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u-blox posts strong first half for 2015
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u-blox posts strong first half for 2015

Posted by Sunil RaghavanSeptember 7, 2015

u-blox, a supplier of wireless and positioning modules and chips, has announced its financial results for the first semester 2015.Financial highlights

  • Consolidated revenues amounted to CHF 161.9 million (€149 million) during the first half of 2015, an increase of 33.1% compared with the same period last year.
  • Gross profit rose from CHF 57.6 million (€01 million) to CHF 72.8 million (€67 million), with gross profit margin remaining high at 44.9%. Operating profit (EBIT) was up from CHF 18.8 million (€17.30 million) to CHF 24.8 million (€22.82 million), an improvement of 31.9% over the same period last year.
  • The EBITDA margin stood at 22.6%, EBIT margin at 15.3%.
  • Net profit was CHF 15.0 million (€80 million) compared to CHF 14.4 million (€13.25 million) for the same period last year. It was influenced by the EUR/CHF exchange rate.
  • Strong net cash generated from operating activities was CHF 20.5 million (€87 million), representing 12.7% of revenue.
  • u-blox issued in April a bond for CHF 60 million (€22 million) (6 years, interest 1.625%) to improve financial flexibility.
  • Healthy balance sheet with a high equity ratio of 64.0%.

Sales and profit continue to rise

During the first half of 2015, worldwide sales showed a 33.1% rise over the same period last year, and encouraging progress was reported in all regions.

In the Americas, growth continued positively, resulting in a 48.1% expansion compared to the same period last year. The company said in the press release, “Continuing improvement in the macro-economic climate pushed up demand for our customers’ products and hence our own. u-blox posted a pleasing increase in market share and higher volumes, thanks to a number of new customers. Interest in our new products and technologies is keen and provides a solid foundation for future operations.”

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), growth remained static in some countries. Expansion was reported in countries with healthy export markets, resulting in a 24.3% increase in revenues for automotive and industrial applications and a significant rise in new accounts and business opportunities.

Growth in Asia-Pacific (APAC) the revenues grew strongly in all application areas, and the overall increase stood at 29.9%.

The company’s product and service business segments both generated positive EBIT in the first semester. Consolidated revenues increased by CHF 40.3 million (€37.09 million) to CHF 161.9 million (€149 million) while EBIT rose from CHF 18.8 million (€17.30 million) to CHF 24.8 million (€22.82 million), a 31.9% increase over the same period in 2014. Net profit rose to CHF 15.0 million (€13.80 million).

Increased gross profit

Gross profit increased by 26.3% to CHF 72.8 million (€67 million) during the first half of 2015, up from CHF 57.6 million (€53.01 million) in the same period last year. Gross profit margin was 44.9%, declining from 47.4% in first half year 2014 because of the changes in product mix.

Distribution and marketing activities

During the period under review, distribution and marketing expenses were up from CHF 11.5 million (€10.58 million) to CHF 13.3 million (€12.24 million) due to an increase in activities. As a percentage of revenue, distribution and marketing expenses declined to 8.2%, compared with 9.5% during the same period last year.

Research and product development

R&D expenses during the first half year were CHF 29.9 million (€27.52 million), compared with CHF 22.7 million (€20.89 million) in the first semester of 2014. As a percentage of revenue, R&D expenses remained constant at 18.5%, compared with 18.7% in 2014.

Increase in operating profit (EBIT)

EBIT was CHF 24.8 million (€22.82 million), or 15.3% of revenue during the first semester, compared with CHF 18.8 million (€17.30 million) or 15.5% of revenue over the same period last year. The EBITDA margin stood at 22.6%.

Finance income and costs

Finance costs of CHF 6.5 million (€5.98 million) consist primarily of realised and unrealised foreign exchange losses on receivables and payables due to the SNB’s unpegging of the CHF/EUR rate in January 2015. Finance income was CHF 0.2 million (€0.18 million).

Strong financial position

u-blox has a strong balance sheet with an equity ratio of 64.0%. Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities amounted to CHF 91.6 million (€84.30 million) at June 30, 2015, compared with CHF 59.4 million (€54.67 million) at December 31, 2014.

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Sunil Raghavan

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