Published: 2020-08-06 07:00:00 CEST
Nordecon
Half Year financial report

2020 II quarter and 6 months consolidated interim report (unaudited)

Nordecon Group’s financial results of the first half of 2020 as compared to the same period from the last year are characterised by substantial growth in revenue, improved gross and operating margins as well as exchange rate losses related to Ukranian hryvnia. Also, the order book has increased year on year with new substantial contracts signed in July adding to this figure. At the same time, the volume of private orders has decreased significantly, which has been directly influenced by the worldwide COVID-19 crisis and the rapid deterioration of economic conditions. This has resulted in increased price pressure put on the main contractors by the demand side, whereas on the other side there has still been no expected decrease in the input prices. In these circumstances there is strong pressure on profit margins.

Condensed consolidated interim statement of financial position

EUR ‘00030 June 202031 December 2019
ASSETS  
Current assets  
Cash and cash equivalents9,4217,032
Trade and other receivables53,27237,563
Prepayments3,9871,813
Inventories22,85621,142
Total current assets89,53667,550
 
Non-current assets
  
Investments in equity-accounted investees1,3162,369
Other investments2626
Trade and other receivables8,5758,435
Investment property6,3015,530
Property, plant and equipment18,40119,002
Intangible assets14,81514,736
Total non-current assets49,43450,098
TOTAL ASSETS138,970117,648
   
LIABILITIES  
Current liabilities  
Borrowings17,21511,058
Trade payables51,33940,730
Other payables10,4927,954
Deferred income9,8246,391
Provisions628716
Total current liabilities89,49866,849
 
Non-current liabilities
  
Borrowings8,77616,326
Trade payables2,88998
Other payables177177
Provisions1,7311,425
Total non-current liabilities13,57318,026
TOTAL LIABILITIES103,07184,875
   
EQUITY  
Share capital14,37914,379
Own (treasury) shares -660-660
Share premium635635
Statutory capital reserve2,5542,554
Translation reserve1,9841,169
Retained earnings13,72312,383
Total equity attributable to owners of the parent32,61530,460
Non-controlling interests3,2842,313
TOTAL EQUITY35,89932,773
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY138,970117,648

Condensed consolidated interim statement of comprehensive income

EUR ‘000 H1 2020Q2 2020H1 2019Q2 20192019
Revenue  136,798 81,874 100,441 65,917 234,071
Cost of sales -130,791-77,055-97,147-62,669-222,302
Gross profit 6,0074,8193,2943,24811,769
       
Marketing and distribution expenses -202-74-498-152-784
Administrative expenses -3,860-2,061-3,048-1,555-6,837
Other operating income 178296711315
Other operating expenses -110-57-20-7-193
Operating profit/loss 2,0132,656-2051,5454,270
       
Finance income 2491934952241,277
Finance costs -1,241338-663-299-1,219
Net finance costs/income -992531-168-7558
       
Share of profit of equity-accounted investees  479 510 252 302 585
       
Profit/loss before income tax 1,5003,697-1211,7724,913
Income tax expense -81-81-453-453-764
Profit/loss for the period 1,4193,616-5741,3194,149
       
Other comprehensive income:
Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss
      
Exchange differences on translating foreign operations 815-434-262-218-823
Total other comprehensive income/expense 815-434-262-218-823
TOTAL COMPREHENSIVE INCOME/EXPENSE 2,2343,182-8361,1013,326
       
Profit/loss attributable to:      
- Owners of the parent -1562,513-7931,1693,378
- Non-controlling interests 1,5751,103219150771
Profit/loss for the period 1,4193,616-5741,3194,149
       
Total comprehensive income/expense attributable to:      
- Owners of the parent 6592,079-1,0559512,555
- Non-controlling interests 1,5751,103219150771
Total comprehensive income/expense for the period 2,2343,182-8361,1013,326
       
Earnings per share attributable to owners of the parent:      
Basic earnings per share (EUR) -0.010.08-0.030.040.11 
Diluted earnings per share (EUR) -0.010.08-0.030.040.11 

Condensed consolidated interim statement of cash flows

EUR ‘000H1 2020H1 2019
Cash flows from operating activities  
Cash receipts from customers154,207108,300
Cash paid to suppliers-132,626-93,163
VAT paid-6,055-2,104
Cash paid to and for employees-13,658-11,385
Income tax paid-81-146
Net cash from operating activities1,7871,502
   
Cash flows from investing activities  
Paid on acquisition of property, plant and equipment-102-165
Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment16599
Acquisition of a subsidiary-20
Cash received on acquisition of a subsidiary3,6050
Loans provided-14-14
Repayment of loans provided216
Dividends received251244
Interest received55
Net cash from investing activities3,929175
   
