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2009 results eclipse market expectation by wide margin.

Ad hoc announcement

Neckarsulm, 28 January 2010 — Preliminary figures for FY 2009 suggest that Bechtle AG's earnings could easily outstrip the general market expectations. The group's earnings before taxes (EBT) amounting to € 43.5 million (previous year: € 61.5 million) are more than 10 per cent above the analysts' expectations of around € 39.2 million. The estimated € 1.38 th. million in revenue (previous year: € 1.43 th. million), too, lies above the approximation of the analysts, who predicted an average of € 1.33 th. million. Thus, the 2009 EBT-margin is 3.1 per cent (previous year: 4.3 per cent).

 

A considerable pickup in demand in the fourth quarter of 2009 was the main influence on this positive development. The group's consolidated revenues of approximately € 415.2 million in this final quarter are a new all-time high, a climb of some 2.6 per cent compared to the previous year's € 404.8 million. The Q4 EBT lies at € 18.7 million (previous year: € 20.2 million), the margin is approximately 4.5 per cent.

 

Bechtle's business development in the fiscal year 2009 was dominated by persistent, difficult economic parameters, especially outside Germany, where the economic crisis had a stronger effect on IT spending than in Bechtle's domestic market. On the other hand, business within the German borders was relatively balanced. Also, the crisis did not hit the two business segments, IT System House & Managed Services and IT e-commerce, with equal strength. While hardware and software sales were shrinking over the course of the year, the demand for IT services, which often involve long-term investments, has proved rather stable.

The early implementation of cost-cutting measures was instrumental in avoiding any lasting negative effects on the profit situation, which also helped to gain lost ground (in a year on year comparison 2008-2009) over the course of FY 2009. Besides the traditionally stronger fourth quarter, an increase in the public-sector business had a positive effect on Bechtle's development in 2009.

 

Bechtle will publish its final figures for 2009 on 19 March 2010.