Luxoft Holding's CEO Discusses F2Q2014 (Qtr End 9/30/13) Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Nov.13.13 | About: Luxoft Holding (LXFT)

Luxoft Holding, Inc. (NYSE:LXFT)

F2Q2014 Earnings Call

November 13, 2013 8:00 am ET


Alina Plaia - VP, IR

Dmitry Loschinin - President & CEO

Roman Yakushkin - CFO


Steven Milunovich - UBS

George Mihalos - Credit Suisse


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Luxoft Earnings Results Conference Call to discuss the Three Months and Half Year Ending September, 2013. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Alina Plaia, Vice President Investor Relations at Luxoft. Alina, please go ahead.

Alina Plaia

Thank you, Christine. We are happy to welcome everyone on our earnings call. On this call we will discuss Luxoft's financial and operating results for the three and six months ending September 30, 2013.

Whether you are joining us by phone or by webcast, we hope that by now you had a chance to receive and review our earnings release. This release and the updated investor presentation, which have been shown during the webcast, can be located on our website at, Investor Center section.

Our speakers today include Dmitry Loschinin, the President and Chief Executive Officer; and Roman Yakushkin, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin I would like to remind you that some of the comments on our call today may be deemed forward-looking statements. And this of course includes our business and financial outlook and the answers to some of your questions. Such statements are subject to the risks and uncertainties as described in the company's earnings release and other filings with the SEC. Please note that we follow U.S. GAAP accounting rules in our financial statements. And during our call today, we will reference certain non-GAAP financial measures that we believe are relevant for better understanding of our business dynamic by the markets.

Our call will proceed as follows: at first Dmitry Loschinin will give you an overview of quarterly and semi-annual nightlights in terms of company's financial and operating dynamics. He also will discuss key trends within the verticals of our focus, as well as major happening, and growth drivers of our strong performance during this quarter and the first six months of this fiscal year. Then Roman will deliver a financial overview of company's performance during the quarter and also for the six months.

With that, I would like to pass the call on to Dmitry Loschinin. Dmitry, please go ahead.

Dmitry Loschinin

Thank you, Alina. Good morning, good afternoon to everyone who joined our call. Thank you for participating and thank you for the interest in our company. We are proud to announce that Luxoft had another strong quarter. Again, it was one of the strongest quarters in the history of our company. We achieved 31.8% growth year-on-year and 16.6% growth sequentially. This pronounced growth, as well as dynamic we see going forward makes us feel upbeat and confident in the end figures we target. I'm happy to let you know that we are raising our annual guidance to at least 22% year-over-year growth. We anticipate that our annual revenue will reach at least $384 million as of March 31, 2014.

While our revenue for the second quarter advanced over 30% on year-over-year basis, we also showed a very good dynamic on the six months basis. From this point forward let me discuss our business in this context as we believe the cumulative six months view best represents the trends.

Our revenue for the six months ended September 30 increased 25% year-over-year. Large portion of this revenue was driven by the new engagements, some of which were postponed last year is in our existing to five clients.

There are two primary drivers behind this numbers. First of all, we still see the carryover dynamic from engagement deferrals of 2012. We spoke about that on our last earnings call. Second of all, we continue successfully growing our high potential clients and with the new ones. We remain successful in building up wallet share with existing clients, including top 10 and high potential accounts, the two categories of clients that fueled the bulk of our consistent growth. We define and call as high potential to be those which have a viable possibility to grow recurring revenues results for at least U.S. $5 billion in the short to midterm.

As of September 30, we have over 15 high potential accounts; about half of those are less than one year old. An average revenue growth rate of the accounts that are over one year old is expressed in triple digits.

During the first six months we have obtained another five high potential accounts. We invest from the very beginning into building long-term strategic relationships with customers to provide consistent high quality results. This is the core of our business model and that is the major contributor to a long range visibility into the revenue cycle and uninterrupted growth for our company since inception in 2000.

In working with client accounts, especially large and high potential accounts, we continue to apply Anchor-Develop-Grow proven through the years business development model that helps clients build faith in our skills and capabilities and help us build presence within various business lines of our clients.

