EQS-News: Bechtle continues to grow much faster than the market in 2022EQS
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EQS-News: Bechtle AG
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Bechtle continues to grow much faster than the market in 2022
Neckarsulm, 17 March 2023 – For Bechtle AG, 2022 was another record year. The business volume increased by 16.6 per cent to €7,285.7 million. Bechtle thus again outperformed the market significantly despite the difficult economic framework conditions. Revenue underwent a very substantial increase of 13.6 per cent to €6,028.2 million. Bechtle was able to step up its earnings before taxes (EBT) by 9.4 per cent to €350.5 million. At 5.8 per cent, the EBT margin was almost at the same level as in the prior year (6.0 per cent). As of 31 December 2022, Bechtle had 14,046 employees, which is 1,166 more than in the prior year.
In 2022, the Bechtle Group recorded two-digit revenue growth in all regions and in both segments. The performance of the international companies was especially strong, partly due to acquisitions. The organic growth rate of 11.7 per cent shows that Bechtle was able to generate most of the revenue under its own steam. “Despite the extremely difficult times, we can look back at another successful year. Once again, this demonstrates that even under difficult framework conditions, our business model is a reliable basis for profitable growth,” explains Dr Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
Substantial revenue growth in the System House segment
In the IT System House & Managed Services segment, revenue climbed by 14.2 per cent to €3,878.2 million in 2022. Abroad, revenue went up by an outstanding 33.0 per cent, not least thanks to acquisitions. In the reporting period, we also concluded a number of promising framework agreements and were able to expand the business with large multinational customers. In this area, we benefited from the fact that we had set up and expanded central units with an international focus at an early stage. Our multi-cloud business performance was also very good. In this segment, we increased our EBIT by 7.0 per cent to €227.0 million. Due to higher vehicle and travel expenses, earnings were under pressure in the reporting period. Nevertheless, at 5.9 per cent, the EBIT margin was still excellent, after 6.3 per cent in the prior year.
E-Commerce reports strong margin
In the IT E-Commerce segment, Bechtle increased its revenue by a total of 12.5 per cent to €2,150.0 million. The growth was largely balanced in the individual national markets. Particularly strong impulses came from Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. Due to the lower cost pressure compared to the other segment and very lean and efficient processes, earnings saw disproportionately high growth of 13.1 per cent to €128.4 million. Accordingly, the margin improved from 5.9 per cent in the prior year to 6.0 per cent in the reporting period.
International acquisition strategy
In the reporting period, Bechtle finalised three acquisitions, thereby noticeably expanding its international foothold. For the first time, service providers outside Germany, Austria and Switzerland have joined the Bechtle Group, namely in the Netherlands and in the United Kingdom. This year, Bechtle is set to continue to roll out its internationally focused acquisition strategy. On 16 March, for example, we reported the acquisition of another IT company in London. Furthermore, our acquisition strategy continues to focus on France and Spain.
Very positive cash flow from operating activities
The cash flow from operating activities in the reporting period amounted to €116.7 million (prior year: €284.5 million). Significant improvements were achieved in the course of the year especially with regard to inventories and trade payables. Performance in the fourth quarter was outstanding, with a cash flow of €347.4 million from operating activities. At €289.6 million, liquidity is at a very comfortable level for financing further growth as well as acquisitions.
Thirteenth dividend increase in a row
In view of the very strong business performance, the comfortable liquidity situation and especially as a sign of confidence with regard to future development, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of Bechtle AG propose a dividend increase to €0.65 per share. This would mean a disproportionately high year-on-year increase of 18.2 per cent (prior year: €0.55 per share) and would represent the 13th increase in a row. Measured on the basis of the consolidated earnings after taxes, the dividend payout ratio would thus amount to 32.6 per cent (prior year: 29.9 per cent).
Headcount exceeds 14,000 for the first time
As of 31 December 2022, Bechtle had 14,046 employees: 1,166 more than in the prior year. A record figure of 244 apprentices and students on integrated degree programmes who joined Bechtle in the reporting period furnishes evidence of how attractive we are as an employer. Under the “Future in IT” programme, Bechtle offers career shifters a specially developed qualification programme, including for IT sales and various technical areas. These measures help us to actively counter the shortage of qualified staff.
Challenging 2023 fiscal year
Despite slight improvements in the forecasts for macroeconomic development in 2023, the expected growth rates are still low and uncertainties remain high. Moreover, the difficulties in supply chains are still impacting the development of the IT market. At the same time, however, customers have become more aware of the need to invest in future-proof IT environments. Therefore, the Executive Board is optimistic with regard to the current fiscal year and again expects Bechtle to deliver above-average business performance despite the challenging framework conditions. In the current fiscal year, revenue and earnings are projected to undergo significant growth, and the EBT margin is to remain at a level similar to that of the prior year. “Our goals for 2023 are ambitious. We expect rising costs, which need to be compensated for. Meanwhile, the digital transformation will continue to move ahead and open up numerous business opportunities for Bechtle. This strengthens our confidence that even in challenging times we will be able to achieve profitable growth,” says Dr Thomas Olemotz.
Bechtle KPIs 2022
* Including time deposits and securities
The integrated Annual Report 2022 is available for download under bechtle.com/reports.
With more than 85 IT system houses and IT e-commerce companies in 14 countries, Bechtle is close to its customers and one of Europe’s leading IT companies. Moreover, Bechtle boasts a worldwide network of partners that caters to the needs of customers that operate around the globe.
Founded in 1983, the Bechtle Group is headquartered in Neckarsulm, Germany, and currently has more than 14,000 employees. Bechtle accompanies its 70,000+ customers from the fields of industry and trade, the public sector and the financial market in their digital transformation and offers a comprehensive, cross-vendor portfolio of IT infrastructure and IT operation solutions. Bechtle is listed on the MDAX and TecDAX indexes. In 2022, its revenue amounted to €6.03 billion. For more information, see bechtle.com
17.03.2023 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
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1584653 17.03.2023 CET/CEST