Landis+Gyr in 1H2020: improved cash generation and very solid balance sheet despite unprecedented times

Landis+Gyr in 1H2020: improved cash generation and very solid balance sheet despite unprecedented times

Net revenue for FY 2020 expected to be between USD 1.3 billion and USD 1.4 billion

(PRESS RELEASE) ZUG, 12-Oct-2020 — /EuropaWire/ — Landis+Gyr (LAND.SW), Swiss multinational maker of meters and related software for electricity and gas utilities, has announced its first half FY 2020 (April 1st – September 30th, 2020) financial results (unaudited). According to the company, the key highlights are as follows:

  • COVID-19 and US regulatory project approval delays significantly impacted Landis+Gyr’s business in the six months under review with H1 FY 2020 net revenues of USD 623.million, a decrease of 27.1% in constant currency Year-over-Year (YoY)
  • Despite temporary suspensions and slowdowns in installations, no major project cancellations have occurred
  • Order intake for H1 FY 2020 of USD 456.9 million, a book-to-bill ratio of 0.73 with continuing regulatory project approval delays in the US and slower tendering activities due to COVID-19
  • Committed backlog down 17.2% YoY to USD 2.1 billion
  • Adjusted EBITDA* of USD 50.1 million, a margin of 8.0% compared to 14.5% in H1 FY 2019; Adjusted Operating Expenses* reduced by USD 32.2 million YoY
  • The global restructuring and streamlining initiative announced on August 5th, 2020 will be concluded in FY 2020 with full year benefits expected to materialize in FY 2021
  • Net loss was USD 2.0 million, including restructuring costs of USD 15.4 million; loss per share was USD 0.07
  • Free Cash Flow (excl. M&A) was USD 45.3 million compared to USD 33.1 million in H1 FY 2019
  • Net cash was USD 12.1 million compared to net debt of USD 99.4 million at the end of H1 FY 2019
  • Additional revolving credit facilities of CHF 200 million were established during H1 FY 2020 and remain undrawn; cash on hand was USD 369 million
  • A distribution of CHF 2.00 per share for FY 2019 will be proposed at an Extraordinary General Meeting on November 24th, 2020
  • An update on the revenue & margin outlook FY 2020 is being provided, but remains subject to ongoing COVID-19 developments

“Over the past few months, our employees have demonstrated an incredible amount of resilience and dedication to ensure we continue to meet customer expectations and take care of each other, with health, safety and wellbeing remaining the top priority. As a global leader in an essential industry, we are proud to provide critical infrastructure to utilities around the world, helping our customers, energy consumers and entire communities to manage energy in a more informed and sustainable way. Since I took over as Chief Executive Officer six months ago, we have taken several targeted steps to further improve our competitive positioning, including the establishment of a strong leadership team and the reorganization of our global R&D setup to drive leading-edge innovation and increase speed to market and customer intimacy. In addition, we have implemented a global restructuring and streamlining initiative to rightsize the organization. Despite these unprecedented and challenging times, the Group improved its cash generation and its balance sheet remains very solid. Even though we have seen temporary suspensions of meter installations, we have not experienced any major project cancellations”, said Werner Lieberherr, Chief Executive Officer of Landis+Gyr.

“When we announced our full year FY 2019 results on May 6th, 2020, we cautioned about a potentially material adverse impact of COVID-19 on the Company. It is the case that the results for the first half of financial year 2020 reflect the current challenging economic environment, impacted primarily by the COVID-19 crisis, further delaying regulatory project approval processes in the Americas region and temporarily suspending installations in other key markets, such as the UK. We have undertaken strict cost control measures throughout the organization, while maintaining key portfolio investments, and we are well positioned for the future, having all the fundamentals in place. For FY 2019, a distribution from capital reserves of CHF 2.00 per share will be proposed at an Extraordinary General Meeting on November 24th, 2020. Additional information on the strategic direction, as well as a possible update on mid-term guidance and dividend policy, will be given at the Capital Markets Day on January 27th, 2021”, Lieberherr concluded.

