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Still Losses at Brain Force

Published: February 17, 2011; 00:28 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian IT provider announces massively declining operating results in the first quarter 2010/11. Sales decreased by 19%.

Still Losses at Brain Force / Picture: © Brainforce

Brain Force a IT services provider with business operations in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the USA, announced positive operating results today for the first quarter of the 2010/11 fiscal year (October 1 to December 31, 2010). Following two economically difficult years, the company was able to achieve a positive operating EBIT in all regions and on a Group level as well as a free cash flow of close to € 1m.

In the first three months of the 2010/11 fiscal year, revenues of the Brain Force Group declined by 19% to € 17.05m. “This decline was primarily related to changes in the consolidation range due to three strategic transactions carried out in Austria. The organic revenue drop was comparatively low at only 6%.”, states Brain Force.

“This was primarily due to the proceeds from license sales in Italy which were below expectations, and the lower order volume of a large customer in the Netherlands – two effects which could not be fully compensated by the partially very positive developments in the other business areas”, explains Michael Hofer, Chief Executive Officer of Brain Force.

In the first three months, operating EBITDA was down from € 1.11 to 0.76m in a year-on-year comparison. Operating EBIT was positive in all regions, rising slightly from € 0.20 to 0.21m. Adjusted for the effects of three strategic transactions, operating EBITDA improved from € 0.60 to 0.77m and operating EBIT achieved a turnaround from € -0.05 to +0.24m. “We succeeded in converting the increased sales pipeline into measureable results in the first quarter. The basis was the successfully implemented restructuring and cost reduction measures, supported by an improved business environment”, says Michael Hofer about the corporate development.

In Germany (56% of Group revenues), revenues rose 1% to € 9.61m, whereas EBITDA improved by 16% to € 0.67m, and EBIT was up 26% to € 0.47m. This development is primarily related to the success of the Network Performance Hardware business, which achieved considerable growth rates in revenue and earnings. In the South West Europe region (31% share of Group revenue), the restructuring measures, particularly capacity adjustments at the Brain Force subsidiary in Italy, had a positive impact. Accordingly, despite a revenue decline of 9% in the first quarter, the region posted clearly positive results, featuring an EBITDA of € 0.34m and EBIT of € 0.15m. In the Central East Europe region (4% of Group revenue), the organic revenue drop was 21% in the first three months of the new fiscal year due to order delays. Nevertheless, EBITDA amounted to € 0.03m, and EBIT was also slightly positive. In the Netherlands (9% of Group revenue), the 24% revenue decline was more than offset by the implemented restructuring measures. EBITDA significantly improved by 42% to € 0.14m, and there was a turnaround in EBIT, which was positive at € 0.01 m for the first time in five quarterly periods.

“It is particularly gratifying to see the considerable rise in cash flow, thanks to the improved operating result and the ongoing optimization of working capital”, says Chief Financial Officer Thomas Melzer, emphasizing the positive development. The free cash flow totaled close to € 1m in the first three months of the fiscal year, serving as the basis for a reduction in net debt to € 8.28m and an increase in cash and cash equivalents to € 4.68m. The result for the period after tax was € -0.65m. “Excluding the expected expansion costs for the market build-up of SolveDirect in the USA, which Brain Force deliberately accepted, as well as the related dilution effects of the capital increases by a financial investor, Brain Force actually achieved a break-even result after tax”, Thomas Melzer continues.

The company’s objective for the current 2010/11 fiscal year remains unchanged i.e. to achieve a positive operating result. “The good performance in the months October to December and the developments in this second quarter show that we are on the right track to achieve this goal. I also assume that the positive earnings development will ultimately be reflected in the price of the Brain Force share”, Michael Hofer concludes. Brain Force will strive to be readmitted for continuous trading via the XETRA system on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, in order to improve trading of the company’s stock, particularly for German shareholders.

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