Neckarsulm, 12 August 2020 – Despite very difficult conditions in the second quarter, Bechtle AG continued to grow. From April to June 2020, revenue increased 3.9 per cent to €1.3 billion. Meanwhile, the operating income (EBIT) improved by 4.3 per cent to €59.5 million. Pre-tax profit (EBT) amounts to €58.1 million, while the EBT margin remained at the prior-year level of 4.4 per cent. As of 30 June 2020, Bechtle had a total of 11,955 employees, 1,040 or 9.5 per cent more than the prior year.
On a regional level, growth in Germany, Switzerland and Austria was particularly strong. Between April and June 2020, the Bechtle Group saw organic growth of 2.4 per cent. “The fact that we were able to continue growing during a quarter when the economy as a whole shrank by more than 10 per cent is a major success. This positive development not only highlights the major importance of IT in general, but also for the competitiveness of Bechtle’s business model. In difficult times in particular, customers value our high level of competence, our broad portfolio, our financial solidity and our reliability,” explains Dr Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Board at Bechtle AG.
System House & Managed Services sees particularly strong growth
In the IT System House & Managed Services segment, revenue increased 9.7 per cent to €893.9 million. The companies in Austria and Switzerland were even able to grow by 33.1 per cent thanks to strong demand from public authorities. Domestic growth amounted to 6.1 per cent. Operating income climbed 17.2 per cent to €40.2 million in the second quarter of 2020, while the EBIT margin rose from 4.2 per cent to 4.5 per cent.
International markets challenging
Due to its international orientation, the IT E-Commerce segment was impacted much more severely by the COVID-19 pandemic. Outside of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, state measures aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic were much more restrictive, with many countries finding themselves in complete lockdown for prolonged periods. As a result, the Bechtle businesses there faced challenging times economically, and the segment revenue in the second quarter of 2020 subsequently fell 6.6 per cent to €416.6 million. Domestic sales were around the same level as the previous year. The EBIT fell 15.0 per cent to €19.4 million, and the margin declined from 5.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent.
High liquidity and low capital commitment
During the first six months of 2020, operating cash flow developed very positively and rose to €39.3 million (previous year: €-14.5 million). The ratio of working capital to revenue also improved, primarily thanks to a sharp decline in trade receivables. At €236.8 million, total liquidity remains at a very comfortable level.
Positive outlook for the year confirmed
During the first six months of the year, Bechtle as a whole proved relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, posting significant growth in revenue and earnings, and thus remained within the target corridor of the planning for 2020 as a whole with regard to these two key indicators. In light of the expectation that conditions will gradually normalise again over the course of the year, Bechtle confirmes the target of at least 5 per cent growth in revenue and earnings published in March. “Once more, the pandemic has revealed the great importance of information technology. The demand for IT infrastructure and IT services remains strong, even and indeed particularly in times of Corona. Provided there will be no second wave, we remain optimistic about the rest of the year,” says Dr Thomas Olemotz.
Bechtle KPIs for the second quarter and first half of 2020
IT System House
IT System House
Earnings after taxes
Earnings per share
Cash flow from operating activities
Number of employees (as of 30.06)
* Including time deposits and securities