The SII engineering group reported revenue of €162.8m for the first half of its current fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2015. This represented an increase of 8.3 percent (7.9 percent on a like-for-like basis) from the same period a year ago. The second quarter was marked by a particularly sustained increase in the Group’s international business (up 21.1 percent to €35.6m) and confirmation that growth had resumed in France, where sales improved by 2.2 percent to €46.6m, so that the Group was able to report organic growth for the first half of its fiscal year.
More indications of a turnaround in France
The increased volume of business by SII in France during the second quarter followed in the wake of the improvement in sales that began in the first quarter and confirmed the fact that SII’s domestic market had recovered, with a resumption of new contracts and new accounts.
During the period, the SII Group relied on its established traditional operations and took advantage of improvements in the aviation and defense industries, as well as of significant opportunities in the energy sector, which lies at the core of its diversification strategy.
This renewed economic activity resulted in a further improvement in the ratio of billable hours (exclusive of paid leaves) which rose to 90 percent from 88.1 percent a year ago. The Group also had new job openings and its average headcount is expected to increase as a result.
Another quarter of double-digit growth in international operations (up 21.1 percent)
The SII Group continued to expand rapidly outside France, where consolidated revenue rose by 19.2 percent for the period and organic growth was 17.8 percent over the first six months of the previous year. This expansion has been driven in particular by SII’s operations in Poland (+27%) and Romania (+60%). Growth was also sustained in Spain (+22%) and Belgium (+13%), while it was high again in Chile (+39%). Sales declined during the period in Germany (-8%) and the Czech Republic (-15%), where the Group is in the process of regaining market shares.
All of these positive trends have contributed to a higher aggregate ratio of billable hours at international operations and to a continued expansion of the workforce.
Outlook for fiscal 2015-2016
Following the resumption of organic growth in France during the first half of the year instead of the second half, as anticipated, the SII Group will issue its interim financial statements on December 8 and is confident that it will be able to attain its stated objectives for the year, including two-digit organic growth at international operations and improved results and margins for the Group as a whole.