Annual Results for the year ended 31 December 2020
02 March 2021
XP Power, one of the world's leading developers and manufacturers of critical power control solutions for the Industrial Technology, Healthcare and Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sectors, announces its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2020.
These Results are available in PDF format.
|Final dividend per share||36.0p||0p||-|
|Total dividend per share||74.0p||55.0p||+35%|
|Adjusted operating profit1||£46.0m||£35.0m||+31%|
|Adjusted profit before tax1||£44.3m||£32.3m||+37%|
|Adjusted diluted earnings per share1||198.4p||141.4p||+40%|
|Profit before tax||£35.7m||£24.0m||+49%|
|Diluted earnings per share||160.3p||105.0p||+53%|
|Operating cash flow||£45.6m||£46.2m||-1%|
1For details on adjusted measures refer to note 4 and note 5 of the consolidated financial statements.
- Strong growth in order intake and revenue driven by the recovery in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector and demand from our Healthcare customers as they increased supply of critical care devices for the treatment of COVID-19, offsetting weakness in Industrial Technology sector.
- Order intake increased by 20% to £258.0 million, including £15 - £20 million related to COVID-19 Healthcare orders.
- Revenue grew 17% to £233.3 million.
- Gross margin increased to 47.2% due to manufacturing efficiencies from increased production.
- Net debt of £17.9 million, a decrease of 57% compared to 2019, driven by strong operating cash conversion.
- Expansion of our Vietnam manufacturing facility and active supply chain management enabled the Group to demonstrate its resilience and maintain product deliveries to customers, despite the temporary shutdown of our Chinese factory during Q1 2020 in response to COVID-19.
- Further production and supply chain optimisation across the Group, including the transfer of low-power, high voltage DC-DC manufacturing from Nevada to Vietnam.
- Proposed final dividend for 2020 of 36 pence per share (2019: nil due to COVID-19 uncertainty). Total dividend for 2020 74 pence per share (2019: 55 pence per share).
- The Group enters 2021 with an order book of £124.1 million (2019: £98.2 million), which gives us confidence for the year ahead.
James Peters, Chairman, commented:
“The year was dominated by the exceptional challenges of COVID-19. A key priority throughout has been to protect the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and I would like to thank them all for their commitment and adaptability during this
We delivered record orders, revenues and earnings, and strong cash generation, in 2020, against a difficult global backdrop. Weakness in our Industrial Technology sector was more than made up for by a strong recovery in the Semiconductor Manufacturing
Equipment sector throughout the year and demand from Healthcare customers providing critical care equipment for the treatment of COVID-19. We are proud of what we achieved in 2020 and our contribution to helping our customers produce life-saving
equipment rapidly, at a time when the supply chain was adversely affected by the pandemic.
We have continued to invest in the business through this difficult period and have delivered an excellent set of results without benefitting from any furlough scheme, reducing our workforce, or taking advantage of any discretionary government
COVID-19 financing. The strength of our performance enabled us to quickly reinstate dividend payments from the second quarter as the Group’s outlook became clearer.
Trading conditions in the early months of 2021 give grounds for continued optimism. Despite the challenges and uncertainty that remain regarding COVID-19 we enter the year with a strong order book and an ongoing positive backdrop within the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector. While we are mindful of the headwind that the recent strengthening of Sterling creates and the continued uncertainty created by COVID-19 we currently expect further underlying revenue growth this financial year. We remain excited regarding the long-term prospects of the Group.”
|Gavin Griggs, Chief Executive Officer||+44 (0)118 976 5515|
|Johan Olivier, Acting Chief Financial Officer||+44 (0)118 976 5515|
|Citigate Dewe Rogerson|
|Kevin Smith/Jos Bieneman||+44 (0)20 7638 9571|
XP Power designs and manufactures power controllers, the essential hardware component in every piece of electrical equipment that converts power from the electricity grid into the right form for equipment to function. Power controllers are critical for optimal delivery in challenging environments but are a small part of the overall customer product cost.
XP Power typically designs power control solutions into the end products of major blue-chip OEMs, with a focus on the Industrial Technology (circa 40% of sales), Healthcare (circa 30% sales) and Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment (circa 30% of sales) sectors. Once designed into a programme, XP Power has a revenue annuity over the life cycle of the customer’s product which is typically five to seven years depending on the industry sector.
XP Power has invested in research and development and its own manufacturing facilities in China, North America, and Vietnam, to develop a range of tailored products based on its own intellectual property that provide its customers with significantly improved functionality and efficiency.
Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange since 2000, XP Power is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. XP Power serves a global blue-chip customer base from 29 locations in Europe, North America, and Asia.
For further information, please visit xppowerplc.com
Our Progress in 2020
We made significant strategic progress in 2020 and produced an excellent set of results in a difficult environment. The year was dominated by the exceptional challenges of the global health crisis caused by COVID-19. A key priority throughout has been to protect the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and I would like to thank them all for their commitment and adaptability during this unprecedented period.
We have delivered record orders, revenues and earnings, and strong cash generation, against a difficult global backdrop. COVID-19 impacted the demand dynamics in our Industrial Technology sector, but this was more than offset by the continuation of the strong recovery in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector and exceptional demand from our Healthcare customers for critical care equipment for the treatment of COVID-19 affected patients. We can feel proud of what we achieved in 2020 and our contribution to helping our customers produce much needed life-saving equipment rapidly, and at a time when the global supply chain was being adversely affected by the pandemic.
Having taken the difficult decision to cancel both the final 2019 dividend and first quarter 2020 dividend in response to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis, our strong cash generation and confidence in the Group’s long-term prospects enabled us to resume the payment of dividends from Q2 2020. The Board is proposing a final dividend of 36p (2019: nil) which, if approved will bring the total 2020 dividend per share to 74p (2019: 55p).
