UK-based Vislink plc, which owns broadcast industry brands Advent, Link, MRC Gigawave, and Pebble Beach, announced results for the first half of 2016. 1H 2016 revenue was £22.6 million, a decline of 15% versus the first half of 2015.
Vislink was anticipating challenging results for the first half of 2016 having published a negative trading update on July 6, 2016. The trading update warned sales in Vislink’s Communication System (“VCS”) business were below management expectations. In addition, the July update indicated the further restructuring of VCS would necessitate a non-cash write-off of £6 – £9 million and additional annual cost reductions of £1 – £2 million. This adds to last year’s restructuring of the division when headcount was decreased 26% and a £2.5 million charge was incurred.
The underperformance of VCS caused Vislink to consume its entire banking facility and will subsequently force Vislink to breach its debt covenants. Once Vislink is officially out of compliance with its financing arrangements, the Company’s bankers may call for repayment of existing loans – which Vislink does not have the cash to repay. While this represents a material uncertainty for the Company, Management did indicate it is engaged in constructive discussions with its bankers.
In order to improve cash generation, Vislink’s management is canceling the Company’s dividend until debt drop below EBITDA, canceling its equity incentive program for senior management, and will “continue to examine the appropriateness of the Board and Group structure.”
The announcement has resulted in a greater than 50% decline in Vislink’s stock price decline from close on September 29, 2016. Measured against Vislink’s 52 week stock price, the decline is greater than 75%.
Net loss for the first half of 2016 was £32.2 million or 26.9p per share, compared to a net loss of £0.9 million or 0.4p per share in the year-earlier period.
1H 2016 operating loss was £32.0 million versus an operating loss of £0.8 million during 1H 2015. Operating losses included non-cash write downs of £23.3 million for goodwill and acquired intangibles as well as a write-down of £6.3 million of inventory and capitalized development costs.
A majority of Vislink’s goodwill write-down was associated with the Broadcast division (excluding Pebble Beach). The entire £20.6 million of goodwill for Vislink’s Broadcast division was written down.
Given the magnitude of the non-cash items it is informative to review operating cash flow for the period. During the first six months of 2016 operating cash usage was £1.2 million, compared to generation of £0.8 million during the first half of 2016.
The results for the first half benefited from a positive £2.2 million foreign currency translation based on a weaker GBP.
Vislink’s broadcast revenue for the first half of 2016 was £20.6 million, a 7.6% decrease versus broadcast revenue in 1H 2015. The decline was primarily related to an 18.5% year-over-year drop in the revenue of Vislink’s Communication Systems (“VCS”) business.
Management attributed the decline in VCS to a combination of a general pause in spending ahead of the adoption of next-generation technologies and a reduction in spend from broadcasters driven by a diversion of budgets from infrastructure to investing in content.
Pebble Beach revenue for 1H 2016 was £5.4 million, a slight decrease of 1.4% when compared to the first half of 2015. In the commentary accompanying the earnings release, the Company highlighted a 53.3% growth in Pebble Beach’s order book to £5.4 million during the 1H 2016 (1H 2015: £3.5 million).
Revenue by Region:
- Revenue from the UK & Europe region was £7.6 million during the first half of the year, an increase of 20.1% over the first half of 2015. The UK & Europe represented 33.6% of total revenue for the first six months of the year, versus 23.7% in the same period of 2015.
- Revenues from the Americas were £7.9 million, a 27.4% decrease against 1H 2015. On a percentage basis, Americas was 35% of total revenue for the first half of 2016, down from 40.6% in 1H 2015.
- First half 2016 revenue from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) was £3.2 million, down 3.2% versus 1H 2015. The MEA region represented 14.2% of revenue in 1H 2016, up from 12.4% during the first half of 2015.
- APAC revenue in 1H 2016 was £1.9 million, up 4.1% versus the comparable 2015 period. APAC revenue was 8.4% of total revenue in 1H 2016, up from 7.1% in 1H 2015.
Operating Expenses by Function:
- R&D expenses recognized in 1H 2016 were £3.6 million, a 29.5% increase over 1H 2015. As a percentage of revenue, R&D expense was 16.1%, a substantial increase from the 10.6% in 1H 2015. During the first half, Vislink wrote down £0.8 million of capitalized R&D investment. Management did not identify the associated products or technologies associated with the write down.
- Sales and marketing (S&M) expenses were £4.6 million, a slight rise of 1.4% against 1H 2015 S&M expense level. On a percentage basis S&M was 20.2%, an increase over the 17.0% of revenue from 1H 2015.
- Administrative expenses were £2.9 million, a decrease of 28% versus the first half of 2015.
Cash and Debt Levels:
Vislink had a cash balance of £3.1 on June 30, 2016, down from £3.2 at the end of 2015. During the same time period, the Company’s debt balance increased to £12.0 million from £9.0 at the end of 2015. These developments have increased Vislink’s net debt to £8.8 million. This compares to net debt levels of £5.7 million at 2015 year end and £1.2 million at the end of the first half of 2015.
In the release Management indicted debt has increased further since the end of the June and Vislink is now using its entire Revolving Credit Facility of £15.0 million.
Vislink’s order book at June 30, 2016 was £11.4 million, an increase of 60.5% over the same date last year.
In their prepared remarks Management discussed the organic growth of Pebble Beach, its pipeline of software bolt-on acquisitions, and its continued focus growing Vislink’s software business. The below slide is taken from the Vislink’s presentation on the first half results.
“We continue to see significant underlying organic growth in our software business with a strong order intake which has carried through into H2. The long term prospects for Pebble Beach Systems continue to improve as we augment our core enterprise software solutions with cloud enabled software applications. We also have a pipeline of partners and software bolt-on acquisitions which will further enhance the Group strategy of building a high margin, cash generative software business” said John Hawkins Executive Chairman of Vislink.
Press Release on Vislink 1H 2016 Results
Management Presentation on Vislink 1H 2016 Results
Trading Update on Vislink 1H 2016 Preliminary Results
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