Neckarsulm, 12 August 2021 – Bechtle AG completed the second quarter of the 2021 fiscal year with very strong figures. Despite the global supply bottlenecks in the IT market and the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IT company was able to step up the revenue in the second quarter of 2021 by 9.3 per cent to €1,432.8 million. Earnings before taxes (EBT) underwent disproportionately high growth of 39.8 per cent to €81.2 million. The EBT margin thus improved to an outstanding 5.7 per cent. As of 30 June 2021, Bechtle had 12,421 employees, a year-on-year increase of 466.
EBT also included a positive one-time effect in the amount of €9.5 million. In previous quarters, Bechtle AG had recognised risk provisions, some of which the company was able to reverse in the second quarter. However, even without this effect, EBT would have grown by an excellent 23.5 per cent, with a margin of 5.0 per cent. “Despite the difficult framework conditions, we have continued to propel the business. Customer demand for powerful IT solutions and services remains high throughout all business segments,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
Extremely Positive Earnings Performance in System House Segment
From April to June 2021, Bechtle increased the revenue in the IT System House & Managed Services by 1.2 per cent to €904.3 million. This item was affected by the outstanding business performance in the corresponding prior-year quarter. Moreover, the supply bottlenecks had a more noticeable effect in this segment, especially where large framework agreements were concerned. It is encouraging that Bechtle was able to expand its service share, also driven by the surging demand from industrial customers. EBIT went up 33.3 per cent to €53.6 million. The EBIT margin rose from 4.5 per cent to 5.9 per cent. Without the said one-time effect, EBIT would have grown by 14.8 per cent, and the margin would have increased to 5.1 per cent.
E-Commerce Significantly Above Prior Year
In the second quarter of 2021, the revenue in the IT E-Commerce segment increased by 26.9 per cent to €528.5 million. Almost all companies contributed to this development with significant two-digit growth rates. France – the most prominent national market in this segment – also reported a very strong performance. EBIT climbed 50.1 per cent to €29.1 million. The margin improved from 4.6 per cent to 5.5 per cent. From a purely operational perspective, EBIT went up by 39.4 per cent, with a margin of 5.1 per cent.
Free Cash Flow Undergoes Positive Development
In the first half of 2021, the cash flow from operating activities increased to €47.3 million (prior year: €40.5 million). The free cash flow, too, underwent a positive development, increasing from –€31.6 million to €23.3 million. As of the reporting date, the total liquidity remained at a comfortable level of €286.6 million.
Annual Forecast Increased
Despite the difficult framework conditions in the IT market, Bechtle’s performance in the first six months was very good. From an operating perspective, the revenue, earnings and margin as of the end of the first six months were already above the target corridor of our expectations for the year as a whole. The Executive Board has therefore raised its forecast for the year and now expects a very significant increase in earnings and a higher EBT margin than in the prior year. “Customers’ willingness to invest is high. We can see this from the continuous two-digit increase in our incoming orders. On the other hand, however, we are faced with the known supply bottlenecks, which are likely to continue into the year 2022. Nevertheless, the outlook for Bechtle remains excellent,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz.
Bechtle KPIs for the Second Quarter and First Half of 2021
IT System House
IT System House
Earnings after taxes
Earnings per share
Cash flow from operating activities1
Employees (as of 30 June)
1 Prior year adjusted
* Including time deposits and securities
The half-year report 2021 is available for download at bechtle.com/reports.