Categories Earnings Call Transcripts, Technology

Materialise NV (MTLS) Q1 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

MTLS Earnings Call - Final transcript

Materialise NV (NASDAQ: MTLS) Q1 2023 Earnings Call dated Apr. 27, 2023.

Corporate participants:

Harriet FriedSenior Vice President

Peter E. LeysExecutive Chairman

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Alexander CraeymeerschKepler Cheuvreux — Analyst

Gregory RamirezBryan Garnier & Company — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Good day, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Q1 2023 Materialise NV Financial Results Conference call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Harriet Fried of LHA. Please go ahead.

Harriet FriedSenior Vice President

Thank you, everyone, for joining us today for Materialise quarterly conference call. With us on the call are Fried Vancraen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Materialise; Peter Leys, Executive Chairman; and Johan Albrecht, Chief Financial Officer. [Operator Instructions]. With that introduction, I’d like to turn the call over to Peter Leys. Go ahead, please, Peter.

Peter E. LeysExecutive Chairman

Thank you, Harriet, and thank you, everyone, for joining us today. You can find, as always, the agenda for our call on Slide three. As a first item on our agenda, I will summarize the highlights of our financial results for the first quarter of this year. And then I will pass the floor to Fried, who will give you some more context about how continuous innovation and value-adding applications is creating robust growth. After that, Johan will walk you through our first quarter numbers in more detail. Subsequently, I will come back to give you some brief observations about our current view on what the near-term future will bring. When we’ve completed our prepared remarks, we’ll be happy as always to respond to questions.

And finally, after the Q&A session, Johan and Fried will briefly discuss the CFO change that we have announced earlier today. So let’s turn to Slide number four, which summarizes the highlights of our financial results. Materialise performed extremely well in the first quarter of this year. Total revenues increased more than 24% to almost EUR66 million, boosted by a 33% revenue growth at Materialise Medical and a 25% revenue increase at Materialise manufacturing. Materialise Software also contributed to our consolidated top line growth with a solid revenue uptake of more than 8%. Mainly because of scaling effects, but also because of the disciplined management of the impact of inflation and because of certain cost containment measures, our adjusted EBITDA increased by almost 90% to EUR10.3 million. While our R&D efforts during the quarter grew by 15% compared to last year’s first quarter. The temporary slowdown of certain projects during the period also contributed to the exceptional adjusted EBITDA growth. And with this introduction, I would now like to pass the floor to Fried. Fried?

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Thank you, Peter. Good morning or good afternoon to all of you listening to this call. We believe the results of Q1 2023 demonstrates very clearly the robust growth that Materialise can generate through its activities. As Peter indicated, the growth numbers in our segment range from good to outstanding, and we turn those numbers into profitable growth. Sometimes, as in the fourth quarter of 2022, we faced on headwinds, but robust growth also positions you to take advantage of some tailwinds. Solid management of our contracts yielded recurring revenue, but also made inflationary increases weight on our profitability in the second half of 2022. As the same contracts allowed for price adjustments starting this year, it was one of a few elements that provided tailwinds in this quarter. Above all, the robust growth was generated by the consistent performance of our people.

They work hard every day to bring their collective know-how in support of our customers, using meaningful AM applications to create a better and healthier world. If there is one segment that most demonstrated our robust growth potential this quarter, it was our medical segment. Especially in the medical device verticals, we generated growth. While there are already a solid baseline growth for more than a decade, this quarter, we could especially take advantage of the robustness of our systems as we experienced a combination of favorable market conditions, including a huge number of patients needing elective surgery. At the same time, some competing solutions face technical or regulatory issues which directed additional customers to our facilities. Thanks to the robustness of our solutions and the flexibility of our people, we could handle peak loads and deal with a high number of orders.

We expect a high number of elective surgeries to continue in 2023, and we hope that several surgeons will keep preferring our solutions in the longer-term future. During Q1, we also expanded our collaborations with medical device companies and announced a new partnership with Exactech for the product Glenius. This is a 3D printed personalized shoulder implant that takes advantage of artificial intelligence in the planning phase. Glenius is a robust solution for very complex and very severe revisions, oncology cases, congenital cases or trauma deviations. The Glenius solution for shoulders has a scientifically proven track record approaching 10 years of exceptional outcome. Results that are similar to those of our aMace implant for hips that is already five years longer on the market.

