8 May 2018, 08:30
Sdiptech AB (publ) publishes interim report for the first quarter (January - March) 2018
The report will be available on the company's website: www.sdiptech.com.
A quarter with a trend shift for elevator operations and high acquisition activity
EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING DATE
Comments from the CEO
A quarter with high acquisition activity and a trend shift for elevator operations
During the first quarter, we completed four acquisitions. Two of these were in Sweden and two were in the UK, thereby increasing our access to a larger acquisition market. In total, the four acquisitions account for EBITA of approximately SEK 40 million on an annual basis, which is gradually rolled into the Group's earnings, effective from the second quarter.
In the first quarter, we have devoted extensive time and resources to increasing profitability of the elevator operations. During autumn 2017, we launched a programme of measures for our elevator operations that includes specific measures for restoring profitability. The measures are taking effect, and it is very gratifying to be able to note that we have now reversed the negative earnings trend from last year. In the first quarter of this year, earnings in the elevator operations were better than in the previous quarter, and the trend is heading upward.
During the first quarter of this year, consolidated net sales increased by 47 percent to SEK 338 million and EBITA* before transaction expenses increased by 18 percent, to SEK 34.3 million.
The installation side is largely characterized by the current margin pressure in the market for elevator renovation, and EBITA* amounted to SEK 7.5 million in the first quarter. However, it is with great satisfaction that we can now determine that we have passed the bottom and that we are again seeing rising profits in the elevator operations.
The shift towards making profitability the top priority within the elevator operations has been underway since last autumn. I can say that the programme of measures is taking effect. A somewhat smaller but more profitable core of assignments is being built up, old less profitable contracts have been completed earlier than expected, fixed costs can be reduced by managing subsequent redundancy, and we are ahead of schedule in relation to our internal plan. The measures we are implementing are not a quick-fix with temporary gains. Instead, we are conducting a more fundamental transformation that provides structural and lasting effects. I am therefore confident in the positive trend shift, and I look forward to the earnings performance throughout 2018.
Products & Services
While earnings within the installation side have undergone a trend shift and have returned to growth, the Niched Products & Services business area continues to provide stable profit growth. EBITA* increased by 85 percent during the first quarter, to SEK 31.8 million. The acquired companies are developing well under Sdiptech, and acquired profits are rolled into the Group in accordance with our business model.
We are growing steadily while building our structure and organization. A third business area manager will be joining us after the summer to proactively ensure management capacity for future acquisitions. After the summer, a new CFO with extensive experience from the stock exchange and also of our business model will be joining us. The expanded Group management is a step toward adapting governance and structure to the size and growth that lay ahead of us.
Disposal of the Support operations proposed to the Annual General Meeting
The variation in earnings performance from the Support operations has led to an undesirable level of complexity for our internal management, as well as for external parties, in assessing a profit centre unit with earnings volatility outside the Group's core operations. The financial contribution from the Support operations for the full-year 2017 was a negative one. Although this ratio has been reversed during certain years, we believe that the potential contribution of the Support operations is not on par with its associated complexity and increased cost level. A disposal of the Support operations clarifies Sdiptech's core business, enabling shareholder value to be driven more efficiently.
Sale of InsiderLog
In January, we saw a good opportunity to reduce our ownership in our in-house developed InsiderLog product at a good return, with 80 percent of the shares being sold for EUR 5.8 million in cash consideration. Through Sdiptech's 36-percent shareholding, we were able to charge an amount of SEK 20.6 million. Even after disposal of our Support operations, which included InsiderLog, Sdiptech will see the financial benefits of the holding that was not sold, through a profit sharing agreement.
During the first quarter, we completed four acquisitions, two of them in Sweden and two in the UK.
Four new niches that differentiate
The completed acquisitions include entirely new customer segments, both industrially and geographically, and thereby a lower market concentration. Differentiation ensures that new synergy effects are limited and that risks are spread. On the installation side, two new niches were added in the form of Roof maintenance and Safety. Products & Services were supplemented with Radio communication and Site services.
