Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 looks good so far

If you’re sitting in Basler’s offices in Ahrensburg, Germany 2013 is shaping up to be a good year. Of course, none of us have crystal balls, but the First Quarter numbers look healthy.

Revenue is up 23% over the same period in 2012, to €15.1M, (well on the way to the annual goal of €100M,) gross margin grew six percentage points, to 50.3%, and “Gross results” (profit?) is stated as €7.6M, up 41%.

Other notable numbers were: headcount up 7% or 21 full-time equivalents, and R&D spend up 10% to €2.2M. And this is where I’ll start to get picky.

Annual R&D spend looks to be south of €10M. Is that enough? Well look at this way: AVT and their parent, Augusta, are seeing much growth, both acquisition-fueled and organic. Dalsa, now part of Teledyne, have substantial financial backing. But Basler soldier on, independent.

I don’t think there are any absolute rules for R&D spend, but I’d note that the percentage grew less than both revenue and profit. I’ll accept that one good quarter is not a reason to let rip, but if we don’t see a ramping-up throughout 2013 I’ll start to wonder how the long-term future looks.

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