- All three segments contribute to the Group’s performance
- EBITDA margin at 14.0 % despite the lower level of other income
- Management Board affirms guidance for 2023
May 10, 2023 – 3U HOLDING AG (ISIN DE0005167902) steered a steady course of organic growth in the first quarter of the financial year 2023.
Consolidated revenue from continued operations rose by 2.5 % to EUR 13.27 million in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2022: EUR 12.95 million). All three segments contributed to the Group’s success. The ITC segment generated a share of 23.5 % (Q1 2022: 24.0 %) in revenue (net of consolidation effects), while the Renewable Energies segment delivered 19.2 % (Q1 2022: 18.7 %) and the SHAC segment 58.4 % (Q1 2022: 58.3 %). The interim financial statements as at 31 March 2023 no longer comprise the revenue and results of operation, assets and liabilities, and information on the employees of the cloud computing business in the subgroup of weclapp SE which was deconsolidated in the financial year 2022. Consequently, the figures from continued operations from the first quarter of 2022 are used for year-on-year comparison.
In the first quarter of 2022, 3U HOLDING AG achieved net other operating income EUR 1.88 million from the property development project InnoHubs. In the period under review, this figure was considerably lower at EUR 0.08 million. At 61.7 % in the first quarter of 2023, the cost of materials ratio (cost of materials as a percentage of revenue) remained at the year-earlier level, as did the personnel expenses ratio (personnel expenses as a percentage of revenue) which came in at 15.7 % (Q1 2022: 15.7 %). Despite the higher level of maintenance expenses incurred by repairing a wind turbine in Roge, the percentage share of other operating expenses in sales that stood at 12.5 % dropped below the previous year’s level (Q1 2022: share of other operating expenses minus the costs associated with progress made in implementing office space sold in the InnoHubs building complex at 14.9 %). Against this backdrop, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) declined to EUR 1.86 million in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2022: EUR 3.63 million). The downturn resulted from the lower level of other operating income from the InnoHubs property development project. The Group’s EBITDA margin came in at 14.0 % following on from 28.0 % in the year-earlier reporting period.
Depreciation and amortisation totalled EUR 0.85 million in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2022: EUR 0.84 million). Over the same period, 3U recorded a positive financial result of EUR 0.77 million (Q1 2022: EUR -0.07 million), along with tax expenses of EUR 0.19 million (Q1 2022: EUR 0.79 million).
The proportion of the consolidated result attributable to shareholders of the parent company stood at EUR 1.41 million in the reporting period (Q1 2022: EUR 1.55 million). Earnings per share therefore amounted to EUR 0.04 (basic and diluted).
The ITC segment recorded stable revenue development in the period under review. Segment revenue of EUR 3.12 million was achieved in the first three months of 2023 (Q1 2022: EUR 3.11 million). The Data Center & Managed Services business generated growth. The improvement in internal efficiency and the increase in service revenue lifted the segment’s EBITDA by 9.1 %. EBITDA posted EUR 0.93 million compared with EUR 0.85 million the first quarter of 2022. The ITC segment’s EBITDA margin therefore came in at 29.7 % (Q1 2022: 27.2 %).
Due to the weather conditions and the temporary downtime of a wind turbine in Roge, the Renewable Energies segment generated less electricity than in the strong first quarter of 2022. At the start of 2022, however, the Management Board had already negotiated advantageous power purchase agreements going forward into the financial year 2023 for two wind farms, and current price levels in the market also supported the revenue trend. The revenue generated by the Renewable Energies segment grew by 5.4 % to EUR 2.55 million year on year (Q1 2022: EUR 2.42 million). Other operating expenses were higher due the necessary repair work. As a result, segment EBITDA also declined by 5.6 % to at EUR 1.90 million (Q1 2022: EUR 2.02 million).
Contrary to the weak industry environment, the SHAC segment’s revenue advanced by 2.7 % to EUR 7.75 million (Q1 2022: 7.55 million). Rising demand, especially for heating systems, was reflected in the expansion of PELIA Gebäudesysteme GmbH’s business which grew by more than 20 %. At the same time, the SHAC segment’s cost of materials ratio continues to run at a high level of 82.2 % (Q1 2022: 81.9 %). With costs otherwise largely steady, segment EBITDA improved again while nevertheless still remaining in marginally negative territory.
Cash flow and financials
Low cash inflow of EUR 0.27 million from investing activities (Q1 2022: cash outflow of EUR 5.87 million) and EUR 0.20 million from financing activities (Q1 2022: cash inflow of EUR 7.53 million) were offset by the cash outflow from operating activities amounting to EUR 4.40 million (Q1 2022: cash inflow of EUR 7.68 million), which includes the granting of short-term loans to members of the Supervisory Board and to employees and executives. Free cash flow in the first quarter of 2023 is therefore negative at EUR 4.14 million (Q1 2022: positive free cash flow of EUR 1.81 million).
Following the exercising of share options, subscribed capital rose by EUR 0.87 million. Along with the result for the period, this capital increase from Contingent Capital is the reason for the rise in Group equity to currently EUR 213.83 million (31 December 2022: EUR 211.17 million). The equity ratio stood at 87.4 % as of 31 March 2023 (31 December 2022: 86.7%).
The Management Board affirms its guidance announced in March and anticipates strong organic growth in 2023. Revenue in 2023 is expected in a range of between EUR 55.0 million and EUR 60.0 million. In view of the lower level of other income in line with expectations and the significantly higher proportion of lower margin retail business, the Management Board anticipates EBITDA of EUR 6.0 million to EUR 8.0 million. Net profit of the 3U Group is therefore expected in a range of between EUR 2.5 million and EUR 3.5 million.
The actual operating result may be higher or lower than forecast here due to the acquisition or sale of the Group’s operating units. The resulting effects can only be planned for to limited extent, however. The 3U Group remains true to its corporate purpose of creating value in the interest of its shareholders and all stakeholders and will continue to pursue its strategic course of expanding successful parts of the business successfully in the long term and, given the relevant demand, of selling them at attractive conditions.
In harmony with the corporate strategy, the Management Board is addressing a series of investment undertakings. Along with purchasing companies or customer bases in the financial year 2023 this pertains notably to repowering the Langendorf wind farm. Options for further very promising investments are meticulously assessed on a running basis.
The quarterly statement on the first quarter of the 2023 financial year will be published today. The report will be made available on the company’s website at www.3u.net under the “Investor Relations/Publications” heading.
For further information:
Dr. Joachim Fleïng
3U HOLDING AG
Tel.: +49 (0)6421 999-1200
Fax.: +49 (0)6421 999-1222
3U HOLDING AG (www.3u.net), based in Marburg, Germany, was founded in 1997. As the operating management and investment holding company, it heads up the 3U Group. With a view to increasing the value for the shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and all stakeholders, the company 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 operates successfully and profitably with its business models in mega trends in all three segments and is striving to attain market leadership in particular with its e-commerce business model. 3U HOLDING AG shares are traded on XETRA, Tradegate and on German regional stock exchanges (ISIN: DE0005167902; identifier: UUU).