4iG — Regional ICT group positioned for growth

4iG (BSE: 4IG)

Last close As at 22/02/2024

HUF802.00

7.00 (0.88%)

Market capitalisation

HUF239,859m

More on this equity

Research: TMT

4iG — Regional ICT group positioned for growth

4iG’s FY22 results reflect the changing profile of the group as it has transitioned via a series of acquisitions from a business focused on IT services in Hungary to a regional technology-infocommunications provider in Hungary and the West Balkans. The post year-end acquisition of Vodafone Hungary reshapes the business further, which when included results in telecoms making up 87% of revenue and 94% of EBITDA on an FY22 pro forma basis. The group now has all the building blocks in place to take advantage of digitalisation and telecoms convergence trends in its chosen markets.

Katherine Thompson

Written by

Katherine Thompson

Director

TMT

4iG

Regional ICT group positioned for growth

FY22 results

Telecoms

7 March 2023

Price

HUF699

Market cap

HUF207.5bn

HUF377.6/€

Net debt (HUFbn) at end FY22

455.6

Shares in issue

296.8m

Free float

11.3%

Code

4iG

Primary exchange

Budapest

Secondary exchange

N/A

Share price performance

%

1m

3m

12m

Abs

(0.6)

(1.1)

(2.8)

Rel (local)

0.5

1.1

(11.8)

52-week high/low

HUF860

HUF668

Business description

4iG is a regional ICT/telecoms group, based in Hungary and focused on two core areas: telecoms and infrastructure in Hungary and the West Balkans; and IT services, where it is the number one IT systems integrator in Hungary.

Next events

AGM, FY22 annual report

28 April 2023

Analyst

Katherine Thompson

+44 (0)20 3077 5700

4iG is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

4iG’s FY22 results reflect the changing profile of the group as it has transitioned via a series of acquisitions from a business focused on IT services in Hungary to a regional technology-infocommunications provider in Hungary and the West Balkans. The post year-end acquisition of Vodafone Hungary reshapes the business further, which when included results in telecoms making up 87% of revenue and 94% of EBITDA on an FY22 pro forma basis. The group now has all the building blocks in place to take advantage of digitalisation and telecoms convergence trends in its chosen markets.

Year end

Revenue
(HUFbn)

PBT
(HUFbn)

EPS
(HUF)

DPS*
(HUF)

P/E
(x)

Yield
(%)

12/19

41.1

3.3

30.8

22.0

22.7

3.1

12/20

57.3

4.2

37.7

22.5

18.6

3.2

12/21

93.7

8.1

67.9

29.0

10.3

4.1

12/22

277.3

(18.4)

(75.4)

N/A

N/A

N/A

Note: *Dividend usually announced at AGM, which this year is on 28 April.

FY22 reflects transition to wider ICT service provision

FY22 represented a record year for 4iG, with reported revenue 196% higher y-o-y and reported EBITDA 491% higher, reflecting acquisitions made in FY21 and FY22. On a pro forma basis, revenue declined 11% while EBITDA increased 2%, with the pro forma EBITDA margin increasing 3.3pp to 26%. Restructuring and weaker public sector IT demand weighed on revenue, but despite cost inflation the group managed to improve pro forma group margins through upselling, price increases and cost-cutting in the telecoms business. Acquisition accounting resulted in a loss at the operating profit level and around half of the loss at the net income level was from the combination of acquired amortisation and depreciation and related deferred tax.

Focus for FY23: Integration of Vodafone Hungary

The group has already made good progress merging the two Albanian telcos acquired in Q122 and is investing in 5G provision in its Montenegrin business. The company is partway through its 100-day plan to review the Vodafone Hungary business (acquisition closed 31 January), which should result in an integration plan that will cover consolidating infrastructure, reducing costs and up-selling and cross-selling services in Hungary. In the IT business, the Rheinmetall joint venture is set up from an operational point of view, with service delivery expected from Q223. After a three-year process of diversifying the group by product and geography and with its integration plans well underway, the group is now well positioned for growth.

