Horizon returns to profit

4 Mar 2004

Horizon Technology Group plc has announced pre-tax profits of €686,000 in its preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2003, bouncing back from losses of €12.4m the previous year.

Operating profit was up 28.6pc to €5.1m – the fourth consecutive increase in half yearly operating profit – while adjusted diluted earnings per share increased 44pc to 7.11pc.

EBITDA margin and operating profit margin increased by 24pc and 67pc respectively.

The company also reported a cash balance of €4.4m at year end.

The profit and margin improvement came against a backdrop of falling revenue for the systems integrator cum hardware distributor. Revenue fell to €250m compared with €321m in 2002. High-end IT services were worst hit, with revenue plummeting to €139m from €214m in 2002.

Commenting on the figures, Samir Naji, chief executive of Horizon, said that profit rather than revenue would remain the primary focus of the business. “Against a difficult market backdrop in 2003, Horizon continues to deliver meaningful earnings improvement. These results… reflect a continuous, unrelenting focus on operating cost reduction and customer service improvement. Our objective is to continue to generate shareholder value by improving Horizon’s underlying earnings independent of revenue growth. These results reflect progress towards that objective.”

In its results statement, the company said despite some encouraging signs of recovery so far this year it was “too early to confirm a sustained improvement in underlying trading”.

By Brian Skelly