Further, we are executing on the growth strategy that we presented to many of you during our IPO road show. That includes close collaboration with our existing clients, building strong partnership, and targeting viable value added acquisitions.

Our ability to accommodate end-to-end managed services offering, including transformational and other front office related engagements certainly helps us win new contracts as well. We have proven experience handling such relationships. This is actually one of our strong value add that we bring to clients and one of the main reasons for our strong performance this year thus far. We found that demand for this kind of services has picked up over the last several months, especially among financial services clients.

Managed delivery engagements are those in which we assume full control of the project theme and we are fully responsible for the execution. Currently, portion of fixed price contracts in our portfolio is 49%. We pointed out earlier during our IPO and the first quarter conversations with investors and analyst as our Anchor-Develop-Grow model matures in each of the high potential accounts.

You are likely to see a shift in the names within the top 10. As of today, this has already happened. As each of our top 10 accounts grew again in the second quarter, the composition of this has changed. We now have two new accounts on this list versus the list that we had as of March 31 of this year. That does not mean that we've lost the old top 10 accounts. It only means that they grew a bit slower than the new ones that we ramped up.

One of the new entrants is a large global financial services company, and the other a leading location based service provider in our automotive and transport segment. That said, the consideration of the top 5, top 10 accounts now stands at 71% and 81% respectively. Those numbers decline a couple of percentage points quarter-on-quarter and year-over-year basis.

All four verticals shown solid dynamic as demand environment, pricing, and budget cycles in our domain remain healthy and stable. The need for our specialized expertise and overall offshore delivery has been on the upswing. We are expanding some of our recent delivery centers due to new and existing customers, as well as active level for new locations we add to our HR dedicated delivery model.

With so strong momentum in overall client demand across all key top 10 accounts, verticals, and geographies, our more significant growth was generated by automotive and transport, and financial services verticals, including specialized subdomains. Automotive and transport and financial services segments grew 65% and 32% respectively over the past six months on the year-over-year basis. Both geographies also showed very strong dynamic the U.S., U.K., and Germany growing 37%, 23%, and 22% respectively for the past six months on the year-over-year basis.

This quarter we achieved record hiring levels. Net headcount increase was close to 650 people in the last three months, and nearly 1,000 in the last six months, marking 22% year-over-year growth in headcount. Most of them new hires were producing billable IT professionals. As you can see, our revenue growth outpaces the headcount growth. We continue to have high revenue per employee figure versus our IT services peers. This quarter this number has climbed to over $68,000 per deliver employee on annualized basis, 10% increase year-over-year. Major part of this decoupling is due to our productivity gains resulting from managed services, as well as continuous investment into R&D and our solutions.

Efficiency gains resulted from ongoing investments into the area of premium services and risk management, recurrent data, securitization Big Data and financial services, HMI, connectivity, navigation and automotive, based on an advanced certification in telecom and others. We are also happy to note that our accelerated employee management efforts in bringing down last year's attrition level resulted in success. As of the end of the second quarter, our attrition is 10.9%, down 2%, which is close to our historical average.

Yes, immigration reform continues to pose turbulence for some of our peers. We would like to reiterate that our investors that the way our business model works is to have a very low on-site ratio especially over the long-term which will require H1B Visa. In the year, we have only four people on H1B Visa. Because of this limited exposure to the visa issues, we definitely have a competitive advantage over some of Asian vendors.

Roman will share lot more figures and other financial details in addition to the highlight I just provided. He will also expand on the dynamic on each of our business lines.

Roman Yakushkin

Let me just spend a few minutes and tell you about some trends and important developments in few of the domains. Financial vertical. IT spend in financial sector is still largely driven by new regulatory requirements. Therefore, there is a pronounced demand for additional risk management solution that in full quality of data and speed up time of data reliability. In particular, changes are driven by Basel III, the Dodd-Frank Act, and other regulations. Introduction of the above-mentioned regulations forces banks to perform better analysis and monetary multiple parameters of exposure across the whole business, which in its turn, triggers the need for IT platforms upgrade. Customer centric strategy also now coming into focus where enterprises are challenged to embrace multichannel integration, provide mobile apps for smartphones and personal financial management software, which is user friendly.