COVID-19 Update

Landis+Gyr remains focused on meeting its customer requirements as well as ensuring the health and wellbeing of the Group’s employees during these extraordinary times. Some of the Company’s and its vendors’ factories have been subject to lockdowns but all are currently operational again. Social distancing and all necessary hygiene measures have been implemented in all facilities according to local regulations. Overall, there has not been a significant impact to the supply chain, however risks remain as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Landis+Gyr has not experienced any major project cancellations and software and service contracts continue unchanged. The Company is working closely with all customers and partners to ensure continued operational excellence, however, some customers have suspended or slowed down meter installations. There have been further delays to regulatory project approvals in the US and to contract awards more widely, with some rescheduling of new project deployments, which were originally planned for 2020 and 2021. As a result, the Company’s revenue fell significantly in H1 FY 2020 and has elevated the urgency of rightsizing the organization, improving the Company’s cost structure with a continued focus on lowering operating and capital expenditure while maintaining technological leadership.

Order Intake, Committed Backlog and Net Revenue

As expected due to the impact of COVID-19 during the first half of FY 2020 and various government measures implemented in connection therewith as well as US regulatory project approval delays, order intake for H1 FY 2020 was USD 456.9 million, a book-to-bill ratio of 0.73 and a decrease of 44% YoY in constant currency. Committed backlog was down 17% YoY at USD 2,080.7 million with all three regions reporting decreases YoY.

In H1 FY 2020, net revenue fell 27.1% YoY in constant currency to USD 623.5 million.

Net revenue to external customers per segment was as follows (in USD millions, except where indicated):

Segment H1 FY 2020 Net revenue H1 FY 2019
Net revenue
 
Percentage change Percentage change in constant currencies
Americas 332.6 476.0 (30.1%) (29.2%)
EMEA 213.9 306.3 (30.2%) (30.4%)
Asia Pacific 77.0 80.5 (4.3%) (2.2%)
Group 623.5 862.8 (27.7%) (27.1%)

The Americas region delivered lower net revenue YoY, down 29.2% in constant currency, due to headwinds related to COVID-19, further delays in regulatory project approvals in the US and recent project roll-offs not replaced by new business as well as slower tendering activities. The Americas’ committed backlog was USD 1,333.1 million at the end of H1 FY 2020, down 18.5% YoY.

Net revenue in the EMEA region was down compared to the prior year by 30.4% in constant currency. Temporary installation suspensions due to COVID-19, particularly in the UK, drove the region’s decline in financial performance. EMEAʼs committed order backlog was USD 663.2 million at the period end, down 16.1% YoY.

Asia Pacific sales were down 2.2% YoY in constant currency, as growth in Hong Kong partially offset COVID-19 related declines in Australia and India. Committed backlog was USD 84.3 million, down 5.3% YoY.

Adjusted and Reported EBITDA*

The Adjusted EBITDA* by segment was as follows (in USD millions, except where indicated):

Segment H1 FY 2020
Adjusted EBITDA*
 H1 FY 2020 Percentage of net revenue  H1 FY 2019Adjusted EBITDA* H1 FY 2019 Percentage of net revenue
Americas 40.7 12.2% 92.1 19.3%
EMEA (4.3) (2.0%) 23.4 7.6%
Asia Pacific 5.7 7.4% 4.9 6.1%
Corporate unallocated 8.0 4.5
Group 50.1 8.0% 124.9 14.5%

Overall, H1 FY 2020 Adjusted EBITDA* was USD 50.1 million. The H1 FY 2020 Adjusted EBITDA* margin decreased to 8.0% from 14.5% in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA* declined due to lower gross profit given the reduced volumes in the Americas and EMEA with a partial offset from lower operating expenses.

Adjusted Operating Expenses* reduced by USD 32.2 million compared to the previous year. The reduction is attributable to cost control measures, lower variable compensation and COVID-19 impacts. The impact of the global restructuring and streamlining initiative announced on August 5th, 2020 (known as Project Hermes) is expected to materialize from H2 FY 2020 onwards.

