07.11.2019 | Austria
S&T AG: Fully on schedule after nine months, optimization program PEC shows first success- Revenue up 14% to EUR 753.2 million (9M 2018: EUR 660.0 million)
- EBITDA increases 25% to EUR 71.7 million (9M 2018: EUR 57.2 million)
- Order backlog climbs 34% to EUR 815,2 million (December 31, 2018: EUR 606.9 million)
- Initial positive effects from PEC program: Operating cash flow rises to EUR 4.5 million (9M 2018: EUR -19.9 million)
The third quarter and the first nine months of the financial year 2019 proceeded according to plans at S&T AG (www.snt.at). As compared to the previous year, revenues in the first nine months of 2019 were up some 14%, rising from EUR 660.0 million to EUR 753.2 million and for the isolated third quarter of 2019 some 18%, increasing from EUR 237.3 million to EUR 279.4 million.
Gross margin developed especially positive. Due to the further increase in the group’s software share, the gross margin for the first nine months came to 37.2%, as opposed to 35.7% in the previous year. The figure for the third quarter of 2019 already was at 37.7%, bringing S&T’s long-term target of 40% further within reach. This is based on S&T's long-standing strategy of continuously reducing low-margin hardware business – also at the expense of revenues – as well as on investments in proprietary technologies and the value-enhancing acquisitions made.
Driven by the positive development of business operations and by IFRS 16-caused effects, the EBITDA for the first nine months of 2019 was up about 25%, climbing from EUR 57.2 million to EUR 71.7 million. For the third quarter of 2019, the EBITDA increased around 34%, going from EUR 20.5 million to EUR 27.4 million. Earnings per share in the period under review in the current financial year came – notwithstanding the growth in the number of shares – to 44 cents (9M 2018: 40 cents).
As of the end of the third quarter, S&T’s net asset and cash position showed further improvement. As of September 30, 2019, cash and cash equivalents came to EUR 261.0 million (December 31, 2018: EUR 171.8 million), and the equity to EUR 370.1 million (December 31, 2018: EUR 367.3 million). The restructuring and integration of the Kapsch Railway group – now named Kontron Transportation – is proceeding even better than planned. The restructuring measures are to be completed by April 2020 and no further costs will be incurred subsequently. The Executive Board of S&T AG expects Kontron Transportation to achieve revenue of around EUR 100 million and an EBITDA margin of around 10% in financial year 2020.
“Thanks to the great performance of our employees and the loyalty of our customers, S&T AG continues proceeding according to plans after the third quarter of 2019.”, states Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of S&T AG. “We launched the optimization program PEC in July 2019 and it has already produced positive effects in the third quarter of 2019: We have reduced our inventories and receivables. Our operating cash flow for the first nine months substantially improved due to the measures implemented by the PEC program, and went from the previous year’s minus EUR 19.9 million to this year’s plus EUR 4.5 million. Of that, EUR 16.2 million was achieved in the third quarter of 2019. We expect further optimizations in the fourth quarter of 2019.”
S&T AG looks confidently at the rest of financial year 2019 and its future prospects.
“We are confirming our targets for 2019 of around EUR 1.145 billion in revenues, and we will even exceed the planned EUR 100 million in profitability (EBITDA). Moreover, our medium-term goal – to double our revenues to EUR 2 billion as part of Agenda 2023 – has come another step closer with the increase of our order backlog. S&T is thus fully on schedule with its set objectives!”, sums up Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of S&T AG.