Neckarsulm, 11 November 2020 – Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the persisting uncertainties, Bechtle AG continued to grow in the third quarter of 2020. From July to September 2020, the revenue went up 7.4 per cent to €1.4 billion. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased 25.7 per cent to €73.3 million. Earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to €71.7 million, and the EBT margin improved from 4.5 to 5.2 per cent. As of 30 September 2020, Bechtle had a total of 12,055 employees, 809 or 7.2 per cent more than in the prior year.
“We are extremely pleased with the performance in the third quarter. The revenue growth again reached high single-digit figures, and the earnings performance was much better than expected. Bechtle is very competitive, and our business model has proved to be highly crisis-resistant,” explains Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
System House & Managed Services Maintain High Growth Level
As in the prior quarters, the IT System House & Managed Services segment again recorded strong revenue growth, with an increase of 9.7 per cent to €917.9 million. At 24.3 per cent, the growth was especially strong in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany, the revenue growth amounted to 7.3 per cent. Both the project business with modern workplace solutions as well as the business with multi cloud architectures delivered profitable growth. Bechtle generated further positive business impulses from its portfolio of IT infrastructure services and security services. For these reasons and due to cost savings as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, EBIT in the third quarter of 2020 increased 24.9 per cent to €50.0 million, and the EBIT margin improved from 4.8 to 5.5 per cent.
IT-E-Commerce Records Significant Improvement
The IT E-Commerce segment recorded revenue growth of 3.1 per cent, following a decline of 6.6 per cent in the prior quarter. The revenue of the domestic companies surged by 23.0 per cent, especially due to the strong demand of public sector clients. Outside Germany, the effects and measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic were felt more severely, resulting in a revenue drop of 1.4 per cent. EBIT in this segment increased 27.3 per cent to €23.3 million, mainly due to the profitable product mix. The margin went up from 4.2 to 5.1 per cent.
Cash Flow Performs Very Well
In the period from January to September 2020, the cash flow from operating activities underwent a substantial increase to €172.1 million (prior year: €38.7 million). This was due to factors such as the significant reduction of trade receivables. At the same time, the working capital also performed well, undergoing a decline of 4.9 per cent compared to the end of the year. The total liquidity increased to a comfortable amount of €330.9 million.
Forecast for 2020 Corrected Upwards
So far, Bechtle has done extremely well despite the difficult circumstances. “2020 is not over yet. The months of November and December are usually of great significance to our business performance. Nevertheless, we are confident that we will reach our goals for 2020 despite the great uncertainty and the risks that still exist in the supply chain,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz. Against the backdrop of the positive performance in the year to date, Bechtle has decided to concretise and step up its forecast for the year as a whole. The Executive Board still expects significant revenue growth of 5 to 10 per cent. However, EBT are now projected to achieve very significant growth of more than 10 per cent. The EBT margin, too, is expected to be higher in 2020 than in the prior year.
Bechtle KPIs for the Third Quarter and Nine-Month Period of 2020
IT System House
IT System House
Earnings after taxes
Earnings per share
Cash flow from operating activities
Employees (as of 30 September)
1including time deposits and securities
The quarterly statement for the third quarter of 2020 is available for download at bechtle.com/reports.