Record-high order intake and cash flow
- The Board of Directors proposes an increased dividend of 33 percent to SEK 0.80 per share
As of January 1, 2019, the company applies IFRS 16 to the Group's leases. Data from previous years has not been restated. The equity/assets ratio decreased by 4 percentage points due to an increase in the balance sheet total.
Comments from CEO Helena Holmgren
2019 ended in the best possible way. A few days before the end of the year, we received our largest order to date worth approximately SEK 625 M from an existing US customer to install Pricer's system in an additional 450 stores during 2020. The order demonstrates that our system is well positioned to address the digitization challenges faced by retailers. In total, order intake for the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 843 M and for the full year SEK 1.5 BN.
Net sales for the fourth quarter amounted to SEK 238 M and for the full year SEK 1 BN, which is a decrease compared to the corresponding periods the previous year. The timing of large customer projects creates volatility in both order intake and net sales, which has been mentioned many times before. Our overall assessment holds - that market activity is high and our investments in sales and marketing activities have generated interest in our products in several markets. There continues to be considerable market potential since the penetration of ESL (Electronic Shelf Label) systems is very low, and the paper label remains the main competitor.
The improved gross margin in the fourth quarter contributes to stable profitability. As in previous quarters, the product and contract mix, combined with optimized component purchasing and good delivery planning, had a positive impact on the gross margin. The cash flow from operating activities increased and amounted to SEK 149 M for the full year, which is partly a result of our focus on the company's working capital.
Competition in the market continues to be tough. We remain convinced that the benefits of our unique system's functionality, for example speed, reliability, scalability and battery life, respond better to the challenges facing the retail industry than any of our competitors' systems. Our objective is to continuously improve the speed and efficiency of communication in the store, both in terms of consumer information such as price and product information, as well as to support staff in carrying out various time-consuming processes more efficiently.
Few players in the market doubt that the physical retail industry will be more data driven in the future. E-commerce, thanks to its access to data and increasingly advanced algorithms, has taken forecasting and statistical predictability to new levels. In addition, data analysis increases the possibility of tailoring the shopping experience to the individual regardless of the platform the consumer chooses for the transaction. Pricer is continuing to develop its offering within this exciting area, and our launch of the shelf-mounted camera, which enables data analysis based on the actual status in the store, is an important first step.
It is too early to draw any conclusions about the effects of the corona virus on our production and delivery capacity. We are following the developments closely and are in daily dialogue with our suppliers. For deliveries in the near-term, our inventory levels are sufficient.
In summary, we head into 2020 with a record-large order backlog of just over SEK 730 M in a market that shows clear signs of continued strong growth. This is a very exciting time for Pricer, and I look back on 2019 with pride. We not only established a strong position in several geographic markets but also took significant steps forward in our product development, from which we expect to benefit in future customer projects.
President and CEO
Every care has been taken in the translation of this document. In the event of discrepancies, the Swedish original will supersede the English translation.
This information is information that Pricer AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Market Act. The information was submitted through the agency of the contact person mentioned below for publication on February 13, 2020, at 1:00 PM CET.
For more information, please contact:
Helena Holmgren, President and CEO
Susanne Andersson, CFO
Phone: +46 8 505 582 00
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