Turning to Slide six. In Q4 2022, our software segment absorbed costs related to the reorganization of several development teams to take advantage of the synergetic effects that last year’s acquisitions could bring. In Q1 2023, we saw the positive effect of these actions on the segment’s bottom line. More importantly, we are now beyond that phase and can gradually work on a renewed product portfolio that which the CO-AM platform we have discussed in prior calls. We are launching Magics 27 at Rapid in Chicago in just a few days. Magics 27 has an even deeper integration into CO-AM to anchor Materialise leading position in 3D printing prepress software. However, as the CO-AM platform is intended to empower our customers to control their entire additive manufacturing production line, we are also launching a new application on CO-AM. This is called Materialise Process Control. It enables manufacturers to introduce quality control using data gather during the 3D printing process by analyzing and correlating layer data from the 3D printing process, such as, for instance, 2D images, users can identify effective parts before they are sent to post processing and quality inspection.

Those tasks account for 30% to 70% of a parts total manufacturing costs. Demonstrating the open nature of the CO-AM platform, the tool is being launched in partnership with Phase 3D and Sigma Additive Solutions. Materialise Process Control makes extensive use of artificial intelligence to help the use of — and the mastering of the additive manufacturing process at our customers. Moving now to Slide seven. Robust growth in our Manufacturing segment was driven by very good performance in both the segment standard additive manufacturing services activity and [Indecipherable] tech services activity. In past calls, I’ve mentioned the strong demand for engine and drivetrain components for new sustainable transport systems at ACTech. As the demand has been rising, we are continuing to prepare our new plant for production. We expect to open it in 2024. In parallel, we are seeing good growth in our certified production activity, aiming at small series equipment manufacturers.

While most of this work is confidential, we are able to disclose some of the work we are doing for the company Sartorius. Sartorius is a manufacturer of bioreactors for the life science industry and pharmaceutical production. Materialise has produced several ten thousands of components for Sartorius over the past few years. Those numbers are composed of many small series, even some unique parts. Critical requirements for them include biocompatibility and traceability. Many of those components are used in sterile conditions. It is obvious that working in a certified environment with strong AM process control is a must for a company that affects millions of people’s lives. As these examples illustrate, robust growth is based on constant innovation.

We believe we can sustainably deliver for this innovation as we continue our R&D efforts, even in a difficult year such as 2022. And as Peter indicated before, in the first quarter of ’23, we have again reported a 15% R&D increase as we want to continue this robust growth in the following years. But extra R&D alone is not enough to ensure robustness in a company. Today, I also want to highlight the importance of our staff services that ensure that Materialise has all the governance systems in place to be a reliable partner for our customers. Our governance and internal audit department ensures that our teams pass all of the audits for the variety of governance systems that customers and external auditors require us to maintain. Materialise values quality management systems according to ISO 9001. We deliver medical devices and software according to ISO 13485 to ensure safe and effective products. For our collaboration with the aerospace industry, we have received EASA Part 21G and ISO 9100 certification. In addition to ISO9001, ACTech is a DMV approved manufacturer for iron castings for ships and offshore products and is EN 15085 certified to produce parts for railroad vehicles.

Our headquarters, ACTech and Polish facilities are ISO 14000 certified, reflecting our environmental management ambitions to work sustainable. Our Medical segment is close to being certified according to ISO 2700 on information security. We work within the framework of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA of 1996 in the U.S. And according to the European Union General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in Europe, providing an environment that is consistently in line with all those government systems that provides our customers with assurance that AM technology from Materialise is reliable and safe. Over to Johan.

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Fried. I’ll begin with a brief review of our consolidated revenue on Slide eight. Please note that unless otherwise stated, all comparisons in this call are against the results for the first quarter of 2022. Revenue grew in all three segments in total by 24.4% to EUR65.9 million and excluded the positive EUR1.7 million effect of deferred revenue. Our software segment grew by 8%. Materialise Medical growth an outstanding 33% and revenue in manufacturing made a 25% leap. The strong result was realized through a combination of solid volume growth and price increases. Cross-segment revenue from software products represented 29% of our total revenue. On Slide nine, you can see that our adjusted EBITDA grew by 89% to EUR10,310,000. We benefited from scaling effects and improved efficiency gains while we continued investing in research and development. Slide 10 summarizes the results of our Materialise Software segment.

