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  AUBAY company press release from 20/03/2024

  20/03/2024 - 18:10

2023 annual results : Operating margin from ordinary activities: 8.9% - Net income attributable to owners of the parent: EUR 33.4 million - Record net cash: EUR 93 million - Dividend maintained at EUR 1.20 per share


In € thousands 2023 2022 Change
Revenue 534,116 513,547 +4.0%
Operating profit from ordinary activities 47,385 53,168 -10.9%
As a % of revenue 8.9% 10.4%  
Cost of performance shares (1,328) (1,606)  
Other operating income and expenses (3,728) (1,478)  
Operating profit 42,329 50,084 -15.5%
Financial income/(expense) 1,047 (681)  
Tax (expense)/income (9,968) (13,774)  
Net income from consolidated companies 33,408 35,629 -6.2%
As a % of revenue 6.3% 6.9%  
Net income attributable to owners of the parent 33,408 35,629  
       
Headcount 7,779 7,819 -0.5%
Net cash 92,992 83,410 +11.5%

 

Aubay's Board of Directors, which met on March 20, 2024 under Chairman Christian Aubert, approved the statutory and consolidated financial statements for 2023. The financial statements have been audited by the Statutory Auditors and the auditors' report will be issued once the procedures required to publish the company's Universal Registration Document have been completed.

 

2023 ended with a solid performance, demonstrating the Group's ability to adapt and seize opportunities in a more challenging market environment, particularly in the second and third quarters, after the exceptional momentum of 2021 and 2022.

Annual revenue amounted to €534.1 million, up 4.0% in purely organic terms, with dynamic growth of 6.5% in France (to €280.5 million) and 1.4% internationally (to €253.6 million), with Italy in the process of stabilizing its business.

 

Operating margin from ordinary activities at 8.9%, at the higher end of the forecast range

Against this backdrop, the management resources deployed by the Group and the achievement of a slightly better-than-expected productivity rate enabled operating margin from ordinary activities to be at the top end of the range revised in October.

At 8.9%, it remains among the highest on the market. Aubay thus demonstrates its resilience confronted with external impacts, maintaining a good ratio between the evolution of its sales prices and its average salary in a more normalized environment.

 

Operating profit: €42.3 million

Operating profit came to €42.3 million, including the cost of free shares, down on the previous year at €1.3 million (vs. €1.6 million in 2022), and an exceptional restructuring provision in Italy of €1.6 million.

 

Net margin maintained at 6.3%

Group financial loss improved with a growth of €1.0 million after a loss of €0.7 million in 2022, including €1.8 million in financial income from cash investments and €0.8 million in financial expenses, half of which relates to IFRS 16 debts. Tax rate fell from 28% to 23% across the Group. Net income attributable to owners of the parent, came to €33.4 million, down by a moderate 6.2% compared to last year's record level net income (€35.6 million).

 

Financial position

Cash flow generated by the Group's activities reached an exceptional €41.7 million (vs. €33.9 million in 2022), enabling net cash to exceed the Group's expectations, at €93.0 million, after dividend payments of €15.9 million and the cancellation of treasury shares for the amount of €8.6 million (reminder: 239,850 cancelled shares on December 28, 2023). 

 

Proposed dividend of €1.20 per share maintained

In light of this solidly maintained performance and the Group's high cash-assets, the Board of Directors has decided to propose an unchanged dividend of €1.20 per share in respect of 2023 to the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 14, 2024, representing a payout ratio of 47% of net income. Taking into account the interim dividend of €0.50 per share paid on November 10, 2023, the balance to be paid will amount to €0.70 per share.

 

CSR strategy guided by an ambitious roadmap

Aubay has delivered another year of responsible and sustainable growth and improved all of its roadmap indicators:

 

Environment Social Governance
Electrical consumption DIVERSITY (percentage of women in management)
vs. 33% in 2022
% of women in
management positions
-26% down vs. 2018 35% 44%
Paper consumption INCLUSION (employment rate
of disabled people
in France)
vs. 3.2% in 2022
Anti-corruption
training rate
-77% down vs. 2018 3.3% 96%
Transition towards
renewable energy
TRAINING (in hours)
vs. 2022
 
68% of renewable energy sites
on the rise
+21%  
SPONSORSHIP (in value)
vs. 2022
 
+22%  

 

 

These excellent performances have been recognized by the main rating agencies:

 

ecovadis 2023 Score : 78/100 Platinum medal
EthiFinance 2023 Score : 68/100  
Humpact 2023 Score : 4.5/5 Ranked 27th/295
CDP 2023 Score : B score Vs C in 2022

 

Outlook for 2024

Aubay continues to evolve in a market marked by the cautiousness of its major customers, particularly in the banking sector. There are a high number of projects, but cost management remains a key issue for several of the Group's strategic customers.