Cash flows from financing activities  
Proceeds from loans received1,2283,328
Repayment of loans received-2,077-2,265
Lease payments made-1,487-1,574
Interest paid-508-481
Dividends paid-472-2,129
Net cash used in financing activities-3,316-3,121
   
Net cash flow2,400-1,444
   
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period7,0327,678
Effect of movements in foreign exchange rates-11-14
Increase/decrease in cash and cash equivalents2,400-1,444
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period9,4216,220


Financial review

Financial performance

Nordecon ended the first half of 2020 with a gross profit of 6,007 thousand euros (H1 2019: 3,294 thousand euros). The gross margin improved noticeably year on year, rising to 4.4% for the first half (H1 2019: 3.3%) and 5.9% for the second quarter (Q2 2019: 4.9%). Both of our operating segments, Buildings and Infrastructure, earned a profit in the first half and the second quarter of 2020. The gross margin of the Buildings segment, which was 5.0% for the first half and 5.5% for the second quarter, dropped somewhat compared the same period in 2019 (H1 2019: 5.5% and Q2 2019: 6.1%). The slight margin decrease is attributable to a housing development project completed in Sweden, which resulted in a loss. The Infrastructure segment, on the other hand, succeeded in improving its gross margin substantially. This was supported by an earlier start of the road construction season and a strong order book. Asphalt concrete production in the second quarter grew year on year, providing cover for fixed costs, the largest share of which is made up of costs related to plant and equipment required for asphalt concrete production and laying. The Infrastructure segment’s gross margins were 3.4% for the first half and 8.7% for the second quarter compared to ‑1.4% and 3.5% in the corresponding periods in 2019.
The Group’s administrative expenses for the first half of 2020 totalled 3,860 thousand euros. Compared to the same period in 2019, administrative expenses increased by around 27% (H1 2019: 3,048 thousand euros). The rise is attributable to growth in personnel expenses and depreciation as well as the fact that Embach Ehitus OÜ became a subsidiary of the Group. The ratio of administrative expenses to revenue (12 months rolling) decreased compared to the same period last year and was 2.8% (H1 2019: 2.9%).
The Group ended the first half of 2020 with an operating profit of 2,013 thousand euros (H1 2019: an operating loss of 205 thousand euros). EBITDA was positive at 3,694 thousand euros (H1 2019: 1,281 thousand euros).
Finance income and costs continued to be influenced by exchange rate fluctuations in the Group’s foreign markets. During the period, the Ukrainian hryvnia weakened against the euro by 11.8% and the Group recognised a foreign exchange loss of 704 thousand euros from the translation of loans provided to the Ukrainian subsidiaries in euros (H1 2019: an exchange gain of 377 thousand euros). The Swedish krona/euro exchange rate did not change significantly in the first half of 2020. The exchange gain recognised in finance income in connection with the translation of the loan provided to the Swedish subsidiary in euros amounted to 132 thousand euros (H1 2019: an exchange loss of 206 thousand euros). On the other hand, the movements in foreign exchange rates increased the foreign currency translation reserve in equity by 815 thousand euros (H1 2019: reduced by 262 thousand euros).
The Group’s net profit amounted to 1,419 thousand euros (H1 2019: a net loss of 574 thousand euros). The amount attributable to owners of the parent, Nordecon AS, was a loss of 156 thousand euros (H1 2019: a loss of 793 thousand euros).

Cash flows

In the first half of 2020, operating activities produced a net cash inflow of 1,787 thousand euros (H1 2019: an inflow of 1,502 thousand euros). The key factor that affects operating cash flow is the mismatch between the settlement terms agreed with customers and suppliers. Operating cash flow is also strongly influenced by the fact that the contracts signed with most public and private sector customers do not require them to make advance payments while the Group has to make prepayments to subcontractors, materials suppliers, etc. Cash inflow is also reduced by contractual retentions, which extend from 5 to 10% of the contract price and are released at the end of the construction period only.
Investing activities resulted in a net cash inflow of 3,929 thousand euros (H1 2019: an inflow of 175 thousand euros). The transaction with the strongest impact was the transformation of Embach Ehitus OÜ from an associate into a subsidiary, which generated cash inflow of 3,605 thousand euros. Cash flow was also influenced by payments made for the acquisition of property, plant and equipment of 102 thousand euros (H1 2019: 165 thousand euros), proceeds from the sale of property, plant and equipment of 165 thousand euros (H1 2019: 99 thousand euros) and dividends received of 251 thousand euros (H1 2019: 244 thousand euros).
Financing activities generated a net cash outflow of 3,316 thousand euros (H1 2019: an outflow of 3,121 thousand euros). The largest items were loan and lease payments and dividends paid. Proceeds from loans received totalled 1,228 thousand euros, comprising the use of the overdraft facility and development loans (H1 2019: 3,328 thousand euros). Loan repayments totalled 2,077 thousand euros (H1 2019: 2,265 thousand euros), consisting of regular repayments of long-term investment and development loans. Lease payments totalled 1,487 thousand euros (H1 2019: 1,574 thousand euros). Dividends paid in the first half of 2020 amounted to 472 thousand euros (H1 2019: 2,129 thousand euros).
The Group’s cash and cash equivalents totalled 9,421 thousand euros at 30 June 2020 (30 June 2019: 6,220 thousand euros). Management’s commentary on liquidity risks is presented in the chapter Description of the main risks.