The Group’s presence in China meant it was exposed to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier than many international organisations, as our Chinese manufacturing facility was unable to re-open as planned in late January 2020 following the Chinese New Year. As the seriousness of the situation became clear, we quickly established very clear priorities and protocols for the organisation to manage through the challenges of the pandemic, namely:
- Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our colleagues;
- Keeping our customers supplied with product (particularly those providing critical healthcare equipment for the treatment of COVID-19 patients); and
- Preserving cash and maintaining liquidity.
This swift response was well received by our people and customers and was instrumental to us successfully navigating through the challenges that we subsequently faced. Our China facility reopened on 17 February 2020 and we have kept all production and warehouse facilities operational since then, apart from short breaks for COVID-19 decontaminations. This clearly demonstrates the built-in resilience of our supply chain.
We are continuing to monitor the global situation in respect of COVID-19 closely and remain mindful of the significant challenges and uncertainty it continues to present.
In October 2020 we announced that, after over seventeen years as Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Penny had informed the Board of his intention to retire as CEO. Duncan stepped down as CEO on 31 December 2020 and will leave the Board and the Group at the Annual General Meeting on 20 April 2021.
The Board also announced that, following a thorough search process, Gavin Griggs would succeed Duncan as Chief Executive Officer from 1 January 2021. Gavin has been Chief Financial Officer at XP Power since November 2017 and has worked very closely with Duncan in that time. Gavin is a proven business leader with significant experience and expertise across a variety of growth-oriented business sectors and the Board is confident that Gavin is the right person to take XP Power forward. The transition from Duncan to Gavin has been smooth as anticipated and I have confidence that under his leadership the Group will deliver further shareholder value in the future.
The search for Gavin’s successor as Chief Financial Officer is underway, and an appointment will be announced in due course.
Duncan joined XP Power as Chief Financial Officer in 2000, becoming CEO in 2003, and has led our business with distinction. On behalf of the entire XP Power team, I want to thank Duncan for his significant and enduring contribution to our Group and wish him well for the future.
Our People and Our Values
The success of any organisation is dependent on its culture and the people and talent within it. The Board continues to work closely with the Executive Leadership Team to ensure the Group is identifying and developing its key people and bringing new talent and capabilities into the business to help underpin our growth ambitions. We recruited a leader for our Global Supply Chain and a Chief People Officer during the year. These are two important senior executive appointments which have significantly enhanced our capabilities and demonstrate the ambition we have for the Group.
I am proud of what our people have achieved in 2020 and I know from our engagement with them that they are proud to be part of the XP Power team.
The Group has consistently executed a clearly outlined strategy for several years which has successfully delivered meaningful value creation for all stakeholders. In summary, it is built on the development of a market leading range of competitive products to enable further penetration of existing target accounts, combined with a drive to move our product portfolio up the power and voltage scale. This product portfolio development and the significant expansion of our addressable markets has been achieved through a combination of internal organic investment and targeted acquisitions. Although we are one of a few power companies in the world with a product portfolio across such a broad power and voltage spectrum we still have relatively low market share, we can use our product portfolio and engineering services and capabilities to provide customers with a complete power solution and increase our market share.
Our strategy continues to work effectively to achieve sustainable long-term earnings growth through market share gains in our target sectors and customers. This success is demonstrated by our consistent performance and resilience over the cycles in the sectors in which we operate. We are confident we can continue to develop market leading products and, encouraged by the potential of our product and sales pipeline, to continue to deliver organic growth.
Following a bank refinancing in 2020, we have sufficient committed funds to support targeted acquisitions to enhance our product portfolio and expand our addressable market. We see acquisitions as an important element of our growth strategy but will maintain a disciplined approach. We also continue to make improvements to our systems and processes, in our product life cycle management and our supply chain to support the sales growth we are generating, as well as bringing new talent into the business to support our continued growth.
While our new CEO will continually review our strategic progress, we expect development to be evolutionary not revolutionary but with a heightened focus on execution and organisational and supply chain agility.
We are committed to the long-term sustainable success of XP Power in all its aspects. In 2020 we engaged with our key stakeholders to better understand which aspects of their relationship with XP Power were most important to them, with a focus on sustainability in particular. We have incorporated this feedback into our sustainability strategy and have reported this in our 2020 Annual Report.
Sustainability has been a long-term focus for XP Power. In 2009 we established an environmental committee led by the CEO which set the bold goal of leading our industry on environmental matters. We have helped lead the industry in developing “green” products which deliver power more efficiently and consume less energy, while powering their application, or in standby mode. These products reduce the annual CO2 emissions of the equipment throughout its life and are by far the biggest positive impact we can make on the environment. We have set Company targets to reduce CO2 emissions intensity by a minimum of 3% per annum over the short and medium term and an aspiration to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. During 2021 we will develop further strategies to bring this date forward.
Sustainability also resonates with our employees. We have adopted energy and water saving practices throughout the Group and have a network of passionate environmental representatives who promote best practices and raise awareness of sustainability issues, including social ones, across our global workforce.
We delivered an excellent performance in 2020 despite facing significant external challenges, once again demonstrating the resilience of our business model and quality of our people.
Trading conditions in the early months of 2021 give grounds for continued optimism. Despite the challenges and uncertainty that remain regarding COVID-19, we entered the year with a strong order book and with a positive backdrop within the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector. While we are mindful of the headwind that the recent strengthening of Sterling creates and the continued uncertainty created by COVID-19 we currently expect further underlying revenue growth this financial year. We remain excited regarding the long-term prospects of the Group.
Performance: Operational Review
Review of our year
We are proud of both our financial performance and our contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in 2020. The Group produced an excellent set of results while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people and we continued to make good strategic progress despite the challenges of navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic. This is all down to the hard work and commitment of the XP team globally.
The Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector, which had started to recover in terms of order intake in the fourth quarter of 2019, performed strongly throughout 2020. The strong performance was underpinned by a combination of increased end market demand and our market share gains from design wins on new tools, driven by advancements in technology in the logic and memory segments. The ongoing design wins are being supported by the development of closer relationships with our customers. In addition, we benefitted from unprecedented demand from our Healthcare customers as they boosted production to provide critical care equipment in response to COVID-19. Our exposure to these two sectors more than made up for COVID-19-related weakness in our Industrial Technology sector.
