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StatPro showing sure touch in acquisitions policy

A succession of acquisitions has enabled StatPro to achieve significant scale
Rising sales
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Growth in the top-line does wonders for the bottom line in the SaaS business model

StatPro Group PLC (LON:SOG) has augmented organic growth with a series of bolt-on acquisitions.

It's early days yet for the acquisition in the spring of Delta, the risk and performance analytics service it bought from UBS, but the early signs are good.

Annualised recurring revenue is now running at £53.19mln, up 47% from £36.17mln at the half-year stage in 2016, thanks in no small part to the Delta business.

"The acquisition of Delta was a major development for us. This business transforms our scale and significantly enhances our product capabilities,” said Justin Wheatley, chief executive officer of StatPro. 

“Our focus is now on maintaining the service for Delta clients, whilst migrating Delta's unique functionality onto StatPro Revolution's platform,” he added.

With Delta joining the family, StatPro's analytics service will branch out from from the middle office to the front office of asset managers.

The acquisition followed the previous year's purchase of a 72.7% stake in South African-headquartered software provider, Infovest Consulting Ltd.

Infovest specialises in data warehouse, extract, transform and load and reporting software for the asset management industry, a sector in which StatPro also operates.

Infovest revenues have grown 28%, and profitability has increased by around 47%, StatPro revealed in its August 2017 initerims.

2016 also saw the company acquire Investor Analytics (now known as Alpha), which is being integrated into the group's flagship cloud platform, StatPro Revolution.

Reaping rewards of early investment in the cloud

Meanwhile, the group's early switch to the cloud, which started taking place in the latter half of the previous decade before most of us had even heard of the term, looks to have been a very shrewd one.

The cloud-based StatPro Revolution platform saw organic revenue growth of 16% in the first half of 2017, as the group as a whole reported a 2% organic rise in revenue.

Group revenue rose 23% to £21.62mln from £17.55mln, helped by currency tailwinds, which had a positive impact on revenue to the tune of 11%.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue now accounts for 82% of the group's total, up from 74% in the corresponding period of 2016.

 

 

From a standing start, Revolution now makes up almost 43% of the group's recurring revenue.

The legacy StatPro Seven platform is still soldiering on, and saw a 7% year-on-year increase in revenues in the first half of 2017.

“This success is undoubtedly due to our early investment in cloud technology, over eight years ago. The complexity and scale of the technology we have developed will be difficult to imitate,” said chief executive Justin Wheatley.

“We are now firmly established as a leading innovator in the rapidly digitising asset management industry.”

Research houses upbeat

Progressive Equity Research, meanwhile, said the results reflected “solid growth and the expected currency tailwind”.

“With several contract extensions and expansions announced in H1, and a full half year contribution from Delta to come in H2, we leave estimates unchanged,” said Progressive's .analysts.

“Both acquisitions made in 2016, Investor Analytics (renamed Alpha) and Infovest, have performed in line with expectations. The former is expected to be fully integrated into the Revolution platform next year. In February 2017, StatPro increased its holding in Infovest to 72.7%. Combined with a stronger rand versus sterling, Infovest’s performance has warranted a further £0.2 million increase in the provision relating to the non-controlling interests’ put option in Infovest,” Progressive said.

Meanwhile, Progressive likes the look of the recent acquisition of Delta.

“The enlarged StatPro has a more balanced exposure to geographies and currencies as a result of the acquisition. A material deal, we view the Delta acquisition as a very good strategic and tactical fit which will add significant impetus to the group,” Progressive said.

Share price

The share price went on a tear in the middle of 2016, adding more than 50% between March and October.

It fell back towards the end of the year but picked up again in 2017, and is up 27% year-to-date, pushing the market capitalisation to around the £100mln mark.

Research house Edison Investment Research reckons this is still too cheap in comparison with its peers.

“Management says that the integration of Delta is on track, and we continue to see strong upside potential, given the significant valuation disparity between StatPro and its US-listed financial software peers,” Edison said. 

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