Patrice Demay, Eric Matteucci et Jean-Paul Chevée
What is your assessment of fiscal 2014-2015?
Before engaging in an assessment of our Group,mention must be made of the overall economic environment in which we operated.
In France, which is the Group’s largest market where we generate 61 percent of our total revenue, 2014 was a difficult year for our sector. GDP grew only very slightly and capital spending by our customers, a key factor for our business, failed to pick up. This was felt particularly strongly in our principal sectors of aerospace and telecommunications. In the aerospace industry, major engineering programs have been coming to an end, while competition among our telecommunications customers is forcing them to increasingly rationalize their projects.
The Group’s business declined again in France, marking the first time revenue fell for two consecutive years. Still, there are several reasons to be pleased with our performance during the period. We managed to hold on to all of our accounts and even secured new customers. The shift in our activities toward solutions with more value added is continuing and has a positive impact on our relations with our customers. All of this was made possible thanks to the efforts made by our teams to take advantage of every opportunity.
The situation is different in other countries, as evidenced, for example, by our business in Germany, which was impacted by the restructuring following our latest acquisition there. In Spain, sales benefited from a gradual improvement in the overall economy, but revenue continued to be adversely affected by the higher level of outstanding trade receivables.
In spite of these difficulties, we are managing to continue to develop our international operations, which generated 32 percent more revenue (of which close to 20 percent was accounted for by previously existing entities), with almost all operations contributing to growth. This has helped us bolster our position with our main customers and gain new ones. Here again, we wish to acknowledge the efforts of our staff to achieve this outcome.
All of this brought our total revenue for the period to €316.7 million, a 7.6 percent increase, with 39 percent coming from international operations. Consolidated income after minority interests amounted to €11.3 million and generated a net cash flow of €12.4 million for the year.
All in all, even though we did not succeed in improving our net income in line with sales, the Group continues to develop in a sustained manner, and we remain confident about its future.
What is your growth strategy?
Our strategy relies on four basic notions:
We provide services to our customers wherever they operate. A balance must be struck between our proximity to projects and the global expansion of our customers. In this connection, we are now present on four continents, sixteen countries, through fifty-four separate offices. This anticipated expansion will continue as new opportunities arise.
We provide our customers with technological support. We continue to add to our line of services in order to make new expertise and future technologies available to our customers. We must ceaselessly invent what will become an intrinsic part of the value added that can benefit our customers.
We invest in methods and develop expertise. We play a part in bringing about change, working with our customers to help them incorporate available new technology into their products, services and information systems on the best possible operating conditions and financial terms.
We ensure that the SII Group makes a lasting contribution to its social environment through socially responsible corporate policies that place a priority on people ahead of organizations, through our active involvement in associations working for the development and improvement of the industry, and through stable corporate governance for the Group.
What are you objectives for fiscal 2015-2016?
Our economists’ general forecasts point to ccelerated growth in the principal regions where ur Group operates, and to a resumption of capital pending.
Apart from that, our business is at the focal point of technological changes that represent major challenges for our customers and the world in general. Although digitalization may not be the solution, it plays a key role in many of those issues, which makes us hopeful about new growth opportunities.
Although we have not announced specific estimates for fiscal 2015-2016, we expect to have another growth year, a further increase in the portion of revenue accounted for by international operations, and improved earnings.
In order to achieve our goals, we will again have to:
- add to our line of services in terms of technological and methodological know-how,
- promote creativity by our teams in order to respond to our customer’s wide-ranging demands,
- reach our ambitious hiring targets (between 1,200 and 1,500 consultants for the entire SII Group),
- further develop our staff’s expertise so as to maintain our teams’ high performance level.
Your balance-sheet ratios are positive, you have a cash surplus, are you going to invest more?re you planning to hire personnel to achieve your objectives?
In order to keep growing, we are going to continue to invest in the men and women who make up our Group, and in the resources to which they have access. Several projects have been initiated involving our work processes and the tools associated with them.
We also acquired two new firms in fiscal 2014-2015. Our built-in preference is for organic growth, which we plan to complement with other acquisitions if the opportunities we assess match our strategic objectives.