Valuation: Factoring in recent acquisition

4iG has made substantial progress with its strategy to create a group with attractive (potentially 30%+) EBITDA margins, high recurring revenues, a leading domestic position in Hungary and an expanding regional footprint. With the Vodafone Hungary transaction now complete, there is scope for substantial synergies to be realised post integration, boosting EBITDA profitability.

Review of FY22 results

In the table below we summarise 4iG’s performance in Q422 and FY22.

Exhibit 1: Divisional performance, Q422 and FY22

HUF bn

Q422

Q421

y-o-y

FY22

FY21

y-o-y

Revenue

80.6

40.6

98%

277.3

93.7

196%

IT

26.7

30.4

-12%

78.4

81.4

-4%

Telecoms

53.9

10.2

N/A

198.9

12.3

N/A

Pro forma revenue

81.0

100.8

-20%

304.8

342.5

-11%

IT

26.7

30.4

-12%

78.4

83.3

-6%

Telecoms

54.3

70.4

-23%

226.4

259.2

-13%

EBITDA

16.9

8.7

94%

72.0

12.2

490%

IT

3.9

3.8

1%

7.2

8.6

-17%

Telecoms

15.1

4.9

N/A

66.3

6.1

N/A

Central costs

(2.1)

(0.1)

N/A

(1.4)

(2.5)

N/A

EBITDA margin

21.0%

21.3%

26.0%

13.0%

IT

14.4%

12.5%

9.1%

10.6%

Telecoms

28.0%

48.3%

33.3%

49.5%

Pro forma EBITDA

17.0

25.0

-32%

79.4

77.6

2%

IT

3.9

3.8

1%

7.2

8.6

-17%

Telecoms

15.2

21.3

-28%

73.7

71.6

3%

Central costs

(2.1)

(0.1)

N/A

(1.4)

(2.5)

Pro forma EBITDA margin

21.0%

24.8%

26.0%

22.7%

IT

14.4%

12.5%

9.1%

10.3%

Telecoms

28.1%

30.2%

32.5%

27.6%

Operating profit

(10.7)

5.4

N/A

(3.5)

7.4

N/A

PBT

(12.0)

4.4

N/A

(18.4)

8.1

N/A

PAT

(13.2)

3.7

N/A

(21.0)

6.6

N/A

Minority interest

1.1

0.0

N/A

2.5

0.2

N/A

Net income to shareholders

(14.3)

3.6

N/A

(23.5)

6.4

N/A

Net debt/(cash)

455.6

164.7

177%

455.6

164.7

177%

Source: 4iG

Group revenue increased 196% in FY22 reflecting the acquisitions made through the course of the year. On a pro forma basis, revenue declined 11%; we discuss the reasons for this in the divisional analysis below. EBITDA increased 2% y-o-y on a pro forma basis, with the pro forma EBITDA margin increasing by 3.3pp to 26.0%, helped by lower central costs and growth in the Telecoms margin. Due to the recognition of tangible and intangible assets from acquisitions, higher depreciation and amortisation (HUF75.6bn vs HUF4.8bn in FY21) resulted in an operating loss of HUF3.5bn for the year compared to a profit of HUF7.4bn in FY21. Net finance costs of HUF14.9bn reflected interest payable on the debt taken out to fund acquisitions partially offset by currency gains. The company noted that during FY22, HUF10.1bn of the HUF21.0bn loss after tax was due to acquisition-related depreciation and amortisation and related deferred tax.

Pro forma Telecom profitability up despite revenue decline

For FY22, the Telecom business saw a 13% pro forma revenue decline, mainly due to the discontinuation of the events management business in Antenna Hungária earlier in the year. Pro forma EBITDA increased 3% y-o-y with the margin expanding by 4.9pp to 32.5%. The company managed to offset the windfall tax and inflationary increases in wages and other operating costs through price rises, cost-cutting, ARPU increases from the pre-paid to post-paid migration strategy and increased adoption of fixed-mobile tariff packages. The company also saw a one-off benefit from constructing and operating the telecoms and IT infrastructure for the FINA World Aquatics Championships broadcast in the summer.

