with a view to acquiring most of Kurt Salmon's European activities1 (see press release issued on 23/11/2015).

With revenues of circa €300m, the new entity would not only become a major player in the European consulting market but also one of the Top 3 consulting firms in France according to PAC / CXP Group.
 

Full-year growth objective revised upwards

On the back of this solid first-half performance, including Arthus Tech and excluding the potential acquisition of Kurt Salmon's activities in Europe1, Solucom is raising its 2015/16 full-year revenue objective and now expects growth of over 16% vs 12%, previously. On a like-for-like basis annual growth objective is of 8%.

The firm has also confirmed its full-year Ebit margin objective of 11-13%.

 

CSR strategy: Solucom rewarded by Gaïa Index for its CSR commitment

The Gaïa non-financial index, which lists more than 400 French SMEs and mid-tier companies, rewarded Solucom in October for its global CSR strategy by placing the Group at the head of its category comprising firms with revenues of between €150m and €500m.

 

Next publication: Q3 2015/16 revenues, 26 January 2016 (after market close).

 

 


About Solucom

Founded in 1990, Solucom is a consulting firm whose mission is to guide and champion major enterprise transformations. Solucom's approach is founded upon the belief that the key to successful enterprise transformation lies in the ability to simultaneously master business, organisational and technological challenges.

Solucom's clients rank among the top 200 major companies and local authorities. To serve its clients' needs, Solucom has access to a network with the collective skills of more than 1,500 employees in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco.

Solucom is listed on Euronext Paris and integrated in the Tech40 index. In addition, the group is also eligible to benefit from the PEA-PME share-savings plan, was awarded the "Innovative Company" status by the French public investment bank, BPIFrance, and the “Great Place To Work®” status for 2015.

 

Solucom
Pascal IMBERT
Chairman of the Management Board
Tel: 01 49 03 20 00
Sarah LAMIGEON
Communications Director
Tel: 01 49 03 20 00
Financial news
Mathieu OMNES
Investor/financial-analyst relations
 Tel: 01 53 67 36 92
Nicolas BOUCHEZ
Press relations
Tel: 01 53 67 36 74
 

[1] excluding retail & consumer goods consulting


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