Investment in Greece and Trading Update

  • Zetes acquires the company NetWave and expands its European network of local customer support 
  • NETWave has an excellent reputation and a proven team with excellent project management skills
  • Enables sales and support of Zetes solutions within the Greek marketplace
  • Trading update for 2009

Brussels, Athens, 1 February 2010 - Zetes (Euronext Brussels: ZTS), the European leader in automatic identification solutions and services for goods and people today announced it is acquiring 51% of the shares in NETWave, one of Greece’s most established providers of Auto-ID solutions for the supply chain.

This acquisition enables Zetes to satisfy the requirement from multinational customers seeking coverage within the Greek market.  Now re-branded ZetesNetwave, the company employs twenty people with excellent project management capabilities and is now in a position to offer multinational clients a highly skilled local partner.

Alain Wirtz, CEO of the Zetes Group, comments: “With NETWave, Zetes has acquired a company with an excellent reputation and whose core activities are closely aligned to our business. In addition, NETWave has an important portfolio of customers in the large-scale distribution sector, including in particular the Carrefour group, one of our longest standing international customers.”

The financial investment by Zetes will enable the company to revitalise its growth strategy. “By joining our Group, NETWave can integrate the range of Zetes solutions into its portfolio and expand its offering substantially. The company can also benefit from the synergies created for its major international accounts and take advantage of expertise available through our 14 other European subsidiaries”, adds Alain Wirtz.

He concludes: “We are delighted to welcome NETWave into the Zetes Group. Its integration will allow us to continue our strategy of strengthening ties with multinational customers through geographical expansion. It also means Zetes can offer customers the highest levels of technical expertise and service across 14 European locations, combined with seamless international project management."

NETWave currently generates a turnover of approximately 3 million euros with modest profits. The company has excellent knowledge of the Greek market and a very highly skilled team of professionals. The immediate investment value amounts to approximately 0.5 million euros for 51% shareholding. The acquisition of the remaining 49% shareholding of NETWave by Zetes is planned within a three year period, based on NETWave’s performance until 2013.

In terms of its business, Zetes is expecting a slightly weaker second half of 2009 in comparison with the first half of the year (EBITDA). Zetes emphasises the favourable performance of Goods ID, increasing in H2 in a market which is starting to show signs of recovery. Zetes has managed to make the most of what has been an eventful year to gain further market share in various European countries where the company maintains a presence. However, this favourable performance does not fully compensate the temporary slowing down of long-term contracts and the postponement of the implementation of certain projects in People ID. Zetes has showed high resistance throughout 2009 despite an exceptionally difficult market situation, thanks to the complementary nature of its two core activities.  For 2009, Zetes expects EBITDA in excess of 13 million euros, a decrease which is 10% less than initially expected. The company continues to generate substantial cash flow and its net cash position has strengthened considerably, to + 12.5 million euros compared to +7.4 million euros at the end of 2008. Zetes will publish its 2009 results on 18 March 2010.

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