Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter 2022
“We are proud to deliver record-breaking operating revenues, despite more normalised energy markets. Volatility in the energy markets came down in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to 2022 as a whole. This negatively affected operating revenues, but our performance, despite weakening revenues from trading activities, is a testament to the strength of the business we are building. We do, however, acknowledge that margins are somewhat under pressure, and we are not immune to the world around us. Our most important asset is our people, and when inflation hits salaries, we have prioritised keeping employees and maintaining growth,” says Trond Straume, CEO of Volue.
As Volue is affected by inflation, the margin pathway shared at the capital markets day in September is being reviewed. However, Volue still sees adjusted EBITDA margins in 2023 improving from 2022 levels.
“We are now shifting gear. Growth continues to be our top priority, but we are increasing our focus on profitability. Reflecting on the changes in the world around us, it is natural to review the margin pathway whilst remaining focused on growth in end-markets undergoing market transition,” Straume continues.
Volue reported fourth quarter 2022 operating revenues of NOK 339 million, up from NOK 312 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Adjusted EBITDA* for the quarter totalled NOK 64 million (56), and EBIT was NOK -4 million (27). A deferred consideration related to the acquisition of Likron has been booked as a non-recurring item, resulting in the negative EBIT figure.
“The quarter brought sales of strategic magnitude in all segments. In the Energy segment, we made a breakthrough deal highlighting the complexity that we handle. The customer is a German power major, and Volue will deliver a cross-portfolio solution digitising the entire energy value chain. After conducting a comprehensive market analysis, the customer found Volue to be unmatched in the competitive landscape. Winning this breakthrough contract validates Volue’s value proposition in continental Europe. Within power grid, a large Nordic utility is joining forces with Volue to design efficient work processes to speed up the electrification of society. The collaboration will result in a complete new set of solutions that will enable the utility to digitise the end-to-end process of planning and constructing a new grid. The modular solutions will target a wider European market and is adaptable to support changing framework conditions within various geographical markets and easily integrate to different data platforms. In our Infrastructure segment, the Construction division reached 1000 customers and added 100 in 2022. All of them were SaaS contracts and 30 were in Sweden. We are also very excited to announce that we have won our first customer in Japan. These are all market signals that Volue is the preferred counterpart for demanding software challenges in the segments we serve,” Straume says.
Recurring revenue constituted 62 percent of total revenues and reached NOK 211 million in the quarter, an increase of 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2021.
“For the fourth quarter, and 2022 as a whole, our priorities have been growth and building our ARR base. We are proud of what we have achieved, and it puts us in an excellent position to pursue the growth opportunities we have identified, both through our own initiatives and targeted M&A activities. These elements are staying with us, but going into 2023, we are increasing our focus on profitability,” says Straume.
Volue continues to prioritise strategic investments in its SaaS platform and expansion into new markets. This creates short- to mid-term EBITDA impact and increased R&D capitalisation in line with plans. Measures are in place to counter margin effects, and Volue will work diligently to improve profitability.
Volue has set the following priorities and ambitions for 2023:
- Top line growth remains the priority and 2025 target of 2 billion inclusive M&A remains intact
- Continue to grow ARR and SaaS business in line with 2022 performance
- Long-term growth target of 15% reiterated, whilst lower 2023 non-recurring revenues may limit growth from 2022
- Focus on profitability initiatives following a more normalised European energy market
- Structural growth through M&A