Interim report January - March 2004
• Consolidated revenues for the quarter amounted to SEK 703.7 M, to compare with SEK 717.6 M for the first quarter 2003. • Net earnings for the quarter rose to SEK 33.6 M (6.2). • Earnings per share for the period improved to SEK 0.40 (0.07). • Organic growth for the period, excluding England, was 4%. • Bo Askvik was named the new CFO.
The Intrum Justitia Group Intrum Justitia is Europe’s leading credit management services group. Services include credit information, invoicing and reminder management as well as debt surveillance and collection of written-off receivables. The Group has revenues of SEK 2.9 billion and around 2,900 employees in 21 European countries. January–March 2004: Revenues and earnings Consolidated revenues in the period January–March amounted to SEK 703.7 M (717.6), a decrease of 2%. Organic growth accounted for 0.3 percentage points, while –2.2 percentage points was due to the appreciation of the Swedish krona. Continued strong growth in the Netherlands, Sweden and France is generating higher volumes from clients in the telecom and utility sectors. Organic growth was negatively affected by England, lower revenues from the credit information and credit guarantee operation in Switzerland, and lower volumes in Norway. Operating earnings (EBITA) rose by 55% to SEK 97.5 M (63.0). The improvement is due to the 2003 charge of SEK 41.0 M for restructuring costs. The Netherlands, Italy and Sweden reported a positive earnings trend. Earnings were affected by higher costs in England and lower results in Switzerland and Norway. Operating earnings (EBIT) rose to SEK 67.4 M (32.9). Earnings before tax and minority interests for the quarter increased to SEK 56.7 M (17.1), while net earnings for the period rose to SEK 33.6 M (6.2). Service Line Highlights Consumer Collection & Debt Surveillance: This service line account for the majority of consolidated revenues. Service line revenues for the period amounted to SEK 423.7 M (427.6), corresponding to organic growth of 1%. The service line maintained strong organic growth in the Netherlands and Sweden, where new and existing telecom and energy customers contributed to the positive development. Finland, France and Poland also contributed to organic growth, principally through increased volumes from key clients in the above-mentioned sectors and more widespread outsourcing among small and medium sized enterprises in these countries. Declining revenue growth was mainly caused by a lower case inflow from the earlier loss of key clients. Operating earnings (EBITA) for the first quarter decreased by 4% to SEK 91.0 M (94.7). The decrease is largely attributable to England, Norway and Germany. Commercial & International Collection: Service line revenues amounted to SEK 171.1 M (174.5). This corresponds to nil organic growth for the period. Service line growth is being generated mainly from improved volumes in the Netherlands and higher production efficiency in France. Growth has slowed, however, in Italy and through a lower case inflow in Switzerland compared with the corresponding period of 2003. Otherwise, the Nordic countries in particular had a weaker first quarter than the previous year. Operating earnings (EBITA) for the period was lower, SEK 17.4 M (18.7). Purchased Debt: During the first quarter of 2004 service line revenues rose by 19% to SEK 58.4 M. The revenue increase is mainly attributable to Poland, where additional major acquisitions were made of banking and telecom sector portfolios, as well as Switzerland, where collections from existing portfolios were strong during the quarter. Collection volumes from the Nordic portfolios also contributed to the positive revenue trend. Operating earnings (EBITA) rose to SEK 22.7 M (20.5). The lower operating margin of 39% (42) is due in part to lower collections from certain English portfolios and in part to higher portfolio pricing in countries including Poland. Sales Ledger: Service line revenues rose year-on-year in the first quarter from SEK 28.4 M to SEK 34.0 M. The increase is largely due to the Netherlands, Spain, England, Ireland and Italy, where higher demand for this type of service, mainly from the telecom, financial service and media sectors, has led to stronger volume inflows. The operating deficit for the period was SEK –5.2 M (–9.0). The lower deficit is mainly attributable to volume increases in the above-mentioned operations and lower expenses owing to the ongoing action program. Operating earnings are still being burdened, however, by expenses for the migration to a new production system in Sweden. Furthermore, several key operations are not yet covering expenses. Other Services: Service line revenues declined during the reporting period from SEK 61.1 M to SEK 50.8, due to which operating earnings amounted to a deficit of SEK –4.8 M (1.6). The decrease in quarterly revenues for the service line is primarily due to the continued downsizing of the Swiss credit information and credit guarantee operation, which also affected earnings for the service line. Lower purchases of fresh receivables in Norway also affected the period’s revenues and operating earnings for this service line. Expenses The gross profit margin rose to 39% (37) largely as a result of improved productivity and cost reductions in a number of countries. Administrative expenses increased, mainly related to the legal investigation in England and increased investments in marketing activities. The reserve of SEK 15 M established in the year-end accounts for 2003 has not yet been utilized. Items Affecting Comparability No items affecting comparability were reported during the first quarter of 2004. Items affecting comparability of SEK 41.0 M in the corresponding period of 2003 are related to the integration of the German operations and a rationalization package in the Netherlands and Belgium. Net Financial Items Financial expenses were lower than the year-on-year period due to lower market interest rates. Cash Flow and Investments Cash flow from operating activities amounted to SEK –41.8 M during the quarter, against SEK 67.7 M in the corresponding period of 2003. The change was in large part due to an increase in tied-up working capital. The increase in working capital amounted to SEK 115.1 M, of which England represents SEK 60.7 M, mainly due to repayments of previously unallocated receipts. The change in working capital is otherwise considered to be mainly of a seasonal nature. Investments in tangible and intangible fixed assets were lower than the