Here, revenue grew 8.3% to EUR11,350,000. Nonrecurring revenue grew 9.8%, recurring revenue, including the effect of CO-AM subscription fees, increased 7.5%. EBITDA was EUR2,427,000 compared to EUR1,932,000. Moving now to Slide 11. You will see that Materialise Medical revenue grew by 32.5%, boosted by Medical Device Solutions revenue that grew 39%, driven by very strong performances in almost all of our business lines from direct and partner sales. The top line was further supported by a 20% revenue leap from software sales. Adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR7,348,000. Our EBITDA margin increased to 30.2% through a combination of scaling effects and top line price increases. Now let’s turn to Slide 12 for an overview of the Q1 performance of our Materialise Manufacturing segment. Revenue grew 25% to EUR30.2 million, boosted by our ACTech business line that increased 49%.

Our core manufacturing business lines also performed well with a solid revenue growth of 11%, driven by end part manufacturing solutions that grew 20%, while prototyping solutions grew 4%. The robust revenue growth was converted into an EBITDA of EUR3.2 million, an increase of EUR600,000. Including adverse effects of higher subcontracting expenditure in our ACTech business line, in which we are preparing the operational capacity from our new factory and continued investments in our motion and eyewear business lines. Adjusted EBITDA represented 10.6% of revenue compared to 10.8%. Slide 13 provides the highlights of our income statement for the first quarter. Gross profit margin grew to 55.9% from 54.5%. Our operating expenses increased EUR2.6 million or 8.7% to EUR32.4 million.

We significantly invested in our growth businesses, especially through R&D, which increased 15.3%. Sales and marketing increased 5.7% and G&A increased 7.2%. These operating expenses also included the impact of our internal digital transformation project whose first phases went live during the first quarter of the year. As a result of these elements, the group’s operating result was positive EUR five million compared to EUR50,000 in last year’s period. Net financial loss for Q1 was EUR566,000 compared to a net income of EUR376,000 in Q1 last year. Net profit for the quarter increased to EUR3,715,000 compared to EUR127,000 for the 2022 period. Now please turn to Slide 14 for a recap of balance sheet and cash flow highlights. At the end of the first quarter of ’23, our balance sheet remains strong.

Cash amounted to EUR141 million compared to EUR141.7 million compared to EUR140.9 million on December 31, ’22. Total deferred revenue increased EUR1.7 million to EUR44.5 million from EUR42.8 million as of end last year. Cash flow from operating activities for the first quarter of 2023 was flat EUR11 million. This quarter, our operating cash flow consisted of income statement components of EUR10.2 million, while our working capital increased EUR800,000. Capital expenditures for the quarter amounted to EUR3.3 million and were not financed. Peter?

Peter E. LeysExecutive Chairman

Thank you, Johan. In our fourth quarter call in February, we said we expected to report consolidated revenue between EUR255 million and EUR260 million and an adjusted EBITDA between EUR25 million and EUR30 million for the entire year. Based on our strong first quarter performance, but also bearing in mind the continuing uncertain global macroeconomic environment, we now believe that our 2023 revenue will come closer to the top of our initially guided range, i.e., EUR260 million. Now while we attribute most of our EBITDA growth to structural improvements, we do recognize that certain tailwinds also contributed to our strong first quarter results. Bearing that in mind, we revised our 2023 guidance upwards and now expect that our 2023 EBITDA will be between EUR28 million and EUR33 million. And with this, I would like to conclude our prepared remarks. So operator, if you could kindly please open the floor to questions

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Alexander Craeymeersch from Kepler Cheuvreux. Your line is now open.

Alexander CraeymeerschKepler Cheuvreux — Analyst

Good afternoon. Congratulations on the nice set of results. I was just wondering how are the works going on the new ACTech facility, and maybe if you could remind us how much and when these investments are expected to be made? And then how much the facility is going to contribute on the top line and bottom line in the manufacturing segment as it appears that the recovery there is maybe going a bit slower than anticipated? And then the second question would be how you see wage inflation moving, and if we can see the end of the opex rise and the opex cost, can we expect them now to be under control?

