AD HOC ANNOUNCEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 53 LR
1Constant currencies are calculated by converting numbers using the prior year’s average exchange rate.
2EBITDA, earnings before interest, income tax, depreciation, and amortization, see also definition in the 2021 Annual Report on page 71.
Revenue growth in challenging environment
Ascom achieved solid revenue growth in 2021, despite the ongoing challenges related to the global Covid-19-pandemic and the world-wide shortage of components. Net revenue grew by 3.7% (2.7% at constant currencies) to CHF 291.5 million (2020: CHF 281.0 million).
In 2021, most successful areas with double-digit revenue growth (at constant currencies) were UK, France & Spain, and the OEM business. The Nordics and the Netherlands showed solid revenue growth rates as well. In the USA & Canada revenue increased slightly, while the DACH region as well as Rest of World declined mainly due to Covid-19 and component related challenges also in the Enterprise sector.
Revenue split by market segment showed a strong Healthcare sector reflecting 68% of total revenue (2020: 67%), the Enterprise sector accounted for 24% (2020: 27%) and the OEM business was at 8% (2020: 6%). Revenue from Software & Solutions increased while recurring revenue accounted for 25% of total revenue.
Strong growth in incoming orders and order backlog
In 2021, incoming orders increased by 6.2% to CHF 342.3 million (4.9% at constant currencies). The order backlog rose to CHF 256.1 million (2020: CHF 215.6 million) and includes long-term contracts in a magnitude of about 48% of the total order backlog which will be relevant to revenue in 2023 and beyond.
Improved operational profitability
In 2021, gross profit increased compared to the previous year and reached CHF 136.7 million (2020: CHF 133.3 million) with a gross margin of 46.9% (2020: 47.4%). The gross margin was affected by higher freight cost, increased prices for components on spot markets, and a different product mix due to the component shortage.
Due to the higher volume and the lower functional costs, EBITDA improved to CHF 28.7 million (2020: CHF 24.9 million), with an EBITDA margin of 9.8% (2020: 8.9%) while EBIT increased to CHF 15.8 million (2020: CHF 11.0 million). Ascom ended 2021 with a higher net profit of CHF 13.5 million (2020: CHF 6.5 million), which is mainly attributable to the improved operating results. EPS increased to CHF 0.38 (2020: CHF 0.18).
Solid balance sheet structure
As of 31 December 2021, Ascom had no outstanding borrowings and therefore its net cash position increased to CHF 29.5 million (31.12.2020: CHF 12.8 million). Shareholders’ equity stood at CHF 80.0 million (31.12.2020: CHF 71.1 million), which represents an increase in the equity ratio to 41.1% (31.12.2020: 35.0%).
Ascom aims to become a global leader in Real-Time Communication and Collaboration
Ascom is in the unique position to offer a broad solutions portfolio combining devices, software, and services to tangibly address quickly evolving customer needs. Ascom aims to become a global leader in Real-Time Communication and Collaboration in the Acute Care, Long-Term Care, and Enterprise segments.
To lead and implement the next stage of Ascom’s strategy, the Board of Directors has appointed Nicolas Vanden Abeele as Ascom’s new CEO as of 1 February 2022. Based on his broad experience and his successful professional track record, he will continue to strengthen Ascom’s market position in the areas of communication, collaboration, and workflow orchestration, while improving the Company’s financial performance.
The market environment for 2022 remains challenging, but Ascom is confident that the improvements implemented and the clear focus on revenue and backlog conversion will drive a positive business development in 2022.
Ascom targets for fiscal-year 2022 mid-single-digit revenue growth and aims to achieve an improvement of the EBITDA margin of about 100 basis points compared to 2021.
Ascom sees a clear path to double-digit revenue growth over the next years and expects an annual improvement of the EBITDA margin of about 100 basis points until 2025.
Proposals to Annual General Meeting 2022
The Board of Directors is proposing to the shareholders a dividend payment of CHF 0.20 per share, representing a pay-out ratio of 53% of the Group profit.
All current Board members will stand for re-election. The Board of Directors has also decided to re-tender the audit mandate and is proposing KPMG as the new Statutory Auditor.
Due to the expiration of the existing authorized capital, the Board of Directors will propose to the shareholders to adapt the Articles of Association in order to renew the authorization for authorized capital by another two years.
KEY FIGURES FINANCIAL YEAR 2021
|In CHFm||Ascom Group|
|FY 2021||H2 2021||H1 2021||FY 2020|
|EBIT margin in %||5.4%||8.2%||2.4%||3.9%|
|EBITDA margin in %||9.8%||12.3%||7.2%||8.9%|
|Employees (FTE) at 31.12.||1,306||1,282|
The complete 2021 Annual Report of the Ascom Group and the Full-Year Results Presentation 2021 are available in English and for download online at: https://www.ascom.com/investors/reports-and-presentations/
The online 2021 Full-Year Results Conference starts at 10.00 a.m. CET on Tuesday 8 March 2022.
Financial analysts and media representatives can join Ascom’s conference call in which questions can be asked during the Q&A session after the presentation.
Dial In: Link Conference Call
(for financial analysts & media representatives only)
Additionally, a live audio webcast will be provided. This is a non-interactive live audio webcast showing the presentation slides. However, the webcast does not allow posing questions. The Q&A session will be broadcasted.
Webcast: Link Live Audio Webcast