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Telit Communications in confident mood as margins stabilise

Adjusted EBITDA was up 66.3% to US$30.1mln in 2018 from US$18.1mln in 2017, with US$5.8mln less of R&D capitalisation
Internet of Things
Telit has defined a clear strategy to become the leader in end-to-end IoT solutions

Telit Communications PLC (LON:TCM) said it returned to cash profit in the second half of 2018.

The Internet of Things (IoT) enabler has undergone a root and branch transformation in the last couple of years and made “significant financial progress” in 2018, according to the company's executive chairman Paolo Dal Pino.

READ Telit expects top-end revenues for 2018

Revenue rose 14% to US$427.5mln from US$374.5mln the year before.

Revenue from the group's cloud and connectivity offerings surged 23.1% to US$34.1mln from US$27.7mln in 2017.

The loss before tax narrowed markedly to US$39.8mln from US$56.8mln.

What the company calls “profit in cash” - defined as adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) less R&D capitalisation less capital expenditures – was negative at US$3.6mln in 2018 but that represents a significant improvement over the US$27.0mln loss in cash during 2017, and as previously observed, the group moved to a positive profit in cash position in the second half of the year.

The other thing that turned around in the second half of the year was the group's gross margin.

For 2018 as a whole, the gross margin eased to 32.6% from 35.1% in 2017 but represented an improvement on a gross margin of 31.5% in the second half of 2017.

Net debt at the end of 2018 stood at US$34.0mln, compared with net debt a year earlier of US$30.2mln.

“We delivered double digit revenue growth, saw a major improvement in the cash generation and stabilising gross margins – returning to cash profit in H2-2018,” said Dal Pino.

"We also further rationalised our operational structure, better integrated our products and services and reshaped the IoT Platform organisation. The recent sale of the automotive division also frees up considerable internal resources and provides significant cash inflow.

"We are well positioned to exploit the growth opportunities in the fast growing and dynamic IoT market. With improved operational structure, we expect our financial performance to significantly improve as our revenue grows, and we see the benefits of a reduced cost base, strong balance sheet and stabilising gross margins," the executive chairman concluded.

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