Neckarsulm, 13 May 2015 – In the first quarter of 2015, Bechtle AG generated revenue amounting to €622.5 million, an increase of 6.1 per cent. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased 6.3 per cent to €22.5 million. Consolidated EBT also amounted to €22.5 million, 7.9 per cent more than in the prior year, and the EBT margin retained a good level of 3.6 per cent. As of 31 March 2015, Bechtle had a total of 6,671 employees, 319 more than in the corresponding prior-year quarter. This represents an increase of 5.0 per cent.
“In view of the excellent prior-year figures, it is remarkable that the company again achieved significant revenue and earnings growth right from the start of 2015, thereby following up seamlessly on the excellent performance in the fourth quarter of 2014,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.
System house & managed services report excellent margin.
In the first quarter, the IT system house & managed services segment increased its revenue 4.2 per cent to €402.6 million (prior year: €386.4 million). Impulses came mainly from the domestic companies, which stepped up their contribution to the consolidated revenue by 4.7 per cent to €354.6 million (prior year: €338.8 million). In the first quarter of 2015, the segment EBIT went up by a remarkable 20.9 per cent to €16.5 million (prior year: €13.7 million). The EBIT margin thus further improved to 4.1 per cent (prior year: 3.5 per cent). This excellent development is the result of factors such as the disproportionately low increase in personnel expenses and the higher share of managed services. Another factor was the high demand for the transformation of IT architectures in the solution business.
IT E-Commerce Exhibits Strong Growth.
The IT e-commerce segment was the growth driver in the first quarter. From January to March, revenue climbed 9.8 per cent from €200.3 million to €219.8 million. This increase was mainly supported by the outstanding performance of our foreign companies, which increased 14.3 per cent from €143.7 million to €164.2 million. EBIT amounted to €6.0 million, i.e. less than in the prior year (€7.5 million). This was due to the higher personnel expenses resulting from new recruitment. The workforce expansion had become necessary because of the strong growth of the prior quarters and to secure future growth.
Strong Balance Sheet Furnishes Evidence of Economic Strength.
As of 31 March, cash and cash equivalents including time deposits and securities amounted to a comfortable €150.4 million. The liquidity was €93.7 million higher than the total financial liabilities, i.e. Bechtle remains free of debt. As of the balance sheet date, the equity ratio amounted to 57.6 per cent. The extrapolated return on equity also reached an excellent value of 12.2 per cent. The operating cash flow was €0.4 million, €2.7 million less than in the prior year. The decline was mainly caused by the year-on-year increase in bonus payments.
Continuous Investments in Workforce.
As of the reporting date 31 March 2015, the Bechtle Group had 6,671 employees, including 411 trainees. This represents a year-on-year increase of 319. The increase of 5.0 per cent was made up exclusively of new recruitment. The training of young people remains a highlight of the HR work.
Annual Forecast Confirmed.
Bechtle increased its revenue and earnings significantly in the first quarter. From the current perspective, there is nothing to indicate why this positive performance should not carry on in the subsequent quarters. Therefore, the Executive Board confirms the targets for the year as whole, which it had formulated in March and which predict significant revenue and earnings growth and a slight margin improvement. “Our figures in the first quarter are within the target range of our expectations. The macroeconomic framework conditions and the industry performance remain positive. Therefore, we are looking forward to the coming months with optimism,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz.
Bechtle KPIs for the First Quarter of 2015.