Record high growth and operating profit
- The Board proposes a dividend of SEK 0.60 per share
Comments from CEO Helena Holmgren
2018 was a historically successful year for Pricer which posted its highest-ever operating profit. I am extremely pleased to report record-strong growth during the year in terms of order intake, sales and operating profit. We can see that our focus on sales and marketing activities has generated increased interest in our products in several markets. The longed-for breakthrough in the North American market laid the foundation for the substantial sales growth of 44 percent for the full year 2018. Sales for the full year totalled SEK 1,195 M compared to SEK 828 M in 2017. This is the first time in the company's almost 30-year history that sales for a full year exceed SEK 1 billion and by a wide margin.
Market demand is strong with a continued high level of activity. In recent years we have noted an increased interest with a growing number of retail chains seeing the advantages of digital price labels and initiating tests to evaluate both requirements and choice of supplier in pilot projects. The year's record-high order intake of SEK 1,268 M, corresponding to growth of 46 percent compared to 2017, is a result of the high level of activity we have noted for some time being converted into investment decisions and store installations. The order backlog at the end of 2018 remained at a high level of SEK 224 M.
The fourth quarter made a strong contribution to the excellent development for the full year 2018 with sales of SEK 387 M (253), corresponding to growth of 53 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. Deliveries to the major American customer were essentially completed in the fourth quarter which, combined with high delivery activity primarily in France, provided the foundation for the high sales in the period. Order intake in the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 274 M (231) which corresponds to growth of 18 percent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. Order intake is divided among a large number of customers in several geographical markets.
The gross margin for the fourth quarter amounted to 20.6 percent (22.7). In addition to the impact of the product and contract mix on the gross margin, the high component prices mentioned in previous reports continued to put pressure on the gross margin in the fourth quarter. For the full year 2018 the gross margin was 22.8 percent (26.1). Operating profit increased to SEK 29 M (17) for the fourth quarter and reached a record level of SEK 89 M (56) for the full year 2018.
The quarter generated a strong, positive cash flow from operating activities of SEK 59.1 M due to reduced tied-up capital primarily in inventories and trade receivables compared with the end of the third quarter. As mentioned previously, cash flow should be analyzed over time rather than for individual quarters.
In summary, 2018 was a very good year with increased interest in our solutions and a strengthened organization. Our strong financial position provides an important foundation for our credibility as a long-term partner to our customers and allows continued investment in both product and market development.
President and CEO
Every care has been taken in the translation of this document. In the event of discrepancies, the Swedish original will supersede the English translation.
This information is information that Pricer AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency by the contact persons set out below, on February 14, 2019 at 08:30 CET.
For more information, please contact:
Helena Holmgren, President and CEO
Susanne Andersson, CFO
Phone: +46 (0)8 505 582 00
This information was distributed by Cision http://www.cisionwire.se/