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Fugro - Ambitious 2016 targets

Fugro - Ambitious 2016 targets

23.9.2013 9:28

Fugro today hosts a CMD in London (from 11.00 to 16.00 CET) and released a strategy update. It also announced the appointment of a new CFO, Paul Verhagen.

Ambitious 2016 targets:
Fugro targets revenues of € 3.3-3.7bn by 2016 compared to € 2.2bn (both excluding multi-client sales) in 2012. This comes down to an average annual growth of > 10% (predominantly organic) and seems ambitious versus our forecast of € 2.9bn. Management expects to book an EBIT margin of ~15% in 2016 up from 12% in 2012 and our 14.5% forecast. ROCE is seen at ~14% (12% in 2012) while Eps should grow by more than 10% per year. The company will hold on to its Subsea activities.

Capex should average € 325m p.a. (mostly replacement and vessel fleet expansion) and includes ~€ 100 in maintenance capex. Around € 100m p.a. is expected for bolt-on acquisitions and R&D, bringing total investments to ~€ 400-450m p.a. Our current forecast comes in at € 175m on average based on € 100m maintenance capex but no acquisitions.
The dividend pay-out ratio will be maintained at 35 to 55% per year. Starting with the 2013 dividend, it will be proposed to the AGM to change the dividend distribution and to pay dividends fully in cash, unless this has serious adverse tax implications for shareholders.

The leverage ratio defined as net debt over EBITDA should remain < 2x.

The 2016 sales target is ambitious and includes M&A and a huge amount of (unexpected) expansion capex. Hopefully the latter works out well this time since it did not over the past 4 years. The former net margin target was replaced with an EBIT margin target that looks achievable, just like the ROIC target. Sadly nothing was said on WC, which is a major source of cash drain and which depresses ROIC.
Overall, we have more faith that management will deliver on margins and ROIC than on sales. The huge capex program makes us wonder if growth and margin improvement are easily possible without spending loads of cash at the yards. Keeping Subsea makes sense as restoring profitability should create more value than a sale at depressed profitability.

Fugro also announced a new CFO, Paul Verhagen. He comes from Philips (24,51 EUR, 0,64%) (Lighting), a company that puts much focus on ROIC, WC, and cash flow, so that should be promising.

Overall, we are neutral on today's announcement and we hope to learn more during the presentations on how management intends to reach their goals.

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