Ceva beats cost saving targets

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Ceva beat its cost saving target by more than 25 per cent during 2009, removing £113 (125m euros) of cost from the business.

Savings were created through a number of initiatives including consolidation and tightening up cash management.

As such the group limited the adverse effects of the recession with EBITDA reaching £221m (233m euros), a 28.5 per cent decrease on the previous year.

Sales totalled £5bn (5.5bn euros), a drop of 13.2 per cent compared to 2008.

Ceva boosted business wins by ten per cent during the course of the year and is set to continue this pattern in 2010.

Chief financial officer Rubin McDougal said: “We have designated key markets that are a focus for us. Our areas of strength are in consumer, technology and automotive so it is these areas we will continue to look at.”

[asset_ref id=”668″]Rubin McDougal

Another area for opportunity is the group’s Century programme, added McDougall. Ceva has identified 100 key global customers that are an area of specific focus. Each account has an executive sponsor which deals with the customer both locally and globally. These customers accounted for 50 per cent of revenues in 2009.

“We’re not the only company working with these clients so it’s important for us to build up good relationships,” said McDougall. “Trade lane development is going to be another area of focus for us in 2010. If we manage lanes we can manage margins, so we can build capacity in that area.”

In order to manage debts and make its liquidity profile more conservative Ceva plans to sell some notes that will mature in 2018 and buy some that mature in 2014 so that by 2014 the company will have less debts due, which will give it more room to refinance.

It has begun a cash tender offer and consent solicitation with respect to its outstanding 120m euros and $127m 12 per cent second priority senior secured notes due in 2014 and its outstanding $400m ten per cent second priority senior secured notes also due in 2014.

John Pattullo, chief executive of Ceva, said: “Following a challenging first quarter we delivered solid progressive results across the remainder of 2009 and overall we believe that Ceva is well positioned for the future.”

Looking forward to 2010 the group’s underlying drivers for 2010 are essentially a function of higher volumes. “Overall, higher volumes are good news for the industry,” said McDougall. “It might mean higher rates in the near term, but it is good news for the long term as it means things are picking up.”

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