Technology

Gentrack widens loss: UK division may be on road to recovery

Tue 24 May 22, 2:29pm (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Gentrack's half-year net loss widened to $NZ5.8m on revenue up 12%
  • The company guided to revenues for FY22 of around $115m
  • No interim dividend was paid

Gentrack Group’s (ASX: GTK) share price remained virtually unchanged going into lunch after the dual-listed NZ provider of software to airports and energy retailers reported that its half-year net loss widened to $NZ5.8m on revenue up 12% to $NZ57.1m for the six months to March 31.

Gentrack guided to revenues for FY22 of around $115m, versus FY21 revenues of $105.7m, with earnings expected to be in low single-digits.

Highlights within today’s result were:

  • Earnings fell to $NZ1.2m, versus $NZ5.8m in the previous corresponding period

  • Net cash of $NZ16.5m versus $NZ26m as at September last year

  • Cash position of $16.5m versus $26.0m at September 2021

  • No interim dividend to be paid

UK Turmoil

Despite the turmoil in the UK Energy market – where 12 customers have moved into insolvency over the last 18 months - revenue was driven higher by a 15.2% increase in the utilities business to $48.9m for the half year from new customer wins and growth from existing customers.

Revenue was also slightly down in Veovo’s Airports business by $0.3m to $8.2m due to the industry downturn.

UK turmoil aside, management attributes significantly lower earnings to an increased investment in strategic R&D and in sales & marketing.

Management also noted that the programs for product investment and business development are positioning the company well for the accelerating industry transformation.

A&NZ in good shape

While around half of Gentrack’s revenue is from retailers selling electricity directly to the public - where price issues exist - the rest of Gentrack’s utilities division is in good shape.

The Australia and NZ business, which comprises around 39% of the utilities revenue continues to grow. Overall revenue per project delivery rose 7% in the year to September, while the cost of providing that service fell 3%.

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Gentrack share price movement over three months.

What broker’s think

As a smallcap, broker coverage of Gentrack is minimal.

Consensus does not over this stock.

Based on Morningstar’s fair value of $2.38, the stock appear to be undervalued.

The share price is down -14.87% over 12 months, and is currently trading around -80% lower than the high of $6.39 it reached early September 2018.

After experiencing three profit downgrades since entering the UK market in 2020, Intelligent Investor suspects signs of a turning point might be in sight.

Based on revenue growth of 5%, Intelligent Investor expects the company to deliver sales of around NZ$130m in three years and net profit at the midpoint of the fund manager’s margin estimate of 8-15%.

Given the current share price, the fund manager expects a yield of 5%-plus.

“With captive customers, a UK turnaround within sight, and the potential for high margins and returns on capital, we’re upgrading the stock to Speculative Buy, but recommend staggering your purchases,” the fund manager noted.

Meantime, Sebastian Evans, chief investment officer of NAOS Asset Management, suspects rising consumer interest in green energy may drive higher demand for Gentrack software.

“Utility and energy providers need to upgrade their systems to help consumers understand the energy efficiency of their service. It’s easier to do that through a nimbler supplier like Gentrack than one of the big global software firms.”

Written By

Mark Story

Editor

Mark is an award-winning investigative financial journalist and editor who started his career working for Marathon Oil in London. He has a degree in politics/economics, a diploma in journalism and has completed the Institute of Directors course. Mark has worked on 70-plus newspapers and financial publications across Australia, NZ, the US, and Asia including: The Australian Financial Review, Money Magazine, Australian Property Investor and Finance Asia. Mark is passionate about improving the financial literacy of all Australians through the highest quality content.

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