Interim business report on 6 November 2009
Performance in line with company expectations
Zetes’ business mix helps the company to face up well to the current difficult environment and deliver good results
In Goods ID, the Group is benefiting from its strategy of delivering solutions with high added value. Sales of software and services are on target while hardware sales remain low, continuing the trend in the first half and reflecting the lack of confidence in the economy. Recurring business (essentially maintenance) remains stable, making a significant contribution to the overall stability of the business. From an industry perspective, the retail industry, representing Zetes’ largest customer base, continues to invest.
The decline in sales on a year-over-year basis is less pronounced than in the first half and the gross margin as a percentage of sales remains high, offsetting to a great extent the decline in sales.
The growth in the People ID division’s international business continues, with several projects in Africa due to be implemented in the course of the second half. These are in addition to the revenue from "build and operate" contracts for the production of travel documents and ID cards in Belgium, Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire. Finally, Zetes is continuing its investment in an infrastructure for producing electronic ID cards in Israel, with initial revenues expected in 2010.
Zetes is maintaining its forecast that overall performance (EBITDA) in the second half of 2009 will match that of the first half. Though the company is still not seeing any signs of sustainable recovery in the economic environment of its markets, it remains confident, due to its industry and geographical diversification, of being able to achieve its profitability targets, and especially its objective of a recurring EBITDA on sales in the order of 8%.
As in the past, careful balance sheet management is allowing the Group to continue to generate a regular cash flow from operations, thereby improving its cash position. This puts Zetes in a strong position to seize growth opportunities offered by the difficult market conditions. In addition to the amounts earmarked for business development (acquisitions / organic growth), a minor share is allocated to the repurchase of shares.
For the Board of Directors,
|Pierre Lambert||Alain Wirtz|
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