Key financial figures and ratios

Figure/ratioH1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
Revenue (EUR ‘000)136,798100,441105,658234,071
Revenue change36%-5%2%4.7%
Net profit/loss (EUR ‘000)1,419-574-5244,149
Net profit/loss attributable to owners of the parent
(EUR ‘000)
-156-793-5323,378
Weighted average number of shares31,528,58531,528,58530,986,58531,528,585
Earnings per share (EUR)0.00-0.03-0.020.11
Administrative expenses to revenue2.8%3.0%3.2%2.9%
Administrative expenses to revenue (rolling)2.8%2.9%3.1%2.9%
EBITDA (EUR ‘000)3,6941,2816067,311
EBITDA margin2.7%1.3%0.6%3.1%
Gross margin4.4%3.3%3.0%5.0%
Operating margin1.5%-0.2%-0.4%1.8%
Operating margin excluding gain on asset sales1.5%-0.3%-0.4%1.7%
Net margin1.0%-0.6%-0.5%1.8%
Return on invested capital3.3%0.6%0.5%10.0%
Return on equity4.1%-1.8%-1.6%12.5%
Equity ratio25.8%25.5%25.4%27.9%
Return on assets1.1%-0.5%-0.4%3.7%
Gearing26.8%36.7%35.2%33.8%
Current ratio1.000.930.981.01
As at30 June 202030 June 201930 June 201831 Dec 2019
Order book (EUR ‘000)187,018179,691131,552227,545
      

Performance by geographical market

The revenue contribution of foreign markets continued to grow. Revenue earned outside Estonia accounted for 12% of total revenue for in the first half of 2020 compared with 9% for the same period in 2019.

 H1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
Estonia88%91%93%89%
Sweden6%2%2%5%
Finland5%4%1%4%
Ukraine1%3%4%2%

The revenue contribution of the Swedish market grew significantly year on year. During the period, we worked in Sweden on three building construction contracts secured as a general contractor and one concrete work subcontract. Finnish revenues remained stable compared with the same period last year and resulted from concrete works in the building construction segment. Revenue generated in the Ukrainian market and its proportionate share in our total revenue decreased.
Geographical diversification of the revenue base is a consciously deployed strategy by which we mitigate the risks resulting from excessive reliance on one market. However, conditions in some of our chosen foreign markets are also volatile and have a strong effect on our current results. Increasing the contribution of foreign markets is one of Nordecon’s strategic targets. Our vision of the Group’s foreign operations is described in the chapter Outlooks of the Group’s geographical markets.

Performance by business line

Segment revenues

The Group’s revenue for in the first half of 2020 amounted to 136,798 thousand euros, a roughly 36% improvement on the 100,441 thousand euros generated in the first half of 2019. Based on the order book at the end of 2019, revenue growth was entirely expected. Growth was driven by the Buildings segment which increased revenue by 48%. The revenue of the Infrastructure segment remained comparable to the first half of 2019.
The limited volume of infrastructure construction projects, which is affecting the entire Estonian construction market, is also reflected in our revenue structure. In the first half of 2020, our Buildings and Infrastructure segments generated revenue of 112,607 thousand euros and 24,106 thousand euros, respectively. The corresponding figures for in the first half of 2019 were 76,065 thousand euros and 24,213 thousand euros.

