EQS-News: Bechtle Stays Locked on to Success: Revenue, Earnings and Cash Flow Increase

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EQS-News: Bechtle AG / Key word(s): Annual Results/Dividend
Bechtle Stays Locked on to Success: Revenue, Earnings and Cash Flow Increase

15.03.2024 / 10:00 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Bechtle Stays Locked on to Success:
Revenue, Earnings and Cash Flow Increase
 

 

  • Business volume up 7.0 per cent to €7.8 billion
  • Revenue climbs 6.5 per cent to €6.4 billion
  • EBT increases 6.8 per cent to €374.5 million
  • EBT margin steady at 5.8 per cent
  • Operating cash flow reaches record level of €459.0 million
  • Dividend to go up to €0.70

 

Neckarsulm, 15 March 2024 – In 2023, Bechtle AG continued to undergo significant growth, as evidenced by its key performance indicators. Despite the continually tense macroeconomic situation, the largest German IT system house managed to increase its business volume by 7.0 per cent to €7,793.6 million. The revenue, too, underwent significant growth of 6.5 per cent to €6,422.7 million. Bechtle was able to step up its earnings before taxes (EBT) by 6.8 per cent to €374.5 million. The EBT margin remained steady at the high prior-year level of 5.8 per cent. As of 31 December 2023, Bechtle had 15,159 employees, a year-on-year increase of 1,113.        

 

By means of a total of seven international and national acquisitions, Bechtle strengthened its market presence in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, France and Germany and expanded its portfolio with attractive future-oriented topics such as artificial intelligence. “Especially in view of the great uncertainty with regard to the further macroeconomic development in Germany, but also in our other European markets, we have performed rather well. The fact that we have again grown faster than the market, thereby gaining market shares, underlines the resilience of our business model”, says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.

 

Digitisation Energises Service Business

The service-oriented IT System House & Managed Services segment performed especially well. Revenue in this segment increased by 13.5 per cent to €4,290.1 million. The organic growth also reached a two-digit rate of 11.7 per cent. High demand was recorded in projects such as those for the design, implementation and operation of multi-cloud architectures as well as related network infrastructure and IT security services. This is also obvious from the earnings. EBIT increased by 14.4 per cent to €259.7 million, and the EBIT margin went up from 6.0 per cent to 6.1 per cent. In 2023, Bechtle especially expanded its business with public-sector clients and large customers that operate at an international scale.       

 

Medium-sized Businesses Reluctant to Invest

Year on year, the revenue in the IT E-Commerce segment dropped by 5.1 per cent to €2,132.7 million. Due to the tense macroeconomic situation throughout the year, especially medium-sized customers postponed projects for the renewal of their conventional IT infrastructure, particularly in the field of workplace equipment. Such deals represent a large chunk of the IT E-Commerce business. EBIT also underwent a slight decline of 4.5 per cent, though at 5.7 per cent, the EBIT margin remained steady at the prior-year level.   

 

Headcount Increase also through Acquisitions

As of 31 December 2023, the headcount at the more than 120 locations throughout Europe had undergone a year-on-year increase of 1,113 persons or 7.9 per cent. 554 people, almost half of the new colleagues, joined Bechtle by way of acquisitions. Without acquisitions, the headcount increase would have amounted to 4.0 per cent. “In the context of the challenging economic framework conditions, we at Bechtle made a deliberate decision to limit new recruitment to moderate levels. However, this expressly does not apply to our commitment to training”, says Dr. Thomas Olemotz. Bechtle has always focused on training young people. As of 31 December 2023, the number of trainees amounted to 842, and the training ratio in Germany went up from 6.6 per cent in the prior year to 6.8 per cent in the year under review.      

 

Operating Cash Flow Greatly Improved

In the 2023 fiscal year, the cash flow from operating activities amounted to €459.0 million (prior year: €116.7 million), a remarkable increase that brought the figure to a new record. Bechtle achieved significant improvements, especially with regard to trade receivables, but also in terms of the reduction of inventories. Despite the higher outflow for acquisitions, the free cash flow reached a figure of €151.2 million, a very positive development.   