The recent expansion of our Vietnamese production facility was fundamental in mitigating the effects of Section 301 Tariffs in 2019 and it has once again proven its value in 2020. Our Vietnam facility allowed us to keep product flowing to our customers while our Chinese facility was not able to operate due to Chinese government imposed COVID-19 restrictions. Our diversified manufacturing footprint and supply chain resilience is recognised as an important strategic differentiator by our key customers, many of whom are concerned about USA/China trade relations and general supply chain resiliency.
The new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system deployed in certain sites in the fourth quarter of 2019 is running well and we are making significant progress with production and operations efficiency. The deployment is in line with our vision of being the first-choice power solutions provider, delivering the ultimate experience to our customers and making XP Power a great place to work for our people.
COVID-19 – The Resilience of Our Business Model
We first experienced the impact of COVID-19 in January 2020, as Chinese authorities extended the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday and imposed travel and operational restrictions to control the virus. These measures caused a two-week delay to the recommencement of production at our Kunshan facility, which re-opened on 17 February 2020. We immediately implemented all the recommended prevention and control procedures in our Kunshan facility and deployed these same procedures in Vietnam to protect our people and keep the business operating safely.
The difficulties our people experienced in travelling back to work and the quarantine requirements also meant that we were operating at a reduced level of capacity into April 2020. During this period demand from our customers supplying critical healthcare equipment to treat patients with the virus soared and we received an estimated £15 to £20 million of additional COVID-19 specific orders. Our customers in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector were also experiencing strong demand. The combination of these factors created an urgent need for our products at a time when our capacity in China was severely restricted. Positively, Vietnam was not affected by such severe restrictions, so we were able to produce greater quantities from Vietnam during this difficult period, while accelerating the transfer of more products and materials from China to Vietnam to maintain supply to our customers.
During the second quarter of 2020 the China supply chain was operating normally with reliable supply of components and other materials re-established. We expanded headcount in both production facilities and invested in additional capital equipment in Vietnam to increase production for the third quarter of 2020 and beyond.
Our production facilities in North America and logistics facilities around the world have been able to operate normally with prevention controls in place in line with all public health advice.
We have continued to invest in the business through this difficult period and have achieved an excellent set of results without benefitting from any furlough scheme, reducing our workforce, or taking advantage of discretionary government COVID-19 financing or other optional financial concessions.
Balance sheet and liquidity
In response to COVID-19 we prioritised the preservation of cash and the availability of sufficient liquidity to manage potential short-term downside risks. As a result, we took the difficult decision to cancel the 2019 final dividend, which would have represented a cash outflow of £6.9 million in April 2020, and the first quarter dividend for 2020. As the Group’s position became clearer, we resumed payment of dividends from the second quarter of 2020 but continued to manage our cash tightly through 2020, whilst still investing in working capital and our manufacturing facilities to meet the increased demand from customers.
We continue to have a strong balance sheet with circa £91 million of available liquidity and net debt to EBITDA of 0.32 times at 31 December 2020.
The Group delivered revenue growth of 17% to £233.3 million (2019: £199.9 million).
Order intake was up 20% on a reported basis to £258.0 million (2019: £214.9 million), which included £15 - £20 million of COVID-19 related orders. Orders and revenue for 2020 represent a full year, book-to-bill ratio of 1.11 (2019: 1.08). The Group had an order book of £124.1 million at 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: £98.2 million), providing good visibility for 2021.
Marketplace: Sector Dynamics
For the first time this year we have consolidated the reporting of our Industrial and Technology sectors due to the overlap between the customer base.
Revenue from the Industrial Technology sector declined by 19% to £94.4 million (2019: £116.6 million) and represented 40% (2019: 58%) of overall revenue. Industrial Technology remains our largest sector, but it is very diversified with few of these customers making it into our top 30 customer list by revenue. Applications in this sector vary significantly and are principally driven by new and emerging electronic technologies and high growth niches rather than traditional areas such as industrial machinery, automotive or mining. Typical drivers for our revenue in this sector include 3D printing, analytical instruments, displays, industrial printing, renewable energy, robotics, smart grid, defence and test and measurement equipment. Industrial Technology has traditionally been a resilient, long term growth market. Anecdotal feedback and the financial results of customers in this sector suggests many suffered a drop in end demand due to COVID-19, particularly in the second quarter, and were short of other parts as conditions recovered, which meant their demand for power converters from XP Power also reduced. We would expect to see a recovery in this sector as conditions gradually return to normal. Our Distribution business, which represents 10% (2019: 11%) of our overall revenue and is exposed to a very diverse range of end markets, is also included within our Industrial Technology sector. Distribution has been a good growth market where we have been growing market share with existing and adding new distributors to expand geographic reach and increase our market penetration.
Revenue from Healthcare customers grew by 51% to £69.3 million (2019: £45.9 million) representing 30% of overall revenue (2019: 23%). The demand for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, drug delivery systems, hospital beds, lung X-ray applications, patient monitors, specialist ultrasound, suction pumps, and various types of ventilators increased significantly. By contrast other applications such as dentistry, endoscopy, medical imaging, and robotic surgical tools showed declines compared to the prior year as the sector focused on critical care applications for the treatment of patients with the virus.
Healthcare remains an attractive market for XP Power given long term growth demand dynamics, the safety critical nature of products, the breadth of our medical product range and high level of customer service focused on blue chip medical device manufacturers. Healthcare customers are demanding in terms of quality and reliability, making our value proposition very attractive to them. We provide mission critical power solutions for numerous applications in the healthcare arena and understand the many special requirements and regulatory approvals that a medical power solution must meet. In normal circumstances Healthcare tends to be much less cyclical than the other sectors we address which adds resilience to our diversified business model.
The Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector remains an exciting and important area for XP Power with excellent long-term growth prospects. Revenue from these customers increased by 86% to £69.6 million (2019: £37.4 million). We believe we not only benefited from a cyclical recovery but also from market share gains as a number of new programme wins, driven by technology advances, entered production. These included, in particular, reduced geometries in leading edge logic devices and increasing stacking in the 3D NAND market as producers moved from 64, to 96 and to 128 layers of memory and beyond in a single device. The critical components in the smartphones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices which drive our lives are made using extremely high technology semiconductor manufacturing tools and processes requiring numerous power conversion devices that XP Power can provide. Revenue from the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector customers represented 30% of overall revenue (2019: 19%). Our expansion into Radio Frequency (“RF”) and high-voltage and high-power products, combined with our engineering services offering, has made us an attractive supplier to this market. The new higher power and higher voltage products we now have allow us to service considerably more of the opportunities in this sector, significantly expanding our addressable market which is reflected in our robust revenue growth.
Despite the sector’s historical cyclicality this market remains highly attractive due to its robust long term, structural growth drivers, which are being driven by the proliferation of applications including the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, big data, and the roll out of 5G technology, which is still in its early stages. The latest generation of semiconductor logic and memory devices are becoming more capital intensive to manufacture as they become multi-layered, and as dimensions continue to shrink. This plays to XP Power’s strengths as one of the few companies in the world that can offer the whole spectrum of power and voltage required for semiconductor manufacture, and an ability to combine these into a complete power solution, making us a compelling partner to the manufacturers of these state-of-the-art tools.
Marketplace: North America
Our North America revenue was US$188.1 million in 2020 (2019: US$147.5 million), an increase of 28%. North America represented 63% of overall revenue (2019: 58%).
Order intake in North America was US$209.8 million (2019: US$161.7 million), an increase of 30% resulting in a healthy book-to-bill ratio of 1.12.
Our European revenue grew by 1% to £65.0 million (2019: £64.4 million). While Europe benefited from significantly higher demand for critical healthcare products it was also most impacted by the decline in the Industrial Technology sector due to COVID-19. Europe represented 28% of overall revenues (2019: 32%).
Order intake in Europe was £72.6 million (2019: £65.0 million), an increase of 12%, resulting in a strong book-to-bill ratio of 1.12.
Asia revenue was US$26.8 million in 2020 (2019: US$25.6 million), an increase of 5%, with strong growth in Healthcare and Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment offset by weakness in Industrial Technology. Our Asia business is benefitting from new design wins with the RF and high-voltage high-power products added to the product portfolio through the Comdel and Glassman acquisitions. We expect these designs to contribute to revenue in 2021 and beyond. Prior to acquisition, these companies had minimal sales representation in Asia which presents a significant future opportunity for the Group. Asia represented 9% of overall revenue (2019: 10%).
Order intake in Asia was US$25.7 million (2019: US$28.2 million), a decrease of 9%, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 0.96.
Our Strategy and Value Proposition
Our vision is to be the first-choice power solutions provider, delivering the ultimate experience for our customers and making XP Power a great place to work. Over time we have gradually moved our product portfolio up the power and voltage scale to enhance our margins and provide our customers with a broader offering to solve their power problems. We have also increased our engineering resource to provide enhanced engineering services capabilities, so we are able to deliver a complete power solution to our key customers. We are now one of very few providers who can offer customers a complete spectrum of power and voltage capabilities and package several power converters into an overall solution customised to the customer’s application. This makes us an extremely attractive partner to our key customers and is a key driver in our market share gains.
We have followed a consistent strategy which has enabled us to produce strong results over a sustained period. The fundamental essence of this strategy is targeting key accounts where we can add value and gain more of the customer’s available business, combined with moving the product line up in power, voltage, and complexity. Although this strategy continues to remain appropriate and effective, we constantly challenge and refine it, as we have done again in 2020.
Our strategy can be summarised as follows:
- Develop a market leading range of competitive products, organically and through selective acquisitions;
- Target accounts where we can add value;
- Increase penetration of those target accounts;
- Build a global end to end supply chain that balances high efficiency with market leading customer responsiveness; and
- Lead our industry on environmental matters.
The challenges of managing the effects of COVID-19 have not diverted us from our strategic path and we continue to invest for the medium and long term. We continued to execute well against our strategy in the period, gaining further design wins with our newer product introductions, particularly in higher power applications, and our increased focus on engineering solutions which provide more value to our customers. Acquisitions have been a key part of our growth strategy expanding our product portfolio and expanding the addressable market that we can sell into. The successful implementation of our strategy continues to drive market share gains and the strength of our new programme wins is encouraging despite the challenges of COVID-19. We continue to focus our own engineering resources on high-power applications and address the lower power applications through third party products. It was for this reason that we took the decision in January 2020 to close our UK design centre in Fyfield, Essex, which was focused on low-power, low voltage products. Costs relating to the closure were £1.7 million which have been treated as restructuring costs within specific items. These costs include the write down of capitalised product development work of £1.2 million in progress at the time of the site closure.
Our value proposition to customers is to solve their power problems, reduce their overall cost of design, manufacture and operation and help them get their product to market as quickly as possible. We achieve this by providing excellent sales engineering support and producing new highly reliable products that are easy to design into the customer’s system, consume less power, take up less space and reduce installation times.
Looking forward, whilst our strategy is clearly working and adding shareholder value, it will continue to evolve building further organisational and supply chain agility to better serve our customers and further enhance execution. We will also increase our focus on people and development to ensure we are able to continue to grow our business.
We completed the construction of an extension to the factory on our existing site in Vietnam in the first quarter of 2019, adding, at a conservative estimate, more than US$150 million of manufacturing capacity per year and increasing our total Asian manufacturing capacity to more than US$350 million per year. The move into Vietnam, and the subsequent capacity expansion, have proved particularly timely given the continued deterioration in trade relations between China and the USA. The US Government implemented Section 301 tariffs at a rate of 10% from September 2018 and increased these to 25% in May 2019. Many of our competitors have Chinese based manufacturing facilities which puts them at a significant commercial disadvantage if they are selling into the USA. The ability to manufacture in Vietnam has become a compelling value proposition to our customers wherever they are located.