Our financial services vertical enjoy a very good dynamic from the beginning of this year. This will develop and in this sector in the second quarter was mainly driven by new opportunities within existing high potential accounts. As you know, most of our top two accounts are financial services firms. The most increase their wallet share results at the double-digit rate. We perform our service in various sellers of those clients. Key growth areas are risk, regulatory, cash equities, wealth management. We are all favorable doing projects in the transactional Bakken area, which is a part of commercial bank.

Luxoft reference data practice received more positive traction in the last three months among our existing clients. Customers are increasingly looking to leverage utility solutions across the board for reference data. Legal Entity Identifier Initiative is becoming mandated by an increasing number of regulates. 53 countries have now signed up for this initiative.

Next, let me update you on the comprehensive advanced data utilization solution Horizon. We continue exploring the market and gaining a lot of insight from the field experts and technology analysts, we were able to produce tangible results. The main features of Horizon versus its peer solution ability to move from a simple dashboard to the more complex details, flexibility and mobility.

Perhaps you remember that Horizon originally was developed as a risk utilization tool. Since we launched the process of testing the market early in the year and counter it lots of interest not only financial but also cross-selling opportunities in more our non-financial clients. That's very encouraging development. We took part in Liquidity and Funding Risk Conference in London, where we showcased Horizon operating technology together as one of the largest consulting professional services firms Deloitte.

Moving to automotive. In the past six months this became our fastest growing vertical as many interesting developments continued to unfold. We're increasing collaboration with our existing clients and other tier ones, expanding into US and Europe. We are also happy to note that for the first time in Luxoft history we entered into a project of a significant scale in Asia.

There is a very good progress in this iviLink solution, and we're continuing our close collaboration this quarter, which is controlling ingenious repository into which iviLink was contributed to create a SDLP, Smartdevice Link Profile, to become a standard for in-car connectivity. By now, we most definitely established both leadership in the connected car segment and alerted their market for needed consolidation for connectivity standard in cars. Result it now application development markets will exist for OEMs. This still will facilitate life of OEMs who are working on software to address safety, connect to cloud, minimize drive distraction. Such application development market is also important in order to preserve OEMs brand equity.

We also continue improving a platform that we used to refer as fifth, a platform for active prototyping and development of automotive HMI, Human Machine Interface. It was augmented with a few key innovative features. The resulted pull chain is now called ready; it is a proven platform that helps build HMI for many cars. (inaudible) tool chain and combined hybrid to this ready and HTML 5 based HMI. We including handwritten HTML five quart can be imported directly into work. This capability is a very unique and this tool chain has it.

We have been actively growing engineer sent in Romania and recruiting intelligent IT engineers with 2D and 3D graphics knowledge. We also opened another deliver location to be closer to all automotive clients in Stuttgart, Germany. It became 19th office of Luxoft globally. All of our expert there speak English and German Deutsche. This is very critical for their level of work. We are doing for worker OEMs.

Luxoft engineers can engage with internal designers of OEMs in using fewer tool chain, this end-to-end process becomes fast and cheaper. This improvements directly affects the bottom line and the time to market for our clients. This is a great example of the way the Luxoft brings, so our services are increasingly in demand as OEMs work on 2016-2017 car models. (inaudible) and our HMI expertise actually help us work to win to a large contract this fiscal year.

Telecom. Despite the overall trend of a continuous weakness in the telecom space due to certain fiscal measures in overall economy, so to define networks and network function utilization continues to gain traction and interest by data center operators and service providers.

We continue our contribution to the open network foundation and we have identified key opportunities that we are exploring now. The announcement of our partnership with Spirent came out just last week. But we have been working on Fortune in this collaboration for the better over the past six months. Spirent is a leader in testing, measurement and service assurance in the telecom industry. We are very excited for this union and we believe it will be very beneficial for both parties.