 

Fourteenth Dividend Increase in a Row

Since its IPO, Bechtle has been pursuing a dividend policy focused on continuity and reliability. Against this backdrop, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board propose to the Annual General Meeting to increase the dividend to €0.70 per share. This would mean a year-on-year increase of 7.7 per cent (€0.65 per share) and would represent the 14th increase in a row. Measured on the basis of the consolidated earnings after taxes, the dividend payout ratio would thus amount to 33.2 per cent (prior year: 32.6 per cent).

 

Positive Outlook in Challenging Times

At the start of the year, the forecasts for the macroeconomic performance in 2024 deteriorated. Economic uncertainties remain high. However, the prospects of the IT market are slightly better. For example, the industry association Bitkom predicts growth of 6.1 per cent for Germany. For one thing, technological advancements are promoting investments in digitisation. Moreover, IT replacement investments cannot be postponed indefinitely. Therefore, the Executive Board of Bechtle AG is optimistic and again expects the company to deliver above-market business performance in 2024 despite the challenging framework conditions. The business volume, revenue and earnings are expected to undergo a significant increase, and the EBT margin is to remain at a level similar to that of the prior year. “The economic tension at the beginning of 2024 is very obvious. However, we are confident that the macroeconomic situation will gradually improve in the course of the year, especially in the second half of the year. This is also likely to result in increased willingness on the part of our medium-sized customers to invest. More than once, we have furnished evidence of our ability to achieve profitable growth even in challenging times”, says Dr. Thomas Olemotz.         

 

Bechtle KPIs 2023 Fiscal Year

 

    2023 2022 +/-
Business volume €k 7,793,647 7,285,700 +7.0%
Revenue €k 6,422,743 6,028,175 +6.5%
  Germany  €k 3,996,199 3,731,733 +7.1%
  International  €k 2,426,544 2,296,442 +5.7%
  IT System House &
  Managed Services 
€k 4,290,080 3,780,3481 +13.5%
  IT E-Commerce  €k 2,132,663 2,247,8271 -5.1%
EBIT €k 382,296 355,425 +7.6%
  IT System House &
  Managed Services 
€k 259,713 227,038 +14.4%
  IT E-Commerce  €k 122,583 128,387 -4.5%
EBIT margin % 6.0 5.9  
EBT €k 374,477 350,487 +6.8%
EBT margin % 5.8 5.8  
Earnings after taxes €k 265,512 251,118 +5.7%
Basic earnings
per share
2.11 1.99 +5.7%

1 Figures adjusted

 

    31.12.2023 31.12.2022 +/-
Cash flow from operating activities €k 459,031 116,651  
Liquidity2 €k 465,756 289,590 +60.8%
Equity ratio % 45.8 44.6  
Employees   15,159 14,046 +7.9%

2 Including time deposits and securities

***

The integrated Annual Report 2023 is available for download under bechtle.com/reports.

Moreover, you can find the Annual Report online at reports.bechtle.com/annual-report/2023.

 

About Bechtle:

A leading IT enterprise in Europe, Bechtle is close to its customers with more than 100 IT system houses as well as IT E-Commerce companies in 14 countries. 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 15,000 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 in the MDAX and TecDAX indexes. In 2023, its revenue amounted to €6.42 billion. For more information, see bechtle.com.   

 

Contact

Investor Relations Corporate Communications/Press
Martin Link Sabine Brand
martin.link@bechtle.com sabine.brand@bechtle.com
Tel: +49 7132 981-4149 Tel: +49 7132 981-4115

 



15.03.2024 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Language: English
Company: Bechtle AG
Bechtle Platz 1
74172 Neckarsulm
Germany
Phone: +49 7132 981-0
Fax: +49 7132 981-8000
E-mail: ir@bechtle.com
Internet: bechtle.com
ISIN: DE0005158703
WKN: 515870
Indices: MDAX, TecDAX
Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange
EQS News ID: 1859047

 
End of News EQS News Service

1859047  15.03.2024 CET/CEST

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