Aferian plc (LON:AFRN), the B2B video streaming solutions company, has provided a trading update for the year ended 30 November 2021.
The Group expects to report that all its key financial metrics have tracked ahead of the prior year, and in line with Board expectations, representing an overall strong trading performance. As well as delivering further progress against its stated 2025 growth strategy, the Group has also successfully navigated well-documented global supply chain challenges.
At a headline level, the Group expects to report1:
· total revenue of approximately $92.0m representing a c11% increase on the previous year ended 30 November 2020 (“FY20”);
· adjusted operating profit2 growth up over 10% on last year;
· improved quality of earnings thanks to higher-margin software and services revenue of approximately $22.5m: a c15% increase on FY20. This includes recurring revenue of approximately $13m, a c17% increase on FY20;
· enhanced revenue visibility with an exit run rate Annual Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) of approximately $15.0m, up 42% from $10.6m ARR as at 30 November 2020;
· a strengthened net cash position of $14.0m at 30 November 2021 (30 November 2020: $9.5m).
This improved net cash position comes alongside the Group’s expectation that it will report a net working capital outflow for the year as a whole. Whilst there is no underlying change to our debtor profile or cash generated, navigating the well-known supply chain issues in the period was challenging and the timing of some device shipments was pushed very close to our year end. This means cash will be collected after the end of the period.
In addition to the strong growth in exit ARR, the Group has further visibility of next year’s devices revenue as the Group’s customers place orders up to 60 weeks in advance in response to extended lead times in the supply chain.
New banking facilities
The Group has agreed a new banking facility with Barclays Bank plc, Silicon Valley Bank, and Bank of Ireland. This increased facility of $50m, split evenly across the new three bank club, also includes a further $50m available by way of an accordion. The increased facility will support the Group in achieving its 2025 strategy, particularly with regards to the execution of targeted acquisitions. The new facility has a three year term with options to extend by a further one or two years.
The existing bank facility with Barclays Bank plc remains undrawn and it is expected that the new facility, subject to the closure of customary conditions, will be fully available to the Group by the end of December 2021.
Appointment of new Chairman
As announced in June 2021, Karen Bach notified the Board of her intentions to step down as Non-Executive Chairman following nearly six years of service on the Group’s Board of Directors.
The Group is pleased to announce that, following a rigorous search process, the Board has appointed a new Non-Executive Chairman, Mark Wells, who will take up the position and join the Board of Directors on 1 January 2022. Mark brings a wealth of experience, gained through his 30-year career, guiding UK growth technology businesses in value creation. He brings extensive boardroom experience, including as Non-Executive Chairman for the inertial navigation specialists, Oxford Technical Solutions Limited, and for the predictive maintenance software provider, Senseye. In addition, Mark was a Non-Executive Director for Kofax, where he supported the business in its transition from a hardware company into a software-led business specialising in intelligent automation for digital workflow transformation. He was previously CEO of visual effects company, Image Metrics.
Notice of results
Further detail on the Group’s performance for the year ended 30 November 2021 will be provided at the Company’s full year results for the year ended 30 November 2021 expected to be announced during the week commencing 7 February 2022.
Donald McGarva, Chief Executive Officer of Aferian plc, said:
“This financial year Aferian has delivered an overall strong performance, with each of the key metrics tracking ahead of last year. Our 2025 strategy continues to evolve our business into a leading video streaming solutions company with more predictable and higher-quality recurring software and services revenue. The visibility we have into next year’s performance is high. I am particularly proud of our team’s delivery here, especially given the backdrop of tough supply chain challenges all organisations have had to manage.
“On behalf of the Board and the entire Aferian team, I am pleased to welcome Mark Wells to our business as Non-Executive Chairman. He joins us on 1 January 2022 at a moment of real strength and real ambition. We look forward to benefiting from his contribution as we push on towards our 2025 goals. Mark will take over from Karen Bach, who steps down on 31 December 2021. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Karen for her service and support. We have all benefitted from her energy and perspective.”
Mark Wells, Non-Executive Chairman Designate of Aferian plc, said:
“I have a real enthusiasm for working with ambitious software and technology companies and as such am excited to be joining the board of Aferian. Their 2025 strategy for moving into the centre of streaming services and pay TV is impressive, and I welcome the opportunity to join the Company as it continues to make progress executing its ambitious strategy and capitalising on structural shifts in the TV market. I look forward to bringing my 30 years of experience within the software industry to help the Company grow and achieve its targets.”
1All numbers in this section are unaudited.
2Adjusted operating profit is a non-GAAP measure and excludes amortization of acquired intangible assets, exceptional items and share-based payment charges.
The following information is disclosed pursuant to Rule 17 and Schedule Two paragraph (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies.
Mark Benjamin Wells (66 years old) has been a director or partner of the following companies during the five years preceding the date of this announcement: