ecotel presents Q1 figures and raised forecast for 2017
- B2B segment on growth course - acquisition of additional key accounts
- Transformation from ISDN to All-IP customer access successfully started
- Successful implementation of recently acquired major projects
- New Business segment becomes more profitable
- EBITDA forecast for 2017 raised to € 7.0 - 8.0 million
ecotel continues to grow and is extremely well positioned for the current technological transformation in the telecommunications sector. In the profitable core segment Business Customers (B2B) revenue increased in the first quarter to € 11.6 million (previous year: € 11.4 million). It was possible to make up for the slight decline in revenue in the New Business segment over the past few quarters, with a total of € 4.3 million, which corresponds to the level of the previous year's comparison period. In the low-margin segment of Wholesale Solutions, which is difficult to plan, revenue decreased to € 11.0 million (previous year: € 14.3 million). Consolidated revenue in the first quarter totalled € 26.9 million (previous year: € 29.9 million).
Consolidated gross profit increased in the first quarter 2017 by € 0.2 million to € 7.3 million. With a gross profit margin of more than 48 %, this was achieved essentially by the Business Customers (B2B) segment.
Consolidated EBITDA totalled € 1.8 million (previous year: € 1.9 million). The slight decline is explained by substantial advance investments and expenses incurred by the Group in the first quarter 2017 for the successful implementation of major projects, for which no revenue exists as of yet. In addition, the Group continues to invest in process automation, in order to satisfactorily manage the current increase in migrations of customer access to All-IP technology, as well as the simultaneous increase in order acquisitions. Fortunately, the EBITDA development in the first quarter 2017 nevertheless exceeds our original expectations in all segments and companies.
At the start of the financial year the Group secured the investments for further growth by taking out an additional long-term loan, as well as an additional credit facility. Previous investments, especially for the provision of high-performance customer equipment, result in a negative free cash flow of € 0.7 million and to a decrease in the net financial assets to € 2.7 million.
In the past months ecotel has been working on the successful implementation of key accounts acquired last year. A demanding VPN project for a regional cooperative bank with more than 100 locations was successfully completed, for example, and another major project for one of Germany's biggest textile retailers with more than 1,000 locations got off to a successful start. In addition, a major radio streaming project in new media solutions, which belongs to the New Business segment, is about to be successfully completed. The positive results on revenue and profit should become successively apparent in the coming quarters.
Finally, ecotel acquired another major project from the ROSSMANN drug store chain for connection of more than 2,000 stores to the company headquarters.
The first quarter 2017 makes us optimistic that we will be able to easily overcome the risks of the technological transformation and the increased challenges for successful implementation of major projects.
For this reason, the Management Board is adjusting the EBITDA forecast for 2017. With consolidated revenue of € 95 - 115 million, the Management Board expects EBITDA in a corridor between € 7.0 and 8.0 million.
The quarterly statement and a presentation of key figures (»time series«) are available for download on the company's website at www.ecotel.de.
Ecotel Communication AG
The ecotel Group (hereinafter »ecotel«) is a telecommunications company operating throughout Germany since 1998 that specialises in meeting the information and telecommunication (IT/telecom) requirements of customers. The parent company is ecotel communication ag. The shares are traded in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. ecotel markets products and services in the following segments: »Business Solutions (B2B)«, »Wholesale Solutions«, »Private Customer Solutions (B2C)« and »new media solutions«.
ecotel's core segment is represented by »Business Solutions (B2B)«. Here ecotel offers 18,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as large-scale customers throughout Germany, an integrated product portfolio of voice and data services (IT/telecom solutions) from a single source.
In »Wholesale Solutions« ecotel integrates the services offered to other telecommunications companies.
In addition, ecotel is active in cross-network trading of telephone minutes (Wholesale) for national and international carriers; for this purpose, ecotel maintains network interconnections with approximately 100 international carriers.
The »Private Customer Solutions (B2C)« of ecotel include the services of the easybell Group. The Berlin- based subsidiary markets high-quality yet low-priced Internet and telephone services. For this purpose easybell provides rate-adaptable ADSL2+ and VDSL services nationwide. easybell is also one of the market leaders in the provision of classic call-by-call and Internet-by-call access.
With its »new media solutions« nacamar GmbH offers streaming services for media enterprises on the basis of its own Content Delivery Network (CDN), which is hosted in the ecotel computer centre. The company also markets customised solutions for content management systems, online representation and technical developments (apps) for access by end devices (smartphones, tablet PC and smart TVs).
The corporate group, with its main office in Düsseldorf, currently has about 270 employees, including subsidiaries and holdings.