According to provisional calculations, USU Software AG generated consolidated sales of EUR 58.9 million in the first 9 months of 2017 (Q1-Q3/2016: EUR 51.4 million), a year-on-year increase of around 15%. A stronger trend toward SaaS solutions among customers in the period under review caused shifts in sales, which may result in lower revenue from licenses of more than EUR 1 million for the year as a whole. At the same time, investments in foreign markets were maintained at a constantly high level. However, market development and penetration will take more time than planned, especially in France. Despite the fact that sales were lower by approximately EUR 1.5 million due to these effects, the Management Board expects growing dynamism from the new group subsidiary USU SAS (formerly EASYTRUST SAS) from 2018 onward.
Because of these factors and including negative exchange rate effects of around EUR 0.5 million due to the weak US dollar, the USU Group posted a sharp year-on-year decline in earnings overall in the first three quarters of 2017 according to the current projection. Operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the first 9 months of 2017 were EUR 2.7 million according to provisional calculations (Q1-Q3/2016: EUR 6.3 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) accordingly totaled EUR 0.7 million (Q1-Q3/2016: EUR 4.4 million). Allowing for acquisition-related special effects, the adjusted EBIT was EUR 2.4 million according to the provisional figures (Q1-Q3/2016: EUR 5.3 million). Consolidated earnings were EUR -0.1 million (Q1-Q3/2016: EUR 3.9 million).
“The strategically necessary investments in foreign markets, such as the takeover of EASYTRUST, which will entail costs for product integration and market development, are of great importance for the USU Group’s future. A delay in the resultant growth will be a burden for us in 2017, but benefit us in the medium term. The company’s 40-year history of success shows that such phases of investment have a positive impact in subsequent periods,” states Bernhard Oberschmidt, Chief Executive Officer of USU Software AG, in explaining the provisional business figures.
The Management Board is adjusting its planning for 2017 as a whole in view of the presented business performance in the first 9 months and with regard to the forecast for the final quarter. It had envisaged consolidated sales of EUR 86 to 91 million and an adjusted EBIT of between EUR 10.0 and 11.5 million. The Management Board now plans sales revenues of between EUR 83 and 86 million and an adjusted EBIT of between EUR 6.0 and 8.0 million.
The delayed growth phase in key investment markets will also impact the medium-term forecast of EUR 140 million in consolidated sales and an adjusted EBIT of more than EUR 20 million. As a result, that forecast is expected to be achieved one year later, namely in 2021. USU Software AG will publish its definitive business figures for the third quarter and the first nine months of 2017 on November 23, 2017