Avast plc (LON:AVST), together with its subsidiaries, a leading global cybersecurity provider, has issued the following scheduled trading update for the first quarter of its current financial year, comprising the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
|($’m)||Q1 2021||Q1 2020||Change %||Change % (excluding FX) 1|
|Revenue excl. Acquisitions, Disposals and Discontinued Business 2||236.4||213.1||10.9||10.4|
For the first quarter, Revenue of $237.1m was up 10.4% on an organic basis3, and 10.5% at actual rates.
The Consumer Direct business continued to deliver good growth, while the SMB business also sustained its positive momentum. In March, Avast renewed its contract to promote the Chrome web browser with distribution of its consumer antivirus products and CCleaner utility application, through to March 2022.
For the first quarter, Adjusted EBITDA increased 10.3% to $133.7m, resulting in an Adjusted EBITDA margin4 of 56.4%. On 31 March 2021, net debt / LTM (“last twelve months”) Adjusted EBITDA per the banking covenant was 1.1x. In March, Avast successfully completed a USD 480 million and a Euro 300 million Senior Secured Term Loan to refinance prior facilities. This extended the Group’s loan maturity to March 2028 and further reduced interest costs.
FY 2021 Guidance
Avast completed the disposal of the Family Safety mobile business on 16 April5. The disposal, which will be modestly earnings dilutive, will benefit reported growth rates over the balance of the year. As a result, for full year 2021 the Group now expects to deliver at the upper end of the six to eight percent organic Revenue growth guidance, with the Consumer Indirect segment likewise revised to low single-digit percent growth.
Due to continued R&D and marketing investment, which is second half weighted, guidance for the Group’s Adjusted EBITDA margin percent remains broadly flat versus FY 2020.
Dividend and AGM
The Board has recommended the payment of a final 2020 dividend of 11.2 US cents per share. The scheduled ex-dividend date is 13 May 2021, and the scheduled payment date is 18 June 2021.
The company’s AGM is scheduled for 6 May 2021. Webcast facilities will be provided to enable shareholders to follow proceedings. Further details are provided in the separate RNS (‘Publication of Notice of 2021 Annual General Meeting’) and on the Company website at https://investors.avast.com.
The company’s next scheduled update to the market will be the Half Year Report for the six months to 30 June 2021 on 11 August 2021.
Ondrej Vlcek, Chief Executive of Avast, said:
“Avast has made a good start to the year with continued demand for the company’s security, privacy and performance solutions. The business is trading in line with expectations as we successfully execute on our stated goals to drive customer engagement and monetisation. We look forward to the remainder of the year with confidence.”