- Strong increase in revenue and operating result in the 2020 financial year – net result slightly lower, as expected
- Growth in all three segments
- Dividend proposal EUR 0.05
- Sustainable profitable growth planned
Marburg, 30 March 2021 – 3U HOLDING AG (ISIN DE0005167902) confirms the preliminary financial results reported on 10 March 2021 and today publishes its annual report for the 2020 financial year.
Compared to the previous year, consolidated revenue increased significantly by EUR 9.60 million or 18.7 % from EUR 51.45 million to EUR 61.05 million. All three segments contributed to the strong growth, with revenue in the ITC segment rising by 37.4 %, while growth in the SHAC segment reached 9.1 %. The 26.4 % increase in the Renewable Energies segment is also due to the first-time inclusion of the Roge wind farm acquired at the beginning of the year.
At EUR 5.34 million, other income is 33.5 % lower than in the previous year (2019: EUR 8.03 million). This is largely the result of the sale of an office property in Linz, the Lüdersdorf wind farm and the 75 % share in ClimaLevel Energiesysteme GmbH. In the 2020 financial year, proceeds from the sale of assets in the Group totalled EUR 3.64 million (2019: EUR 5.29 million).
The cost of materials ratio was 54.4 %, while in the same period of the previous year the cost of materials reached 55.9 % of revenue. Despite the growth-related increase in personnel in Cloud Computing and despite the pandemic-related temporary higher personnel requirements in logistics in the SHAC segment, the ratio of personnel expenses to revenue (personnel expense ratio) fell slightly from 22.6 % in the 2019 financial year to 21.5 % in the 2020 financial year. The ratio of other operating expenses to revenue decreased significantly from 17.4 % to 13.6 %. In the 2020 financial year, EBITDA therefore amounted to EUR 11.55 million, EUR 1.45 million or 14.4 % higher than in the previous year (2019: EUR 10.10 million). At EUR 3.27 million, the net profit attributable to the shareholders of the parent company for the 2020 financial year was EUR 0.82 million lower than the net profit of the previous year, when EUR 4.09 million was generated, due to increased depreciation and higher tax expenses in line with the forecast.
Dividend proposal: EUR 0.05 without tax deduction
In view of the continued positive business development in the Group, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting to distribute a dividend of EUR 0.05 per share (dividend payment 2020: EUR 0.04). The dividend would be paid out of the tax deposit account without tax deduction.
Growth in all three Segments
In addition to the strategically most important business unit, Cloud Computing, as the main growth driver, the Telecommunications business unit also recorded significant organic growth. In e-commerce, the main focus in the second half of 2020 was on improving earnings, which was also achieved at the expense of a slightly lower growth rate in the second half of the year. The ITC segment generated 31.7 % (2019: 27.3 %) of Group revenue, the Renewable Energies segment 15.0 % (2019: 14.0 %) and the SHAC segment 54.3 % (2019: 59.1 %). The difference between the total of the segment revenues and 100 % of the Group revenues is attributable to other activities.
In the 2020 financial year, revenue in the ITC segment rose sharply from EUR 14.06 million in the previous year to EUR 19.33 million. As expected, revenue in the cloud computing segment expanded by around 57 % compared to the previous year and amounted to EUR 7.33 million (2019: 4.65 million). However, revenue in the Telecommunications business unit also increased significantly by 29.6 %. The Voice Retail segment recorded increased demand in the wake of travel and contact restrictions. The further improvement in earnings in this segment resulted largely from the successful development in the area of cloud computing, but the Telecommunications business unit was also able to improve its profitability. EBITDA in this segment rose by almost 80 % from EUR 2.79 million to EUR 4.97 million. Cloud Computing contributed EUR 2.63 million to this (2019: EUR 1.26 million).
The electricity generation of the existing wind farms benefited from a satisfactory wind yield, which was more pleasing than around the middle of the year, especially in the first and fourth quarters. Overall, sales rose from EUR 7.22 million in the previous year to EUR 9.13 million in the reporting year. This also includes the sales of the Roge wind farm, which has been consolidated since the beginning of the 2020 financial year and contributed around EUR 2.00 million to sales. The sale of the Lüdersdorf wind farm generated other income of EUR 2.22 million. EBITDA thus increased from EUR 4.90 million in the previous year to EUR 8.80 million in the 2020 financial year.
Revenues in the SHAC segment increased from EUR 30.38 million to EUR 33.14 million. Revenues from online trade of the Group company Selfio GmbH grew by 14.9 % to EUR 23.67 million (2019: EUR 20.61 million). At 77.7 %, the cost of materials ratio in the SHK segment was higher than in the previous year (2019: 76.6 %).
Due to the success from the deconsolidation of ClimaLevel Energiesysteme GmbH and thanks to progress in the implementation of the 12-point plan, it was nevertheless possible to generate positive EBITDA of EUR 1.09 million, after this figure had still been negative at EUR -0.09 million in the 2019 financial year.
EBITDA in the area of other activities/reconciliation amounted to EUR -3.31 million (2019: EUR 2.49 million). In the 2020 financial year, it was significantly influenced by the year-on-year increase in personnel costs of EUR 3.01 million (2019: EUR 2.71 million) and by the not significantly changed other operating expenses of EUR 2.56 million (2019: EUR 2.53 million).
