adesso SE increases sales by 28 % to EUR 412.1 million in the first half of 2022 / EBITDA of EUR 38.1 million at previous year’s level before non-recurring effect from sale of company
/ Full-year sales forecast raised
In its 2022 half-year report, published today, adesso SE has confirmed most of its preliminary figures from the end of July. The adesso Group was able to increase sales in the first half of 2022 by 28 % year on year to EUR 412.1 million, exceeding expectations by a considerable margin. The IT consulting and software development company benefited from strong employee growth in previous periods and ongoing high demand in the IT services and digital transformation sector. The companies acquired during the past 12 months contributed 7 percentage points of inorganic growth. With organic growth of more than 21 %, adesso again successfully exceeded its target of outperforming market growth organically by at least a factor of two and increased its market share. In the previous year, EBITDA was positively influenced by a strong non-recurring effect from the sale of a subsidiary. At EUR 38.1 million, however, adesso was able to match the previous year’s level in 2022 after adjusting for this effect. With the lowest number of working days in the second quarter, the announcement of investments in more in-person events and further licence sales with in|sure Ecosphere not expected until the second half of the year, the EBITDA margin after six months stands at 9.3 %. Buoyed by the expectation of higher capacity utilisation with four additional working days in the second half of the year, as well as good opportunities for further licence sales, the Executive Board reaffirms its full-year margin predictions of 11 % to 12 %. The estimated annual sales corridor has been increased by EUR 50 million to between EUR 800 and 850 million.
As expected, the second quarter of 2022 was weaker due to fewer working days and an anticipated lower capacity utilisation rate due to more in-person events following the marked effects of remote working during the pandemic. While the stronger first quarter of 2022 generated EUR 209.8 million in sales with EBITDA of EUR 27.9 million, the second quarter of the year brought EUR 202.4 million in sales (previous year: EUR 159.2 million) and an EBITDA contribution of EUR 10.3 million (previous year: EUR 19.8 million). The second quarter of the previous year had seen strong license sales involving in|sure Ecosphere. The volume generated in the first half of 2022 through licences and maintenance was also below the value of the first half of 2021 overall, and no further significant licence sales are on the horizon until the second half of 2022. The high demand for digitalisation services led to significant, sometimes double-digit growth in almost all sectors served by adesso. The insurance sector has not yet returned to growth after the second quarter, partly due to lower licence sales compared to the previous year, and recorded a small drop of 2 % to EUR 61.3 million. The public administration sector almost doubled its revenue to EUR 70.8 million.
The adesso national subsidiary in Germany again recorded the largest increase in sales in absolute terms. Overall, business in Germany saw disproportionately strong growth of 30 %. Sales involving customers abroad increased by 18 %. Through acquisition and change of name, subsidiaries in Sweden and Denmark were added to the relatively new subsidiaries and branch offices in Finland and Italy during the first half of the year. The Romanian adesso subsidiary had already added a further delivery site to the company’s network last July. As at the reporting date, adesso employed 1,205 staff abroad, a good 20 % more than on 31 December 2021. The total number of employees jumped sharply by 28 % to 6,811 full-time equivalents as at the reporting date, in line with the increase in sales. This translates to 7,539 employees in absolute terms.
Total operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of the adesso Group came to EUR 38.1 million in the first half of 2022, down 31 % on the previous year’s figure. Excluding the positive non-recurring effect of EUR 17.7 million from the sale of the e-Spirit Group seen in the first half of 2021, earnings matched the previous year’s level. The adjusted EBITDA margin fell from 11.8 % to 9.3 %. While the decline in profitability is partly the result of even lower licence and maintenance revenues in the first half of 2022, it is mainly attributable to lower capacity utilisation and booking intensity during the second quarter in the face of a sharp rise in other operating expenses due to investments in more in-person events that have already been planned and announced as the company transitions to a new, post-pandemic working model. The move strengthens adesso’s own position as the best employer in Germany and boosts its recruiting efforts in a growth market that still suffers from a shortage of skilled workers. Other operating expenses rose at a significantly higher rate than sales, climbing by 80 % to EUR 51.2 million. At EUR 7.7 million, the largest item here is the cost of recruitment, which rose by 69 % compared to the previous year. As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to recede, travel costs rose sharply by 231 % to EUR 4.3 million in the first half of 2022. The above-mentioned expenses in connection with more in-person events, conversion projects in IT infrastructure and marketing costs contributed to the rise.
