Record year with sharply higher profits and strong growth
The Company’s sales grew by 25.4% and totalled MSEK 226.9 (181.0) for the full year of 2015. EBIT for the full year was MSEK 56.4 (14.1), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 24.9% (7.8). Sales and earnings were the best in company history. Cash flow from operating activities remained strong and exceeded after-tax profit for the year. In the fourth quarter, sales reached MSEK 65.2 (65.5) and EBIT was MSEK 18.2 (19.5).
Taken as a whole, 2015 was a strong year and we have not achieved equivalent EBIT margins under good growth in five years. The fourth quarter stands out for its lack of sales growth, and the reasons for this are several. As previously communicated, a lease model was used for the breakthrough order for XRY Kiosk in Q3. This means that income is recognised on a straight-line basis over the rental period and thus has a negative impact on both sales and EBIT of MSEK 3 and MSEK 2.6, respectively. In addition, sales to certain major federal agencies in the US have not been of the same magnitude as last year. It is normal for growth to vary from one quarter to the next in our market segment.
Growth for the year is broad based and across all regions. No analysts specifically monitor our market niche at this time, but our own assessment is that during 2015 we captured market share in a growing market. We have consolidated our position as the leading innovator of solutions that offer broad support to investigative agencies.
EMEA & Latin America grew at a rate of 23.9% with sales of MSEK 104.8. Once again, EMEA showed its strength and potential by not only being our largest market, but also the one that grew most in absolute figures. Customers in Europe continue to be pioneers in mobile forensics and invest early in new technology. It was no surprise that the breakthrough for XRY Kiosk came from the UK. Europe often sets the standard for the rest of the world.
North America grew at a rate of 22.0% with sales of MSEK 93.8. The organisational changes we implemented in 2014 are now beginning to produce results. After further reinforcement in 2015 we now have an organisational structure that enables continued growth while maintaining quality. Growth potential in the US remains high, especially in local and state police agencies.
Asia and CIS grew at a rate of 45.2% with sales of MSEK 28.3. Measured in percent, the Asia and CIS market grew fastest, and the initiative that began in 2013 has produced results. The potential for growth in this region is also substantial.
Demand for solutions in the field of mobile forensics continues to be good. Today over 90% of all phones sold are smartphones, and the amount of personal information stored on mobile phones is steadily increasing.
In July we launched a new version of XRY Kiosk, which is a customised solution for customers who seize large volumes of telephones. XRY Kiosk enables a decentralised approach, securing evidence far out in the police organisations in order to handle these large volumes.
In 2015 MSAB won the largest contract for kiosk solutions ever awarded worldwide to the London Metropolitan Police in the UK (MPS). The contract was won following fierce competition and after extensive evaluation. MPS’ implementation of our technology will serve as a model for other police departments with similar needs.
MSAB works energetically to build long-term customer relationships. The majority of the customers who bought their first system from MSAB ten years ago are now some of our largest and most important customers. An important aspect of our work is to convey our extensive experience and knowledge in our area of expertise. Training activities continue to be an important part of the relationship we build with our customers. In 2015 this area grew by 27.6% with good profitability.
In 2016, we will further strengthen our customer offering by providing strategic support in the evaluation and implementation process for advanced mobile forensic systems. MSAB will also further clarify its existing product offering.
We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years. The types of products that MSAB provide are fast becoming indispensable to law enforcement, to ensure safer communities and delivery of effective criminal justice.There are challenges, including tougher encryption in mobile devices, but these challenges also mean opportunities for MSAB. Our idea has always been to solve difficult problems. We leave the easy problems to others. We want to contribute to a safer, more secure, society – a need that continues to be great.
Stockholm January 2016
President & CEO