Increase in cash and cash equivalents and equity
In the 2020 financial year, the Group made net payments for investments of EUR 10.37 million (2019: EUR 4.37 million). The payments related in particular to the acquisition of a commercial site in Koblenz and progress payments for the construction of the new distribution centre there.
Significant cash inflows were generated from the sale of the Lüdersdorf wind farm. Cash inflows were also generated by the placement of around 1.2 million treasury shares with an institutional investor, the sale of 3U’s 75 % share in ClimaLevel Energiesysteme GmbH and a property in Linz.
The operating cash flow in the past financial year was EUR 4.78 million (2019: EUR 4.68 million). Investing activities resulted in a net cash outflow of EUR 4.75 million. Cash flow from financing activities generated a cash inflow of EUR 5.30 million (2019: cash outflow of EUR 5.62 million). Cash and cash equivalents increased by EUR 5.87 million from EUR 20.55 million to EUR 26.42 million as at 31 December 2020 compared to 31 December 2019.
Total assets as at 31 December 2020 amounted to EUR 85.90 million (31 December 2019: EUR 80.48 million) and were thus EUR 5.42 million higher than on the balance sheet date of the previous year.
Non-current assets amounted to EUR 39.20 million (31 December 2019: EUR 45.66 million). The decrease relates in particular to the reclassification of the Adelebsen investment property and its reporting under assets held for sale. At EUR 43.53 million as at 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: EUR 34.82 million), current assets are EUR 8.71 million higher than at the balance sheet date of the previous year.
The financial ratios remain at a very good level at the end of the 2020 financial year. At EUR 17.10 million, total non-current and current financial liabilities as at 31 December 2020 were not significantly below the level of the previous year (31 December 2019: EUR 17.72 million). The gearing ratio fell further from 73.0 % as at the 2019 balance sheet date to 65.2 %. Cash and cash equivalents exceeded financial liabilities by EUR 9.32 million as at 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: net cash balance EUR 2.83 million). At the same time, working capital increased by 34.1 % and reached EUR 31.51 million as of the balance sheet date (31 December 2019: EUR 23.50 million).
The equity ratio of 3U HOLDING AG increased to 60.5 % (31 December 2019: 57.8 %). The increase in the absolute amount of equity from EUR 46.51 million to EUR 52.00 million is due to the profit of EUR 3.27 million for the 2020 financial year as well as the sale of treasury shares and the allocation of the associated premium to the capital reserve.
Sustainable profitable growth planned
Following the sale of the Lüdersdorf wind farm and the investment in ClimaLevel Energiesysteme GmbH, the 3U Group is starting the 2021 financial year from a lower base.
Against this backdrop, the Management Board anticipates that the consolidated revenue in the financial year 2021 will repeat the year-earlier level. Strong organic growth in the other parts of the company is unlikely to fully compensate for the absence of income from the disposed of business units. Revenue in 2021 is expected to settle within a range of between EUR 58 million and EUR 63 million. Moreover, earnings in the single-digit million range from the disposal of assets have been incorporated into planning. In view of the measures introduced to strengthen profitability and the rising proportion of higher margin business, the Management Board expects a slightly higher EBITDA of between EUR 11 million and EUR 13 million, leading to expectations of profit for the 3U Group of between EUR 2 million and EUR 4 million.
The actual performance of business may be higher or lower than forecast here due to acquisitions of companies in the cloud computing business or to selling operating units of the Group. The resulting effects can, however, only be planned for to limited extent.
From the standpoint of 3U HOLDING AG, the disposal of assets in the financial year 2020 took place in the context of its growth strategy and the associated financing concept. The proceeds are to be used principally for potential acquisitions in the cloud computing business and may therefore bolster preparations for a possible IPO of weclapp SE.
“After an eventful 2020, our strategic focus on online trading and cloud computing is becoming more visible step by step. We have divested ourselves of the underfloor heating installation business and sold investment properties. The proceeds have been earmarked: They will serve the primary purpose of giving an additional boost to accelerating the already rapid growth of our cloud computing business in weclapp SE through acquisitions,” emphasises Michael Schmidt, Spokesman of the Management Board of 3U HOLDING AG. “Bringing the intensive talks with the shareholders of possible target companies to a successful conclusion is also an important precondition for the next steps towards a potential listing of weclapp SE on the stock exchange. We have the opportunity and are laying the foundations for charting our course at a rapid pace with new forward-looking measures. This is an opportunity we intend to seize with the same ambition and resoluteness that you have come to know and expect from us!”
The annual report for the 2020 financial year will be published today, 30 March 2021. It can be downloaded from the company’s website www.3u.net under “Investor Relations/Reports”.
Dr Joachim Fleing
3U HOLDING AG
Tel.: +49 6421 999-1200
Fax: +49 6421 999-1222
3U HOLDING AG (www.3u.net) has its headquarters in Marburg, Germany, and was founded in 1997. It is the operating management and investment holding company at the head of the 3U Group. It acquires, operates and sells companies in the three segments of ITC (Information and Telecommunications Technology), Renewable Energies and SHAC (Sanitary, Heating and Air Conditioning Technology). The 3U Group has successful and profitable business models based on megatrends in all three segments. It continues to expand its business activities dynamically, particularly in its strongest growth areas of cloud computing and online trading, in which it is striving to achieve leading positions in the market.
3U HOLDING AG’s shares are traded on XETRA, Tradegate and on the German regional stock exchanges (ISIN: DE0005167902; identifier: UUU).