The outbreak of COVID-19 further underlined the benefits of our diversified manufacturing footprint as we were able to divert production from China to Vietnam when COVID-19 severely disrupted supply from our Chinese factory and supply chain in February and March 2020. Several of our customers have subsequently accelerated their qualification processes to transfer production from our China facility to our Vietnam facility to address the impact of Section 301 tariffs and COVID-19. This is a compelling option for our customers as they have become increasingly focused on the security and certainty of supply following COVID-19.
During 2020, we invested in additional equipment in Vietnam to expand capacity with a new surface mount line, and additional test and burn-in facilities, to meet demand from both increased business due to COVID-19 and the transfer of more products into Vietnam from China and our North American manufacturing facilities, as we seek to reduce costs.
Vietnam is now qualified to produce a total of 2,616 different low voltage products (2019: 2,080), demonstrating our progress with the transfer of production capabilities. In addition, the transfer of low-power, high voltage DC-DC modules, previously manufactured in Minden, Nevada, was completed in 2020 and there are now 476 different high voltage modules capable of being manufactured in Vietnam.
We expect this important strategic capability of having production facilities in both Vietnam and China to enable us to win more design slots with key customers. A number of customers have already informed us that they will no longer design-in products manufactured in China due to concerns over China/USA trade tensions.
Our end objective is to provide a resilient and flexible supply chain with the capability to manufacture the majority of products in both China and Vietnam to provide enhanced business continuity planning. We also have three manufacturing facilities in North America. We have a customer focused Engineering services facility in California, a site in New Jersey focused on high voltage products and an RF focused facility in Massachusetts. These facilities have continued to operate throughout 2020 except for short periods where decontamination occurred following COVID-19 cases. The demand for RF products has led to some supply shortages and we are increasing capacity to meet the demand levels.
We monitor market dynamics closely working through our supply partners and maintain a level of safety stocks of key components. Towards the end of the period, we began to see supply issues for certain components and increased safety stocks to manage through any future supply issues.
Restructuring of Low-power, High voltage Manufacturing and Transfer to Vietnam
To take advantage of our expanded Vietnam capacity, competitive labour rates and excellent quality, in August 2019 we announced that we would be transferring the manufacture of all our low-power, high voltage DC-DC modules from our Nevada factory to Vietnam. We completed this transfer in 2020, closing the Minden manufacturing facility in September. We expect that this will result in annualised cost savings of approximately £3 million. Approximately £1 million of these cost savings will be reinvested back into the business to expand and strengthen our new product introduction team. The enlarged team will facilitate further transfers of existing engineering services production from our facility in Sunnyvale, California to Vietnam, as well as new standard products as they are introduced, resulting in additional future savings. We incurred £0.6 million in costs associated with the closure of the Minden site which are included in specific items.
Research and Development
New products are fundamental to our revenue growth. The broader our product offering, the higher the probability that we will have a product which will work in the customer’s application with or without a modification by our engineering team. By expanding into RF power and high voltage in 2017 and 2018, we estimate that our addressable market has increased from around US$2.7 billion to approximately US$4.7 billion.
The design-in cycles required by our customers to qualify the power converter into their equipment and to gain the necessary safety agency approvals are lengthy. Typically, we see a period of around 18 months, or even longer in Healthcare, from first identifying a customer opportunity to receiving the first production order. Revenue will then start to build from this point, often peaking a number of years later. The positive aspect of this characteristic is that our business has a strong annuity base where programmes typically last five to seven years. Another aspect of this model is that the many new products we have introduced over the last three years have yet to make a meaningful impact on our revenue, creating a significant benefit for future years.
We have continued to invest in research and development to further expand our portfolio of products and the size of our addressable market opportunity. We released 20 new product families in 2020 (2019: 32) and 17 of these can be classified as “Green XP Power” products having ultra-high efficiency and/or low standby power (2019: 27). We had a particularly high number of new products introductions in 2019 from our third-party design partners, particularly DC-DC converters.
We continue to move our product portfolio up the power and voltage scale and away from our more traditional low-power/low voltage offering, to protect our margins and expand our addressable market. RF power is a significant long-term opportunity and is a market which contains many interesting and significant niches beyond the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector including medical equipment, induction and dielectric heating, and industrial lasers. We have therefore directed more of our internal product development resources away from low-power/low voltage applications and are supplementing the low-power area with more third-party products designed to our specifications and quality standards while expanding the RF development resources.
As well as expanding our product offering, we have continued to expand our engineering solutions groups, particularly in Asia and North America. As we continue to move our capabilities up to higher power and higher voltages, we are becoming an increasingly attractive partner for customers whose applications are becoming more and more demanding. These demands include not only power delivery and management, but also sophisticated connectivity involving software and firmware which enable the customer’s application to control the power solution and the power solution to communicate back to the application. As the world becomes more connected and the fourth industrial revolution gains traction, we expect this trend to gather pace. Customers place a high value on our engineering solutions capabilities which differentiate us from many of our competitors, who focus only on providing standard products with little additional value added.
Our engineering solutions groups work closely with the customer’s engineering teams to provide these customised solutions. Speed and proximity to the customer are critical as the power solution is often one of the last parts of the system to be designed, so is invariably one of the gating items to get the end product to market. This is an area where XP Power adds significant value to its customers, and we are seeing increasing demand for these services.
We are one of the few power companies that can offer its customers a full range of solutions across the voltage and power spectrum and provide the engineering services to package these together to provide a complete power solution, including communication with the customers’ application through firmware. This is a powerful proposition which makes us an ideal partner for many customers and greatly expands our addressable market.
