Neodecortech: Upgrade following strong trading

Hardman & Co

Neodecortech (NDT) has announced that the strong trading in 3Q had continued into 4Q and it expected to significantly outperform its baseline projection from the summer. We have upgraded our forecasts and central valuation estimate to reflect this news. The trading has been driven by a focus on home furnishings and new products. Net debt will have risen slightly for FY’20 but the company remains in a strong financial position, in our view.

  • Strategy: NDT uses its vertical integration model to ensure continuity of affordable supply and flexibility in responding to an ever-changing market place. Margin efficiencies are coming through as plant capacity grows, and as new designs and products leverage the company’s Italian design heritage.
  • Trading: Trading has bounced back sharply from the 1H closures. Input prices remain subdued, and NDT’s wide range of products and new plastic-based films should help sales to regain, and exceed, their former levels, assuming there is no further major disruption from COVID-19.
  • Valuation: NDT is trading cheaply on our forecast multiples. At a ca.32% FY’21E EV/EBITDA discount to its nearest quoted peers, the market is more than adequately discounting for its smaller scale and lack of secondary market liquidity. Our central DCF valuation comes out at €5.27 per share.
  • Risks: The key risk in the immediate term is the economic outlook for the construction business generally, but in western Europe in particular. Raw material price fluctuations and the possibility of more direct competition from Chinese manufacturers are also general concerns in the medium term.
  • Investment summary: Neodecortech specialises in high-quality décor paper and plastic film, and has strong relationships with its customers. It is looking to invest in further improvements in its machinery and new technologies. It listed on the Italian AIM market in September 2017, and it moved to the Main Market in May 2020. As familiarity grows and the new products comprise a larger proportion of the business, we would expect the valuation discount to continue to narrow. The performance in 2020, despite COVID-19, shows what a resilient business it is.

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