Neckarsulm, 11 May 2021 – The first months of 2021 have seen a continuation of Bechtle AG's upward trajectory. In the first quarter of 2021, the IT company was able to step up its revenue by 11.4 per cent to €1,510.2 million despite the ongoing difficult conditions. Earnings before taxes (EBT) underwent disproportionately high growth of 19.5 per cent to €61.0 million. The EBT margin thus improved to 4.0 per cent. As of 31 March 2021, Bechtle had 12,306 employees, a year-on-year increase of 538.
The revenue growth amounted to 12.4 per cent in Germany and to the very high level of 9.8 per cent at our locations abroad. Organic growth in the group’s revenue amounted to 10.4 per cent. “We made a very strong start to the year. We were pleased to see that the growth was again broadly supported by the various regions, segments and customer groups”, explains Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
Above-Average Earnings Growth in System House Business
In the IT System House & Managed Services segment, Bechtle increased its revenue in the first three months of 2021 by 13.1 per cent to €971.3 million. The organic growth rate was 11.4 per cent. The demand in the areas strategically expanded by Bechtle – such as modern workplace, IT security and multi-cloud solutions – remained very high. EBIT went up 26.4 per cent to €41.1 million. The EBIT margin rose from 3.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent. As well as cost savings made as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this was also due to the higher efficiency achieved in the performance of services.
E-Commerce Especially Strong in Germany
In the IT E-Commerce segment, the revenue in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 8.5 per cent to €538.9 million. At 19.8 per cent, growth in Germany was particularly strong. One of the factors that contributed to this development was the high public-sector demand, especially in the field of education. Outside Germany, the revenue increased by 5.7 per cent, driven by the strong performance in France, Belgium and Austria. EBIT went up by 4.6 per cent to €21.1 million. The margin underwent a slight decline from 4.1 per cent to 3.9 per cent. This was due to the disproportionately high increase in material costs.
Cash Positions Up
In the first quarter of 2021, Bechtle AG’s cash flow from operating activities largely reached the same high level as in the prior year. This item amounted to €20.6 million (prior year: 23.5 million). The free cash flow went up from €7.8 million to €11.8 million. As of the reporting date, the total liquidity was at a very comfortable level of €404.8 million.
Bechtle is optimistic about the rest of the year and confirms its forecast of a significant revenue and earnings increase along with a stable EBT margin. “Our business model has proved successful despite the uncertainties we are currently facing. However, the performance in the remaining part of the year will be greatly impacted by the ongoing supply shortage in the IT market and the development of the pandemic. The situation has seldom been as unpredictable as it is at the moment. Starting from the second quarter, our earnings will also be competing with the high reference figures of the prior year. Nevertheless, we stick to our generally positive outlook”, says Dr. Thomas Olemotz.
Bechtle KPIs for the First Quarter of 2021
IT System House
IT System House
Earnings after taxes
Earnings per Share
Cash flow from operating activities
Employees (as of 31.03.)
* Including time deposits and securities
1 Prior year adjusted