Continued geographical expansion
For a long time, we have worked to access the large acquisition market in the UK. A pipeline of interesting companies has gradually been built up, and it is very gratifying that we have now completed the first two acquisitions in the London area.
Two ongoing acquisition processes
The work with finding new acquisitions is continuing, and we currently have letter of intents for two additional acquisitions with an EBITA on an annual basis of approximately SEK 20 million, one for a smaller company and the other previously communicated via a press release. At the time of writing, bidding discussions are being held for a further handful of companies. After a high-intensity period of many completed acquisitions, I am pleased that the pace of the outreach activities can be maintained.
We see good conditions for profit growth during the upcoming quarter, partly through the trend shift in the elevator operations and partly because other operations continue to progress well.
Trend shift within the elevator operations
We are implementing a business restructuring within the elevator operations that provides structural and lasting effects, and I am confident in the positive trend we are now seeing. The transformation involves a certain degree of slowness, but I can provide positive news: Within the elevator operations, after three quarters of declining profits, we can now see that the bottom has been passed and that profitability is gradually being restored in 2018. We expect second quarter earnings to be in line with the previous year, with a rising earnings trend from that point on that will reach its full effect in 2019.
Other areas are growing in accordance with our business model
Even though we are now seeing a turning point in the elevator operations, I understand that developments in that area have raised some questions. I would therefore like to remind you that the Group is in largely developing well and according to plan. This is most clearly exemplified by the Products & Services area, which has shown dependable growth in terms of full-year sales: SEK 66 million (2016), SEK 104 million (2017) and SEK 119 million (RTM). Our business model works well and the companies acquired are generally developing well under Sdiptech, and acquired profits are converted into recorded profits for the Group. This is due to a large proportion of completed acquisitions during the first quarter, approximately SEK 40 million in acquired EBITA, which, as of the second quarter, will begin to roll in completely for the business areas.
In conclusion, I would like to thank our fantastic employees who, at the time of writing, have grown to over 1,000 and are driven every day by the mindset of performing at their best and delivering even better each day.
Comments on Financial development
EBITA* for the Group's remaining operations during the first quarter amounted to SEK 34.3 million (29.1). Total EBITA* for the Group amounted to SEK 109.0 million (29.1). The change in earnings is primarily affected by the sale of InsiderLog.
Within the Tailored Installations segment, EBITA* was SEK 8.7 million (16.9) and the EBITA margin decreased to 4.4 percent (12.5). There was a margin decline within the elevator operations, both the local operations in Stockholm and the global operations. Demand remains good and income is increasing. The elevator companies launched a programme of measures in Q1, which will gradually begin to take effect in 2018.
EBITA* in the Niched Products & Services segment increased to SEK 33.2 million (17.2) and the EBITA margin was 23.9 percent (18.3).
Profit after tax for the first quarter amounted to SEK 17.2 million (20.4) for remaining operations. Profit after tax, including discontinued operations, amounted to SEK 91.9 million (20.1).
Sdiptech's common share of series B share is traded under the short name SDIP B with ISIN code SE0003756758. Sdiptech AB's preferred shares are traded under the short name SDIP PREF with ISIN code SE0006758348. Sdiptech AB's Certified Adviser at Nasdaq First North Stockholm is Erik Penser Bank. Further information is available on the company's website: www.sdiptech.com
For further information, please contact:
Carl Johan Åkesson, CFO, +46 708 30 70 57, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jakob Holm, CEO, +46 761 61 21 91, email@example.com
Sdiptech AB is a technology group with a primary focus on urban infrastructures. The group offers deeply niched services and products for both expanding and renovating rapidly growing metropolitan areas.
Sdiptech AB (publ) is required to disclose this information pursuant to EU Market Use Regulation 596/2014.The company is based in Stockholm.The information was provided by the above contact persons for publication 8 May 2018 at 08:30 CET.