Bechtle AG

  • WKN: 515870
  • ISIN: DE0005158703
  • Land: Germany

Nachricht vom 19.03.2021 | 10:15

Bechtle continues to grow

DGAP-News: Bechtle AG / Key word(s): Annual Results/Annual Report
19.03.2021 / 10:15
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Bechtle continues to grow

- Revenue grows 8.3 per cent to €5.82 billion

- EBT increases by 14.6 per cent

- Dividend set to increase to €1.35

- Positive outlook for 2021


Neckarsulm, 19 March 2021 - Despite the difficult general economic conditions in the financial year 2020, Bechtle AG set new records. Revenue grew 8.3 per cent to €5,819.2 million. Earnings before taxes (EBT) increased 14.6 per cent to €270.7 million. The EBT margin increased from 4.4 per cent in the previous year to 4.7 per cent. At the same time, year-end liquidity and cash flow recorded new records. Bechtle also reported positive developments with respect to staff numbers: As of 31 December, 12,180 people were employed at Bechtle, which is 693 more than in the previous year.

Organic sales growth amounted to 7.1 per cent. One of the key drivers was the public sector. Revenues in this customer segment exceeded the €2 billion mark for the first time ever in 2020. However, across the Group, development in the regions and segments varied considerably. Outside the DACH region in particular, measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic were more restrictive in many countries, which took its toll on the regional Bechtle companies. "Our very pleasing growth in the past year is, on the one hand, an expression of our robust business model, but it is also the result of the outstanding work, great drive for success and solution focus of our employees," says Dr Thomas Olemotz, CEO of Bechtle AG. To honour the extraordinary performance of staff, the Board has decided to pay all employees throughout the Group a bonus of €500.

System House business sees double-digit growth
The IT System House & Managed Services segment saw double-digit growth in 2020 as it increased revenue 10.9 per cent to €3,863.6 million. Organic growth amounted to 9.1 per cent. The companies in Austria and Switzerland performed particularly strongly with growth of 22.8 per cent. Domestically, the growth rate was in the high single-digit percentage range at 8.9 per cent. The most pressing needs of customers from industry and the public sector as a result of the pandemic particularly affected the strategically important areas of Modern Workplace and IT Security, as well as Multi-Cloud Solutions, which Bechtle has expanded considerably in recent years. Thanks to its broad range of expertise, decentralised structure, customer proximity and close contacts with vendors, Bechtle was able to position itself very successfully here. EBIT increased 19.8 per cent to €179.5 million. The EBIT margin increased from 4.3 per cent to 4.6 per cent.

E-Commerce has a high margin
The IT E-Commerce segment increased its revenue in 2020 3.5 per cent to €1,955.7 million. In the reporting year, Germany was less heavily affected by the pandemic than other European countries. For that reason, domestic companies performed considerably better. Their revenue increased 17.0 per cent to €415.9 million. In other countries, companies recorded a growth rate of 0.4 per cent. However, following an extremely challenging second quarter of 2020, all companies were able to catch up in the two subsequent quarters and achieve their goals. EBIT in the segment increased 6.5 per cent to €97.5 million. The margin improved from 4.8 per cent to 5.0 per cent.

Strong increase in cash flow and liquidity
In 2020, Bechtle continued to successfully implement measures for optimising cash flow and working capital. This is a huge success, in particular given the difficult economic conditions in the reporting year. Working capital increased only 0.8 per cent, a disproportionately low level. In relation to revenue it fell pleasingly from 12.1 per cent to 11.2 per cent. This positive development was also evident in cash flow. As of the balance sheet date, the cash flow from operating activities increased to €316.3 million, and free cash flow is almost €100 million above the previous year's level at €202.9.

Dividend set to increase 12.5 per cent
Due to the excellent results and the extremely comfortable liquidity situation, Bechtle AG is proposing to the General Meeting that the dividend be increased by 12.5 per cent to €1.35 per share. This would be the eleventh increase in succession, evidencing the reliable dividend policy and appropriate involvement of shareholders in the company's success.

The financial year 2021 will be challenging
While the general economic picture is more positive at the start of 2021 than it was in the reporting year, there continues to be great uncertainty in relation to further economic development, both in Germany and in Europe. The continuation of the pandemic and the associated effects on the economic environment cannot be reliably predicted. In addition, the supply situation throughout the IT sector is very strained. Nevertheless, the Executive Board expects the business performance of Bechtle to remain positive and above the industry average. Revenue and results are set to increase considerably, while the EBT margin is expected to stay at the high level of 2020. "Our goals for the current financial year are ambitious. We saw considerable cost savings in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, which are not sustainable to this extent. We are nevertheless optimistic about the current financial year. Bechtle is very well positioned to achieve profitable growth even in economically challenging times," says Dr Thomas Olemotz.

Bechtle key figures 2020

    2020 2019 +/-
Revenue €k 5,819,243 5,374,453 +8.3%
  Domestic €k 3,660,955 3,336,529 +9.7%
  Abroad €k 2,158,288 2,037,924 +5.9%
  IT System House €k 3,863,574 3,485,037 +10.9%
  IT E-Commerce €k 1,955,669 1,889,416 +3.5%
EBIT €k 276,955 241,370 +14.7%
  IT System House €k 179,451 149,832 +19.8%
  IT E-Commerce €k 97,504 91,538 +6.5%
EBIT margin % 4.8 4.5  
EBT €k 270,705 236,320 +14.6%
EBT margin % 4.7 4.4  
Earnings after taxes €k 192,547 170,484 +12.9%
Earnings per share 4.58 4.06 +12.9%
 
    31.12.2020 31.12.2019 +/-
Operational cash flow €k 316,254 185,973 +70.1%
Liquidity* €k 403,173 272,197 +48.1%
Equity ratio % 43.2 42.4  
Employees   12,180 11,487 +6.0%
 

* incl. capital and security investments

***

The 2020 Annual Report can be downloaded at bechtle.com/reports. We also publish a Sustainability Report simultaneously at bechtle.com/sustainability.


About Bechtle:
Bechtle AG has about 80 IT system houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. With 24 e-commerce companies in 14 countries, Bechtle is one of Europe's leading online IT enterprises.. Founded in 1983, the group, which has its headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany, currently has over 12,000 employees. Bechtle offers its 70,000+ customers from the fields of industry and trade, the public sector and the financial market a comprehensive, cross-vendor portfolio of IT infrastructure and IT operation solutions. Bechtle is listed in the MDAX and TecDAX indexes. In 2020, the company's revenue amounted to about €5.82 billion. More at: 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


19.03.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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