In H1 FY 2020, the Operating loss was USD 9.9 million, down from an Operating income of USD 84.9 million in H1 FY 2019. Reported EBITDA* was USD 31.8 million versus USD 128.2 million in H1 FY 2019.

The adjustments to bridge between reported EBITDA* in the Group’s financial statements and Adjusted EBITDA* are as follows (in USD millions):

H1 FY 2020 H1 FY 2019
Reported EBITDA*              31.8            128.2
Adjustments    
    Restructuring Charges                    15.4                       0.6
    Exceptional Warranty Expenses                           –                     (0.1)
    Warranty Normalization Adjustments                   (6.7)                        4.8
    Timing Difference on FX Derivatives                      9.7                     (8.6)
Adjusted EBITDA*                    50.1                   124.9

In H1 FY 2020, the adjustments were in three categories. First, with respect to Restructuring Charges, the USD 15.4 million related to initiatives taken across the organization, mainly in respect of project Hermes, the Company’s global restructuring and streamlining initiative. Secondly, the Warranty Normalization Adjustments of USD -6.7 million represents the amount of warranty provisions made relative to the average actual warranty utilization for the last three years. Thirdly, the Timing Difference on FX Derivatives adjustment was USD 9.7 million in H1 FY 2020 and relates to mark to market differences on hedges.

Net Income / (Loss) and EPS

Net loss for H1 FY 2020 was USD 2.0 million (loss per share of USD 0.07), compared to Net income of USD 71.8 million (earnings per share of USD 2.45) for H1 FY 2019.

Cash Flow and Net Debt

Cash provided by operating activities was USD 56.6 million in H1 FY 2020 compared to USD 45.7 million in the prior year.

Free Cash Flow (excl. M&A) was USD 45.3 million in H1 FY 2020, an increase of USD 12.2 million YoY.

In H1 FY 2020, capital expenditure amounted to USD 11.3 million, 11.0% below the H1 FY 2019 level of USD 12.7 million, consistent with the Company’s asset-light business model. Cash generated from lower operating working capital was USD 32.1 million. Warranty and warranty settlement cash outs were USD 7.2 million, down from USD 23.4 million in the prior year as cash outs related to legacy component issues fell.

Net cash was USD 12.1 million compared to net debt of USD 99.4 million at the end of H1 FY 2019.

Additional revolving credit facilities of CHF 200 million were established during H1 FY 2020 and these facilities remain undrawn.

Global Restructuring & Streamlining Initiative (Project Hermes)

Project Hermes, the global initiative which is aimed at restructuring and streamlining the organization to increase efficiencies and optimize its cost structure, was announced on August 5th, 2020 and is proceeding according to plan.

Project Hermes targets to reduce the number of employees by approximately 12%, representing about 700 employees across all levels and regions of the Company, and is expected to result in annual run-rate savings of approximately USD 30 million from FY 2021 onwards.

Annual run-rate savings in Adjusted Operating Expenses* of USD 16 million are expected to be realized from FY 2021 onwards. In addition, annual run-rate savings in Cost of Goods Sold of USD 14 million are expected to be realized from FY 2021 onwards, helping to protect gross profit margins given lower revenues.

Savings in Adjusted Operating Expenses* of USD 5 million and in Cost of Goods Sold of USD 5 million are expected to materialize in H2 FY 2020.

Total restructuring charges are expected to be approximately USD 19 million of which USD 14.0 million were booked in H1 FY 2020; of this total, USD 0.7 million was cashed out in H1 FY 2020 with most of the remainder expected to be cashed out in H2 FY 2020.

In this context, the Group Executive Management has taken a 10% reduction in base salary for six months, and the members of the Board of Directors have likewise taken a 10% reduction in their base and committee fees for six months.

