Thursday, June 13, 2024

Digital signage software firm Creative Realities reports Q1 2024 revenue of $12.3 million, up 24%

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Strong Revenue Growth, Refinancing Underway, 2024 Outlook Reaffirmed. LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 10, 2024 — Creative Realities, Inc. (“Creative Realities,” “CRI,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CREX), a leading provider of digital signage and media solutions, announced its financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended March 31, 2024.

Highlights:

  • Record first quarter revenue of $12.3 million, up 24% from $9.9 million in the prior-year period
  • Gross profit of $5.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 versus $5.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2023
  • Adjusted EBITDA* of $0.8 million for the first quarter of 2024 versus $1.0 million in the prior-year period
  • Annual recurring revenue (“ARR”) of approximately $17.7 million at the end of the first quarter versus $16.3 million at the beginning of the fiscal year; the Company reaffirms its 2024 exit run rate guidance of $20.0 million
  • Refinancing strategy is being implemented to increase financial flexibility and lower long-term interest expense through a new $20 million senior revolving credit facility and $5 million accordion, with no prepayment penalties or fixed amortization schedule

“We’re off to a great start in fiscal 2024 with strong revenue growth and solid margins, on track to deliver record results this year,” said Rick Mills, Chief Executive Officer. “Revenue rose more than 20% year-over-year in the first quarter, to $12.3 million, even as the first quarter is typically light due to seasonality and budget cycles. While our consolidated gross margin was lower than the 2023 first quarter, on a percentage basis, this was primarily due to the significant 45% growth in service revenue that included a higher percentage of installations – increasing to 18% of revenue as compared to 10% in the prior-year period. While dampening margins in the quarter, such installs will lead to greater subscription revenues going forward, and we ended the quarter with a record ARR of approximately $17.7 million.

“In addition, as recently announced, on May 8, 2024, we signed a non-binding commitment letter for a transformational refinancing agreement, expected to close next week, that provides a $20 million revolver as well as access to a $5 million accordion feature. Not only will this allow for greater financial flexibility, it will enable the Company to lower its interest rate exposure and move towards a more optimal capital structure. By the end of the first quarter we had, once again, reduced our outstanding debt, and we remain focused on de-levering the balance sheet going forward. Overall, given a strong pipeline of opportunities, increasing installations, and sound operating execution, we are well positioned to see substantial growth in the quarters to come and remain on track for our best year ever, including a $20 million ARR by the end of 2024.”

*Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure. A reconciliation is provided in the tables of this press release.

2024 First Quarter Financial Results
Sales were $12.3 million for the fiscal 2024 first quarter, an increase of $2.4 million, or 24%, as compared to the same period in fiscal 2023. Hardware revenue was $4.1 million, versus $4.3 million in the prior-year period, while service revenue rose to $8.1 million from $5.6 million in fiscal 2023, an increase of 45%, reflecting higher installation and managed services. Installation service revenue increased $1.2 million year-over-year – or 128% – due to significant deployment activity during the period.

Consolidated gross profit was $5.8 million for the fiscal 2024 first quarter versus $5.1 million in the prior-year period, and consolidated gross margin was 46.9% versus 51.2% in the fiscal 2023 first quarter. Gross margin on hardware revenue was 22.9% in fiscal 2024 as compared to 25.8% in the prior-year period, largely reflecting product mix and contract timing. Gross margin on service amounted to 59.1%, versus 70.7% in the fiscal 2023 first quarter, reflecting the fact that installations – historically the Company’s lowest margin service – increased to 18% of total revenue as compared to 10% in the prior-year period. Software subscription run-rates continued to rise, however, and the Company ended the quarter with record ARR of approximately $17.7 million on an annualized run rate.

Sales and marketing expenses in the first quarter rose to $1.5 million, versus $1.1 million in the prior-year period, reflecting enhanced investment in business development activities. Research and development expenses were $0.5 million versus $0.4 million in the fiscal 2023 first quarter. First quarter general and administrative expenses were $3.0 million, up slightly year-over-year, primarily reflecting increases in deployment personnel and the implementation of a new ERP system.

The Company posted an operating loss of approximately $0.1 million in the first quarter of both fiscal 2024 and 2023. CRI reported a net loss of $0.1 million, or $(0.01) per diluted share, in the quarter ended March 31, 2024 versus a net loss of $1.0 million, or $(0.14) per diluted share, in the prior-year period.

Adjusted EBITDA (defined later in this release) was $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2024 as compared to $1.0 million in the prior-year period.

Balance Sheet
As of March 31, 2024, the Company had cash on hand of approximately $2.9 million, virtually equivalent to December 31, 2023. The Company had outstanding principal debt of approximately $14.0 million as of March 31, 2024 versus $15.1 million at the start of the fiscal year. The Company’s net debt as of the date of this release is approximately $11.7 million. CRI continues to repay approximately $0.4 million in debt principal monthly, with a focus to reduce its leverage ratio going forward. As of the end of the first quarter, the trailing twelve month leverage ratio was 2.86 and 2.27 on a gross and net basis, respectively, versus 2.97 and 2.40 at the beginning of 2024. Net debt is equal to the Company’s cash on hand less outstanding debt.

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 7:04 PM

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