The cost of materials, which primarily related to services from external providers purchased within the scope of customer projects, increased significantly more sharply than sales, rising by 73 % year on year to EUR 63.1 million and standing at 15 % of sales. Due to fast growth, adesso continues to use external services. As a result, gross profit increased by 22 %, which is 6 percentage points lower than the increase in sales. Personnel costs kept pace with gross profit, rising sharply by 23 %, while personnel costs per employee declined by a margin-boosting 3 %. Other operating income fell by 39 % to EUR 13.2 million due to the sale of the e-Spirit Group in the previous year.
Depreciation and amortisation rose by 29 % compared to the previous year, mainly due to higher depreciation and amortisation of rights of use from rental and leasing relationships and of intangible assets recognised in the course of mergers. Pre-tax profit amounted to EUR 13.9 million (previous year: EUR 37.7 million), and earnings per share came to EUR 1.63 (previous year: EUR 4.90; previous year before non-recurring effect: EUR 2.09).
Additional figures and information
Liquid assets stood at EUR 37.8 million as at the reporting date (31 December 2021: EUR 109.9 million; 30 June 2021: EUR 29.4 million). The decline in the first half of the year corresponds in structural terms to the development of liquidity in previous years and primarily resulted from the scheduled payment of variable salary components for the previous year, the dividend payment and purchase price payments for company acquisitions.
Trade receivables and contract assets increased at a slightly slower pace than sales, rising a total of 25 % year on year, or EUR 43.4 million, to stand at EUR 213.7 million. By contrast, trade payables and contract liabilities climbed by 43 %. As a result, working capital increased less sharply than sales by 21 % to EUR 166.3 million.
In the first half of 2022, financial liabilities increased by a total of EUR 1.6 million to EUR 80.5 million, slightly above the level of 31 December 2021, due to ongoing repayments and new loans being taken out. Net liquidity stood at EUR -42.7 million as at the reporting date due to typical liquidity development in the first half of the year (31 December 2021: EUR -31.0 million; 30 June 2021: EUR -59.6 million).
Even though the macroeconomic prospects for 2022 and 2023 in adesso’s most important sales markets look noticeably bleaker in some cases from the second quarter of 2022 onwards, the latest projections from Bitkom indicate that the sector-specific framework conditions have changed comparatively little, giving grounds for optimism moving forward. Strong growth for 2022 and 2023 is anticipated in Germany and around the world in the software and IT services segments, both of which are particularly relevant for adesso. Given the sharp rise in sales during the first half of the year and the higher number of working days in the second half of the year, which is especially relevant for the IT services business, adesso is likely to continue benefiting from such developments. Profitability, which was impacted in the second quarter as described, is likely to climb again due to higher expected capacity utilisation and booking intensity in the second half of the year, as well as significant additional licence revenues. Overall, the strong sales growth already seen in the first half of the year is expected to continue, especially as the economic situation, which could generally be described as challenging, has caused projects to be postponed only in exceptional circumstances. Based on its planning for the rest of the year, the Executive Board has therefore revised its full-year sales guidance upwards to EUR 800 to 850 million (previously EUR 750 to 800 million), reaffirming the EBITDA forecast of EUR 90 million to EUR 95 million and an EBITDA margin of 11 % to 12 %.
The complete half-year report and a tabular overview of key figures are available in the Investor Relations section of the adesso website at www.adesso-group.de/en/.
With more than 6,800 employees and expected annual sales of more than EUR 800 million in 2022, adesso Group is one of the largest German IT service providers with outstanding growth opportunities. At its own locations in Germany, other locations in Europe and Turkey as well as at numerous local customers adesso offers consulting and software development services for optimising core business processes. adesso also offers ready-to-use software products for standard applications. The development of an own, indus-try-specific product portfolio opens up additional growth and earnings opportunities and is another key ele-ment of the adesso strategy. In 2020, adesso was awarded the title of the best employer of its size in Germany across all industries. After having already achieved first place among IT employ-ers in 2016 and 2018, adesso was ranked first again in 2020.Contact:
Manager Investor Relations
Tel.: +49 231 7000-7000
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