We are acutely aware of the increasing concerns our people, customers, suppliers, governments, and shareholders have around climate change and sustainability issues in general. We consider that we have taken a lead in our industry in developing and promoting high efficiency products which consume less energy and therefore help reduce carbon emissions over their lifetime in use. We established a Sustainability Committee as early as 2009 and set ourselves the bold goal of becoming the leader in our industry regarding sustainability matters. We have consistently included sustainability factors into our decision making and have adopted environmentally responsible practices in our facilities. In particular, we believe that our Vietnamese production facility is the most environmentally friendly in our industry with its efficient building envelope, building management system, water recycling and solar panel array.
We determined many years ago that one of the biggest impacts we could have on the environment was designing and promoting “XP Green Power” products which consume, and therefore waste, less energy over their operational lifetimes. This results in significant and ongoing reductions in CO2 emissions generated by our customers’ equipment. “XP Green Power” products generated revenues of £52.7 million in 2020 (2019: £43.2 million) representing 23% (2019: 22%) of total revenue.
In 2020 we engaged with our employees and key customers and suppliers to better understand their material areas of focus and concern regarding sustainability matters. We have also better understood the priorities of our shareholders. The results of this engagement allowed us to build the topics which are most important to our stakeholders into our sustainability strategy. We were encouraged to discover that the most material interests of our stakeholders align very closely with those of executive management. These topics include product responsibility, attracting and retaining talent, health and safety (incorporating occupational), employee welfare, reducing emissions, diversity and inclusion.
We regard the continuing emphasis and concern over climate change as a positive for our business as our customers have embraced our high efficiency “XP Green Power” products. These products are not only significantly more environmentally friendly due to their ongoing reduced carbon emissions but are inherently more reliable, making them a compelling economic proposition. XP Power is committed to continuing to lead the industry in this area. We also believe that legislation on the efficiency requirements for power conversion will become more and more stringent and the standards currently in place for higher volume consumer applications, such as external power supplies, will be extended to industrial and healthcare applications where we will be well positioned to address this customer need. Concerns over climate change should lead to an increasing emphasis by our customers on efficiency and more revenue opportunities to power renewable energy systems and controllers.
We have set Company targets to reduce CO2 emissions intensity by a minimum of 3% per annum over the short and medium term and an aspiration to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. During 2021 we will develop further strategies to bring this date forward.
Chief Executive Officer
Performance: Financial Review
The Group delivered excellent financial results in 2020 against the backdrop of the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, reflecting the resilience of the Group and our people.
Revenue was £233.3 million (2019: £199.9 million), representing growth of 17%. Statutory operating profit was £37.4 million (2019: £26.7 million), an increase of 40% over the prior year, with operating margins at 16.0% (2019: 13.4%). Net finance costs were £1.7 million (2019: £2.7 million) resulting in profit before tax of £35.7 million (2019: £24.0 million) and an income tax expense of £4.0 million (2019: £3.2 million), equivalent to an effective tax rate of 11% (2019: 13%). Basic earnings per share were 163.0 pence (2019: 107.0 pence), an increase of 52%.
Throughout this results announcement, adjusted and other alternative performance measures are used to describe the Group’s performance. These are not recognised under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or other generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
When reviewing XP Power’s performance, the Board and management team focus on adjusted results rather than statutory results. There are a number of items that are included in statutory results, but which are considered to be one-off in nature or not representative of the Group’s performance and which are excluded from adjusted results. The tables in Note 2 show the full list of adjustments between statutory operating profit and adjusted operating profit, between statutory profit before tax and adjusted profit before tax, as well as between statutory profit after tax and adjusted profit after tax at Group level for both 2020 and 2019.
The Group’s revenue performance was driven by growth in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector, which increased 86% to £69.6 million (2019: £37.4 million). The Healthcare sector grew 51% to £69.3 million (2019: £45.9 million), which includes the COVID-19 related shipments. This was partially offset by a decline in the Industrial Technology sector down 19% to £94.4 million (2019: £116.6 million).
Our North American region benefited from growth in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment sector, increasing by 28% to US$188.1 million from US$147.5 million in 2019. Europe delivered growth of 1% to £65.0 million (2019: £64.4 million), as growth from Healthcare customers was offset by a decrease in the Industrial Technology sector. Asia revenue grew by 5% to US$26.8 million (2019: US$25.6 million), driven by good growth in the Healthcare sector.
Included in other income are £0.6 million received related to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily from the Singaporean government as part of the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS). The JSS was extended to all active employers in Singapore.
Gross margin increased to 47.2% (2019: 45.1%), benefitting from production efficiency gains at our manufacturing facilities due to the increased demand and the transition of production from Minden to Vietnam. This more than offset the incremental COVID-19 related costs of £0.9 million incurred by the Group during the year, predominantly related to additional safety measures at our manufacturing facilities.
Adjusted Operating Expenses and Margins
The Group continued to invest in the business, which resulted in adjusted operating expenses increasing by 16% to £64.2 million. In addition to investment in people we have also invested in our IT infrastructure, specifically related to the ERP implementation. Due to COVID-19 travel was severely restricted from early March leading to a decline in travel costs of £2.0 million compared to 2019. Adjusted operating margin increased to 19.7% (2019: 17.5%) due to volume leverage on higher revenue.
Net finance cost decreased by 37% to £1.7 million (2019: £2.7 million). The lower interest expense was a result of lower interest rates and borrowing levels.
Adjusted Profit Before Tax
The Group generated adjusted profit before tax and specific items of £44.3 million, an increase of 37% compared to last year.
In 2020, the Group incurred £8.6 million (2019: £8.3 million) of specific items, predominantly related to £3.2 million for amortisation of intangible assets due to business combination (2019: £3.2 million), costs associated with acquisitions of £0.3 million (2019: £0.9 million) and ERP implementation costs of £1.9 million (2019: £2.2 million). In addition, the Group incurred legal costs of £0.4 million (2019: £1.9 million) related to a non-customer related legal dispute in North America, restructuring costs of £2.3 million (2019: £1.0 million) related to the closure of a UK design centre and the production facility in Minden, Nevada, and fair value loss on currency hedges of £0.5 million (2019: gain of £0.9 million).
