The FY18 results reflected the activity’s significant transition during the year. While sales increased, profitability was negatively impacted by start-up costs. However, we believe that the worst is over. The next results should show improvements year on year.

FY18 key financials:

  • Group sales up by +4.8% to €905k
  • EBITDA decreased by 14.7% to €3,178k
  • Profit before tax amounted €626k (-54.6% yoy)
  • Group net profit was down by 46.7% to €626k
  • Cash and cash equivalent reached €3,520k (+5.9% yoy)
  • Net financial debt decreased by 35.8% from €6,226k to €33,998k

The increased sales during the year were largely attributable to the Software division, which contributed a full financial year in 2018, instead of only half a year in 2017 (+81.3% sales growth to €2,830k). The Revenues Authorisations division showed a +13.3% improvement in sales (€2,265k), offsetting the Revenues Payment Terminals division, which continued to be challenging (-15.2% to €5,880k).

The group’s decision to change course from being a terminals’ provider to a more fintech specialist, developing software for merchants and independents, is clearly bearing fruit. Over time, we expect that the Terminals division will no longer be the main revenue contributor, as demand continues to slow, and will be replaced by Software. The Authorisations division is still progressing and we expect that it will continue to do so. The number of transactions and their monetary value are increasing, directly benefiting the group.

On the profitability side, the company continued to face some difficulties. The EBITDA decrease (-14.7% yoy) is obviously due to the decreasing Terminals division but also to the Software division, which required significant investments in 2018. The integration of Magellan and EasyOrder (software) has pushed up costs, especially personnel charges and depreciations/amortisations, driving down the group’s profit.

At first glance, Keyware’s results can be negatively interpreted. Obviously, the company is currently meeting some problem areas, but these are actually due to the activity’s significant transition. The group affirmed its intention to complete this transition phase in 2019. We believe that this may be slightly too ambitious, but there is no doubt that it is on the right track to reach its goals and return to profitability. The decreasing financial debt and the growing cash and cash equivalent are two important positive signs.

We will integrate the FY18 results and revise our forecast for the next three years. The Software division will continue to inflate our top-line expectations and we expect improvements in EBITDA, as the transition phase is starting to finish. The worst is now behind the group and a return to profitability is expected in the medium term.