Operating segmentsH1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
Buildings81%74%76%70%
Infrastructure19%26%24%30%

Subsegment revenues

All subsegments in the Buildings segment improved their revenue year on year. The strongest revenue contributors were the public buildings, commercial buildings and apartment buildings subsegments while the revenue contribution of the industrial and warehouse facilities subsegment continued to be modest.
The largest revenue source in the Buildings segment was the public buildings subsegment, which increased its revenue more than two times compared to the first half of 2019. The subsegment’s biggest projects were the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and the University of Tartu Learning Centre in Narva, a storage complex at the defence forces’ base at Tapa, Kindluse Kool – a new basic school in Järveküla near Tallinn and the Annelinn upper secondary school in Tartu.
During the period, the largest projects of the commercial buildings subsegment were in Tallinn: the reconstruction and extension of the building of Terminal D in the Old City Harbour, construction works in phase I and concrete works in phase II of the Porto Franco commercial and office development next to the Admiralty Basin, and the construction of a seven-floor commercial building in Rotermann City and a multi-storey car park at Sepapaja 1.
A significant share of our Estonian apartment building projects is located in Tallinn. During the period under review, the largest of them were the design and construction of the first two phases of the Kalaranna quarter and the design and construction of the Tiskreoja residential area on the western border of Tallinn. Similarly to previous periods, a major share of the subsegment’s revenue came from the construction of apartment buildings in Sweden.
We continue to build our own housing development projects in Tallinn and Tartu (reported in the apartment buildings subsegment). During the period, we completed a five-floor apartment building with 24 apartments at Võidujooksu 8c in Tallinn (www.voidujooksu.ee). Revenue from our own real estate development operations amounted to 2,354 thousand euros (H1 2019: 3,792 thousand euros). In carrying out our own real estate development activities, we monitor closely potential risks in the housing development market.
The amount and share of revenue generated by the industrial and warehouse facilities subsegment grew year on year. However, the values of projects in progress have decreased, amounting to 2 million euros on average. Based on the order book, we expect that the subsegment’s revenue contribution will remain modest in 2020.

Revenue breakdown in the Buildings segmentH1 2020H1 2019 H1 20182019
Public buildings34%24%26%29%
Commercial buildings30%35%36%36%
Apartment buildings27%33%23%27%
Industrial and warehouse facilities9%8%15%8%

Similarly to previous periods, the main revenue source in the Infrastructure segment was road construction and maintenance. A significant share of revenue resulted from the performance of construction contracts secured in 2019: the construction of the Kernu bypass and the Kernu filling station and Haiba junctions on the Tallinn-Pärnu-Ikla road, the reconstruction of the Vinso-Kirmsi section of the Võru-Räpina road and the construction of roads in the northern and southern parts of the defence forces’ central training area. We also continued to provide road maintenance services in Järva and Hiiu counties and the Kose maintenance area in Harju county.
The revenue of the other engineering subsegment is strongly influenced by the construction of foundations for 73 wind turbines in the Nysäter wind farm, which being built in northern Sweden, near Sundsvall.
Work continued on the construction of a 640-metre waterfront promenade at Sillamäe, which accounted for a significant share of the revenue of the specialist engineering subsegment.

Revenue breakdown in the Infrastructure segmentH1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
Road construction and maintenance80%77%90%78%
Other engineering14%20%7%18%
Specialist engineering (incl. hydraulic)5%0%0%1%
Environmental engineering1%3%3%3%

Order book

The Group’s order book (backlog of contracts signed but not yet performed) stood at 187,018 thousand euros at 30 June 2020, a 4% increase year on year. In the second quarter, we signed new contracts of 47,850 thousand euros (Q2 2019: 65,901 thousand euros). Between the reporting date (30 June 2020) and the date of release of this report, Group companies have secured additional construction contracts in the region of 62,679 thousand euros, the largest of which are the contracts for the construction of a new academic building for the Saaremaa Upper Secondary School and phase III of the Maarjamõisa Medical Campus of the Tartu University Hospital (Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikum).

As at30 June 202030 June 201930 June 201831 Dec 2019
Order book (EUR ‘000)187,018 179,691 131,552227,545