In Albania, the merger of One Telecommunications and ALBtelecom to create One Albania was completed, with a new leadership team in place. In Montenegro, the business acquired spectrum for 5G (2x10MHz bands at 700MHz and 140MHz at 3.6GHz) at a cost of nearly €3m/HUF1.1bn.

IT business maintains its leadership position in Hungary

The IT business saw typical seasonality in Q4, with Q422 revenue of HUF26.7bn 44% higher than Q322 revenue. As previously discussed, the business saw lower demand from the public sector but managed to offset some of this effect by expanding its sales channels. FY22 revenue declined 4% yoy or 6% on a pro forma basis. Pro forma EBITDA declined 17% y-o-y due to a combination of lower revenues and the effect of inflation on the cost base.

The division was restructured during the year to better serve the group’s telecom subsidiaries. The joint venture with Rheinmetall, R4, is fully operational, with its own HR, IT marketing and back-office teams, and services are expected to be delivered from Q223.

Vodafone Hungary acquisition to reshape the business

The company provided pro forma normalised FY22 data showing how the acquisition of Vodafone Hungary would have contributed to group financials if it had been acquired on 1 January 2022. For illustrative purposes, the Vodafone net debt figure includes the loan taken out by Antenna Hungária to acquire its 51% stake in the business as well as estimated lease liabilities. Net debt/normalised pro forma EBITDA was 5.5x for 4iG on a standalone basis, 4.4x for Vodafone Hungary and 4.9x on a combined basis. Normalised pro forma EBITDA for 4iG adjusts for acquisition and restructuring costs of HUF2.3bn and the windfall tax of HUF1.1bn.

Exhibit 2: Pro forma data for FY22

Source: 4iG

The deal nearly doubles revenue and more than doubles EBITDA on a pro forma basis, with Vodafone Hungary generating an EBITDA margin of 35% compared to 32.5% for 4iG’s telecom business and 26.0% for the 4iG group.

The company has a 100-day plan in place to review the acquired business and will use this to guide the integration process, including consolidation of infrastructure. The focus will then be on cross-selling and up-selling telecom services in Hungary. A rebrand is currently under consideration.

While clearly management is focused on integrating this large deal as well as the other acquisitions made through the course of FY22, it still has the appetite for further M&A if targets meet its criteria, for example strong revenue growth and cost synergy potential.

Outlook for FY23

The company did not provide specific guidance for FY23 but pointed to FY22 pro forma data as a good starting point, while noting that this does not include the benefit of any synergies. In terms of capex, the company noted that its spending would be broadly in line with other telcos in terms of capex/sales.

Exhibit 3: Financial summary

HUFm

2018

2019

2020

2021*

2022

Year end 31 December

IFRS

IFRS

IFRS

IFRS

IFRS

INCOME STATEMENT

Revenue

 

 

14,007

41,129

57,300

93,653

277,315

Cost of Sales

(8,938)

(30,126)

(41,372)

(59,090)

(101,764)

Gross Profit

5,070

11,003

15,928

34,563

175,552

EBITDA

 

 

842

4,075

5,047

12,185

72,022

Normalised operating profit

 

 

240

3,332

4,211

7,365

(3,532)

Amortisation of acquired intangibles

0

0

0

0

0

Exceptionals

0

0

0

0

0

Reported operating profit

240

3,332

4,211

7,365

(3,532)

Net Interest

(21)

(18)

(36)

743

(14,894)

Profit Before Tax (norm)

 

 

219

3,314

4,175

8,108

(18,426)

Profit Before Tax (reported)

 

 

219

3,314

4,175

8,108

(18,426)

Reported tax

(117)

(488)

(736)

(1,519)

(2,534)

Profit After Tax (norm)

102

2,827

3,439

6,589

(20,960)

Profit After Tax (reported)

102

2,827

3,439

6,589

(20,960)

Minority interests

0

66

(46)

(186)

(2,516)

Discontinued operations

0

0

0

0

0

Net income (normalised)

102

2,893

3,393

6,403

(23,476)

Net income (reported)