The ERP implementation will continue through 2021 and costs related to the project and amortisation of intangible assets due to business combinations will continue to be classified to specific items.
On 11 September 2020, Comet Technologies USA Inc., Comet AG, and YXLON International (collectively “Comet”) filed a lawsuit against XP Power LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging trade secret misappropriation relating to RF match and generator technology (Comet Technologies USA Inc., Comet AG, and YXLON International v. XP Power LLC, Case No. 5:20-cv-6408 (N.D. Cal.)).
The Group believes there is no merit to this lawsuit and intends to vigorously defend against any claims brought against us by Comet.
The Group expects to incur further legal costs until this matter is resolved, the magnitude of which cannot currently be estimated with any certainty. The Group incurred legal costs of £0.4 million in 2020 (2019: £1.9 million) related to this matter which are treated as specific items and excluded from management’s assessment of profit as they are non-repetitive and therefore could distort the Group’s underlying earnings.
The effective tax rate on adjusted profit before tax decreased by 210bps to 11.5% (2019: 13.6%). The lower effective tax rate was due to deductions for employee share option awards, the utilisation of tax losses and research and development tax credits.
The effective tax rate on statutory profit before tax decreased by 210 bps to 11.2% (2019: 13.3%).
Going forward, XP Power expects the effective tax rate to be approximately 16-18% depending predominantly on the regional mix of profits.
Research and Development (R&D)
Gross R&D expenditure was £15.9 million, an increase of 22% on 2019 or 7% of revenue. R&D investment is a key part of the Group’s strategy and is expected to continue to grow as the Group expands its engineering capabilities. The Group is particularly focused on our RF and high-power, high voltage product development activities.
The Group capitalised £7.7 million of R&D costs (2019: £8.0 million), which reflects the continued development of new products as the Group expands its product portfolio.
The Group continued to invest in its infrastructure, with particular focus on the upgrade of our ERP system and capital investment at our manufacturing facilities to expand capacity and improve operational performance. £7.2 million (2019: £8.3 million) was incurred on capital expenditure during 2020.
We plan to invest circa £11 million during the new financial year, with the main investments related maintenance and expansion of our manufacturing facilities and the upgrade of our ERP system.
Adjusted Earnings Per Share
Basic and diluted adjusted earnings per share increased by 40% to 201.8 pence and 198.4 pence respectively (2019: 144.1 pence and 141.4 pence)
The Group continues to be highly cash generative with net cash from operations of £45.6 million (2019: £46.2 million) representing cash conversion of 122% (2019: 173%). The slightly lower level of operating cash flows was largely a result of investing in working capital to meet the increased demand from customers, specifically related to a £12.3 million increase in inventory. This was partially offset by good cash collections which saw trade and other receivables decrease by £2.7 million despite the 17% revenue increase.
Free cash flow before acquisitions, dividends and repayment of borrowings was £31.3 million (2019: £26.2 million).
The Group finished 2020 with net debt of £17.9 million (2019: £41.3 million), comprising cash and cash equivalents of £13.9 million and gross debt of £31.8 million. The decrease in net debt during 2020 was a result of the strong free cash generation, offset by £7.3 million paid in dividends during the year.
The Group’s debt is sourced from a Revolving Credit Facility (“RCF”) provided by HSBC UK Bank PLC, J.P. Morgan Securities PLC, and DBS Bank Ltd. The Group exercised an option in the RCF agreement in October 2020 to extend the facility expiry date by a year to November 2024. The Group also converted US$30 million of accordion option to committed facilities, increasing the committed facility to US$150 million (£110 million at year end exchange rate), with a further US$30 million accordion option.
The Group is subject to two financial covenants, which are tested quarterly. These covenants relate to the leverage ratio between adjusted EBITDA and net debt and the interest cover ratio between adjusted EBITDA and finance costs.
Interest cover was 46 times (2019: 17 times) which is well in excess of the four times minimum required in our banking covenant. Leverage ratio at the year-end was comfortable at 0.32 times (2019: 0.91). The covenant level for net debt to EBITDA is a maximum of three times.
The Group will continue its disciplined approach to capital allocation, prioritising the maintenance of a strong balance sheet, and sufficient committed facilities, while continuing to focus on investing in the business to drive organic growth. The Group continues to seek out and review acquisition opportunities that are in line with the Group’s strategy and that meet management’s strict acquisition criteria to deliver value creation to shareholders.
Due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 the Board took the difficult decision to cancel the final dividend for 2019 and the first quarter dividend for 2020. Dividend payments were resumed from the second quarter of 2020.
The strong finish to the year’s cash flow performance and continued good liquidity has enabled the Board to recommend a final dividend of 36 pence per share for the fourth quarter of 2020. This dividend will be payable to members on the register on 26 March 2021 and will be paid on 28 April 2021. When combined with the interim dividends for the previous three quarters, the total dividend for the year will be 74 pence per share (2019: 55 pence).
The Group plans to operate in a range of between 1 to 2 times net debt to Adjusted EBITDA in the medium term. Given the impact of COVID-19 on the global economic environment the Board is comfortable with the current leverage of 0.32 in the short term.
The Group reports its results in Sterling, but the US Dollar continues to be our principal trading currency, with approximately 85% (2019: 83%) of our revenues denominated in US Dollars. The average Sterling to US Dollar exchange rate remained in line with 2019 at 1.28, meaning that constant currency results are in line with reported results.