corresponding period of 2003. Purchases of written-off receivables were higher but include disbursements of SEK 36.1 M in 2004 for purchases contractually agreed upon in 2003. The negative cash flow from operating activities and financing activities have been financed in large part through a reduction in liquid assets. Financing As of 31 March 2004 net debt was SEK 853.5 M, against SEK 768.6 M at year-end 2003. The increase is mainly attributable to negative cash flow and exchange rate effects. Shareholders’ equity amounted to SEK 1,295.9 M, compared with SEK 1,240.8 on 31 December 31 2003. Shareholders’ equity was positively affected by the 2.0% decline in the value of the Swedish krona against the euro from 31 December 2003 to 31 March 2004 and by its decline against sterling (GBP) by 8% in the same period. Shareholders’ equity was negatively affected by a preliminary estimate of SEK –6.4 M due to the change in accounting principles for pensions. As of 31 March 2004 consolidated liquid assets totaled SEK 184.9 M, compared with SEK 243.2 M on 31 December 2003. Unutilized credit facilities amounted to SEK 313.0 M on the same date, (SEK 301.7 M at year-end 2003.). Minority Interests Minority interests of SEK –1.4 M in the income statement and SEK 16.1 M in the balance sheet refer principally to the 40% minority holdings in the Group’s companies in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary as of April 2003. Goodwill Consolidated goodwill amounted to SEK 1,541.6 M, against SEK 1,528.1 M at year-end 2003. The change during the quarter consists of goodwill amortization of SEK –30.1 M and the effect of exchange rate fluctuations of SEK 43.6 M. Human Resources The average number of employees during the quarter was 2,881 (2,865). The number of employees has increased in Poland to handle expanded volume from additional key clients. Parent Company The parent company, Intrum Justitia AB (publ), provides the Group’s head office functions and certain group-wide development and marketing services. The parent company had revenues of SEK 6.4 (5.8) and earnings before tax of SEK –15.9 M (–9.7). The parent company invested SEK 0.3 M (0.0) in fixed assets during the quarter and had liquid assets of SEK 0.0 M (2.3) at the end of the period. The average number of employees was 19 (18). Market and Outlook The trend toward increased outsourcing and higher indebtedness is expected to continue, particularly in the Consumer Collection & Debt Surveillance service line. The previously issued forecast was as follows: “As a whole, consolidated revenues excluding England for full-year 2004 are expected to grow in line with the previous year.” The new outlook, comprising the entire Group, forecasts that organic growth in 2004 will exceed the previous year. Due to the weak start of 2004, growth for the year is expected to be below the Group’s long-term target of 10% organic growth. Other As announced on 26 March 2004 the Group auditors have completed the group audit and signed an unqualified Audit Report on the Intrum Justitia Group for year 2003. On 19 April 2004 Bo Askvik was appointed the new Chief Financial Officer of Intrum Justitia and will become a member of the Group Management Team. He succeeds Bertil Persson, who will remain CFO until Bo Askvik takes up the position no later than August 2004. Born in 1958, Bo Askvik has extensive experience in Swedish and international business, most recently from the Swedish industrial group Sapa, where he has served as CFO since 2001. Accounting Principles This Interim Report has been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice in Sweden and accounting standard RR 20 of the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council (RR). From 1 January 2004 the company applies the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council’s accounting standard RR29 Employee Benefits, which contains, among other things, uniform regulations on the actuarial calculation of provisions for pensions in defined-benefit pension plans. These pensions were previously reported by each Group company in accordance with the local practice in each country. The amended accounting principles have resulted in an increase in provisions for defined-benefit pensions in Norway, France and Italy totaling SEK 17.7 M and a decrease in shareholders’ equity of SEK 6.4 M. The pension obligations in Sweden according to the so-called ITP plan are still reported as defined-contribution pension solutions since Alecta has stated that it will not be able to supply the information companies need to report them as defined-benefit pension solutions. The company has otherwise applied the same accounting principles as in previous years. Harmonization of New Accounting Principles From 1 January 2005 Intrum Justitia will report in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS, formerly IAS). Intrum Justitia currently complies with the recommendations of the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council. Although the latter have gradually been adapted to IFRS, a number of differences remain. Intrum Justitia has appointed a steering committee to monitor developments and harmonize the company’s accounts with the new rules. Based on what is now known, the only major differences between the current accounting principles and IFRS regard the reporting of acquisitions and goodwill, as well as financial instruments. Intrum Justitia will provide more detailed information on the effects on the company’s reporting in 2004 as it becomes available. Reporting Dates The Second-Quarter Interim Report (January-June) 2004 will be published on 18 August, 2004. The Third-Quarter Interim Report (January-September) 2004 will be published on 27 October, 2004. The Full-Year Report for 2004 will be published in mid-February 2005. Stockholm, 5 May 2004 Intrum Justitia AB (publ) Jan Roxendal President & Chief Executive Officer This Interim Report has not been reviewed by the company’s auditors. This Interim Report and other financial information are available at Intrum Justitia’s website: www.intrum.com Denna delårsrapport finns även på svenska. Presentation of the Interim Report The interim report and presentation material are available at www.intrum.com > Investors. Intrum Justitia President & CEO Jan Roxendal and CFO Bertil Persson will comment on the report in a telephone conference today at 10:00 a.m. CET. To participate by telephone, call +44 207 162 0196. A recorded version will be available through 12 May 2004 by telephone: +44 208 288 4459 using the code 805 142.