Neckarsulm, 15 March 2012 – In the fiscal year 2011, Bechtle AG generated record revenues of 2 billion euros. Revenues increased by 15.8 per cent from 1,722.9 million euros in the prior year to 1,994.8 million euros in the reporting period. EBT climbed by 39.7 per cent to 86.3 million euros. Compared to the industry average, the EBT margin reached an excellent 4.3 per cent (prior year: 3.6 per cent). Earnings per share increased by 35.1 per cent to 2.99 euros, compared to 2.21 euros in the prior year. In line with the positive business performance, the dividend, too, is to be increased substantially from 0.75 euros in the prior year to 1.00 euro for the fiscal year 2011.
"For us, 2011 was an excellent year. We not only reached our ambitious revenue target, we also managed to boost our earnings at a disproportionately high rate despite extensive investments in the future – a truly remarkable teamwork feat by Bechtle's 5,500 employees," says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
Qualifications in system house segment are bearing fruit.
In 2011, the group generated revenues of 1,315.7 million euros (prior year: 1,151.1 million euros) in the IT system house & managed services segment, an increase of 14.3 per cent. The segment benefited from the sound economic development, which had a positive impact on the product and solution business. Moreover, the good competitive position, the extensive qualification measures and the productivity increase yielded positive results. Organically, the revenue in this segment amounted to 1,265.0 million euros, 9.9 per cent more than in the prior year. The segment EBIT increased by 39.2 per cent to 49.9 million euros (prior year: 35.9 million euros). Thus, the prior-year figure was greatly exceeded. This was mainly due to the higher gross profit. Accordingly, the EBIT margin improved from 3.1 per cent to 3.8 per cent.
Excellent profitability in trading business.
In 2011, the revenue in the IT e-commerce segment increased by 18.8 per cent to 679.2 million euros (prior year: 571.8 million euros), a result obtained exclusively from organic growth. All international subsidiaries contributed to this development. Apart from the high willingness to invest, this was possible especially due to the sales staff qualification measures. In the segment, Bechtle generated EBIT of 36.5 million euros, 46.8 per cent more than in the prior year (24.9 million euros). In the reporting period, the EBIT margin in the trading segment improved greatly and amounted to an extraordinary 5.4 per cent, compared to 4.4 per cent in the prior year.
High return on equity.
The balance sheet figures of the Bechtle Group point to a solid assets position and financial structure. Cash and cash equivalents including time deposits and securities increased by 9.0 per cent from 129.8 million euros to 141.5 million euros. In the reporting period, the equity increased by 12.8 per cent from 371.5 million euros to 419.0 million euros. Due to the extensive investments, the equity ratio dropped from 56.8 per cent to 52.2 per cent in the reporting period. However, due to the higher earnings after taxes, the return on equity improved to 17.3 per cent (prior year: 14.2 per cent). Compared to the prior year, the cash flow from operating activities declined slightly by 5.6 per cent from 59.1 million euros to 55.8 million euros.
Attractive dividend increase.
In view of the record earnings and the company's excellent liquidity situation, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board propose to the Annual General Meeting to increase the dividend by 0.10 euros to 0.85 euros per share and a one-time special dividend of 0.15 euros. This represents a total dividend increase of 33.3 per cent and a dividend payout ratio of 33.5 per cent. In relation to the annual closing price, the dividend yield is 3.8 per cent (prior year: 2.6 per cent).
Significant increase in number of employees.
As of 31 December 2011, the Bechtle Group had a total of 5,479 employees. Compared to the prior year with 4,766 employees, the headcount increased by 713 persons. The increase resulted from acquisitions as well as new recruitment. As of the end of the year, Bechtle had 4,065 employees in Germany. All in all, this means 594 people more than in the prior year (3,471 employees). The workforce in other countries increased from 1,295 to 1,414. In the IT system house & managed services segment, the number of employees increased to 4,305, compared to 3,763 in the prior year. The number of employees in the IT e-commerce segment amounted to 1,174 (prior year: 1,003).
Optimistic outlook for 2012.
In view of the sound economic situation and the outstanding competitive position of Bechtle AG, the Executive Board expects the business performance to be successful and above the industry average in this year, too. Acquisitions will remain an element of the growth strategy in the IT system house & managed services segment in order to build an even tighter network of regional service units and to enhance our technological expertise. In IT e-commerce, besides the establishment of the existing markets the Executive Board mainly focuses on organic growth. Following the current launch in Hungary, other market launches are planned for the years to come.
"We have got the new fiscal year off to a good start and are confident that we will be able to keep Bechtle AG on its profitable growth path in 2012," explains Dr. Thomas Olemotz.