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13 May, 2016
To a large extent, the first quarter of 2016 has been about setting the pace and starting our strategy realisation. We have been able to maintain the momentum from the end of 2015 in terms of implementing profitability measures and we can conclude that all regions are delivering according to plan on our first quarter cost-efficiency initiatives. We have successfully focused on delivering stable figures in our current business and simultaneously starting up our strategic initiatives and change programmes, which require a great deal of attention and resources.
The new strategy is aimed at establishing and positioning ourselves as “pioneering Smart Data to enable our customers tomake Smart Decisions” in the market for Data & Analytics. Smart Data for us means collecting, cleaning, enriching and matching all relevant data about customers to make it us able across touch points in the customer life cycle. Smart Data allows us to provide next generation Data-for-Marketing solutions, integrated automated decision support, advanced data management and Big Data solutions for our clients. Our business model focuses on supplying Data and Predictive Variables as a service, ideally as integrated data subscriptions.
The first strategy deliverables have been completed as a competence shift program was performed in Q1. As presented in this interim report, this will have a short-term negative impact on the operating profit but is a necessity for securing the long-term profitability of the Group. The strategic change process resulted in one-off costs of SEK 43m for the quarter as part of transforming the product offering and organizational restructurings. In parallel we are thoroughly identifying the competences needed for delivering according to the defined strategic target state.
The business highlight from the first quarter is the closing of several interesting deals within predictive marketing solutions, most notably a significant deal in Belgium. The offerings acquired last year, AIS Nordic, a provider of vehicle andvehicle-related business information and SN4, a provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM), are both performing well. A strategically important step was taken when acquiring the D&B license for Bisnode Southern Markets. The companies’ operations cover Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania, and the license opens the potential to speed up the development of the above-mentioned markets.
The International Markets region continues to provide solid results to the Group with satisfactory profit margins. In line with our strategic direction to phase out non-core products, Bisnode divested its Finnish print business with the closing date on 1 April. In the Swedish operations we had revenue development in line with Q1 2015, and improved the underlying operating EBITA through long-term cost measures. The DACH region delivered slightly lower revenue and EBITA than last year, but is counter acting this with cost-saving measures according to plan.
We continue our focus on a high degree of recurring business, adding predictability to our business model. This is also in line with our ambition to support our customers in the long-termin acquiring new customers and developing their existing customers.
So to summarize the first quarter, we have started to execute and deliver on our strategy. Certainly, there is still a lot of work to be done and we will face interesting challenges down the road, but I am confident and truly believe that we are moving in the right direction, going into 2017. Now we will continue to execute!