Revenues increased by 14% to NOK 138 million in the first quarter, and the negative development in profitability mainly reflect changes in the revenue composition and increased operating costs. Project revenues make up a relatively higher proportion of revenues compared to product sales and service & maintenance, which has a negative effect on operating margins.
Compared to the first quarter 2012, operating costs increased with higher project activity and project ramp-up in Jakarta, as well as higher technology development expensing. Operating costs in the first quarter 2013 also reflects increased activity to build a position within Advanced Transportation Management Systems (ATMS).
Cash flow from operating activities was a negative NOK 23 million in the first quarter, and cash flow from investing activities a negative NOK 19 million including NOK 7 million related to the acquisition of TCS International. Net change in cash was NOK -42 million, bringing the cash balance to NOK 327 million at the end of the quarter.
Order intake in the quarter was NOK 89 million, mainly related to tag orders in Brazil and Chile. Q-Free still awaits project start-up on the major Electronic Law Enforcement (ELE) project in Jakarta, Indonesia, which will significantly increase the order backlog.
Q-Free continues to see a positive long-term outlook, with exciting project opportunities in several markets. However, the Road User Charging (RUC) market fluctuates significantly and the current activity and revenue level in this market is insufficient to carry the current cost base. To strengthen the financial robustness of the company, Q-Free is launching a Profit Improvement Program targeting a reduction of annual operating costs and capital investment spending by NOK 60 million. The company has made provisions of NOK 25 million for restructuring costs in the Income Statement for the first quarter 2013.
Longer term, revenue volatility and dependency on individual road user charging projects will be further reduced by the strategic move to increase exposure towards the ATMS market.
Enclosures: Presentation and report
Oslo 24 April 2013
For further information, please contact:
CEO Øyvind Isaksen, cell: +47 908 76 398
CFO Roar Østbø, cell: +47 932 45 175
Q-Free is a leading global supplier of products and solutions for Road User Charging and Advanced Transportation Management. The company has approximately 300 employees and is represented in 17 countries. Headquarter is based in Trondheim, Norway. Q-Free is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with the ticker QFR.