Double-digit growth and annual profitability target confirmed
SQLI reported turnover of €53.6 million for the third quarter of 2018, up 10.2% on the same period in 2017. The strong increase in activity saw the Group report a 12.1% rise in billing for the first nine months of the year (€169.5 million, versus €151.2 million at end September 2017) and remain on track to achieving the Move Up 2020 plan target of double-digit average annual growth for the second year in a row.
The Group recorded a slight improvement in organic growth* of 2.2% for third-quarter 2018, versus 1.3% for the first half of the year (up 1.6% over nine months).
This strong performance comes on the back of robust growth overseas (up 42.3% over nine months at close to €60 million and accounting for 35% of total turnover), driven by the successful integration of Star Republic (acquired in May 2017) and Osudio (acquired in September 2017) and by a steady improvement in France, where activity grew 0.5% for the first nine months of the year.
To meet the persistently very buoyant demand for digital commerce platforms, SQLI has once again expanded its workforce, particularly in Paris. As a result, the Group’s overall headcount increased 3.6% to 2,225 employees (excluding interns).
SQLI’s priority for the final quarter of the year is to achieve EBITDA** of €23 million (taking into account the impact of applying IFRS 9, 15 and 16, which is estimated at between €5 and €6 million), versus €13 million in 2017. Here again the Group is on track to achieving the goals of the Move Up 2020 plan, which forecasts EBITDA of over 14% upon completion.
The Group also continues to actively consider targeted acquisition opportunities, but has no plans to finalize any new transactions before the end of the year. As things currently stand, SQLI is targeting annual turnover of more than €230 million in 2018 and of €280 million by the end of the Move Up 2020 plan.
SQLI will publish its turnover for 2018 on February 14, 2019 after the close of trading.
* Organic growth = change in turnover at constant scope and exchange rates.
** EBITDA = recurring operating income before depreciation and amortization and provisions.