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Bechtle AG
Exchanges: Frankfurt

Bechtle provides full coverage with considerably more than 50 system houses in Germany and Switzerland and is one of Europe's leading IT e-commerce providers. It is a combination that allows Bechtle to pursue a unique business strategy in Europe – a blend of system house services and direct sales of branded IT products. Bechtle, which was founded in 1983, is a manufacturer-independent company that provides one-stop shopping for all the IT infrastructure needs of more than 25,000 customers from industry, the public sector and the financial markets. Bechtle has a workforce of about 4,250 people. Bechtle has been listed on the German stock exchange since 2000 and is on the TecDAX, the German technology index.

14.11.2013 Bechtle reports extremely strong third quarter.
Neckarsulm, 14 November 2013 – In the third quarter of 2013, Bechtle AG generated revenues of €558.8 million, an increase of 11.4 per cent. From July to September, the growth was again driven by the domestic system houses, which contributed to the revenue growth with an above-average increase of 16.7 per cent. Earnings before taxes (EBIT) increased 35.3 per cent to €25.2 million. In this field too, the development was mainly supported by the IT system house & managed services segment, which was able to boost its EBIT by an outstanding 65.5 per cent to €17.0 million. The cumulative EBIT as of 30 September amounted to €54.6 million, 6.7 per cent more than in the prior year.

“The excellent performance of Bechtle in the third quarter confirms our strategy of combining trade and project business with high-quality services. In this way, we have further improved our market and competitive position. We are also increasingly seeing the benefits of the investments in our team. All in all, the preconditions for a strong final quarter are good,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Chairman of the Executive Board.

System houses report excellent quarterly result.

In the third quarter, the IT system house & managed services segment made an above-average contribution to the company’s growth. At €385.0 million, revenues were 14.6 per cent higher than in the corresponding prior-year quarter (€336.0 million). The domestic system houses served as the growth driver, stepping up their contribution to the group revenue by 16.7 per cent to €348.2 million (prior year: €298.4 million). In the third quarter of 2013, the segment EBIT increased 65.5 per cent to €17.0 million (prior year: €10.3 million). At 4.4 per cent, the EBIT margin was significantly higher than in the prior year (3.1 per cent). This development was mainly driven by the increased share of high-quality services.

IT e-commerce reports high margin level as usual.

In the IT e-commerce segment, the revenue in the third quarter went up 4.9 per cent from €165.6 million to €173.8 million. Domestic revenues climbed 3.1 per cent from €55.8 million to €57.5 million. The European e-commerce companies grew 5.8 per cent to €116.2 million (prior year: €109.8 million). EBIT decreased slightly from €8.3 million to €8.2 million. At 4.7 per cent, the margin remained at a high level, as in the prior year (5.0 per cent).

Balance sheet structure sound as a bell.

As of 30 September, cash and cash equivalents including time deposits and securities amounted to a comfortable €119.9 million. Thus, Bechtle is free of debt, as the total liquidity exceeds the total financial liabilities by €47.0 million. As of the balance sheet date, the equity totalled €475.2 million, 3.4 per cent more than on 31 December. The equity ratio improved from 54.4 per cent to 57.8 per cent.

High training ratio.

As of the reporting date 30 September 2013, the Bechtle Group had a total of 6,150 employees, including 480 trainees. Compared to 31 December 2012, this means an increase of 180. The increase is attributable both to acquisitions in Germany and Switzerland and to the high number of new trainees. Year on year, the headcount went up by 172 (30 September 2012: 5,978), an increase of 2.9 per cent. As of 30 September 2013, the training ratio in Germany was 9.4 per cent, the highest level of the past years.

Annual forecast concretised.