We will work together in two formats. One is focus on provisional and professional services for test automation our Spirent clients who are the world's leading networking and telecommunication giants. The services will be performed under our own name which should add the recognition and create more value to our brand. This form of partnership will not only aim to increase joint customer base but also create additional cross-selling opportunities for both suppliers, while providing comprehensive cutting edge services.

The other is related to the new version of data supplied to the new SDM related capabilities. We have developed a commercial model that does OpenFlow Compliance Testing. We can safely say that this is another unique solution that we are able to make available to our clients.

We are the only provider who has this framework for the latest version 1.3 of OpenFlow. The partnership model assumes integration of (inaudible) despite branded tool chain called iTest. We are encouraged by this developments and the validation of our tech leadership in the telecom and testing segment. This is just the beginning of our relationship with Spirent; other ideas include core development roadmap that we will also incorporate this term.

Before I pass the call to Roman, I want to mention a couple of important recognitions. During the second quarter of this fiscal year our mobile dashboard iStockTrack for wealth and other asset managers was featured in the Forrester report covering the new markets for software product development services. Luxoft was also listed in one of Forrester's webinars as a key vendor for both embedded software design and software product development that makes measurable steps in moving from the standard IT services environment to a vendor that can truly add value.

They gave some examples of how Luxoft is going above and beyond standard rate cut mentality. Further Luxoft was ranked in 2013 software 500 companies, we moved up eight places versus the last year list.

Finally, Luxoft moved up six points from last year and was listed as number 62 in FinTech 100, which is run by IDC and featuring leading financial technology providers worldwide.

With this, I will pass the call to Roman who will tell you about the details of our financial performance during the first three and six months. Roman?

Roman Yakushkin

Thank you, Dmitry. Hello everyone. And thank you for being here on the line with us today. I'm going to give you detailed overview of our operational and financial dynamics for the three and six months ended September 30. We are very pleased by another strong three months performance that our company delivered to our shareholders. This was a good quarter in the first half of the year both on a standalone basis and on the basis of our historical performance. And we are encouraged by the dynamics that we are seeing.

Our revenue during the second quarter of the fiscal year 2014 amounted to $97.7 million, compared to $74.1 million in the second quarter of the previous year that translates into an increase of 31.8% year-over-year and 16.6% sequentially. Revenue for the six months increased by 25% year-over-year to $181.4 million.

Now, turning to some of our other operational measures, our performance by geographies for the past half year was as follows, U.S. grew by 57% over last half year to 41% of total revenue, U.K. increased 23% to 29% of the total, Germany increased 22% to 12% of the total, Russia increased 27% to 9% of the total, Canada decreased 14% to 4% of the total, and rest of Europe increased 55% to 5% of the total.

Our vertical dynamics for the last six months of the year was as follows. Our financial services vertical, comprised 67% of total sales that represent an increase of 32% year-over-year. Automotive and transport 11.5% of total sales and an increase of 65% year-over-year, travel and navigation vertical comprised 10% in total sales and it includes a 5% year-over-year, technology vertical, 9% of total revenue and an increase of 7% year-over-year. Telecom comprised 9% of total sales and an increase of 3% year-over-year. And energy contributed 2% of total sales, an increase of 10% year-over-year.

49% of our revenue came from fixed-price contracts during the first half. Our top five accounts in the second quarter amounted to 71% of sales, representing 2% decrease from the second quarter of last year, and a 1% decrease from the last quarter. Our top 10 accounts in the second quarter amounted to 82% of sales, which represents 3% decrease on year-over-year basis and 1% decrease sequentially.

Our adjusted EBITDA amounted to $33.8 million in the first half of the year versus $23.6 million in the first half a year ago. In the second quarter, our adjusted EBITDA was $19.5 million versus $13.8 million in the same quarter of last financial year and $14.4 million in the previous quarter. Our adjusted EBITDA margin in the second quarter was 19.9% versus 17.1% during the last quarter and 18.7% last year.