In this demanding market, 2024 performance will nevertheless benefit from a positive calendar effect (+2 days on average), and the Group will maintain a constant focus over its productivity and the preservation of its margins.

Against this backdrop, our ambition for 2024 remains to post revenue of between €534 and €550 million and an operating margin of between 8.5% and 9.5%.

 

 

Aubay will publish its 2024 first-quarter revenue on April 24, 2024 after the close of trading.

 

 

Glossary

 

Organic revenue growth: This refers to growth calculated for a constant scope of activity for a given period, excluding revenues from companies that were acquired or sold during the period. As Aubay conducts most of its business in the euro zone, any impact from changes in exchange rates is minimal.

   2023
Organic growth +4.0%
Impact of changes in scope -
Growth as reported +4.0%

 

Operating profit from ordinary activities: this indicator corresponds to operating profit before the cost of free shares and other income and expenses that are unusual, abnormal or infrequent and that are booked separately in order to facilitate understanding of an entity's recurring operating performance.

 

Operating margin from ordinary activities: this indicator, which is expressed as a percentage, is the ratio of operating income from ordinary activities to revenue.

 

Net debt or net cash (excluding rental liabilities): this indicator represents the difference between an entity's cash and debt. If the result is negative, it is referred to as net debt. If it is positive, it is referred to as net cash.

 

 

About Aubay

Aubay is a digital services company working alongside some of the biggest names in the Banking, Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing, Energy, Transport and Telecoms sectors. With 7,779 employees in seven countries at December 31, 2023 (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom). Aubay generated revenue of €534.1 million in 2023.

Euronext, Compartment: B - ISIN FR0000063737-AUB - Reuters : AUBT.PA - Bloomberg AUB:FP

Euronext Tech Leaders

 

Contacts

Amaury Dugast – Actus Finance – Tel.: +33 (0)1 53 67 36 74 - adugast@actus.fr

David Fuks – Co-Chief Operating Officer – Finance Department – Tel.: +33 (0)1 46 10 67 67 – E-mail: dfuks@aubay.com

 

 

APPENDICES

 

 

Statement of financial position as of December 31, 202 3    
     
     
ASSETS (in € thousands) Dec. 31, 2023 Dec. 31, 2022
     
Goodwill 131,305 131,305
Intangible assets 884 597
Property, plant & equipment 4,283 4,978
Right of use relating to leases 19,829 13,850
Equity-accounted investees - -
Other financial assets 2,181 2,053
Deferred tax assets 3,929 2,603
Other non-current assets 1,530 1,782
NON-CURRENT ASSETS 163,941 157,168
Inventories and work in progress 736 926
Assets on contracts 34,932 35,458
Trade receivables 121,914 127,890
Other receivables and accruals 41,139 38,510
Marketable securities 42,330 40,272
Cash at bank and in hand 52,566 45,581
CURRENT ASSETS 293,617 288,637
TOTAL ASSETS 457,558 445,805
     
EQUITY AND LIABILITIES (in € thousands) Dec. 31, 2023 Dec. 31, 2022
     
Capital 6,532 6,634
Additional paid-in capital and consolidated reserves 221411 208,443
Net income attributable to owners of the parent 33,408 35,629
Shareholders' equity attributable to the Group 261,351 250,706
Minority interests 0 0
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY 261,351 250,706
Borrowings and financial liabilities: non-current portion 1,078 1,611
Rental liabilities due in more than 1 year 15,439 9,720
Deferred tax liabilities 1 1
Provisions for contingencies and expenses 8,896 6,600
Other non-current liabilities 358 259
NON-CURRENT LIABILITIES 25,772 18,191
Borrowings and financial liabilities: current portion 824 832
Rental liabilities due within 1 year 5,084 4,555
Trade and other payables 36,917 39,104
Contract liabilities 20,595 25,615
Other current liabilities 107,015 106,802
CURRENT LIABILITIES 170,435 176,908
TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES 457,558 445,805