From the current perspective, Bechtle is confident that its revenue and earnings position will outperform the prior year in the fourth quarter as well. However, as the fourth quarter of 2012 was already very successful, it is unlikely that we will be able to record growth rates as high as those of the third quarter. Backed by the good reporting quarter, the Executive Board believes that the fiscal year 2013 will see a clear ‒ though single-digit ‒ increase in revenue and a noticeable earnings growth. “Thus, we will again grow faster than the market and profitably in our anniversary year 2013 as well. With our business model, an efficient portfolio and highly motivated team members, our positioning for the future is excellent,” says Dr. Thomas Olemotz.

Bechtle Held Up Well in 2009 
Slight revenue decline to 1.38 billion euros (-3.6 per cent): domestic service business and public sector have stabilising effect 
Solid financial basis: 64.3 per cent equity ratio and 95.0-million-euro liquidity reserve are record values 
Attractive return: dividend proposal 0.60 euros 
Outlook: positive order development in the first weeks creates optimistic mood for 2010 

Neckarsulm, 19 March 2010 - In 2009, Bechtle AG did well despite the difficult setting. In the most severe crisis after World War II, the IT service and trading enterprise generated total revenues of 1,379.3 million euros (prior year: 1,431.5 million euros). The 2009 EBT exceeded general market expectations, totalling 43.7 million euros (prior year: 61.5 million euros). At 3.2 per cent, the EBT margin remains at a level that is outstanding compared to the industry average (prior year: 4.3 per cent). The earnings per share amounted to 1.64 euros, compared to 2.14 euros in the prior year. In view of the group's excellent liquidity position, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will propose the distribution of a dividend of 0.60 euros per share at the Annual General Meeting to be held in June 2010. 

"Thanks to the strong closing quarter, the fiscal year turned out better than expected. With a revenue loss of only 3.6 per cent, the Bechtle Group has done exceedingly well compared to the general market development in the industry. In terms of our earnings, we were able to reduce the gap to the prior year from quarter to quarter," says Dr. Thomas Olemotz, Spokesman of the Executive Board of Bechtle AG.

IT System House & Managed Services Segment Reports Positive Business Performance in Germany
In the IT system house & managed services segment, Bechtle generated revenues of 920.0 million euros in 2009, only 0.8 per cent less than in the prior year (927.5 million euros). Especially the business of the domestic system houses and the development in the public sector division had a stabilising effect. The IT system house & managed services revenue in Germany even increased slightly from 778.7 million euros to 779.3 million euros. The business with public-sector clients surged by 32.8 per cent to 290.6 million euros (prior year: 218.8 million euros). This means a share of 21.1 per cent in the total revenue (prior year: 15.3 per cent).

In 2009, the EBIT in the IT system house & managed services segment dropped by 33.0 per cent to 25.8 million euros (prior year: 38.4 million euros). Accordingly, the EBIT margin declined from 4.1 per cent to 2.8 per cent. This was mainly due to the weak revenue performance in comparison with the costs and the increase in personnel expenses.

Sights Set on Further International Growth in the IT E-Commerce Segment
In the IT e-commerce segment, revenue totalled 459.4 in 2009, 8.8 per cent less year-on-year (prior year: 503.9 million euros). In the reporting period, the price pressure continued especially in the field of hardware products, resulting in an average price slump of about 12 per cent. Despite the considerable increase in the quantity sold in some product groups, this price slump could not be fully compensated. In the fiscal year 2009, the revenues of the foreign companies amounted to 317.1 million euros (prior year: 343.8 million euros). The domestic trading companies accounted for 142.3 million euros of the revenue (prior year: 160.2 million euros).

In the reporting period, the EBIT in the IT e-commerce segment receded from 21.8 million euros to 16.9 million euros. Though the necessary headcount reduction resulted in cost savings, this only compensated part of the revenue decline. In 2009, investments were made in the two new national markets Ireland and Portugal; moreover, preparations were made for the market entry of Bechtle direkt in Poland and of Comsoft direct in Belgium. Thus, the EBIT margin in the trading segment fell from 4.3 per cent to 3.7 per cent.

Copyright  2010

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