Maybe I should kick off with an update…but if you’re a current (or potential) shareholder, how can we avoid the elephant in the room? Yeah, I’m talking about the early-Aug announcement of a possible EUR 0.20 per share offer for Zamano. The one where investors were subsequently left in the dark for nearly three months, only to learn in late-Oct bid discussions had actually been terminated (no further details were provided). I’m sure plenty of shareholders have been experiencing the five stages of grief since, and who can blame ’em really…it must feel a lot like getting jilted at the altar!
So, What Now..?!
Well, less than a fortnight later, the company released news of the Chairman’s upcoming resignation, plus a 9 month trading update which (while excellent) consisted of a single sentence… This appears to draw a line under the failed bid, and signals it’s business as usual, which I really don’t find acceptable. Shareholders deserve better. Whatever the merits/likelihood of the bid, it’s a frustrating reminder of the obvious value gap between ZMNO’s share price & its intrinsic value. I’m quite sure a majority of the company’s shareholders (i.e. its bloody owners!) now feel like they’re owed at least a strategic review, laying out in detail how the board intends to close the current value gap & grow shareholder value. Let’s map out the available strategies (and forgive a more jaundiced view):
My last post relied on FY-2013 figures – since then, the company’s enjoyed consistent revenue momentum of +24% in FY-2014, +19% yoy in H1-2015 & an accelerated +37% yoy in Q3-2015, while net cash increased over 150% to €5.4 million. The recent trading update now pegs the revenue run-rate at €23.3 million, a 45% increase in less than two years! Maybe ZMNO finally deserves a growth stock re-rating?! Let’s hope so… Here’s updated financials to end-June 2015, focusing (again) on cash flow:
It’s encouraging to note recent (& historical) growth clearly doesn’t require increased cash investment. But let’s not fool ourselves, management’s enjoyed some attractive tail winds here. With 80% of the business now coming from the UK, sterling strength is a significant top-line contributor. The EUR/GBP rate averaged 0.8491 in 2013, and now it’s 0.7046 – that probably accounts for 25-30% of the post FY-2013 revenue increase. And with the UK & Ireland being two of the best economies in Europe (in terms of GDP growth/recovery & declining unemployment), increased consumer spending is another substantial tailwind. Plus, there’s a renewed emphasis on B2B – and while that delivers a more stable/durable revenue stream, it also means lower margins & a lagging EBITDA (which increased 19%, to €3.1 million) over the same period.