Q3 Strong performance and growth continues
AKVA group has completed another good quarter. Revenue in Q3 2015 ended at 356 MNOK (330 MNOK) with an EBITDA of 41 MNOK (34 MNOK). Third quarter EBITDA margin was 11.4% (10.4%). All business segments have made positive contributions to the third quarter result. Financially this is the best year ever for AKVA group ASA. The order backlog is also the highest ever. A dividend of NOK 1.00 per share will be paid out in Q4 2015.
"AKVA group have completed yet another strong quarter and we are happy to announce a dividend payment according to our dividend policy. The dividend reflects our strong underlying performance and financial position. We are also happy to welcome Aquatec Solutions A/S to the group. We believe this acquisition will strengthen our position in the land based segment significantly. We are also happy", says CEO of AKVA group ASA Trond Williksen.
Cage Based Technology (CBT)
Third quarter is traditionally a good quarter in Nordic due to high activity. The strong performance continues with a slightly different product mix compared to 2014. A wider range of products contributes to revenue and profit YTD 2015 vs 2014. Number of employees and cost base in Chile has been reduced in Q2 to prepare for expected reduced market activity in the second half of 2015. Service and aftersales combined with a tight cost control gives a profitable Q3 in Chile despite challenging market conditions. YTD Chile have a decent year mostly due to a strong first half year. Canada continues the good performance in Q3 and have the best YTD financials ever. Our UK operation continues the good performance in Q3, resulting in the best YTD Q3 ever. Turkey continues the good performance in Q3 and also have the best YTD Q3 ever. There has been low activity in Export to emerging markets in Q3. This area is dominated by few but large contracts and this gives variations in the P&L quarter by quarter.
AKVA group Software AS continues to deliver stable and high margins with improved revenue and margins YoY. Wise lausnir ehf continues with good performance and improved financials YoY. Software continues to invest in new product modules, which is expected to strengthen the financial performance of the software segment further.
Land Based Technology (LBT)
Land based has experienced improved performance year on year and quarter on quarter. AKVA group Denmark A/S have decent performance YTD, however there is still room for improvement financially. Plastsveis AS is on track with good performance YTD. This results in an EBITDA of 7.0% in Q3 2015. Aquatec Solutions A/S will be included in the consolidated P&L from Q4 2015 and onwards. The balance sheet and the order backlog is included at end of Q3 2015. The land based segment ends the second quarter with a good order backlog.
We have experienced continued good market activity throughout Q3. The order inflow in Q3 2015 was 505 MNOK (201 MNOK). The order backlog at the end of Q3 2015 was 643 MNOK (349 MNOK). This is the highest third quarter order backlog ever for AKVA group before including Aquatec Solutions A/S. The order inflow and order backlog from Aquatec Solution A/S in Q3 2015 was 187 MNOK. After including Aquatec Solutions A/S we are ending the quarter with the best order backlog ever.
The balance sheet continued to be strong. Working capital in percentage of 12 months rolling revenue is 9.1% (8.4%). We are able to maintain low working capital despite significant activity ramp up over the last year. Cash and unused credit facilities amounted to record high 226 MNOK at the end of Q3 (183 MNOK). Total assets and total equity amounted to 1,160 MNOK (836 MNOK) and 443 MNOK (375 MNOK) respectively, resulting in an equity ratio of 38% (45%) at the end of Q3.
Dividend of NOK 1.00 per share to be paid in Q4 2015
The Company's main objective is to maximize the return on the investment made by its shareholders through both increased share prices and dividend payments. According to the AKVA group ASAs' dividend policy a dividend of 1.00 NOK per share will be paid out in Q4 2015. Total dividend pay out in Q4 2015 will be NOK 25.8 million. The shares in the company will be traded "ex dividend" as from November 12th, 2015 and payment of the dividend shall be made no later than November 20th, 2015.
Acquisition of Aquatec Solutions A/S
The acquisition was finalized at September 30th, 2015. AKVA group ASA purchased all the shares in Aquatec Solutions for a price of DKK 35 million. In addition AKVA will pay an adjustment amount based on the net debt and working capital position of Aquatec Solutions as of September 30th, 2015. Finally, AKVA will pay to the sellers an additional consideration (earn-out) based on the realized EBITDA of Aquatec Solutions for 2015 and 2016. The parties have agreed on an estimated net present value of the earn out in the amount of DKK 21.6 million based on current budgets and forecasts. The acquisition is paid in cash and is financed with a loan from Danske Bank. Aquatec Solutions will strengthen AKVA group's position in the Land Based Technology segment. Aquatec Solutions will be operated as a stand-alone operation going forward.
We have a strong mid term outlook due to high market activity and large order backlog. Q4 is a low season quarter in Nordic, which will influence the groups quarterly financial performance as usual. Good demand in the Nordic market continues, with a shift towards more investment in Land Based Technology. UK and Canada are expected to continue to perform well in the next quarters with a significant order backlog and a large portion of recurring business. We have continued low expectations in Chile. The majority of our Chilean customers struggle with loss making operations and a there is a need to restructure the industry. The situation in Chile is expected to last. We adjust our resources, costs and activity level to the situation and are maintaining a good level of service and after sale. The land based segment is expected to have positive development with a growing order backlog. The acquisition of Aquatec Solutions A/S will contribute to the positive development in this segment. Exports to emerging markets will continue to fluctuate short term, but improved project activity is expected in the next quarters. We continue our effort to build service and after sales as a key business element in all markets and segments.
About AKVA group
AKVA group is a technology and service partner to the aquaculture industry worldwide. The company has around 690 employees, offices in 8 countries and a total turnover of NOK 1.2 billion in 2014. We are a public listed company operating in one of the world's fastest growing industries and supply everything from single components to complete installations, both for cage farming and land based aquaculture. AKVA group is recognized as a pioneer and technology leader through more than 30 years. The Corporate Headquarter is in Bryne Norway.
Dated: 5 November 2015
AKVA group ASA