Extract from Interim report January – September 2004
The full report can be ordered from the Company or downloaded from Sigma’s website at www.sigma.se.
Sigma back in growth – rise in earnings and margins •Sales amounted to SEK 592 M (538) for the first nine months of 2004 and SEK 200 M (153) for the third quarter. •Earnings (EBITA) for the nine-month period were SEK 26.6 M (loss: 11.5), corresponding to a margin of 4.5% (neg: 2.1). Third-quarter earnings amounted to SEK 9.4 M (loss: 9.3), with a margin of 4.7% (neg: 6.1). •The loss after financial items amounted to SEK 1.3 M (loss: 50.1) and after tax, to SEK 13.6 M (loss: 47.7). Earnings per share amount to a loss of SEK 0.18 (loss: 1.36). Supplementary information: In accordance with accounting rules applicable as of 2005, earnings after financial items amounted to SEK 23.2 M and per share to SEK 0.15. •Cash flow from operations amounted to SEK 27.4 M (neg: 9.7). Cash flow in the third quarter was also positive at SEK 5.0 M (neg: 18.3), despite vacation pay. •The integration with RKS is progressing according to plan. •Strategic cooperation initiated with Wipro India with the aim of offering low-cost production. •Previous forecast: Earnings (EBITA) exceeding SEK 40 M remains. Comment on trends The positive start to the year has continued and order bookings are favorable. Earnings in the third quarter match the company’s internal expectations. The third quarter is always highly fragmented, with lower earnings in July due to the holiday period, a recovery in August and a strong close to the quarter in September. Sigma reported a positive cash flow. The Group’s financial year is characterized by a third quarter burdened by large sums paid out as vacation pay and lower invoicing due to the holiday period. As a result, available liquid funds are at their lowest at the end of the quarter in September. It is worth noting that cash flow was positive also in the third quarter. Consolidated earnings (EBITA) for the first three quarters of 2004 amount to SEK 26.6 M (loss: 11.5). Earnings were charged with a capital loss of SEK 1.9 M and operating losses of SEK 9.2 M in discontinued and divested companies. The proportion of functional sourcing assignments continues to rise, as do invoiced sales to Sigma’s major customers with which the company has signed framework agreements. The number of sub-consultants used by Sigma has also risen. In many cases, this is linked to customers’ demands to work with established suppliers with which they have framework agreements, but whereby they also require assignment-specific expertise provided by a smaller niche supplier. Our objective is for assignments that use sub-consultants to have the same operating margin as our own assignments. Some deviations exist, however. Trends by business area Sales Earnings EBITA **) Margin EBITA % Employees at closing date Business Solutions 187.8 (220.8) 7.2 (3.0) 3.8 (1.4) 187 (260) IT Solutions 299.9 (229.4) 15.2 (-10.7) 5.1 (-4.7) 469 (325) Information Solutions 108.9 (93.1) 15.9 (7.4) 14.6 (8.0) 174 (144) Other activities *) 15.3 (16.9) -11.7 (-11.2) 5 (6) Eliminations -19.5 (-37.2) TOTAL 592.4 (538.5) 26.6 (-11.5) 4.5 (-2.1) 834 (735) *) Pertains to divested and terminated operations, including parent company expenses of SEK 7.5 M (5.5). The capital loss of SEK 1.9 M that arose on the sale of companies is included in this earnings figure **) Earnings/EBITA refers to earnings before goodwill amortization and items affecting comparability. Amortization of intangible assets is included in EBITA. Business Solutions The Business Systems sector continues to report strong earnings (EBITA). The newly acquired companies are showing a favorable development. Business systems comprise a strategic growth area for Sigma. Swedish demand for Strategy & Communications services has varied over time between different periods. Overall, however, the operations are profitable. In Denmark, operations are developing according to plan, with a considerable improvement in earnings compared with the year-earlier period. IT Solutions The business area showed a very stable trend, with a profit margin exceeding 5%, both for the nine-month period and the third quarter. Last year, the business area reported a loss. The earnings recovery is attributable primarily to the effects of implemented measures but also to a more stable market situation with a high level of demand. The operation in Örnsköldsvik was sold in the third quarter. Information Solutions The business area almost doubled its earnings compared with the preceding year, both in terms of SEK and margins. Recruitment is ongoing within the business area, with a net addition of 16 persons during the third quarter alone. The operations are characterized by long-term assignments, often involving total functional sourcing, which lend stability to the operations. Market trend There has been a significant rise in demand over the past 12 months, especially from large industrial groups. The restructuring that has taken place among IT consultancies has led to a more balanced market. The nature of projects has also changed over the past year, with increased demand for revenue-generating projects such as the development of new services and products as opposed to the efficiency-enhancing projects that dominated the market for several years. The rise in demand allows for price increases when signing new contracts or extending existing assignments and contracts. The major changes implemented by Sigma in recent years are yielding results. Now, Sigma is once again in an organic growth phase and in addition two companies – RKS and IPM – were acquired during the year. The changes made have also resulted in the Sigma of today being more of a pure consulting company without any large-scale internal activities related to software development and hardware sales. However, some internally developed applications that Sigma will continue to develop as before are advantum® Bison and Guda. Sales and earnings January - September Sales increased by 10% to SEK 592.4 M (538.5). Organic growth, measured in terms of invoicing by the company’s own consultants, was 3.5% during the first nine months of the year. During the first nine months of the year, earnings before goodwill amortization (EBITA) amounted to SEK 26.6 M (loss: 11.5), corresponding to a margin of 4.5% (neg: 2.1). Five Sigma operations have ceased – for example, through divestment. Combined, these operations generated operating losses of SEK 9.2 M, excluding sales proceeds. The remaining operations, including the Parent Company, generated EBITA of SEK 35.9 M, corresponding to a margin of 6.5%. Earnings (EBITA) for the third quarter amounted to SEK 9.3 M. New accounting principles (IFRS) will be applied from 2005, which will affect Sigma’s accounts in that goodwill amortization will be abolished. If these rules were applicable already at this time, it would have affected earnings after tax for the first nine months of the year positively by about SEK 24.5 M, corresponding to SEK 0.33 per share. Forecast 2004 The favorable trend for Sigma will continue. Order bookings are strong and employment ratio increases. The previously issued forecast of earnings (EBITA) exceeding SEK 40 M remains valid. Gothenburg, October 27 2004 Sigma AB (publ) (Corporate Reg. No. 556347-5440) Board of Directors For further information, contact: Sune Nilsson, Chief Executive Officer, Sigma AB (publ), Tel. +46-31-335 67 15; Mobile: +46-703-79 15 28; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Lars Sundqvist, Chief Financial Officer, Sigma AB (publ), Tel. +46-31-335 67 16; Mobile: +46-703-79 22 02; e-mail email@example.com