Posts Tagged ‘broadcast software’

Vislink Revenue Declines 15% in 1H 2016; Forecasts Breach of Debt Covenants

Analysis, Broadcaster Financial Results, Quarterly Results | Posted by Josh Stinehour
Oct 05 2016

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

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.

Broadcast Performance:

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.

Business Outlook:

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.



Related Content:

Press Release on Vislink 1H 2016 Results

Management Presentation on Vislink 1H 2016 Results

Trading Update on Vislink 1H 2016 Preliminary Results



© Devoncroft Partners 2009-2016.  All Rights Reserved.



Broadcast Technology Vendors Predict Strong Increase in Software Revenue

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 01 2010

When I recently saw the headline “Solving the TV Station Hardware Dilemma” on the Broadcast Engineering website, I stopped to read.

Although the article turned out to be about integrated playout (a.k.a. channel-in-a-box) automation servers rather than a debate about hardware versus software in a broadcast facility, it got me thinking about the shift in broadcasting towards IT-oriented technologies, and what vendors are doing about this market transition.

Our research has found that the move to IT-based operations is one of the broadcast industry’s most important technology trends. This will obviously have a major impact on the broadcast technology vendor community. 

Some commentators like boutique investment bank Silverwood Partners say that there is a diminishing hardware opportunity and that value is migrating to software-based products.  So what are broadcast technology vendors doing to change their product ranges and business models?

To better understand these issues we asked the nearly 800 broadcast technology vendors who responded to the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey, about the make-up of their current and future product portfolio.  Vendors were asked to break down the sources of their revenue by product hardware, software, maintenance, and service. 

Here’s what we found:


Current Sources of Vendor Revenue – Product Mix


Hardware products represent the largest percentage of vendor revenue, with more than 80% of respondents indicating that hardware sales represents greater than 20% of revenue, and 31% reporting that hardware products represent more than 80% of revenue.

While more than half of vendors reported that software represents a significant portion of their revenues, only 6% identified software as representing more than 80% of their sales.

Maintenance and service revenues represent a small part of the overall vendor revenue stream today.

But what are vendors projecting for the make-up of their future revenue?


Future Sources of Vendor Revenue – Product Mix

Vendors were also asked to predict how their revenue by product mix would change over the next several years.

More than half of vendors report that they expect sales of hardware products to stay the same or increase over the next several years, while 20% expect hardware product sales to decline over the same period.



Vendors expect to see large growth in software sales, with 76% of vendors predicting sales of software products will increase over the next 2-3 years.  Included in this number are an impressive 51% of vendors who expect software product sales to increase by more than 10%.

Vendors are also clearly looking towards maintenance and service revenues to expend their businesses.  Whereas the previous chart shows that today’s revenue from these sources is not huge, vendors are almost all anticipating that maintenance and service income will stay the same or increase over the next several years. 47% of vendors predict that maintenance revenue will increase, and 48% of vendors predict that customer service revenues will increase during this period.   


Projected Future Vendor Hardware / Software Revenue – by Company Type

To better understand these responses, it’s helpful to profile the research participants according to the type of company they represent.

In the charts below, I have broken out the responses to the projected product mix question based on whether the respondent works for a company that provides primarily hardware products, primarily software products, or has a mixture of both.  In this case “primarily” is defined as more than 70% of a company’s revenue.  Responses for the average of all vendor responses are also shown for the sake of comparison with charts above.


Hardware Sales

Firstly, let’s look at what vendors predict will happen to their hardware sales.  The chart below shows that 20% of respondents expect hardware product sales to decline over the next few years, while more than half expect hardware product revenue to stay the same or increase over the same period.




However, there is a clear difference between those vendors who currently produce primarily hardware products versus those who currently produce primarily software products.

73% of respondents from companies who primarily sell hardware products think that their hardware revenue will grow over the next few years.  Conversely, just 39% of respondents from software-oriented companies think their hardware revenue will increase.


Software Sales:

What about revenue from software products? The chart below shows how vendors project their software sales will change over the next 2-3 years.


Virtually all vendor respondents predict that their revenue from software will increase over the next few years.  Just 5% of respondents believe that software revenue will decline during this timeframe.

67% of vendors respondents whose company sells primarily hardware products predict that their sales from software products will increase over the next few years, while 86% of respondents from software-oriented vendors believe their software revenue will grow.

These results show that while hardware product sales are not going away any time soon, technology suppliers are responding to market demand for software-oriented products.  Although this analysis does not attempt to put a value on or quantify the percentage of future software sales, it appears that vendors are gearing up to provide more software solutions in the belief that this will help drive revenue growth.




This article is based on the findings from the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participating, the 2010 version of the BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.



A Look at How the Recession Affected Broadcast Technology Vendors

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 29 2010

Last week I wrote an article about how the recession impacted the technology budgets of broadcasters and other purchasers of broadcast technology products.

This showed that broadcast technology spending in EMEA held up better than in the Americas, which was hit particularly hard by the recession.  For example, 40% of respondents from the Americas reported that their budgets for 2010 were lower than in the previous year.  

So how did this reduction in spending affect the sales of vendors who supply hardware and software products to these customers?

To find out, we asked just under 800 broadcast technology vendors who participated in the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey how their company’s revenues had changed over the past year in terms of percentage growth or decline.

On an overall basis, 45% of vendors reported that their sales had either declined or stayed the same versus the previous year, and about half of respondents reported that their sales had increased – in some cases by quite a bit.

When I saw these results I wanted to know the detail behind them so that I could figure out if one type of vendor had fared better than others, and if so what were the determining factors.

For example: was company size a factor? How about location, type of products sold, or whether the vendor is a “pure-play” broadcast company or a one that operates in multiple markets including broadcast?

Based on these questions, I decided to break out the results by a variety of demographic factors, as shown in the chart below:


When the results are viewed this way it appears that the largest companies were the most impacted by the recession. 53% of respondents from vendors with 1,000+ employees reported that their sales had either declined or stayed the same. 

Large companies were closely followed by respondents based in the Americas, and those from firms that primarily supply hardware products.  More than half of these respondents reported that their sales had either declined or stayed the same versus the previous year.

In terms of pure-play versus non-pure-play broadcast vendors, respondents from firms that sell more than 80%+ of their products into the broadcast industry fared slightly worse than those who sell 20% or less of their products into the industry.

So which vendors reported the most growth?  The short answer is small companies, software vendors and VC funded private firms (many of whom are undoubtedly small providers of software products).  

In terms of overall growth 50% of vendors reported that their revenues had increased versus the previous year. However when you consider companies who provide primarily software products, this number jumps to 62% of respondents.

What about the respondents who said their company’s revenues increased the most? Again, software companies lead the way.  21% of respondents from vendors that sell primarily software products, and 18% of privately held VC-backed companies, reported that their revenue grew by more than 30% versus the previous year. And 18% of small companies (those with 50 employees or less) also reported that their revenues had increased by 30% or more.

When reading these results it’s of course important to keep in mind that revenue growth is one thing, but profitability is another. 

This analysis does not consider the profitability of vendors, but I recently wrote about the findings of a recent IABM study in this area as part of a post on my impressions of IBC 2010.

In that post I reported that during an IBC session on the state of the industry, IABM Director General Peter White stated that about 60% of broadcast technology suppliers are now making a profit – up considerably from last year – with European companies performing better in terms of profit performance.   For more information on these results, I encourage you to contact the IABM.

If you’re interested in more information about how broadcast technology vendors responded to the 2010 Big Broadcast survey, please contact me and I’ll try to give you the information you need.



This article is based on the findings from the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participating, the 2010 version of the BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.




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