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Lumibird results show growth potential, says firm

08 Apr 2019

Earnings are up 62% to €16.5m and income from ordinary operations increases by 104% to €11.4m.

France-based laser group Lumibird has reported “strong progress” in its earnings in 2018, thanks to dynamic growth and effective cost management. The company last week said its EBITDA was up 62% pro forma and year-on-year to €16.5m, with income from ordinary operations climbing 104% to €11.4m.

The company stated, “These results confirm the Group’s ambition, setting itself strategic targets to achieve €150m of revenues (excluding external growth) and an EBITDA margin of over 20% by 2021.”

€100m milestone

Lumibird’s 2018 revenues came to €100.7m, up 18%. The company commented that growth was “almost exclusively organic, with Quantel Medical’s acquisition of ECM in July last year having a marginal impact on revenues for the moment.”

For reporting full-year revenues, the segmentation of the activities was reviewed to reintegrate the activities relating to the military and space sectors into the Defense segment. These were previously included in the Industrial and Scientific segment and, to a lesser extent, the Lidar Sensors segment.

Key developments for the various segments over the year included:

  • Stable and recurrent business for the Industrial and Scientific segment (+0.7% to €25.5m), with a more dynamic second half of the year;
  • Very sustained demand in the wind energy, mapping and autonomous vehicle sectors, enabling the Lidar Sensors segment to grow 34% (€15.4m), thanks to a significant increase in production capacity;
  • A Defense / Space segment up 57% (€26.2m) with the completion and delivery schedules gradually ramped up over the year for the MegaJoule and military contracts, as well as strong progress for the space business;
  • Resumption of solid growth for the Medical division (+6.3% to €33.6m), thanks to the success of the new products launched in 2018 and the extension of the geographical markets covered across the entire range.

Earnings growth

With a gross margin ratio up to 60% in 2018, versus 57% the previous year, the gross margin represents €60.8m, up +25.3%. EBITDA climbed to €16.5m, compared with €10.2m in 2017, with the increase in staff costs and external expenses largely offset by the higher gross margin.

Lumibird’s Laser division – grouping together the Industrial and Scientific, Lidar and Defense / Space segments – contributed €14.2m (+€6.7m from 2017) to EBITDA. The contribution to EBITDA by the “Medical” division is down slightly to €2.4m (-€0.3m), due to the launch costs for major new products.

After depreciation, operating income represents €11.4m, up +€6.3m (+125.5%) compared with proforma operating income for 2017. The €0.6m increase in depreciation charges, linked to investments over the period and the launch of depreciation for R&D projects, is offset by the non-recurrence in 2018 of €0.6m of non-recurring costs incurred with the Quantel-Keopsys business combination.

Financial income and expenses came to –€0.5m for 2018, an improvement of +€0.3m compared with 2017. This change is linked to the improvement in exchange gains and losses over the period. Net finance costs are stable, with the impact of the lower annualized rate for net debt, made possible by the Group’s work to optimize its financial structure, offset by the early redemption cost for the Mikado bonds in 2018.

Following a €2.8m tax expense (compared with €0.8m in 2017), in line with the increase in operational profitability, the Group recorded €8.1m of net income in 2018, compared with a proforma 2017 figure of €3.4m.

At December 31, shareholders’ equity represented €90.8m, with €3.0m of net financial debt and €21.6m of gross cash. For reference, the company successfully carried out a €7.8m capital increase in December last year. Considering the growth in business, the increase in working capital requirements over 2018 remained effectively under control at €3.2m. Capital expenditure totaled €10.4m, including €6.7m for R&D and €2.1m for the acquisition of Quantel Medical’s real estate assets in Clermont-Ferrand, with the remaining amount allocated to fit out industrial facilities to support the Group’s industrial development.

Outlook

The three growing segments – Lidar Sensors, Defense and Medical – are continuing to see sustained commercial and industrial trends this year, the company stated, adding, “With a recognized technological lead on its products and growing visibility in our markets, Lumibird is able to confirm its strategic targets for €150m of revenues (excluding external growth) and an EBITDA margin of over 20% by 2021.”

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