IRW-PRESS: Dr. Reuter Investor Relations: Dr. Reuter Investor Relations: Talkpool: Our corporate strategy is coherent and trimmed for growth
In an interview, Magnus Sparrholm, Chairman of Talkpool, is very satisfied with the business development of the Swiss network and IoT company. For the second half of the year he expects a sustained high rate of growth.
Mr. Sparrholm, in the second quarter of 2021 Talkpool increased sales by 28 percent and achieved an EBITDA of more than 380,000 euros. Are you satisfied with the business development?
Magnus Sparrholm: We are very happy with the second quarter. All of our businesses have done well and contributed to growth. One point that I would particularly like to emphasize is the positive margin development. We were able to increase the EBITDA margin from 3.7 percent in the same quarter of the previous year to 6.1 percent. All of this makes us look ahead to the second half of the year with confidence.
In your opinion, what were the biggest milestones in the past quarter?
Sparrholm: In the second quarter we spent a lot of time integrating NPT into our Swedish IoT subsidiary. In addition, we have been able to win an expert for the merged company, Andreas Göth, who has many years of experience in this business. All of that paid off. Our intelligent building technology IoT business in Sweden is doing splendidly. We have now reached a critical mass and a relevant size in the Swedish IoT market. We are convinced that Andreas Göth is the right person to take our Swedish IoT business even further. Another milestone was the completion of the sale of our subsidiary Nordic IoT Networks AB (NIOT) to the Netmore Group. The Netmore shares that Talkpool received from the sale were sold at a significantly higher price than we had expected. As a third highlight, I would like to mention the strong turnaround of our business in Pakistan. We have been able to land numerous orders there in the past few months despite a highly competitive market. We have concluded a network test contract with one of the largest mobile network operators in the country with a volume of around 700,000 euros per year. That puts us in an excellent position should we decide to sell our Pakistan subsidiary LCC.
Sparrholm: Talkpool’s long-term strategy is to reduce its involvement in developing countries and to focus its business on Europe and America. If the price is right, we will therefore consider selling Talkpool Pakistan. Incidentally, we already have offers.
The COVID pandemic has affected the production and delivery capacities of many telecommunications and IT companies. Were there any bottlenecks at Talkpool or are there any foreseeable bottlenecks?
Sparrholm: Thanks to our well-planned stocks, we did not experience any impairments in the fulfillment of our orders. No bottlenecks are foreseeable for the rest of the year either.
In Spain, Talkpool was involved in a project that aimed to improve indoor air and thus prevent the spread of the corona virus. Was the project a success and are there any plans to get even more involved?
Sparrholm: A twofold yes. Due to the success of this and other pilot projects, we want to develop further in the area of indoor air quality and control. For this purpose we have established an alliance with our partner companies Redytel, Netmore and Senseair. That gives us even more clout.
In Germany, Talkpool recently won new framework agreements for network planning and network documentation worth EUR 1.025 million. Do you expect further orders?
Sparrholm: Definitely. Due to the pent-up demand for fast networks, Germany has very promising growth potential. We therefore want to further expand our market presence and our range of services in Germany. This applies in particular to network planning and documentation of fiber optic connections and 5G locations. Without going into details: Similar orders like the one mentioned are already in the pipeline.
How do you assess the future prospects for Talkpool for the rest of the year? Will the strong growth continue?
Sparrholm: If everything goes well, we will be able to maintain the high rate of growth. We currently expect sales growth of between 25 and 30 percent for the second half of the year, with our profit margins likely to improve further.
Talkpool shares have also been traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since June 2021. What are the advantages of the share?
Sparrholm: Talkpool is a company that is broadly positioned with its network services and IoT solutions and has many years of experience and a competent workforce in these businesses. We are active in future markets such as the Internet of Things, digitization, 5G or green technologies. Our corporate strategy is coherent and trimmed for growth. All of this should also benefit our shareholders in the long term.
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