USU Software AG announces figures for 2017, dividend proposal and guidance for 2018
- Strong license business in fourth quarter of 2017
- Sales growth of 17% for year as a whole
- Earnings shaped by trend towards SaaS solutions and investments outside Germany
- Dividend proposal of EUR 0.40 per share
- Orders on hand up more than 11% as of December 31, 2017
- Further growth forecast for 2018
Möglingen, March 29, 2018. USU Software AG (hereinafter “USU”, ISIN DE000A0BVU28) announced its figures for 2017 today. In the final quarter, USU increased its IFRS consolidated sales by 23% to EUR 25.5 million (Q4/2016: EUR 20.7 million). This positive development was due in particular to further growth in software license business. In Q4/2017, USU recorded a year-on-year increase in license sales of 49% to EUR 6.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). Thanks to increased SaaS income, maintenance business also rose by 17% to EUR 6 million (Q4/2016: EUR 5.1 million). Consulting business grew by 8% to EUR 11.8 million in the same period (Q4/2016: EUR 10.9 million). Due to increased investments outside Germany for the further expansion of international business, adjusted EBIT declined by 12% year-on-year to EUR 3.8 million (Q4/2016: EUR 4.3 million). At the same time, USU increased its consolidated net profit by 19% compared with the same period of the previous year to EUR 3.4 million (Q4/2016: EUR 2.9 million).
On a full-year basis, sales rose by 17% to EUR 84.4 million (2016: EUR 72.1 million). This positive development was primarily driven by domestic business, while sales of software licenses outside Germany saw more muted development during the year as a result of the trend towards SaaS business. Increased investments outside Germany meant that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 37% year-on-year to EUR 6.8 million (2016: EUR 10.8 million), while EBIT for the year as a whole totaled EUR 3.2 million (2016: EUR 8.3 million). EBIT adjusted for acquisition effects (adjusted EBIT) fell by around one-third as against the previous year to EUR 6.1 million (2016: EUR 9.6 million). Consolidated net profit for 2017 halved to EUR 3.4 million (2016: EUR 6.8 million). Accordingly, earnings per share amounted to EUR 0.32 (2016: EUR 0.64).
In line with the Company’s strategy of distributing a dividend that is never lower than the previous year and that corresponds to around half of the profit generated, the Management Board has proposed the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.40 per share as in the previous year.
In the 2018 fiscal year, the Management Board expects the Company to continue on the positive growth path recorded in recent years in terms of adjusted EBIT and sales, although this growth will be curbed slightly by the trend towards SaaS business. The first positive effects from investments outside Germany will be seen in the current fiscal year, although the full effect will only be felt with some delay. At the same time, business in Germany is expected to continue to develop successfully.
All in all, the Management Board expects to significantly outperform the market in terms of growth once again in the 2018 fiscal year. One key indicator supporting this forecast is Group-wide orders on hand, which increased by over 11% year-on-year to more than EUR 44 million as of December 31, 2017 (2016: EUR 39.5 million). Accordingly, the forecast for 2018 involves an increase in consolidated sales to between EUR 93 million and EUR 98 million, accompanied by an above-average rise in adjusted EBIT to EUR 7.5-10 million. The Management Board is also confirming its medium-term forecast to 2021, with consolidated sales of EUR 140 million and adjusted EBIT of EUR 20 million. Strategic planning is focused on the three established growth pillars of the USU Group: increased internationalization, the development and launch of new product innovations, and inorganic growth through acquisitions.