29.03.2018 | Austria
S&T AG: 2017 a year of all-time highs – goals once more exceeded- Sales growth of 75% to EUR 882.0 million (PY: EUR 503.7 million)
- EBITDA nearly doubled to EUR 68.1 million (PY: EUR 34.4 million)
- Strong finances: Operating cash flow of EUR 44.9 million; Liquid funds of EUR 216.9 million
- Dividend is to be increased to 13 cents (PY: 10 cents)
- Ambitious growth plans: Sales set to grow in 2018 to EUR 1 billion – and to EUR 2 billion by 2023
Financial year 2017 was a year of all-time highs for S&T AG (www.snt.at). The technology group achieved sales of EUR 882.0 million (PY: EUR 503.7 million), and thus beat its guidance of at least EUR 860 million. Operative income before amortization (EBITDA) came to EUR 68.1 million. This was nearly twice as much as 2016’s EBITDA of EUR 34.4 million and above the EBITDA forecast that was in the third quarter of 2017 increased to EUR 60 million.
Driver of the S&T Group’s growth remains the “IoT Solutions” segment, whose sales came in 2017 to EUR 320.3 million (PY: EUR 165.9 million). Its EBITDA of EUR 35.1 million (PY: EUR 22.5 million) was the largest of any segment and came to some 52% of the total.
The “IT Services” segment also performed satisfactorily. Its EBITDA rose 27% to EUR 13.6 million (PY: EUR 10.7 million). The segment’s shifting of its thrust to the provision of services enabled its sales to increase to EUR 386.8 million (PY: 320.7 million).
The third segment – “Embedded Systems” – also developed positively. It had sales of EUR 174.9 million (PY: EUR 17.0 million) and an EBITDA of EUR 19.4 million (PY: EUR 1.2 million).
The operating cash flow constitutes a strong base for the financing of further growth: In the financial year 2017 it came to EUR 44.9 million – as opposed to 2016’s EUR 61.4 million, which incorporated a positive special effect. Liquid funds rose substantially to EUR 216.9 million (PY: EUR 125.6 million). Net cash rose to EUR 101.8 million (PY: EUR 32.0 million). The equity rate rose to 41% – as opposed to 2016’s 36%. The consolidated income came to EUR 29.4 million (PY: EUR 20.4 million) – a y-on-y rise of more than 44%. As of the balance sheet date of December 31, 2017, earnings per share (EPS) had risen to 43 cents, up from 2016’s 33 cents. The company’s earnings and liquidity are causing the Executive Board and Supervisory Board to propose to the Annual Shareholder Meeting the paying out of an increased dividend. This is to be 13 cents per share, up 30% from 2016’s 10 cents.
“2017 was a year of all-time highs for S&T. This year of records puts our group on course to proceed upon its exciting course of growth,” explains Hannes Niederhauser, S&T AG’s CEO. “During the year, we concentrated on completing the integration of Kontron into our Group, and on developing our core markets of IoT and Industry 4.0, in whose enormous market growth of some 16% per year we are already participating. For that purpose, we created such innovation solutions as TSN, a real time-networking card, and SUSiEtec a public cloud-compatible middleware that is used to connect a variety of IoT devices. These innovations have increased our position of leadership in the market. We plan on employing our financial power towards further sales growth. To this end, we envision additional acquisitions in the software sector, with this to provide us with important know-how and with the potential to further increase our margins.”
S&T AG’s focus on the IoT and Industry 4.0 sector in financial year 2017 impacted positively upon its business prospects: As of December 31, 2017, the order backlog was up 55%, coming to EUR 474.2 million (PY: EUR 305.7 million).
“We are confirming our plans to increase our sales to some EUR 1 billion in financial year 2018,“ adds Hannes Niederhauser. “And we are planning on achieving an even sharper rise in profits, with EBITDA set to come to EUR 80 million. We do not foresee our growth cooling off over the long-term and plan on doubling our sales to EUR 2 billion during the next five years – and thus by 2023!“