Cerillion to embrace AI for a wide range of business gains (LON:CER)

Cerillion plc (LON:CER) Chief Executive Officer Louis Hall caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss key takeaways from FY results, balance sheet, growth, and the future for the group.

Q1: Louis, a strong set of results published, in your opinion, what were the key takeaways from the full year results?

A1: We’re very pleased to have delivered record results with revenue up 20%, EBITDA up 32% and adjusted PBT up 41%.

I think this has been driven by a strong back order of new customer implementations that we’re working through the system. Also, strong licence revenue recognition which has seen our software share or revenue increase to 54% this year.

As well as the new customer implementations, we’ve also had a very good year with existing customers where we grew sales to existing customers by 85% so that’s very positive as well.

Q2: What can you tell us about the balance sheet?

A2: We had another year of strong cash generation and I think it’s important in this market to have a strong balance sheet. As we sign larger deals with larger customers, those customers want to see that we’re a strong business and have the stability to be there for the long term.

So, I think that’s important but obviously having plenty of cash on the balance sheet helps in terms of looking at some of these tuck-in type M&A deals that we may well do in the future.

Q3: Do you expect the market backdrop to continue to favour Cerillion’s growth?

A3: Yes, it’s interesting. We saw our new customer pipeline grow 16% to £243 million so we can only report what we’re seeing and what we’re seeing is growing opportunities in our market for BSS/OSS or telco enterprise software.

I think that clearly, the market’s still being driven by the big infrastructure investments into 5G and into more fibre, more broadband and so on.

Equally, if we were to see a downswing in the cycle then obviously telcos would look to maximise the returns on the existing investments and infrastructure. To do that, the would look to the enterprise software to create better products that are more marketable, that are more competitive and so on, and offer different services on the same infrastructure in different ways.

So, that very much plays to our strengths, and equally, operational efficiency gains in terms of consolidating multiple brands onto the same platform and operating more modern systems that require less human interaction, and also on a SaaS basis, which is the way we provide software to the market now.

I think those are all key drivers as well, even in a downcycle of more demand for us.

Q4: How do you see the future now for Cerillion?

A4: I think we obviously need to go on investing in our product and a lot of that, in the next few years, is going to be around how we use AI.

So, not just in terms of providing, leveraging that technology to provide better features for our customers, to enable them to do things more efficiently and more easily, but also in how we build the software and maintain the software. So, in areas like software testing and software development, we’ll see a lot more use of AI as we go forward.

I think that will carry on driving strong margins in the business.

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