Operating income margin on a U.S. GAAP basis was 15.6% and 17.9% on non-GAAP. Our GAAP net income was $23.1 million for the first half of the year in comparison with $14.2 million in the first half of the previous year. In the second quarter, our GAAP net income amounted to $13.3 million versus $9.1 million last year, and $9.8 million in the previous quarter. Our GAAP net income margin in the second quarter was 13.6% compared to 12.3% a year ago and 11.7% in the first quarter of this year.

Our non-GAAP net income was $26.7 million in the first half of the year in comparison with $17.8 million last year. In the second quarter, our non-GAAP net income was $15.5 million versus $10.7 million last year and $11.1 million in the previous quarter. Our non-GAAP net income margin in the second quarter was 16.9% compared to 14.5% year-over-year, and 13.3% in the first quarter of this year.

Our weighted average diluted share count for the past six months was 51.7 million shares, an increase of 1.5 million shares from the six months of the previous financial year.

Our diluted EPS amounted to $0.73 per share as compared to $0.47 per share in the six month a year ago. On a non-GAAP basis, our diluted EPS were $0.84 per share compared to $0.69 per share last year.

Let's now turn to the balance sheet. We have finished the six months with approximately $37.1 million in cash and cash equivalents. During the first half, operating activities generated $19.4 million of cash. Financing activities including IPO proceeds, generated $19.9 million of cash. Net cash of $6.6 million was used in investment activities.

Our trade receivables as of September 30 were approximately $95 million compared to $85 million as of June 30, 2013. At the end of the second quarter, days sales outstanding, including unbilled revenues, stood at 85 days, down by three days in comparison to 88 days at the end of the first quarter. In the first half, DSO stood at 87 days.

We have finished the quarter with 6803 personnel, 5757 of which were IT professionals. We would like to remind you that most of our hires are seasoned professionals. Attrition in the first half of year was 10.9% versus 12.9% year-over-year, a decrease of 2%.

Before we open the phone lines for Q&A, I would like to give you the outlook for the full financial year ending March 31, 2014. We expect to continue delivering solid revenue growth. Based on current conditions and indications, I'm pleased to inform you that we are increasing our annual guidance for both the top and bottom lines. We expect to finish the financial year 2014 with at least $384 million in sales. This represents an increase of at least 22% year-over-year. Adjusted EBITDA margin expectation remains in the range of 17% to 19%. Diluted EPS is now expected to be at least $1.4 on a GAAP basis, and at least $1.6 on non-GAAP, up from the previous $1.3 and $1.48 respectively. The EPS is based on an estimated weighted average of 52,252,053 diluted shares as of the end of our financial year ending March 31, 2014.

Alina Plaia

Thank you, Roman. By now you are probably aware that together with our earnings released we issued real 135 press release. Both of these announcements are part of the Form 6-A that we filed earlier this morning. Also our Form F1 is on file with the SEC. We ask all of you to focus your questions only on our operational and financial results, which is the purpose of this call. For any questions related to the filing we refer to the documents available in the public domain with Securities and Exchange Commission.

So with that we would like to open the lines for Q&A. Christine, please go ahead.

Question-and-Answer Session


Thank you. (Operator Instructions) Thank you. Our first question comes from the line of Steven Milunovich with UBS. Please proceed with your question.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

Could you first give us the exact percentage that some of your largest clients represented such as Deutsche Bank and UBS?

Roman Yakushkin

Hello, Steven. Sure. Deutsche Bank represented 51.3% and UBS represented 19.5% of total sales of the first half of 2014.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

I'm sorry. That's for the first half.

Roman Yakushkin

That's for the first half and for the second quarter Deutsche Bank 51.4% and UBS 19.9%.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

And you said both of those were up double-digits in terms of growth rate?

Roman Yakushkin

Exactly. Deutsche Bank in the second quarter grew by 33.8% in the first half, and UBS grew by 26.7% in the first half of the year.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

Could you comment on the improvement in gross margin where that's coming from and may be talk a little bit about pricing and wage inflation right now?

