Final figures confirm record year in 2015
The final figures published today by USU Software AG (USU, ISIN DE000A0BVU28) for fiscal 2015 show new records in all key financial performance indicators. The Group has once again grown at a significantly faster rate than the market as a whole for the ICT industry, and has further expanded its national and international presence. This was built on all three of USU’s growth drivers in 2015: the successful marketing of innovations, the steady expansion of international business and growth through the acquisition of SecurIntegration GmbH. In addition, the share of higher margin product segments has been increasing for years and now accounts for almost 80% of Group sales.
USU’s consolidated sales (IFRS) climbed by 12.1% in fiscal 2015 to EUR 66,091 thousand (2014: EUR 58,933 thousand). International business proved particularly successful, contributing a total of EUR 20,122 thousand (2014: EUR 15,595 thousand). This represents year-on-year growth of 29.0%. The share of consolidated sales generated outside Germany therefore rose from 26.5% in 2014 to 30.5% during the year under review. Broken down by type of sales, license business posted the highest rise thanks to international expansion, as anticipated. USU thus increased income from software licenses by 22.8% as against the previous year to EUR 12,433 thousand in 2015 (2014: EUR 10,122 thousand). Maintenance business also grew substantially by 14.6% to EUR 16,323 thousand (2014: EUR 14,242 thousand). USU’s sales from consulting services were up by 9.6% year-on-year at EUR 36,150 thousand (2014: EUR 32,982 thousand). Other income, chiefly comprising merchandise sales of third-party hardware and software, came to a total of EUR 1,185 thousand in fiscal 2015 (2014: EUR 1,587 thousand).
In conjunction with only a slight increase in costs, the sales growth achieved by the USU Group led to a significant rise in earnings in fiscal 2015. Thus, USU’s earnings before interest and taxes adjusted for extraordinary effects due to acquisitions (adjusted EBIT) rose by 20.8% to EUR 8,789 thousand in 2015 (2014: EUR 7,276 thousand). In addition to the adjustment of acquisition-related amortization of intangible assets of EUR 1,289 thousand (2014: EUR 1,257 thousand), these extraordinary effects included income from the reversal of a purchase price provision of EUR 223 thousand (2014: EUR 970 thousand) in connection with the full acquisition of B.I.G. Social Media GmbH (BIG). USU increased its adjusted consolidated earnings to EUR 8,789 thousand (2014: EUR 5,963 thousand), a year-on-year rise of 47.4%. Adjusted earnings per share increased from EUR 0.57 in the previous year to EUR 0.84 in the reporting period.
On an unadjusted basis, USU increased EBITDA by 11.1% year-on-year to EUR 9,878 thousand (2014: EUR 8,886 thousand). Taking into account depreciation and amortization of EUR 2,288 thousand (2014: EUR 2,213 thousand), EBIT rose by 13.7% as against 2014 to EUR 7,590 thousand (2014: EUR 6,673 thousand). Financial income was down year-on-year at EUR 346 thousand (2014: EUR 495 thousand), essentially due to lower earnings owing to exchange rate effects. Financial expenses declined to EUR 55 thousand (2014: EUR 572 thousand) due to the loss of scheduled interest on the purchase price liability for the final acquisition of BIG. Income taxes amounted to EUR 501 thousand in 2015 (2014: EUR -1,084 thousand) and included both income taxes for the reporting period and deferred taxes. After taxes, the USU Group generated an increase in consolidated net profit of 52.1% to EUR 8,382 thousand in fiscal 2015 (2014: EUR 5,512 thousand). USU’s earnings per share therefore improved from EUR 0.52 in the previous year to currently EUR 0.80.
In view of the successful performance of the USU Group and its positive future prospects, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will propose a 16.7% year-on-year increase in the dividend to EUR 0.35 (2014: EUR 0.30) per share at the Annual General Meeting on June 17, 2016.
As a result of the positive development in income, the USU Group’s equity climbed to EUR 60,791 thousand in 2015 (December 31, 2014: EUR 55,608 thousand). With total assets of EUR 89,186 thousand (December 31, 2015: EUR 85,174 thousand), the equity ratio was 68.2% as of December 31, 2015 (December 31, 2014: 65.3%). As of the end of fiscal 2015, the USU Group had consolidated liquidity of EUR 23,109 thousand (December 31, 2014: EUR 18,920 thousand). The Group-wide order book for the USU Group increased by 28.8% on the previous year to EUR 36,297 thousand (2014: EUR 28,172 thousand). The Group expanded its workforce by 10.2% to 498 (2014: 452) employees.
In addition to organic growth, another key element of the company’s strategy is the expansion of Group activities through the acquisition of companies and interests in companies. USU Software AG therefore acquired all shares in SecurIntegration GmbH, a specialist provider for SAP license management, on July 1, 2015 and included it in its consolidated financial statements as of the acquisition date.
For the current year, the Management Board also expects sales above the overall market level while continuing to improve its operating earnings margin. The guidance for 2016 anticipates consolidated sales in the range of EUR 71 million to EUR 75 million with adjusted EBIT of EUR 9 million to EUR 10.5 million. With international business flourishing, potential on the core German market still high and the growth-oriented acquisition policy of the USU Group, the Management Board continues to expect sales and earnings to develop significantly, including in the medium term. Sales are expected to rise to more than EUR 100 million by the end of 2017, including approximately EUR 15 million in growth through acquisitions. Here, the operating margin on the basis of adjusted EBIT is expected to rise to 15%.