Second quarter starts with good business performance
Neckarsulm, 11 May 2011 – In the first quarter of the fiscal year 2011, Bechtle AG recorded a significant increase in revenue and earnings. From January to March, the group revenues climbed to 456.1 million euros, 28.6 per cent more than in the prior year (354.8 million euros). With its EBT of 18.1 million euros, the group surpassed the prior year by 76.6 per cent (10.2 million euros). The EBT margin improved from 2.9 per cent to 4.0 per cent. Earnings per share increased by 73.7 per cent to 0.63 euros, compared to 0.36 euros in the prior year.
"With the best first quarter in its company history, Bechtle has made an excellent start into the fiscal year 2011. We have managed to keep the growth at a very high level and to increase earnings significantly," says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
System houses boast three-digit increase in earnings.
In the first quarter, the Bechtle Group generated revenues of 295.8 million euros in the IT system house & managed services segment (prior year: 228.0 million euros), a growth of 29.8 per cent. In this area, Bechtle benefited from the sustained high demand for IT products and services. Moreover, the three acquisitions of the prior year had a positive effect. Organically, the revenue amounted to 284.2 million euros, meaning 24.7 per cent more than in the prior year. In the first quarter, EBIT increased by an above-average 119.7 per cent to 10.1 million euros (prior year: 4.6 million euros). This was mainly due to the improvements in gross earnings and the disproportionately low development of the functional costs. The EBIT margin climbed from 2.0 per cent to 3.4 per cent. All regions contributed to this encouraging development.
Strong growth in e-commerce.
In the period under review, the IT e-commerce segment grew by 26.4 per cent. Revenues went up from 126.8 million euros to 160.3 million euros. The strong demand for IT products, which was already evident in the last fiscal year, continued in the first months of this year. The domestic and foreign trading companies accounted for almost equal shares of the growth. The segment EBIT amounted to 7.7 million euros, an increase of 46.1 per cent over the prior year (5.3 million euros). However, the earnings were reduced by the start-up costs of the companies founded in the prior year. Nevertheless, the margin improved significantly from 4.2 per cent to 4.8 per cent.
Significantly improved 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 remained largely unchanged, totalling 128.1 million euros. As of 31 March, the equity increased from 371.5 million euros to 383.2 million euros. Thus, the equity ratio went up from 56.8 per cent to 60.3 per cent. The annualized return on equity increased from 9.6 per cent in the prior year to 15.4 per cent. Due to the greatly expanded business volume, the cash flow from operating activities dropped to 5.8 million euros (prior year: 16.6 million euros).
Number of employees still rising.
As of 31 March 2011, the Bechtle Group had a total of 4,875 employees, 109 more than as of 31 December 2010. The increase mainly resulted from new recruitment. As of the end of the quarter, Bechtle had 3,536 employees (31 December 2010: 3,471) in Germany. The number of employees in other countries increased from 1,295 to 1,339.
Positive signs for Q2.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Bechtle continued to record high numbers of incoming orders. "So far, everything indicates that we will achieve notable revenue and earnings growth in fiscal year 2011, provided that the favourable economic development is here to stay. In the last two years, we invested intensively in the expansion of our business portfolio and in the further development of our employees. We now benefit from these investments in the form of improved competitiveness," explains Dr. Thomas Olemotz.