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Telit Communications PLC driving forward on broad front

Cash generation is strong and we are investing it in accelerating growth in the business, said CEO Oozi Cats.
Telit Communications PLC driving forward on broad front
The automotive business unit saw revenues increase by 60% to $39.6mln

Strong demand from Asia-Pacific and a growing presence in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) market drove impressive top-line growth at Telit Communications PLC (LON:TCM).

The machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless communications specialist saw revenues rise 13.4% to US$333.5mln in 2015 from $294mln in 2014.

IoT services revenue surged 30% to $26mln from $20mln the year before, while revenues from the Asia-Pacific region shot up $70.9mln from $40.8mln.

“The very significant growth in Asia is the fruit of our investment in 2012/3, when we nominate a president of the region and created offices all around the region,” chief executive Oozi Cats told Proactive Investors.

Geographically, the US was the only disappointment but Cats explained that this was because the country is switching to a new technology and this had deterred customers from placing orders.

“I have no doubt the US is not suffering from a macro issue and we will see the US market grow this year,” Cats asserted.

Adjusted profit before tax climbed 18.3% to $27.7mln from $23.4mln the previous year, while adjusted basic earnings per share moved up 18% to 21.7 cents from 18.4 cents.

2015 was the sixth consecutive year of double-digit revenue growth for Telit and improvements in all profitability parameters, the company said.

“All the different verticals are growing significantly,” Cats said in a Stocktube interview (see below) with Juliet Mann, adding that no one sector was massively outperforming any other in terms of growth.

After a period of sustained growth, characterised by heavy investment in research & development (R&D) and acquisitions, the group is now in a position to scale the business and benefit from its operational gearing, and as such, gross R&D, sales & marketing spending and general & administrative (G&A) costs are all coming down as a percentage of group revenue, and will continue to do so in the coming years, the group revealed.

In the medium term Telit is targeting gross R&D as a percentage of group revenue of 14%, while for sales & marketing the target is 14% and for GA it is 6%.

As these cost elements are reduced as a percentage of revenue and the group continues to scale, the firm reckons it will start to generate "significant" free cash flows.

At the end of 2015, the group had $1.1mln in net cash, compared with net debt of $3.9mln at the end of 2014.

Cats said the company has more than $60mln in credit lines, giving it more than enough headroom, while cash generation was strong.

“We are using the cash to accelerate growth in the company,” Cats said, and as in the past, some of this investment may well be on acquisitions, provided the deals are at the right price.

The outlook for the automotive and industrial IoT sectors continues to be very encouraging as the technology and connectivity elements needed to deliver end-to-end IoT solutions are now in place, the company said.

The board remains confident of the company's ability to continue its record in the current financial year of delivering double-digit percentage revenue growth.

"The combination of products and services needed to deliver IoT capabilities for global enterprises is now in place. Major corporates around the world are poised to exploit this new development in order to drive down their cost base, improve efficiencies and create new revenue streams,” said Oozi Cats, chief executive officer of Telit.

"With our global reach and market leading position in modules as well as our connectivity, connectivity management and platform capabilities, we are well positioned to exploit these market developments,” he added.

Shares surged 14% to 240p in early deals before ebbing to 227p, up 8.3% on the day.



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