At the reporting date, contracts secured by the Buildings segment and the Infrastructure segment accounted for 76% and 24% of the Group’s total order book, respectively (30 June 2019: 81% and 19%, respectively). Compared to 30 June 2019, the order book of the Buildings segment has decreased by around 3% and the order book of the Infrastructure segment has increased by 33%.
Both the apartment buildings and the public buildings subsegment account for a third of the order book of the Buildings segment: 32% and 30%, respectively. A significant share of the order book of the apartment buildings subsegment is made up of a contract of around 40 million euros for the design and construction of the first two phases of the Kalaranna quarter in Tallinn. The subsegment’s order book also includes the work secured but not yet performed in Sweden where the Group continues to build two apartment buildings: one near Uppsala city centre and the other in the Bromma district in Stockholm. A major share of the order book of the public buildings subsegment is made up of contracts signed in 2019 for the construction of the Kohtla-Järve sports and health centre, a storage complex at the defence forces’ base at Tapa and Kindluse Kool – a basic school in Järveküla near Tallinn. In 2020, the portfolio has increased by contracts for the extension of the office building of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service in Rahumäe tee in Tallinn and the construction of a family health centre and multi-storey car park for Tartu Kesklinna Perearstikeskus in Tartu and two contracts for the reconstruction of two schools in East Ukraine with the total value of 3.5 million euros. A significant share of the order book of the industrial and warehouse facilities subsegment is made up of contracts for the construction of a dairy complex for E‑Piim in Paide and two shed complexes in Finland. The order book of the commercial buildings subsegment has decreased substantially year on year. The largest project in progress is in Tallinn: the construction of a new seven-floor commercial building in Rotermann City.
Contracts secured by the road construction and maintenance subsegment account for 65% of the order book of the Infrastructure segment. The size of the order book is strongly influenced by the contract secured in the second quarter for the construction of the Väo junction on the eastern border of Tallinn. In 2020, we have also signed five contracts of 2-3 million euros each and 12 million euros in total with the National Road Administration. Nordecon Group continues to provide road maintenance services in three road maintenance areas: Järva, Hiiu and Kose. Other engineering contracts account for 24% of the order book of the Infrastructure segment. A major share of the order book of the other engineering subsegment is made up of a contract secured in 2019 for the construction of foundations for 73 wind turbines in the Nysäter wind farm in northern Sweden, near Sundsvall.
Based on our order book where around half is made up of contracts that will continue into 2021 and 2022, we expect that in 2020 the Group’s revenue will increase compared with 2019. However, the volume of orders placed by private sector customers has dropped significantly. Customers’ pressure on general contractors for lowering prices has increased while the input prices offered by subcontractors have not decreased as expected. This has put profit margins under strong pressure. In an environment of stiff competition, we have avoided taking unjustified risks whose realisation in the contract performance phase would have an adverse impact on the Group’s results. Our preferred policy is to keep fixed costs under control and monitor market developments closely.

People

Employees and personnel expenses

In the first half of 2020, the Group (the parent and the subsidiaries) employed, on average, 707 people, including 442 engineers and technical personnel (ETP). Headcount increased by around 4% compared with the same period in 2019. The number of engineers and technical personnel grew, partly due to a change in the Group’s structure: Embach Ehitus OÜ became a subsidiary.

Average number of employees at Group entities (including the parent and the subsidiaries):

 H1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
ETP442405426414
Workers265273268273
Total average707678694687

The Group’s personnel expenses for the first half of 2020 including all taxes, totalled 13,703 thousand euros. The figure for the first half of 2019 was 11,036 thousand euros. Personnel expenses grew by around 24% year on year due to the payment of performance bonuses as well as the fact that Emabch Ehitus OÜ became a subsidiary as described above.
The service fees of the members of the council of Nordecon AS for the first half of 2020 amounted to 93 thousand euros and associated social security charges totalled 31 thousand euros (H1 2019: 94 thousand euros and 31 thousand euros, respectively).
The service fees of the members of the board of Nordecon AS amounted to 266 thousand euros and associated social security charges totalled 88 thousand euros (H1 2019: 278 thousand euros and 93 thousand euros, respectively).

Labour productivity and labour cost efficiency

We measure the efficiency of our operating activities using the following productivity and efficiency indicators, which are based on the number of employees and personnel expenses incurred:

 H1 2020H1 2019H1 20182019
Nominal labour productivity (rolling), (EUR ‘000)385.4321.5327.4340.6
Change against the comparative period, % 19.9%-1.8%10.4%4.7%
     
Nominal labour cost efficiency (rolling), (EUR)9.79.39.99.2
Change against the comparative period, %3.7%-6.3%-2.1%-5.0%

The Group’s nominal labour productivity and nominal labour cost efficiency increased year on year in connection with revenue growth.

Nordecon (www.nordecon.com) is a group of construction companies whose core business is construction project management and general contracting in the buildings and infrastructures segment. Geographically the Group operates in Estonia, Sweden, Finland and Ukraine. The parent of the Group is Nordecon AS, a company registered and located in Tallinn, Estonia. The consolidated revenue of the Group in 2019 was 234 million euros. Currently Nordecon Group employs close to 710 people. Since 18 May 2006 the company's shares have been quoted in the main list of the NASDAQ Tallinn Stock Exchange.

Andri Hõbemägi
Nordecon AS
Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +372 6272 022
Email: andri.hobemagi@nordecon.com
www.nordecon.com

Attachments


NCN investor presentation Q2_2020.pdf
Nordecon_Interim_report_Q2_2020.pdf