|(in € thousands)||2016||2015||Change|
|Current operating income||31,500||25,980||+21.2%|
|As a % of revenue||9.7%||9.5%|
|Other operating income and expenses||(1,472)||(1,534)|
|Net income from consolidated companies||21,274||16,044||+32.6%|
|As a % of revenue||6.5%||5.9%|
|Group net income||21,274||15,903||+32.6%|
|Earnings per share||€1.63||€1.22||+35.6%|
Aubay Group's Board of Directors which met on 15 March 2017 under Chairman Christian Aubert has approved the consolidated statements for financial year 2016.
2016 was another excellent year for Aubay with an improvement across all economic indicators. The Group's results for the period confirm its capacity to regularly outperform its sector in terms of both organic growth (+8.7%) and profitability.
Current operating income amounted to 9.7%, which is well in excess of the target 9.1% set at the beginning of the year. This impressive performance is the result of a buoyant backdrop driven by the Digital market, effective sales by Aubay's teams and the company's recognized expertise in project execution and cost control.
The Group's current operating margin for the period came in at 10.2% for activities in France and 9.7% for activities overseas, compared with a respective 10.6% and 8.3% in 2015. The fact that they are roughly equivalent is a sign that all entities are in good health.
Strong increase in Group net income: +32.6%
Aubay's operating income amounted to €30.0 million for 2016, an increase of 22.8% which includes €1.5 million in extraordinary expenses that essentially relate to restructuring.
Group net income increased 32.6% to €21.3 million on the back of an improvement in financial income, which is a historic high. Earnings per share amounted to €1.63 as against €1.22 one year earlier.
Positive net cash position of €4.4 million
As forecast on the announcement of its half-yearly results, the change in Aubay's net debt proved much more favorable in the second half of 2016.
Group cash flow increased to €34.3 million compared with a figure of €26.7 million for the same period in 2015. Net cash flow linked to operations was stable at €16.4 million as against €16.3 million in 2015, linked to a higher change in WCR of €8.7 million which in turn is tied to the strong growth in revenues.
Gross financial debt amounted to €19.7 million at 31 December 2016 compared with a figure of €25 million the year before. Cash assets amounted to €24.1 million, taking the Group's net cash position to €4.4 million on 31 December 2016 compared with a net debt position of €2.4 million in 2015.
Proposed dividend payment of €0.41 per share
In light of the Group's excellent results, Aubay's Board of Directors is to propose the payment of a dividend of €0.41 for financial year 2016 (vs. €0.30 for 2015) at the General Meeting of Shareholders. An interim dividend of €0.18 was paid in November 2016. The General Meeting of Shareholders will be held on Wednesday 10 May at 9am (Paris time).
Outlook for 2017
Aubay's sector continues to thrive, boosted by the surge in the Digital market and the increasing need to streamline existing systems that is prompting substantial investment amongst all Aubay clients in all sectors. Ideally placed in terms of its offer and geographic footprint to capitalize on this strong demand, the Group continues to ramp up its major recruitment drives and is targeting strong organic growth of between 5% and 7% in the medium term and a conservative €346 million in revenues for 2017.
Despite an unfavorable calendar in 2017 (2 working days less than in 2016), Aubay is confident of its capacity to continue to deliver a current operating margin of between 9% and 10% in line with its normative objectives for the medium term.
Aubay will publish its revenues for the first half of the year on Wednesday 19 April 2017 at the end of the trading day.
Current operating income: this indicator corresponds to operating income before the cost of free shares and other income and expenses that are unusual, abnormal or infrequent and that are booked separately in order to facilitate the understanding of an entity's current operating performance.
Current operating margin: this indicator, which is expressed as a percentage, is the ratio of current operating income to revenue.
Net debt or net cash: this indicator represents the difference between an entity's cash and financial debt. If the result is negative, it is referred to as net debt. If it is positive, it is referred to as net cash.
Aubay is a digital services company working alongside some of the biggest names in the Banking, Finance, Insurance, Manufacturing, Energy, Transport and Telecoms sectors. With 4,900 employees across 7 countries (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom), Aubay generated revenues of €326.4 million in 2016.
NYSE Euronext, Compartiment C – ISIN FR0000063737-AUB – Reuters AUBT.PA - Bloomberg