Ascom: publishes an increase in net profit in 2021 and proposes the payment of a dividend

AD HOC ANNOUNCEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 53LR

  • Improved 2021 results in line with the guidance provided:
    • Net revenue of CHF 291.5 million, reflecting a growth rate of 3.7% (2.7% at constant exchange rates1)
    • EBITDA2 increased to CHF 28.7 million and EBITDA margin improved to 9.8%
    • Incoming orders of CHF 342.3 million with an increase of 6.2% (4.9% at constant exchange rates)
    • Backlog increased sharply to CHF 256.1 million as of December 31, 2021
    • Report profit improved to CHF 13.5 million (2020: CHF 6.5 million)
    • Solid bbalance sheet structure with net cash of CHF 29.5 million and an equity ratio up 41.1%

CHF 0.20 per share, with a payout ratio of 53% Ascom targets single-digit revenue growth for fiscal year 2022 and targets EBITDA margin improvement of approximately 100 basis points (bps) compared to 2021

  • Medium-term orientations reiterated

Ascom sees a clear path to double-digit revenue growth over the next few years and expects an annual EBITDA margin improvement of around 100 basis points through 2025.

1Constant currencies are calculated by converting numbers using the average exchange rate for the previous year.
2EBITDA, earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, see also definition in the 2021 annual report on page 71.

Revenue growth in challenging environment
Ascom delivered solid revenue growth in 2021, despite continuing challenges from the global Covid-19 pandemic and global component shortages. Net sales increased by 3.7% (2.7% at constant exchange rates) to CHF 291.5 million (2020: CHF 281.0 million).

In 2021, the top performing areas with double-digit revenue growth (at constant currencies) were the UK, France and Spain, as well as the OEM business. The Nordic countries and the Netherlands also posted strong revenue growth rates. In the US and Canada, revenue increased slightly, while the DACH region as well as the rest of the world decreased mainly due to Covid-19 and component-related challenges also in the corporate sector.

The revenue breakdown by market segment showed a strong healthcare sector representing 68% of total revenue (2020: 67%), the enterprise sector representing 24% (2020: 27%) and the OEM business was 8% (2020: 6%) . Software & Solutions revenue increased while recurring revenue represented 25% of total revenue.

Strong growth in order intake and order backlog
In 2021, order intake increased by 6.2% to CHF 342.3 million (4.9% at constant exchange rates). The order book amounted to CHF 256.1 million (2020: CHF 215.6 million) and includes long-term contracts with a magnitude of approximately 48% of the total order book 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% ). Gross margin was impacted by higher freight costs, higher component prices in spot markets and a different product mix due to component shortages.

Due to increased volume and 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 an increased net profit of CHF 13.5m (2020: CHF 6.5m), mainly driven by 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 its net cash therefore increased to CHF 29.5 million (31.12.2020: CHF 12.8 million). Equity amounts to 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 a unique position to offer a broad portfolio of solutions combining devices, software and services to concretely meet the rapidly changing needs of customers. 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 the new CEO of Ascom effective February 1, 2022. Drawing on his extensive experience and background successful professional, he will continue to strengthen Ascom’s position in the market. in the areas of communication, collaboration and workflow orchestration, while improving the company’s financial performance.

Outlook
The market environment for 2022 remains challenging, but Ascom is confident that the improvements implemented and the focus on revenue and backlog conversion will result in positive business development in 2022.

Ascom is targeting single-digit revenue growth for fiscal year 2022 and targets an EBITDA margin improvement of around 100 basis points compared to 2021.

Ascom sees a clear path to double-digit revenue growth over the next few years and expects an annual EBITDA margin improvement of around 100 basis points through 2025.

Proposals to the 2022 Annual General Meeting
The Board of Directors proposes to the shareholders the payment of a dividend of CHF 0.20 per share, representing a distribution rate of 53% of the Group’s profit.

All current board members will stand for re-election. The Board of Directors has also decided to renew the audit mandate and proposes KPMG as a new auditor.

Due to the expiry 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 of the authorized capital for a new period of two years.

KEY FIGURES FISCAL YEAR 2021

In millions of CHF

Ascom Group
exercise 2021

S2 2021

H1 2021

FISCAL YEAR 2020
Incoming orders

342.3

176.1

166.2

322.4

Net revenue 291.5

151.4

140.1

281.0
Gross profit 136.7

69.3

67.4

133.3
EBIT 15.8

12.4

3.4

11.0
EBIT margin in % 5.4% 8.2% 2.4% 3.9%
EBITDA 28.7

18.6

10.1

24.9
EBITDA margin in % 9.8% 12.3% 7.2% 8.9%
Group profit 13.5 6.5

Employees (FTE) as of 31.12.

1,306

1,282

The full Ascom Group 2021 Annual Report and 2021 Annual Results Presentation are available in English and downloadable online at: https://www.ascom.com/investors/reports-and-presentations/

the online 2021 Eall-Yeshear C-resultsconference starts at 10:00 CET on Tuesday8 march 2022.

Financial analysts and media representatives can join Ascom conference call in which questions can be asked during the Q&A session after the presentation.

Compose:Link the conference call
(for financial analysts and media representatives only)

Additionally, a live audio webcast which will be provided. This is a non-interactive live audio webcast showing the presentation slides. However, the webcast does not allow questions to be asked. The Q&A session will be broadcast.

Webcast:Live Audio Webcast Link

Attachments

This document does not constitute an offer or solicitation to subscribe, buy or sell securities. This document is not published in the United States of America or the United Kingdom and must not be distributed in any jurisdiction in a manner where such distribution would not comply with regulatory requirements. In particular, this document may not be distributed in the United States, to United States persons, or to publications of general distribution in the United States. Further, Ascom securities have not been and will not be registered in any jurisdiction outside of Switzerland. Securities of Ascom may not be offered, sold or delivered and no solicitation to buy such securities may be made in the United States or to US Persons absent an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of securities laws or in any other jurisdiction and in a manner where such offer, sale, delivery or solicitation may not comply with regulatory requirements (including in the United Kingdom).

About Clara Barnard

Check Also

The tax treatment of investments has come full circle

Tax law is used for several purposes. Chief among them is to generate revenue for …