EVRY delivered organic top-line growth in accordance with our plan. The utilisation rate for the company’s consultants was good, and a range of significant agreements were entered into with customers throughout the year. At the same time, we implemented a number of structural changes in order to reposition the company.
We are pleased that revenue has increased and that we have reported organic revenue growth for the last six quarters. There is continuous downward pressure on prices for infrastructure services and we are focusing to a greater extent on consulting and application services, areas in which we will see the strongest growth in the years ahead. The feedback we received following the capital markets day in November was positive. Investors can see that our transformation of the company has come a long way and that we are now well-equipped for profitable growth. Our restructuring costs were significantly lower in 2018 than in 2017, and we expect them to decrease further in 2019.
All in all, EVRY delivered a solid year. The EVRY Financial Services business area generated strong numbers and in 2018 we succeeded in internationalising our new core banking and payment solutions, including through a comprehensive agreement with Handelsbanken in Finland. We also entered into strategic agreements to manage ATMs for major banks in the Netherlands and Sweden.
The EVRY Norway business area also performed well. We maintained our position as market leader and entered into a number of exciting contracts in focus areas such as robotics, artificial intelligence and analytics. EVRY Sweden is encountering strong competition, with big international IT companies and local competitors strongly present in the market. At the same time, the battle for talented tech employees is becoming more competitive. Digital expertise is in strong demand from both our competitors and our customers, and this is affecting our results in Sweden in 2018. We are therefore working in a targeted way on retaining our employees and on recruiting the expertise we need to meet our customers’ future needs.
“EVRY has reported organic revenue growth for the last six quarters, and in 2018 it continued its shift to more profitable services.”
EVRY was listed on the Oslo stock exchange for the entirety of 2018 and throughout this period the company demonstrated to investors that it is achieving growth. We are reporting total operating revenue for 2018 of NOK 12 912 million, compared with NOK 12 596 million in 2017. This represents organic growth of 3.0 percent relative to 2017. We have a target of achieving a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 3 percent in the period through to 2022.
EVRY improved its profitability in 2018 and has a stable double-digit margin. Adjusted EBITA increased from NOK 1 569 million in 2017 to NOK 1 582 million in 2018. This gives an adjusted EBITA margin of 12.3 percent, compared to 12.5 percent in 2017.
Cash is an important priority for EVRY, and the company is making good progress on cash flow. Free cash flow for 2018 was close to NOK 1 billion as compared to NOK 913 million in 2017.
EVRY is committed to being a business partner for digital transformation and we are working on shifting our focus from transaction-based IT services to value based services that offer greater profitability. We have made excitingly good progress on this journey, which will continue in 2019.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)