\000_cvkkc_d3ekodsd00/

2 ASCOM ANNUAL REPORT 2015 LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS

the EBITDA margin for fiscal year 2015 was at 2.7%. The division’s testing business, excluding the divested Systems &Solutions business unit, posted an EBITDA margin of 6% before restructuring costs. In addition to restructuring measures undertaken to improve Network Testing’s profitability, growth initia- tives have been launched, including a partnering with Ranplan, a British mobile network planning and design innovator, that opens up new market opportunities in the field of in-building networks. Unchanged dividend of CHF 0.45 per share In fiscal year 2015, Ascom generated revenues of CHF 410.8 million (2014: CHF 437.7 million), thus achiev- ing growth at Group level of 1.5% at constant curren- cies. The revenue split was 74% for Wireless Solutions and 26% for Network Testing. EBITDA on Group level amounted to CHF 43.8 million (2014: CHF 64.8 million), including restructuring costs of CHF 4 million for the Network Testing Division. Excluding these restructur- ing costs, Ascom posted an EBITDA margin of 11.6% for fiscal year 2015 (2014: 14.8%). Ascom closed the year with a Group profit of CHF 24.3 million (2014: CHF 37.5 million). The Board of Directors proposes an unchanged dividend of CHF 0.45 per share to the Annual General Meeting in acknowledgement of the continued solid business performance of the Wireless Solutions Division, offer- ing a dividend yield of about 3% and an increased payout ratio of 66.7% (2014: 43.2%). The Ascom Group has as of 31 December 2015 a net cash position of CHF 37.3 million (2014: CHF 27.1 million) and a solid equity ratio of 40.7% (2014: 34.4%). Outlook In 2015, Ascom continued gaining access to global top- notch hospitals such as Humber River in Toronto or Nya Karolinska Solna near Stockholm. Ascom has the ambition to be present in every tier-one hospital in the world by 2020. Wireless Solutions will continue its transformation towards becoming a leading provider of healthcare ICT solutions. Wireless Solutions aims for sustainable growth both organically as well as through strategic partnerships or further targeted acquisitions, while maintaining and increasing its level of profitability. Ascom confirms its guidance for Wireless Solutions for 2016 and 2017, targeting revenue growth of 5–10% at constant currencies with an EBITDA margin of 14–18%. Due to the seasonality of the business, the second half-year is expected to be stronger than the first one. Network Testing already implemented the re- structuring program announced in December 2015 and has the objective to return to growth combined with a significant improvement in profitability. The part- nering with Ranplan will support Network Testing to enter a new growth market for in-building and metro-

United States and Canada. This alliance is a beneficial expansion of Ascom’s distribution channels to further strengthen brand recognition, open up new markets, enhance sales growth and increase market share.Another important step towards becoming a leading provider of healthcare ICT solutions was the acquisi- tion of the Italian medical software company UMS (United Medical Software), announced in December 2015. This acquisition accelerates Ascom’s develop- ment roadmap for software integration and gives a geographic footprint in Italy. In 2015, Wireless Solutions experienced a good performance in important key regions. In North Ameri- ca, Wireless Solutions was able to gain market share, delivering an excellent performance, posting double- digit growth in both incoming orders and revenues. In Europe, a positive development was achieved in particular in Germany and Switzerland. While most other regions and the OEM business performed according to the expectations, the business in the UK suffered from a challenging market environment. Overall, the division recorded revenue growth of 3.7% year-on-year at constant currencies, posting revenues of CHF 304.2 million (2014: CHF 318.9 million). Growth in the acute care segment was clearly above- average. Despite additional expenditure of around CHF 6 million as part of the accelerated investment program, the division achieved a solid EBITDA margin of 15.0% (2014: 17.5%). Difficult market environment for Network Testing In the second half-year 2015, Network Testing faced an increasingly challenging market environment due to substantial changes in the North American Telecom sector. One major North American operator postponed significant network investments, resulting in a revenue decline of USD 8 million for Network Testing in 2015. The negative impact was partly offset by otherwise good results in North America. In 2015, the business bounced back in Asia Pacific, reporting positive developments in particular in China, India and Middle East. While the business grew in Latin America as well, the market environment was challeng- ing in Europe and Africa. Moreover, the business unit Systems &Solutions (which was sold as of December 2015) suffered from a declining demand. Overall, Network Testing generated in financial year 2015 net revenues of CHF 107.0 million, a decline by 4.5% at constant currencies (2014: CHF 119.0 million). The lower revenues compared to the previous year and additional restructuring costs resulted in a decline in profitability. The Division Management already initiated in December 2015 structural changes and cost measures to align the testing business to the new market realities and to improve its profitability. Excluding restructuring costs of around CHF 4 million,

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs