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Colt Group S.A.  -  COLT   

1st Quarter Results and Outlook for 2014

Released 07:01 22-Apr-2014

RNS Number : 1889F
Colt Group S.A.
22 April 2014

Colt Group S.A.

K2 Building 

Forte 1

2a rue Albert Borschette 

L-1246 Luxembourg

R.C.S. B115679


Colt Group S.A. Interim Management Statement for the quarter ended 31 March 2014



22 April 2014: Colt Group S.A. (London Stock Exchange: COLT) today issued its Interim Management Statement for the three months ended 31 March 2014. 




          Three months to 31 March

€ millions












Group revenue for the quarter amounted to €399.8 million (Q1 '13: €392.1 million). This reflects year on year revenue growth of 2.0% (Q1 '13: declined 1.3%). On a constant currency basis Group revenue grew 1.2% (Q1 '13: declined 0.7%) with contributions from all four lines of business:


·      Network Services revenue grew 0.4% (Q1 '13: 1.9%). Managed networking revenues grew 9.8%, while bandwidth services and other revenues declined by 6.5%.  Legacy (SDH low speed connections) revenues accounted for the majority of the decline at €5.5m.

·      Voice Services revenue grew 0.8% (Q1 '13: declined 4.6%). Enterprise voice declined by 11.4% (Q1 '13: 12.0%) driven by regulatory driven price declines and contraction of certain lower margin customer accounts.  Growth in Carrier voice offset the decline in Enterprise voice albeit at low margins.  The impact of regulatory driven price changes amounted to €6.1m negative impact in the quarter compared with €10.8m in Q1 '13.

·      Data Centre Services revenue (excluding modular product sales) grew 8.1% (Q1 '13: declined 3.4%).  Growth in colocation revenue was offset by the timing of sales of our modular ftec halls which are not recurring in nature.  As a result, total data centre revenue grew 0.5% (Q1 '13: declined 1.0%). 

·      IT Services revenue grew 15.0% (Q1 '13: 4.3%) largely due to increased levels of equipment sales.


Group EBITDA of €74.1 million (Q1 '13: €80.5 million) represented a year on year decline of €6.4 million (8.0%).  The decline in EBITDA resulted from margin compression due to product mix changes, the continued churn and pricing pressures in our bandwidth products and the flow through of previous year rate declines to our Enterprise voice customers.  In bandwidth products, highly profitable legacy products are being replaced with lower margin managed networking services.  In voice products, the impact of termination rate declines have affected both overall revenue and margin on enterprise and wholesale business.  We would expect this pressure on margins to continue through the year. 



Net funds2 as at 31 March 2014 amounted to €157.0 million (31 December 2013: €195.6 million). The cash outflow of €38.6 million for the quarter (Q1 '13: outflow of €54.2m) reflected normal seasonal outflows, including annual prepayments and staff incentives. Capital expenditure for the first quarter of 2014 decreased to €74.5 million (Q1 '13: €81.2 million). 



1 EBITDA is profit before net finance costs and related foreign exchange, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items

Net funds includes deposits classified as current asset investments


Development of Lines of Business


Colt is currently completing a strategic review of its performance by lines of business with a focus on operational and financial improvement.  We are moving forward with the reorganisation of our business into four lines of business as previously announced: network services, IT services, data centre services and voice services.  These new business units will be supported by our existing go to market and shared service organisations. Business plans for each of these units have been formalised and organisational change is in process.  The underlying plans are aimed to facilitate the prioritisation of investments and opportunities that are of the greatest strategic and commercial value to our Group with a goal to improve revenue growth, margin and cash flow in 2015 and beyond. 


As part of this process, we are announcing today a planned reduction in our Carrier voice business.  We will withdraw from approximately 85% of our Carrier voice trading contracts over the next few months. Our objective is to liberate approximately five billion minutes per annum of voice network capacity to pursue more profitable enterprise voice business.  This decision will result in the loss of approximately €175m of annualised revenue (total 2013 Carrier voice revenue was €250.4m), with roughly half the reduction evident in FY 2014. We expect that the rationalisation of the voice trading operations will improve Group profit margins over the next few years and have an immaterial impact on absolute EBITDA in 2014. 


We expect that execution of all of the business plans will result in certain workforce restructuring actions during the second half of 2014 as the Company aligns its cost structure to improve profitability.  Payback on the restructuring will typically be in the range of 9 to 12 months and for the most part occur in 2015.




As a result of margin compression due to product mix changes, the continued churn and pricing pressures in our bandwidth products and the flow through of previous year rate declines to our Enterprise voice customers, we expect 2014 EBITDA (before restructuring charges) to range c.5% to 10% below current consensus estimates of €325m. In addition we expect to incur restructuring charges in the second half of 2014 of approximately €30m relating to the execution of the plans laid out above.



Rakesh Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer, said:


"We are moving forward with our reorganisation into four lines of business.  I believe this structure will provide the focus we need to address challenges in the marketplace.  It will also allow us to prioritise investments that are of greatest strategic and commercial value to our Group.  I am confident that these changes will help us grow the business and improve profit margins in future years."


Conference Call

Please find below investor conference call details:

Time: 11:00 BST (GMT +1 hour)

Date: Tuesday 22 April 2014


To access direct dial-in details for the call please register in advance by following this link:

If you are unable to register, please dial one of the following numbers where you will be transferred through to an operator and asked to quote ID number 944152.

UK:                         +44 (0) 20 7162 0025
+1 334 323 6201


A replay service will be available within 4 working hours after the call has ended, until midnight on 29th April 2014 on the following numbers:

UK:                         +44 (0) 20 7031 4064
US:                         +1 954 334 0342

Access code:           944152




This report contains 'forward looking statements' including statements concerning plans, future events or performance and underlying assumptions and other statements which are other than statements of historical fact. Colt Group S.A., 'the Group', wishes to caution readers that any such forward looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and certain important factors could in the future affect the Group's actual results and could cause the Group's actual results for future periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward looking statement made by or on behalf of the Group. These include, among others, the following: (i) any adverse change in regulations and technology within the IT services and communications industries, (ii) the Group's ability to manage its growth, (iii) the nature of the competition that the Group will encounter and wider economic conditions including economic downturns, (iv) unforeseen operational or technical problems and (v) the Group's ability to raise capital. The Group undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revision to these forward looking statements that may be made to reflect errors or circumstances that occur after the date hereof.




Investor Relations:

Morten Singleton

DDI: +44 (0) 20 7863 5314

Mobile: +44 7535 445159




Helen Toft

DDI: +44 20 7039 2420

Mobile: +44 7855 301078



APPENDIX 1 - Constant currency analysis (Unaudited)


An analysis of revenue and EBITDA for the three months ended 31 March 2014, compared to the three months ended 31 March 2013 after excluding the impact of foreign exchange, is shown below:




Three months ended 31 March



% Movement





Constant currency

Foreign exchange Impact*

Network Services






Voice Services






Data Centre Services






IT Services






Total revenue




















*The foreign exchange impact has been calculated by retranslating non-Euro revenue and EBITDA in the prior period to the current month's average exchange rate. The most significant exchange impact on the reported revenue comes from the 2.1% strengthening of the Sterling against the Euro over the last year. The most significant exchange impact on the reported EBITDA comes from the 18.7% weakening of the Indian Rupee against the Euro over the last year.  


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1st Quarter Results and Outlook for 2014 - RNS