Acting Chief Financial Officer
Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income for the
financial year ended 31 December 2020
|Cost of sales||(123.2)||(109.8)|
|Distribution and marketing||(52.4)||(43.2)|
|Research and development||(15.9)||(13.0)|
|Profit before tax||35.7||24.0|
|Income tax expense||3||(4.0)||(3.2)|
|Profit after tax||31.7||20.8|
|Other comprehensive income:|
|Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:|
|Cash flow hedges||-||(0.1)|
|Exchange differences on translation of foreign operations||(3.6)||(4.2)|
|Items that will not be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:|
|Currency translation differences arising from consolidation||*||(0.1)|
|Other comprehensive loss for the year, net of tax||(3.6)||(4.4)|
|Total comprehensive income for the year||28.1||16.4|
|Profit attributable to:|
|Equity holders of the Company||31.5||20.5|
|Total comprehensive income attributable to:|
|Equity holders of the Company||27.9||16.2|
|Earnings per share attributable to equity holders of the Company (pence per share)|
|- Basic earnings per share||5||163.0||107.0|
|- Diluted earnings per share||5||160.3||105.0|
*Balance is less than £100,000.
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
Consolidated Balance Sheet
As at 31 December 2020
|Corporate tax recoverable||3.8||2.0|
|Cash and cash equivalents||13.9||11.2|
|Other current assets||4.6||3.3|
|Derivative financial instruments||0.3||0.6|
|Total current assets||107.0||96.0|
|Property, plant and equipment||28.4||29.3|
|Deferred income tax assets||2.9||1.8|
|ESOP loan to employees||*||0.1|
|Total non-current assets||135.2||137.4|
|Current income tax liabilities||4.9||3.1|
|Trade and other payables||28.2||25.2|
|Derivative financial instruments||0.1||-|
|Total current liabilities||34.7||30.4|
|Deferred income tax liabilities||6.7||5.5|
|Total non-current liabilities||43.0||64.1|
|Equity attributable to equity holders of the Company|
|Share option reserve||4.1||3.9|
|Treasury shares reserve||(0.1)||(0.5)|
*Balances are less than £100,000.
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity
For the financial year ended 31 December 2020
|Attributable to equity holders of the Company|
|£ Millions||Share capital||Share option reserve||Treasury shares reserve||Merger reserve||Hedging reserve||Translation reserve||Other reserve||Retained|
|Balance at |
1 January 2019
|Exercise of share options||-||-||0.5||-||-||-||-||*||0.5||-||0.5|
|Employee share option plan expenses||-||0.7||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.7||-||0.7|
|Tax on employee share option plan expenses||-||1.1||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||1.1|
|Exchange difference arising from translation of financial statements of foreign operations||-||*||-||-||-||(4.2)||-||-||(4.2)||(0.1)||(4.3)|
|Net change in cash flow hedges||-||-||-||-||(0.1)||-||-||-||(0.1)||-||(0.1)|
|Profit for the year||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||20.5||20.5||0.3||20.8|
|Total comprehensive income for the year||-||*||-||-||(0.1)||(4.2)||-||20.5||16.2||0.2||16.4|
|Balance at |
31 December 2019
|Exercise of share options||-||(1.2)||0.4||-||-||-||4.3||-||3.5||-||3.5|
|Employee share option plan expenses||-||1.5||-||-||-||-||-||-||1.5||-||1.5|
|Tax on employee share option plan expenses||(0.1)||-||-||-||-||-||-||(0.1)||-||(0.1)|
|Future acquisition of non-controlling interest||-||-||-||-||-||-||(0.1)||-||(0.1)||-||(0.1)|
|Acquisition of subsidiary||-||-||-||-||-||-||0.2||-||0.2||(0.2)||-|
|Exchange difference arising from translation of financial statements of foreign operations||-||*||-||-||-||(3.6)||-||*||(3.6)||*||(3.6)|
|Profit for the year||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||31.5||31.5||0.2||31.7|
|Total comprehensive income for the year||-||*||-||-||-||(3.6)||-||31.5||27.9||0.2||28.1|
|Balance at |
31 December 2020
*Balances are less than £100,000.
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
For the financial year ended 31 December 2020
|Cash flows from operating activities|
|Profit after tax||31.7||20.8|
|- Income tax expense||3||4.0||3.2|
|- Amortisation and depreciation||14.0||12.7|
|- Finance charge||1.7||2.7|
|- Equity award charges, net of tax||1.5||0.7|
|- Fair value loss/(gain) of derivative financial instruments||0.5||(0.9)|
|- Loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment||*||-|
|- Loss on disposal of intangible assets||1.2||-|
|- Unrealised currency translation loss||0.2||0.9|
|- Provision for doubtful debts||0.4||-|
|Change in working capital, net of effects from acquisitions:|
|- Trade and other receivables||2.7||(3.7)|
|- Trade and other payables||3.3||4.5|
|- Provision for liabilities and other charges||*||(0.5)|
|Cash generated from operations||48.9||50.7|
|Income tax paid, net of refund||(3.3)||(4.5)|
|Net cash provided by operating activities||45.6||46.2|
|Cash flows from investing activities|
|Purchases and construction of property, plant and equipment||(4.0)||(4.7)|
|Capitalisation of research and development expenditure||(7.7)||(8.0)|
|Capitalisation of intangible software and software under development||(3.2)||(3.6)|
|Proceeds from disposal of property, plant and equipment||0.1||*|
|Repayment of ESOP loans||*||*|
|Payment of accrued consideration||(0.6)||-|
|Net cash used in investing activities||(15.4)||(16.3)|
|Cash flows from financing activities|
|Repayment of borrowings||(20.7)||(8.8)|
|Principal payment of lease liabilities||(1.7)||(1.5)|
|Proceeds from exercise of share options||3.5||0.5|
|Dividend paid to equity holders of the Company||(7.3)||(16.7)|
|Dividend paid to non-controlling interests||*||(0.5)|
|Net cash used in financing activities||(27.5)||(29.7)|
|Net increase in cash and cash equivalents||2.7||0.2|
|Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of financial year||11.2||11.5|
|Effects of currency translation on cash and cash equivalents||*||(0.5)|
|Cash and cash equivalents at end of financial year||13.9||11.2|
|*Balances are less than £100,000.|
The accompanying notes form an integral part of these financial statements.
The notes are available in the printable pdf of the results. To download it, please click here.