ecotel presents Q1 figures and raised forecast for 2017

(PresseBox) ( Düsseldorf, )
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- 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.
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