Roman Yakushkin

I will start with the wage inflation basically we did not see any trends -- any changes in trends for wage inflation that was seen last year. Basically on the average wage inflation stays at 67%. In Russia we've been slightly helped by the basically decrease of ruble versus U.S. dollar which in U.S. dollar terms helped us lower our payroll check and that mile did the wage inflation impact.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

Is the increased managed services content helping the gross margin?

Roman Yakushkin

I think the increase of our fixed price contract customers doing services would be without sale. The gross margin, we've seen it increase to above 42% in the first half and one of the reasons that you would find apart from exchange rates was continuous switching from T&M (ph) to managed delivery contracts.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

Okay. And I was curious on the auto sector Apple is talking about getting fairly active with IOS and its products and so forth. Is what you're doing in the auto sector complimentary or competitive with what Apple's attempting to do overtime?

Dmitry Loschinin

It is complementary. We don't see now Apple as our competitor. Actually, what Luxoft is working on their several platforms, which we support the one I said the OPH exactly helps to bring some of their mobile solutions into the car. And the second one the (inaudible) the platform which enables to create modern like next generation HMI, which is in very high demand today. So we don't see Apple moving into that space.

Steven Milunovich - UBS

Okay. And then finally could you remind us what your normal seasonality looks like, is it second and third fiscal quarters strongest more moderate in the fourth quarter?

Dmitry Loschinin

U.K. will have quite strong third quarter historically, and first, fourth quarter normally is weaker due to smaller number of billable hours because of the New Year holidays in Russia, Ukraine, and also because of shorter February.


(Operator Instructions) Thank you. Our next question is coming from the line of George Mihalos with Credit Suisse. Please proceed with your question.

George Mihalos - Credit Suisse

Just wanted to start off given the results so far over the first half of the year and some commentary from some other providers talking about discretionary spending, picking up certainly in the U.S. we've seen it, just wondering though if you would agree with that statement as you look into the U.K. and Germany whether or not your clients seem to be loosening up the purse strings or a lot more discretionary spending than may be what was out there a year ago?

Dmitry Loschinin

Yes, thanks. So we definitely see some improvements in economy in both U.S. and U.K., Germany and as a result discretionary spent is growing, so there are some release on some of the budget constraints, so that is definitely good news for the whole industry. However if you talk about Luxoft there is still require for long-term multiyear programs so which not -- we are not directly effect of the growth or decline in the discretionary spend of all clients.

George Mihalos - Credit Suisse

And then the accretion rates hit down nicely. Can you talk a little bit about what's going on there? Was there anything particularly you were focused on or was it just sort of normalizing now?

Dmitry Loschinin

Well last year we started several initiatives which resulted this year into the improvement on the retention and decline of the accretion. The one initiative, which we call mobile amiability platform which allow our engineers to apply for different opportunities in Luxoft and therefore work content is not be sure and sometimes we experienced that in the past.

The other thing which we do is we actually started working a lot in -- in all of the HR disciplines. We also started several campaigns and several programs for fast track growth. So the growth opportunity are much more clear. They -- so all combined and we are running three strategic initiatives and some smaller fixes, which we're doing different geographies. All of that results in this 2% decline in the accretion.

George Mihalos - Credit Suisse

And then just last question for me, looking into the back half of the year, just may be follow-up on Steven's question. The -- historically the second half has been like a little bit stronger than the first half of the year. Is there anything may be in the Q2 revenue growth that was kind of pulled forward from the back half of the year, meaning the Q2 took may be a little bit from 3Q or 4Q relative to expectations or no?

Roman Yakushkin

Well this is Roman, hello. The short answer would be no. We didn't see any revenue from Q3 being pulled over to Q2.


It appears we have no further questions at this time. I would now like to turn the floor back over to management for closing comments.

Dmitry Loschinin

We would like to thank everyone for joining this call and look forward to speak to all of you in the next year. Thank you very much.


Ladies and gentlemen that concludes today's teleconference. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation and have a wonderful day.

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