Update on Washington Department of Revenue (WADOR)

As noted in the Financial Report 2019, the Company has received a non-income tax assessment from the State of Washington Department of Revenue (WADOR) for approximately USD 22 million, including penalties and interest. The Company strongly disagrees with this assessment and believes it to be contradictory to applicable statutes and court rulings in similar cases. The Company is currently petitioning within the WADOR in an effort to resolve the matter. However, the Company believes resolution of the issue is likely to require an appeal to the Washington state court during H2 FY 2020. In order to file an appeal to the court, the Company must first make payment of the tax assessment which therefore is likely to be cashed out in H2 FY 2020. Although the Company cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this case, the Company believes that it is probable that the tax authority’s assessment will be overturned on appeal; therefore the Company has not established an accrual and furthermore expects to hold any payment made in order to file an appeal to the court as a prepayment in its balance sheet.

Distributions to Shareholders

After announcing to defer the decision in respect of the FY 2019 dividend during the FY 2019 results presentation in May 2020, the Board of Directors will propose a distribution of CHF 2.00 per share, equivalent to approximately 50% of FY 2019 Free Cash Flow (excl. M&A), to an Extraordinary General Meeting on November 24th, 2020. The Board considers this amount to be prudent in the context of the overall liquidity of the Company. If approved, the distribution will be paid out of capital contribution reserves and is exempt from Swiss withholding tax.

The share buyback program remains suspended.

FY 2020 Update

The Company stated in its press release announcing FY 2019 results on May 6th, 2020, that it was unable to estimate the FY 2020 net revenue impact from the COVID-19 crisis, but that it could have a potentially material adverse impact; as a result the Company did not provide guidance for FY 2020 at that time.

The Company continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on its customers and its global operations. Many uncertainties remain, both due to COVID-19 and due to the general business environment in key markets, such as North America, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, India, Brazil and other countries representing a significant part of Landis+Gyr’s revenue.

Accordingly, at this stage, the Company can only give an approximate indication of the outlook for revenue and margins for FY 2020. The Company expects that net revenue will be between USD 1.3 billion and USD 1.4 billion for FY 2020 with higher margins in H2 compared to H1 FY 2020, given improved operational leverage.

The half year FY 2020 earnings presentation, which forms part of this press release, is available on the Company’s website under www.landisgyr.com/investors.

Investor Webcast and Telephone Conference

The management of Landis+Gyr will host an investor/analyst call to discuss the Company’s results.

Date and time:                  October 12th, 2020 at 10:00 am CET
Speakers:                           Werner Lieberherr (Chief Executive Officer)
Jonathan Elmer (Chief Financial Officer)
Audio webcast:                 www.landisgyr.com/investors
Telephone:                        Europe: +41 (0)58 310 5000
UK: +44 (0)207 107 0613
US: +1 (1)631 570 5613

Please dial in 10–15 minutes before the start of the presentation and ask for “Landis+Gyrʼs first half year results 2020”.

Media Contact
Eva Borowski
SVP Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Phone +41 41 935 6396
Eva.Borowski@landisgyr.com

Martin Meier-Pfister
IRF
Phone +41 43 244 81 40
meier-pfister@irf-reputation.ch

Investor Contact
Christian Waelti, Head of Investor Relations
Phone +41 41 935 6331
Christian.Waelti@landisgyr.com

Key dates

Publication of Half Year Report 2020 andSustainability Report 2019/20 October 28th, 2020
Extraordinary General Meeting November 24th, 2020
Ex-Dividend Date November 26th, 2020
Dividend Record Date November 27th, 2020
Dividend Payment Date November 30th, 2020
Capital Markets Day January 27th, 2021
Release of Results for Financial Year 2020 May 5th, 2021
Publication of Annual Report 2020 and
Invitation to AGM 2021
May 28th, 2021
Annual General Meeting 2021 June 24th, 2021

About Landis+Gyr

Landis+Gyr is a leading global provider of integrated energy management solutions for the utility sector. Offering one of the broadest portfolios, we deliver innovative and flexible solutions to help utilities solve their complex challenges in Smart Metering, Grid Edge Intelligence and Smart Infrastructure. With sales of USD 1.7 billion in FY 2019, Landis+Gyr employs approximately 5,500 people in over 30 countries across five continents, with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better.

SOURCE: Landis+Gyr

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