Empired returns to growth amid COVID-19 with slew of contract wins

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Empired returns to growth amid COVID-19 with slew of contract wins
Russell Baskerville (Empired)

Managed services provider Empired has posted strong revenue, earnings and profit growth thanks to new contract wins and “disciplined” financial management.

For the half-year ended 31 December 2020, the company posted revenue of $90.3 million, up 7 percent year over year. Net profit after tax was $7.7 million, up 284 percent year over year.

EBITDA for the period more than doubled to $16.2 million, up 107 percent year over year. Excluding JobKeeper payments, EBITDA was $11.3 million, a 43 percent increase from the previous year.

Empired’s sales pipeline was also up 45 percent, while H1 actual sales — the first 12 months revenue of a sales order received in the period — was up 34 percent year over year.

“Empired has focused on partnering with clients for success through an uncertain period while maintaining a disciplined approach to financial performance,” Empired managing director Russell Baskerville said.

“Digital transformation (DX) is on the agenda in every organisation and boardroom across Australia and New Zealand, accelerated even further by COVID-19. This has provided Empired with a unique opportunity to help customers on their journey by providing rapid, yet proven, tools and technology, backed by its partnerships with key vendors such as Microsoft, across the whole spectrum of DX from digital workplace solutions and cloud to business applications.

“This landscape, coupled with Empired’s customer-centric approach, has driven the company’s rapid return to growth, along with continued expansion of services with major clients, such as Western Power.”

During the period, Empired transitioned in its $65 million infrastructure managed services contract with Western Power, and also secured a new material systems integration contract with the company. These deals are expected to contribute to the full FY21 results.

Looking ahead, the company expects its top four clients to contribute at least $50 million in the full year of FY21. Revenue growth and H2 EBITDA are also forecast to be higher than the first half.

“We are seeing solid demand across all markets and key service lines and with a renewed focus and prioritisation on digital initiatives by our clients we anticipate this will continue for some time,” Baskerville said.

Last year, Empired made an aggressive push to replace the lost revenue from a major client, Main Roads Western Australia, which signed with rival ASG Group in 2019.

Apart from Western Power, the company also scored a place in the South Australian government’s managed platform services panel in December 2020 and a managed services deal with NSW Cancer Institute, among others.

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