102

2,893

3,393

6,403

(23,476)

Basic average number of shares outstanding (m)

91.6

91.7

91.3

96.0

275.9

EPS - basic normalised (HUF)

 

 

1.11

30.82

37.68

68.66

(75.97)

EPS - diluted normalised (HUF)

 

 

1.08

30.07

36.58

67.64

(75.97)

EPS - basic reported (HUF)

 

 

1.11

30.82

37.68

67.90

(75.40)

Dividend (HUF)

0.00

22.00

22.49

29.00

N/A

Revenue growth (%)

(17.2)

193.6

39.3

63.4

196.1

Gross Margin (%)

36.2

26.8

27.8

36.9

63.3

EBITDA Margin (%)

6.0

9.9

8.8

13.0

26.0

Normalised Operating Margin

1.7

8.1

7.3

7.9

(1.3)

BALANCE SHEET

Fixed Assets

 

 

1,571

1,948

3,989

187,615

750,907

Intangible Assets

1,221

890

2,043

124,491

280,340

Tangible Assets

140

322

777

43,374

303,378

Lease rights

0

636

966

19,117

38,171

Investments & other

210

101

203

634

129,018

Current Assets

 

 

6,824

22,161

33,874

315,678

194,099

Stocks

242

523

3,360

2,300

9,857

Debtors

4,306

12,892

17,494

35,798

59,739

Cash & cash equivalents

176

6,238

7,205

266,547

45,832

Other

2,101

2,508

5,815

11,032

78,671

Current Liabilities

 

 

(5,657)

(18,225)

(29,117)

(58,924)

(147,637)

Creditors

(3,894)

(16,361)

(25,628)

(55,160)

(130,777)

Tax and social security

0

0

0

0

0

Short term borrowings

(1,758)

(1,500)

(3,019)

(0)

(7,624)

Other (including finance lease liabilities)

(5)

(364)

(470)

(3,764)

(9,236)

Long Term Liabilities

 

 

(18)

(392)

(1,067)

(426,822)

(495,889)

Long term borrowings

0

0

0

(407,739)

(425,959)

Other long term liabilities

(18)

(392)

(1,067)

(19,083)

(69,931)

Net Assets

 

 

2,720

5,493

7,679

17,547

301,479

Minority interests

0

64

(376)

(1,624)

(118,563)

Shareholders' equity

 

 

2,720

5,556

7,303

15,924

182,916

CASH FLOW

Op Cash Flow before WC and tax

842

4,075

5,047

12,185

72,022

Working capital

(1,369)

3,587

(797)

6,729

(33,123)

Exceptional & other

(26)

(5)

91

2,559

(7,341)

Tax

(117)

(415)

(773)

(1,427)

0

Net operating cash flow

 

 

(671)

7,243

3,568

20,046

31,557

Capex

(120)

(1,471)

(1,230)

(9,850)

(9,267)

Acquisitions/disposals

0

3

(383)

(167,182)

(299,099)

Net interest

(11)

(13)

(42)

(2,110)

(24,875)

Equity financing

0

185

(495)

(243)

115,558

Change in finance lease

9

(356)

28

(1,078)

(1,841)

Dividends

0

0

(2,001)

(2,212)

(2,968)

Other

(3)

36

(858)

(70)

2,048

Net Cash Flow

(795)

5,626

(1,413)

(162,698)

(188,885)

Opening net debt/(cash)

 

 

792

1,587

(4,039)

(3,192)

160,460

FX

0

0

30

8

4,459

Other non-cash movements

0

0

536

(962)

(89,140)

Closing net debt/(cash)

 

 

1,587

(4,039)

(3,192)

160,460**

434,027**

Source: 4iG, Edison Investment Research. Note: *Restated. **Company defined net debt takes account of certain long-term liabilities that are not separately disclosed on the balance sheet.

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This report has been commissioned by 4iG and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by 4iG. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

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General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by 4iG and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by 4iG. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £60,000 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2023 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

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Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

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London │ New York │ Frankfurt

20 Red Lion Street

London, WC1R 4PS

United Kingdom

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