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Daisy losses narrow as sales bloom, considers dividend

Alex Scroxton

Daisy Group has cut its annual operating losses from £15.8m to £13.1m for the 12 months to the end of March, and sales at the b2b comms specialist have risen by 30% to £348.6m, with EBITDA also up to £56.3m.

Daisy, which showed off its preliminary full-year numbers today, has reined in its rapacious appetite for acquisitions in the past 12 months to concentrate on organic growth and cross-selling opportunities through its disparate customer bases.

In fact, it ended up making only two customer base acquisitions to the end of March, and one corporate acqusition, which closed in April and therefore has had no impact on the prelims.

CEO Matthew Riley hinted that if the firm failed to make any material acquisitions this year, it would pay out its first dividend, although this may be a remote prospect, as he added that the firm still saw further opportunity to bag a few complementary firms if anything tasty popped up.

"Notwithstanding ongoing macroeconomic headwinds, the Group remains cautiously optimistic about the year ahead," said Riley in a statement. "With a strong balance sheet and solid base of recurring revenue, we are well-positioned in these more challenging times."

Daisy Retail, the largest of its three divisions, made total sales of £248.7m - up £52m over last year - and adjusted EBITDA of £49.6m, up by £12m on fiscal 2011. The unit saw network margins increasing as a result of continued supplier rationalisation, which has manifested as improved commercial terms and pricing arbitrage. Voice declined, much as expected, while growth in mobile offset declines on systems and data.

The channel-facing Wholesale division booked sales of £47.9m into Daisy's network of 1,450 active resellers, up from £31.6m last year, although EBITDA dropped by £1m to £2.7m. Daisy put this down to changes in revenue mix following its February 2011 acquisition of O-Bit.

Finally, Daisy Distribution, which specialises in mobile handsets and airtime tariffs, saw sales grow to £51.9m, up from £38.1m last year, with EBITDA growing from £3.9m in 2011 to £7.9m in fiscal 2012.


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