Ebiquity PLC – EBQ – Final Results

Ebiquity PLC – EBQ – Final Results

Ebiquity plc ("Ebiquity" or the "Group"), a world leader in media investment analysis, today announces its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2020. Ebiquity works with over 70 of the world's top 100 advertisers, served from 19 offices worldwide by some 520 staff.

 

Financial Highlights1

 

2020

20192

Change

£m

£m

£m

Revenue

55.9

68.1

(12.2)

Underlying Operating Profit 1

(0.3)

5.6

(5.9)

Underlying (Loss)/Profit before Tax 1

(1.3)

4.7

(6.0)

Underlying (Loss)/Earnings per Share 1

(1.9)p

2.9p

(4.8)p

Statutory Operating Loss

(2.9)

(4.8)

1.9

Statutory Loss before Tax

(3.9)

(5.7)

1.8

Statutory Loss per Share

(4.8)p

(9.6)p

4.8p

 

·    Second half revenue increased by 9% from first, although full year revenue fell by 18% compared to 2019

·    Project-related costs also reduced by 27%, enabling net revenue margin to rise to 89% (2019: 87%)

·    Underlying operating costs reduced by 7% to £50.0m (2019: £53.7m)

·   Financial position at 31 December 2020 remains strong: net bank debt of £7.8m (31 December 2019: £5.6m) with cash balances of £11.1m and undrawn bank facilities of £5.0m

·    Underlying operating cash inflow of £7.3m

 

Note 1: Underlying operating profit is defined as the operating profit excluding highlighted items. These include share-based payments, amortisation of purchased intangibles and non-recurring items. Underlying profit before tax and earnings per share are calculated based on the underlying operating profit.

 

Note 2: The 2019 financial statements have been re-stated as set out in Note 1 of the Group financial statements. This impacted revenue, underlying operating, profit before tax and earnings per share.

 

Operational Highlights

 

·   Nick Waters, former Executive Chair, UK & Ireland, Dentsu Aegis Network started as Group Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2020 with the objective to simplify, clarify and focus the business on a growth trajectory

·    New business wins including Daimler, Generali, Perfetti van Melle and Reckitt

·    Digital Decisions - which monitors advertising spend through the digital supply chain - acquired in January 2020 - performing as planned, winning ten new clients

·    New Digital Innovation Centre set up in order to speed up development of digital product suite

·    Shared service media delivery centre in Spain continued to expand and deliver operational efficiencies

·   Six new operational KPIs to be introduced in future results statements to track delivery of key business objectives. These are:

o  Number of clients buying two or more service lines

o  Number of clients buying one or more products from the new digital portfolio

o  Volume of digital advertising monitored - number of impressions            

o  Volume of digital advertising monitored - US$ of spend

o  Number of countries served with new digital products

o  % of revenue from digital services

 

Divisional highlights

 

Media: Media Management, Media Performance and Contract Compliance

·    Revenue of £46.0m (2019: £54.0m), reduced by 15%

·    Operating profit of £6.8m (2019 £11.8m), reduced by 40%

 

Analytics and Tech: Advanced Analytics, MarTech and AdTech

·    Revenue of £9.9m (2019: £14.1m) LFL decline of 15% excluding Stratigent

·    Operating loss of £0.7m (2019: profit of £1.0m)

 

Outlook

 

·   Industry dynamics are expected to encourage brand owners to review their channel and media investment strategies

·    Ebiquity's market position and capabilities should enable it to capitalise on positive market trends

·    New business won over the last year and renewals from existing clients - commissioning have already led to an encouraging start in the first quarter

·   Group's re-defined strategic focus make it well-positioned to deliver revenue growth and a return to profitability in the year ahead

 

Nick Waters, CEO of Ebiquity said:

 

"Ebiquity's results in 2020 clearly reflected the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global advertising spending and on our clients' demand for our services as they reduced their budgets. Our staff transitioned to working from home efficiently and continued to support our clients effectively. I thank all of them for their resilience and professionalism under challenging circumstances. As anticipated at the interim stage, our revenue increased in the second half of the year, compared to the first half. This reflected the macro-environment and more demand from existing clients, especially in automotive and FMCG as well as new business successes, helped by Accenture's exit from our market. This improved performance has continued into the start of this year and we except to deliver revenue growth and a return to profitability in 2021."

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