 

 

Income statement for 2023        
         
In € thousands 2023 % 2022 %
Revenue 534,116 100% 513,547 100%
Other operating income 236    733   
Purchases used in production and external charges (131,913)    (118,959)   
Staff costs (342,543)    (329,662)   
Taxes other than on income (4,509)    (4,247)   
Amortization, depreciation and provisions (8,038)    (7,842)   
Change in inventories of work in progress and finished goods        
Other operating income and expenses 36    (402)   
Operating profit from ordinary activities 47,385 8.9% 53,168 10.4%
Expenses linked to restricted share units and similar awards (1,328)    (1,606)   
Current operating profit 46,057 8.6% 51,562 10.0%
Other operating income and expenses (3,728)    (1,478)   
Operating profit 42,329 7.9% 50,084 9.8%
Income from cash and cash equivalents        
Net borrowing costs (771)    (478)   
Other financial income and expenses 1,818    (203)   
Financial income/(expense) 1,047   (681)  
Income tax expense (9,968)  23% (13,774)  28%
Income from equity-accounted investees        
Net income before results of discontinued operations or assets held for sale 33,408   35,629  
Net income after tax of discontinued operations or assets held for sale        
Net income 33,408 6.3% 35,629 6.9%
Attributable to owners of the parent 33,408    35,629   
Minority interests   0  
Basic weighted average number of shares 13,055,712   13,250,487  
Earnings per share 2.56   2.69  
Diluted weighted average number of shares 13,129,462   13,330,487  
Diluted earnings per share* 2.54   2.67  

 

 

Cash flow statement for 2023    
     
     
 (in € thousands) 2023 2022
     
Consolidated net income (including non-controlling interests) 35,629 35,629
Income from equity-accounted investees    
Net depreciation, amortization and provisions and right of use relating to leases 8,993  7,600 
Non-cash expenses and income relating to share-based payments 1,228  1,606 
Other non-cash items    
Dividend income (58)  (57) 
Gains and losses on disposals of fixed assets 208  15
Cash flow after net interest expense and tax 43,779  44,793
Net borrowing costs 771  478 
Tax expense (including deferred taxes) 9,968  13,774 
Cash flow before net interest expense and tax (A) 54,518  59,045
Income tax payments (B) (10,979)  (17,318) 
Change in trade and other receivables (C) 5,132  (15,157) 
Change in trade and other payables (C) (6,973)  7,302 
Change in WCR linked to operations (including debt related to employee benefits) (1,841)  (7,855)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities (D) = (A+B+C) 41,698  33,872
Outflows for the acquisition of tangible and intangible fixed assets (1,805)  (2,376) 
Inflows from the disposal of tangible and intangible fixed assets 17  68 
Outflows for the acquisition of financial assets (5)  (4) 
Inflows from the disposal of financial assets    
Change in loans and advances granted (74)  24 
Disbursements (cash) related to business combinations, net of cash and cash equivalents    
Dividends received 58  57 
Other operating cash flows    
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities (E) (1,809)  (2,231
Proceeds from capital increases    
Amounts received upon the exercise of stock options    
Purchases of treasury shares for cancellation    
Purchases of and proceeds from the sale of treasury shares  (6,614)  
Dividends paid in the period:    
 - Net dividends paid to parent company shareholders (15,901)  (16,701) 
 - Dividends paid to the non-controlling shareholders of consolidated companies   (44) 
Inflows from new borrowings    
Repayment of loan debt (559)  (1,806) 
Repayment of rental liabilities (5,025)  (5,541) 
Net interest payments (771)  (478) 
Purchase of non-controlling minority interests    (258)
Other financial cash flows    
Net cash provided by (used in) financial activities (F) (30,870) (24,828)
Effects of changes in foreign exchange rates (G) 9 (30)
Change in net cash (D+E+F+G) 9,028  6,783 
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period 85,839  79,056 
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 94,867 85,839

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  Original Source: AUBAY