Annual sales of €176m (+58%)
Strong growth in France (+56%) and in International sales (+60%)
Operating margin guidance reiterated
Strong organic growth (+58%) over 2016
With a Q4 in line with expectations, SES-imagotag reached, as announced in October, the top end of its target range with sales of €176m, an organic growth of +58%, its strongest annual growth rate for 10 years. Growth was strong both in France (+56%) and in International sales (+60%), due to outstanding deployments in France and Germany and to the ramp-up of new non-food retail verticals.
As forecast, the Group anticipates a current EBITDA at approximately €16m for 2016, strongly up from 2015 (€9.5m).
SES-imagotag confirmed its goal to exceed the €200m sales target in 2017; this is consistent with the Leapfrog 2020 plan, which set an average annual growth target of 30% between 2015 and 2020, to reach total sales of €400-500m by 2020.
Record turnover and growth in France
France saw its best ever historical performance with €67m in sales, an increase of +56% over the previous year. This exceptional performance in an already highly developed market is explained by a combination of four factors: the development of new market segments in non-food retail (Sephora, Darty, Boulanger), the increase in SES-imagotag’s market share in food retail (first Casino deployment contract), the positive dynamics of sales to independent retail chains (Intermarché, Système U especially), and finally a sustained policy of innovation that drives the installed base to renew its technology; the latter benefits from solutions in the areas of HD graphic display, product geolocation, shopper connectivity, click-and-collect optimization, in-store customer traffic analysis and centralized software architecture.
International sales over €100m
International sales set a new record of €109m, up by 60%, and accounted for 62% of SES-imagotag’s total business. This performance was achieved mainly through the acceleration of deployments in Europe, particularly in Germany (Media-Saturn), Scandinavia (Jysk, Spar), Italy and Spain, and to a mix of mostly non-food retailers (electronics and appliances, household equipment, etc.) facing fierce competition from e-commerce ‘pure players’.
In the U.S., SES-imagotag opened an office in Silicon Valley in 2016 and established a new management for building high potential commercial, technological and industrial partnerships. In just a few months, SES-imagotag signed around one hundred stores and intends to accelerate the trend in 2017.
Annual orders hit €145m
With a good 4th quarter (€41m), annual orders weighed in at €145m mark, a figure which, though down on the 2015 record of €225m boosted by a very large multi-year contract in Germany, reveals a distribution more concentrated on 2016/2017 and better balanced over a larger number of retail chains under deployment. In addition, a major exclusive referencing contract for a period of two years with a central procurement bringing several retail chains together was signed in Q4, but has not yet produced store orders (and therefore not taken into account in the published figures).
PDi and Findbox acquisitions finalized
During the 3rd quarter, SES-imagotag also accelerated its development through two external growth projects:
- PDi, a leading engineering company that develops ultra-low power e-paper displays, based in Taiwan,
- and Findbox, a German retail technology start-up specialized in innovative technologies for commerce that help consumers search and find products in physical stores thanks to flashing digital price tags.
SES-imagotag shareholders approved these two external growth operations with a 99.9% vote during the Shareholders’ Meeting of November 30, 2016.
Operational profitability: guidance reiterated
Based on the annual closing figures currently being audited, operating profit for the second half should, as forecast, be close to that for the 1st half, i.e. an annual current EBITDA that should be around €16m, compared to €9.5m in 2015 (approximately +70%). This performance was achieved despite the strong negative impact of the €/$ exchange rate.
Given the portfolio of orders and business opportunities, SES-imagotag confirmed its 2017 target to beat the milestone of €200m in sales while improving profitability. These objectives are in line with the Leapfrog plan.
Thierry Gadou, Chairman and CEO of the SES-imagotag Group, commented as follows on the company’s sales and outlook: “The excellent operational performance in 2016 was in line with our objectives and the ambition of our Leapfrog 2015-2020 medium-term plan. After an excellent year in 2016, both in signatures of new contracts and in structuring acquisitions, we are starting off 2017 with confidence. The reinforcement of our teams, particularly in our international subsidiaries, the quality of our products and our innovative solutions, endorsed by major international retail chains, confirm our ambition to establish our leading position on the American and Asian markets.”
Next release: annual results for 2016, February 23, 2017 after the Stock Exchange closure.
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