And then final — the final question, on the Medical segment, could you just repeat why surgeons prefer your solutions over the other solutions because I think you mentioned that it was related to technical issues, but we all know that Materialise is very good at what it does. So I think it’s only — not only to technical issues. Could you repeat that, please? Hello?

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Yes. I propose — you have posed three questions and that we will distribute them a little bit, yes? Starting with your ACTech question. We indicated that, yes, the new plant we purchased will be taking this year to be reconstructed on one hand. But mainly, we need expensive equipment there that has a long delivery delay approximately 18 months. So we hope to get fully operational in the beginning of 2024. This investment spread over multiple years is in total in the order of magnitude of EUR30 million, of which we did already some last year. And then yes, we believe that in a period of, yes, five years approximately.

This will double the output of ACTech. At this moment, the fact that we are already growing rapidly is waiting on the bottom line of our manufacturing activities because it means that certain steps of the production process, we have to subcontract which, yes, causes our results to decline a little bit due to the expenses, both internally and externally that are related to this subcontracting activities. And then I pass the word to Johan to discuss the opex question.

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Yes. So Fried already mentioned that in the top line that we have had now in Q1, the positive effect of deflation adoption for our annual contracts that could be revised in the beginning of the year. That will further be adjusted according to the way that inflation will continue. We see also that inflation is decreasing in the countries where we are active. So that is also positive. It is also kept under control because we are also anticipating long-term agreements with our vendors where we are hedging and managing the costs such that we can control it. Also, the salary increases as an effect that takes in place in our organization at the beginning of the year. But in Belgium, it’s also adopted in — by middle of the year. The fact that it is decreasing is a positive effect, but it will also weigh slightly on our next quarter’s results. Again, our products are of that quality that our clients are also prepared to assume the cost increase of the inflation. As it looks now, we see that we can continue doing so.

Peter E. LeysExecutive Chairman

Okay. So I’m lost Alexander. Your question regarding medical? Question, why do surgeons prefer our solutions? I break up the answer to that question in two parts, if I may, first, in general, and then more related to the developments of the first quarter of this year. In general, I think our personalized solutions in medical are extremely successful for many reasons, but let me name three. First, innovation. We constantly sit together with the customer and try to innovate or bring innovation into our processes and into our products. Second, this fairly unique combination between innovation on the one hand and robust reliability on the other hand, including the quality that Fried referred to earlier, our products are innovative, but surgeons see that the products come in, in time, first time right, top quality.

And third, I would say, the personal touch because the surgeons can constantly remain in touch with our clinical engineers, which, I mean, further boosts the reliability and the potential to further fine-tune the products to the specific needs of their customers. So hence, the success of our product lines in general. Now what has happened in Q1 and it’s one of the tailwinds that Fried referred to, we learned that some of our competitors had either technical or regulatory issues which meant that some of the medical device companies, at least temporarily, also directed business that was typically handled by those competitors now to Materialise. Now these issues at the level of our competitors are temporary.

So I mean, those surgeons may go back and are probably most likely to go back to their typical supplier. But of course, they have now access to these three components of the Materialise success story. And so obviously, our expectation or our hope is that some of these surgeons may stick to our way of working. However, they will not all stick to our way of working. So hence, our somewhat more prudent view on the continued growth also with respect to the medical devices for the next three quarters of the year. There you go Alexander. I hope that you got three clear answers to your three questions.

Alexander CraeymeerschKepler Cheuvreux — Analyst

And maybe if there’s a small follow-up on the surgeons question. I mean has this happened in the past? And can we expect, as you already mentioned, some stickiness from the surgeon’s perspective?

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Yes. Absolutely. But secondly, I want to repeat that the robust growth is already a clearing year after year for nearly a decade, as I indicated on those medical devices we have been discussing. And yes, okay. I think on average, we reported 20% growth on those medical devices or above in previous years. So that’s the kind of baseline growth. When Peter was discussing these tailwinds, that has made that we did, well, even much better in this particular quarter and with a 33% growth, yes. And that’s the combination that we had in our favor. But the robust baseline growth is present, and we believe as personalization is a big trend in the medical industry, will continue to be strong in the years to come.

Alexander CraeymeerschKepler Cheuvreux — Analyst

Okay, thank you and again congratulations.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Gregory Ramirez of Bryan Garnier & Company. Please go ahead.

