Oslo, 13 February 2013
Q-Free saw continued demand growth for Products and Services & Maintenance but lower revenues and order intake for Projects in the fourth quarter. Revenues in the fourth quarter were NOK 150 million, with a negative operating profit (EBIT) of NOK 50 million, and a negative pre-tax result of NOK 48 million. Both revenues and costs were affected by termination of a contract in Australia. Adjusted for this the EBIT increased from the break-even level presented for the fourth quarter 2012. The contract termination had a negative effect of NOK 18 million on revenues in the fourth quarter, a negative effect of NOK 54 million on EBIT and pre-tax profit, and a negative effect of NOK 36 million on order intake and backlog. This contributed to a low order intake of NOK 79 million in the quarter, and order backlog declined to NOK 379 million from NOK 453 million at the end of the previous quarter.
Cash flow from operating activities was a positive NOK 25 million in the fourth quarter. The new business area Advanced Transportation Management Systems (ATMS) shows a positive development, and was further strengthened by the acquisition of the Serbian traffic management company ELCOM in the fourth quarter. Combined with technology development investments this explains a negative cash flow of NOK 21 million from investment activities. The net change in cash was a positive NOK 1 million in the quarter and the cash position at the end of the year was NOK 271 million.
For the full year 2013 the company showed a marginal revenue increase to NOK 606 million, whereas EBIT was a negative NOK 95 million and pre-tax profit a negative NOK 98 million. Adjusted for one-off costs related to the contract termination in the fourth quarter and restructuring costs in the first quarter, the EBIT improved to NOK -10 million from NOK -55 million in 2012.
Q-Free sees a relatively healthy development for products and service & maintenance orders in the Road User Charging (RUC) market. However, the project activity remains volatile and dependent on a limited number or projects associated with political risk, funding risk and uncertain timing. Q-Free will continue the efforts to build a new business line within Advanced Transportation Management Systems (ATMS), through organic growth and acquisitions.
Although revenue break-even levels have come down as a result of the Profit Improvement Program that was implemented in 2013, the company still needs to improve its cost income ratio. Q-Free has therefore started a QSC program – Q-Free Strategy and Collaboration - designed to increase revenues by broadening the scope of business, reducing risk, and increasing internal collaboration and efficiency. The company will return with more information about this project in connection with the result presentation for the first quarter 2014.
Attachments: Presentation and report
For further information, please contact:
CEO Thomas Falck, cell: +47 468 00 767
CFO Roar ØstbØ, cell: +47 932 45 175
Q-Free is a leading global supplier of products and solutions within Road User Charging and Advanced Transportation Management Systems. The company has approximately 290 employees and is represented in 18 countries. The company's main offices are in Trondheim, Norway. Q-Free is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker QFR.
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The following files are available for download:
http://mb.cision.com/Public/1584/9536078/a21ee5048228d6a0.pdf QFR Q4 13 report
http://mb.cision.com/Public/1584/9536078/8e1d2f260b94b3e7.pdf QFR Q4 13 presentation