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Micropole Group: Strong growth in revenues and slight decline in profitability in H1 2022

Sales growth of 9%, recurring operating income of 4%.

Levallois-Perret, September 22, 2022. Micropole, an international consulting group specializing in Data-driven business transformation, today announced sales of 65.8 million euros for the first half of fiscal 2022, compared with 60.4 million euros for the same period last year, representing growth of 8.9%. On a like-for-like basis, sales rose by 7.4%.

The company presents its half-yearly accounts for 2022, as approved by the Board of Directors on September 22, 2022.

In millions of euros - IFRS - Unaudited
S1 2022
S1 2021
Sales figures
65,8
60,4
Current operating income
2,7
3,0
As a % of sales
4,0%
5,0%
Non-operating income and expenses
(0,9)
(0,4)
Operating income
1,7
2,6
As a % of sales
2,7%
4,3%
Net income from continuing operations
0,9
2,2

Operating income recurring fell by 4% to 2.7 million euros from 3.0 million euros the previous year. This decline was mainly due to contrasting trends in several items:

  • strong organic growth of 7.4%, driven by improvements in ARR (+1.7%) and the employment rate (+1%), and by an increase in headcount (+7.9% in FTEs)
  • one-off adverse impacts:
  1. a sharp increase in sick leave and leave-taking rates over the half-year (balance of previous leaves and Covid effect), with an impact on operating income of around 0.3 million euros.
  2. the disappointing performance of business in Switzerland (lower RGM and employment rates, and unfavorable currency effect), leading to a €0.4m reduction in operating income.
  • increased pressure on resources, with recruitment difficulties, higher turnover, and a 4.4% increase in average salary compared with the first half of 2021.

0.9 million, compared with 2.6 million in the first half of 2021; non-operating items increased by 0.5 million, mainly due to the relocation of the Lyon branch ('0.3 million).
Net income from continuing operations amounted to EUR 0.9 million, compared with EUR 2.2 million for the first half of the previous year.

Financial structure

The Group reduced its gross financial debt by 2.6 million during the first half of the year, and net debt stood at 7.4 million at the end of June 2022. The unfavorable change in working capital of 11.2 million is mainly due to the repayment of the Urssaf/Covid debt of 3.1 million, the change in trade receivables of 4.0 million in line with the Group's organic growth, and a delayed repayment of the research tax credit of 1.7 million euros.

Progression of activities

The proportion of the Micropole Group's international activities increased from 37% to 42% in the first half of 2022:

  • business in Benelux, which grew by 6.6%, benefited from strong customer demand for our Cloud offerings, and the successful integration of Tomorrow Services,
  • sales in Switzerland rose by 15.6% at constant exchange rates, but suffered a decline in key indicators (TJM, employment rate).

In France, sales rose by 4.5% on a like-for-like basis, although the pressure on resources prevented it from taking full advantage of strong demand.

Recruiting

In terms of human resources, the first half of 2022 was logically marked by a resumption in staff turnover, and by increased recruitment difficulties, resulting from the high tension in the consulting and digital activities market. Recruitment teams were strengthened, and a number of loyalty-building initiatives were carried out (renovation or new premises, relaunch of team-building initiatives, salary increases, etc.).

Post-closing events

Micropole's shares were transferred from Euronext Compartment C to Euronext Growth on August 29, 2022. This transfer will enable Micropole to be admitted to trading on a market more appropriate to the company's size and market capitalization, with simplified operations. Micropole considers that a listing on the Growth segment of Euronext will enable it to reduce its costs and constraints and thus refocus on its operations, while retaining a listing on an organized and recognized trading platform. As such, the financial report for the first half of 2022 has not been subject to a limited review by the statutory auditors, and the Group will no longer publish its quarterly sales figures.

The group has also signed a participative recovery loan (PPR) agreement with Banque Postale in July 2022. The eight-year loan (including a four-year grace period) amounts to 6.7 million euros.

Perspectives

The international geopolitical context and market tensions (inflation, energy and commodity prices, exchange rates) are creating a general climate of uncertainty.

Nevertheless, demand is still very strong, and the Group's main challenge today is to find the resources to meet customer demand.

Despite this still uncertain period, Micropole is maintaining its medium-term ambitions, particularly in terms of profitability, and remains confident about the future development of the markets in which the Group is positioned.

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