S&T AG: 2019 - NINTH RECORD YEAR IN SUCCESSION
Sales growth of 13% to EUR 1,122.9 million (PY: EUR 990.9 million)
Over proportional EBITDA increase of 23% to EUR 111.7 million (PY: EUR 90.5 million)
Significant improvement of operating cash flow to EUR 83.4 million (PY: EUR 35.5 million)
Record cash position of EUR 312.3 million (PY: EUR 171.8 million)
Dividend policy continued: further increase up to 19 cents (PY: 16 cents) planned for 2019
Re-evaluation of 2020 guidance due to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
The technology group S&T AG presents record results for the ninth year in a row. The company recorded a 13% increase in sales over the previous year to EUR 1,122.9 million (previous year: EUR 990.9 million), thus exceeding the billion-euro mark for the first time. The operating result before depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 23% to EUR 111.7 million (PY: EUR 90.5 million). As a result, the EBITDA target for 2023 was further increased to EUR 220 million in January 2020. Earnings per share increased to 74 cents in 2019 compared to 70 cents in 2018. The "PEC" ("Profit, Efficiency, Cash") programme also made significant progress in optimizing working capital. Operating cash flow improved significantly to a record EUR 83.4 million (PY: EUR 35.5 million). As a result, cash and cash equivalents also increased significantly to EUR 312.3 million (PY: EUR 171.8 million) at year-end. The order backlog and project pipeline also reached new record levels with increases of over 30%. The excellent financial situation also allows S&T AG to continue its annually increasing dividend policy despite the current “corona crisis”: The Management Board of S&T AG will therefore propose a dividend of 19 cents (PY: 16 cents) for the past financial year to the Annual General Meeting.
However, these excellent figures are dwarfed by the global spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the uncertainty that accompanies it. It is not yet clear how the influence of government measures to contain the pandemic and its massive impact on the economy will be assessed. Accordingly, significant distortions must be assumed for the further course of events in 2020. A significant impact on the global economy is predicted, which S&T AG will not be able to avoid in the short term. Despite the impact on the supply chain, S&T was able to make a good start to the first quarter according to plan, with continued strong incoming orders. Nevertheless, we will have to reconsider our previous annual target and adapt it as soon as the effects of the pandemic become more transparent.
S&T also sees numerous opportunities in the current "corona crisis", be it through increased demand in the medical technology sector, home offices or lower company valuations, which support the S&T Group's M&A strategy. S&T is crisis-proof and, with over EUR 300 million in cash on hand, is well prepared for acquisition opportunities as they arise. Therefore, the ambitious medium-term target for 2023 of EUR 2 billion in revenues and an EBITDA of EUR 220 million remains unchanged.
"We have closed the 2019 financial year with excellent figures and are very confident of continuing our success, even under the changed conditions. With our technical solutions and products, for example in the medical technology sector, and the record cash position of EUR 312 million, we are well positioned and will emerge from the crisis stronger than before." states Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of S&T AG.