BATM has returned to growth demonstrating significant improvement in its operating performance and, most importantly, with its strategic plan. Our excellent Executive Team and the heads of the business units deserve the credit in returning BATM to growth and delivering the financial results set out in 2017 Annual Report. It is also pleasing to see that this performance was reflected in an improvement in our share price over the year.
In 2017, we achieved the goals that we set for ourselves for the year. We gained new customers and partners, secured new contracts, expanded into new territories and continued to establish a leading position in our target markets. The strategies we implemented in both our divisions – Bio- Medical and Networking & Cyber – are coming to fruition as new products and technologies have completely replaced legacy products and are gaining traction in areas that we had previously identified as growth markets.
The Bio-Medical Business
The Bio-Medical division continued to demonstrate growth in product sales and we made a strong start in providing services while we continued to advance the development of disruptive patented technologies that will soon be introduced to the markets. The division saw growth in its Eco-Med and Distribution units and lower revenues in Diagnostics unit.
At the beginning of the year, the Group acquired Zer Laboratories a private diagnostics laboratory in Israel for clinical tests. With Zer, we primarily conduct the pre-natal screening tests for non-invasive pre-natal tests, and towards the end of the year we added new molecular biology tests especially for cancer. We are happy to enter into the services business and expect it to expand in 2018.
The Networking and Cyber Business
The Networking and Cyber division achieved an increase in revenue for the first time since 2011. Sales in this division grew by 28.3% compared with the previous year. This was mostly due to growth in ICT services and solutions as well as the success of the strategic decision to focus on software-based Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) solutions that have come now of age. The partnerships established with NXP Semiconductors and ARM Holdings has laid the groundwork for future growth where our open and agile service delivery platform can meet the growing demand from telecoms operators and managed service providers.
It was pleasing to see the operational success of our businesses translating into financial success too. Our EBITDA in 2017 was $7.7m compared with an EBITDA of $2.8m in 2016. BATM was able to report positive earnings per share for the first time since 2012.
I am confident that BATM will meet its goals for 2018, generating sustainable growth across the Bio-Medical and the Networking & Cyber divisions, which should in turn drive shareholder returns. We will continue to oversee performance of all our businesses closely, ensuring that the Group executes its strategy with financial discipline and with integrity.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Zvi Marom our CEO, Mr. Moti Nagar our CFO and our Executive Team for their efforts. Many thanks to my Board colleagues for their considerable contribution. We all appreciate the dedication, skills and professionalism of our employees all over the globe.
Mostly, I would like to thank our loyal shareholders for their ongoing support.
We all are committed to creating substantial value for our shareholders. BATM Group is well positioned to benefit from growing markets, and I look forward to reporting on our progress.
Dr. Gideon Chitayat
30 April 2018
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