FY 2020-2021 annual results

20 Oct 2021

Revenue continues to grow and operating profit doubles

  • FY 2020-2021 revenue of €472 million, up 21% at constant exchange rates and operating profit doubles as EBITDA[1] reaches €34 million (+96%)
  • Closing cash position at June 30, 2021 of €90 million, up 9%, including a twofold increase in cash flow from operations to €29 million[2]
  • Return to growth expected in Q2 FY 2021-2022 following the 5% contraction in Group revenue anticipated for Q1
  • Implementation of an option conferring a right to the Chairman & CEO to invest in the Group’s subsidiaries (PlanetArt, Avanquest, myDevices): cash-out conditional on a threefold increase in the value of Claranova’s shareholding by June 30, 2026

 

Today we are announcing another year of profitable growth and it is particularly satisfying to note that all Group divisions contributed in their respective manners to this success. With 21% growth at constant exchange rates and EBITDA nearly doubling, Claranova has again demonstrated its ability to adapt and develop.

The first few weeks of FY 2021-2022 were marked by a worldwide reversal of online traffic growth in the post-COVID environment, amplified by the impact of technological changes to Apple’s app tracking features. For the first time in five years, these two exceptional market developments will have a negative impact on PlanetArt’s growth, without however calling into question the relevance of our offerings and our business models over the long term. We thus remain confident in the PlanetArt’s ability to very soon get back on its path to growth, commented Pierre Cesarini, Chairman & CEO of the Claranova group.

 

Claranova ended FY 2020-2021 (July 2020-June 2021) with €472 million in revenue and confirmed the growth potential of its business portfolio with a 21% increase in consolidated revenue (+14% like-for-like)[3]. Group growth remained strong during the last fiscal year within a complex health environment that was overall positive for technology companies.

This growth was accompanied by a significant increase in operating profit which nearly doubled in FY 2020-2021, bolstered by the performances of all the Group’s divisions. On that basis, Claranova’s main operating performance indicator, EBITDA, rose to €34 million (+96%), or 7.2% as a percentage of revenue, up from 4.3% in the prior period.

As anticipated as soon as September 2020, this positive trend for EBITDA includes the conversion of aid provided by the US government in FY 2019-2020 under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to selected US subsidiaries for an amount totaling nearly US$5 million into grants.

Following the improvement in the operating profit of its businesses, the Claranova’s financial profile was strengthened with Net Income of €14 million for the year compared to €1 million in FY 2019-2020, the first year the Group registered a profit since initiating its transformation in 2015.

Finally, the cash position continued to strengthen and stood at €90 million at the end of June 30, 2021 (+9%). Highlighting the good health of Claranova’s business portfolio, this increase was driven mainly by cash flow from operations before changes in net working capital, which rose to €29 million, up from €14 million in the prior period.

 

PlanetArt: Continuing strong growth and focus on improving profitability

PlanetArt, Claranova’s personalized e-commerce division confirmed its capacity for growth with annual revenue of €380 million, a 28% increase at constant exchange rates. Excluding currency effects and after eliminating contributions from the acquisitions of CafePress and Personal Creations, PlanetArt also delivered solid like-for-like growth in the period of 18%.

This performance was accompanied by a significant improvement in EBITDA from €14 million in the prior period to €26 million (+ 84%), which increased PlanetArt’s EBITDA margin from 4.5% to 6.8%.

This increase reflects the decision by the Group to focus on the profitability of the personalized e-commerce businesses during the year. This priority led to improved marketing efficiencies across PlanetArt’s entire product range for both its historical photo printing business (web and mobile) and the more recently acquired Personal Creations personalized gifts business.

 

Avanquest: successful transition of the business model confirmed in terms of profitability

FY 2020-2021 marks the completion of Avanquest’s transition to a subscription-based sales model (SaaS[4]). This model now accounts for 78% of revenue provided by the three main products developed and distributed by Avanquest (SodaPDF, inPixio, Adaware), up from 70% in FY 2019-2020 and 50% in FY 2018-2019. The percentage of recurring revenue (including subscription sales) has accordingly continued to grow and at year-end represented 58% of this division’s total sales, up from 46% in FY 2019-2020 and 35% in FY 2018-2019.

This increase reflects momentum in Avanquest’s proprietary software, notably in the PDF and Photo segments with double-digit growth in the period.

This performance was offset by the decline in the historical physical distribution activities during the health crisis and the transformation of the customer acquisition strategy for Avanquest’s Security solutions. This transformation implemented at the beginning of the period paid off with the Security products (Adaware) also registering double-digit gains in the last quarter of the year.

Avanquest thus had revenue in FY 2020-2021 of €88 million, stable in relation to the prior year at constant exchange rates (-3% at actual exchange rates).

While the momentum of Avanquest’s SaaS business is not yet reflected in the division’s growth, the business portfolio’s shift towards higher-margin subscription-based sales is contributing to a significant improvement in operating profitability. This is amplified by increased sales from subscription renewals which require virtually no marketing investments and now account for 48% of revenue from subscriptions, up from 37% in the previous year.

Avanquest’s EBITDA thus rose 54% to €11 million or 12.4% as a percentage of revenue, compared with €7 million and 7.9% respectively for the previous year.

 

myDevices: subscription sales and T-Mobile/Sprint partnership strengthened

myDevices, the Group’s IoT division, reported revenue of €3.9 million in FY 2020-2021 compared to €4.8 million in FY 2019-2020, a 14% decline at constant rates (-20% at actual rates). This decrease reflects the slowdown in deployments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as well a higher comparison base from the previous year that included non-recurring revenues received under the agreement with its commercial partner Sprint. After adjusting for these non-recurring items, myDevices’ revenue was up 24% at constant exchange rates over the year. This increase reflects the growth in revenue from subscriptions: at the end of June 2021, myDevices recorded Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €1.4 million, up 78% at constant rates.

This year also marks the extension of myDevices’ main commercial partnership with the American telecom carrier Sprint, now extended to the operator T-Mobile, following the recent merger of these two groups. With twice the sales force, T-Mobile offers the division promising opportunities for growth.

During this fiscal year, myDevices opted in favor of a conservative spending strategy which helped limit operating losses for the year. myDevices’ EBITDA represented a loss of €2.7 million[5], down from a loss of €3.8 million one year earlier.

 

[1]  EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is a non-GAAP aggregate used to measure the operating performance of the businesses. It is equal to Recurring Operating Income before depreciation, amortization and share-based payments including related social security expenses and the IFRS 16 impact on the recognition of leases. Details on the calculation of EBITDA are presented in the Appendix to this presentation.

[2] Before changes in net working capital.

[3] Like-for-like growth (organic growth) equals the increase in revenue at constant consolidation scope and exchange rates.

[4] Software as a Service, a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis.

[5]  EBITDA for FY 2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021 included respectively aid of US$0.6 million and US$0.5 million granted by the US government under the Paycheck Protection Program.