The SII engineering consulting group reported revenue of €162.86m for the first half of fiscal 2015-2016, an increase of 7.8 percent in consolidated terms from the same period a year ago. The recovery in France during the second quarter benefited the Group, as did its continued profitable international operations. French and foreign sales for the period as a whole increased by 1.4 and 18.1 percent, respectively.
During a six-month period marked by a gradual turnaround in the engineering consulting business in France, SII’s ratio of billable hours (excluding holidays) was 89.7 percent for the half year to September 30, 2015, a 1.5-point improvement from the first half of 2014. This positive trend in billable hours was also evident at the Group’s international operations, where it coincided with a substantial increase in the workforce during the first six months.
Improved operating income and net income after minority interests
The combined impact of additions to the workforce and new capital investments required by growth in the sector was a slight decline in SII’s operating income from business, when compared with the same period the previous year. On the other hand, the margin generated by international operations continued to improve and was up 1.5 points to 7.4 percent for the period.
After allowing for non-recurring items which affected SII consolidated financial results for the first half of fiscal 2014-2015, operating income increased by 7.3 percent, as the operating margin remained stable during the period. The Group had net income of €5.19m, after taking into account interest expense, taxes and the shares of minority owners, an 8.9-percent improvement from the first half of the previous year, when net income was €4.76 M€.
A strong financial structure
In terms of cash flow, the SII Group managed to strengthen its financial structure in spite of spending on new investments. Consolidated net cash at the end of the period was stable at €12.8m, compared with €12.7m on September 30, 2014. Consolidated shareholders’ equity was €97.4m at the end of the period, up from €94.2m six months earlier.
Update of targets for fiscal 2015-2016
Given the current growth in its international business, the recovery in France and the signing of new contracts both with its traditional large accounts and with new clients reflecting its industry diversification strategy, the SII Group has restated its revenue target for the year, which is now expected to be in the range of 340 to 350 million euros. Cadcon, the German company whose acquisition was recently announced, will be contributing to the overall volume of business after it become part of the consolidated group on January 1, 2016 (annual revenue of €34m, 450 employees). In terms of earnings, the SII Group confirms its objective of improved profit margins and income for the year as a whole.