Gregory RamirezBryan Garnier & Company — Analyst

Good afternoon and thank you for taking my questionYes, we just come back to the software division because when you look at the cost base in Q1, it’s pretty low. It’s coming back to basically the cost base we had in Q1 ’22. And I was just wondering how — to what extent this cost base could be sustainable? Do we have some — maybe some one-off items? And just to come back to the pace of improvement of the margin in the software division. If I remember well, the goal was basically to come back to 35% plus margin, let’s say, pretty late, maybe by the end of 2025, if I remember well, the software division. So say, does the situation in Q1 occur an earlier than expected improvement because going from minus 12% in Q4 ’22 to plus 21% in 2023 looks a bit amazing.

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Yes. As we indicated during our previous call, yes, software was struggling in Q4 because we had some — yes, and we had some costs related to the reorganization of our teams. And on top of that, yes, in over entire 2022, we had some, let’s call it, double teams that were needed to do the quick connection between the Materialise software, the Link3D software and the Identify3D software. Now, we gradually shift into a real integration mode that we do with a more limited team, and we take advantage of the reorganization. But you are right that also in software, we have a bit of tailwind because — and Peter said this during his remarks, because we have some projects that unfortunately are delayed because we have some troubles finding all the right people to make sure we can work in the new way, and that’s unfortunate. And yes, on one hand, it’s good for our bottom line. On the other hand, we are concerned, and we will try to generate a little bit more costs in the next quarters as fast as possible in order to execute the projects we currently have in our pipeline.

Gregory RamirezBryan Garnier & Company — Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

Since we do not have any other questions, I would now like to turn the conference back to Mr. Johan Albrecht. Please go ahead.

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Dear Materialise friends, today, I commented on the results of Materialise for the last time, as I decided to leave the company at the end of May. I just want to take a moment now to express my gratitude to Materialise and each and every one of you for the amazing journey we’ve shared together over the past eight years. Working alongside so many talented and passionate colleagues has been an honor and a privilege. It’s been a wild right, but we’ve accomplished a lot together in the past eight years, and I’m incredibly proud that I could present the positive trends in terms of growth and profitability as the quarters followed each other. I’m convinced that Materialise is in excellent shape to further achieve long-term profitable growth and to further evolve as a leading 3D printing NASDAQ-listed company. After a short break, I’ll be exploring new opportunities for my next adventure, and I wish you all the very best in your continued success, both personally and professionally. Thank you. Take care and keep in touch.

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Johan, we are very grateful for the many valuable contributions you made during these eight years as CFO. Johan, you have built strong SOX compliant financial reporting and control system. You have enhanced our financial position and you have put the tools in place and the measures to help Materialise achieve our goal of long-term profitable growth. We will miss you as our CFO, but also as a highly appreciated colleague. I am sure some people in this call had also multiple contacts with you. And they will certainly appreciate your professionalism combined with a very fine humor that makes even dull but important financial data digestible. We will ensure a smooth transition to a new CFO as of May 15. Koen Berges will join Materialise as the new Chief Financial Officer. Koen Berges brings more than 20 years of experience in financial leadership in various business environments ranging from large multinational corporations to leading a family holding.

He has played a key role in building financial strategies for many years, including in IT infrastructure companies, an area where Materialise see significant growth opportunities with our CO-AM initiative. We welcome him to Materialise and look forward to his contributions. But again, thanks, Johan, for your service and accept our deep appreciation for all what you have done for Materialise. Thank you very much.

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Peter E. LeysExecutive Chairman

Thank you, Fried and Johan. Johan, I would like to echo Fried kind words. And also thank you for your very valuable professional contributions to Materialise, but also for the very pleasant working relationship that you have established with so many colleagues internally, including myself, and as Fried alluded to also with so many external partners. I wish you the very best for your post-Materialise time and simultaneously together with the colleagues, I look forward with confidence to continuing the Materialise journey together with your successor, Koen Berges. And with that, I would like to conclude our session for today. Next week, at Rapid in Chicago, Fried will be present together with the heads of our medical and software divisions, Brigitte and Bart. If you did not yet reach out to us to arrange a meeting with any one of them, then please feel free to do so, and we will do our utmost best to accommodate your requests. Thank you, and goodbye for now.

Wilfried VancraenChief Executive Officer

Goodbye.

Johan AlbrechtChief Financial Officer

Goodbye.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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