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Brunel reports strong growth in revenue, gross profit and EBIT


Amsterdam, 29 October 2021- Brunel International N.V. (Brunel; BRNL), a global provider of flexible
workforce solutions and expertise today announced its third quarter (Q3) 2021 results.

Key points Q3 2021

  • Revenue increased by 10% to EUR 227 million;
  • Gross Profit increase of 15% compared to Q3 2020;
  • Gross margin increased by 1.1 percentage points to 23.9%;
  • All operating segments were profitable, with total EBIT increasing by 34% to 13.6 million.

Key points YTD 2021

  • Gross margin increased by 2.2 percentage points to 23.1%;
  • Cost savings of EUR 4.9 million contribute to EBIT growth, up 68% to EUR 31.9 million;
  • Strong cash position maintained at EUR 138.4 million.

Continued growth in Q4, resulting in:

  • Full year revenue between EUR 880 million and EUR 900 million (2020: EUR 893 million)
  • Full year EBIT between EUR 43 million and EUR 45 million (2020: EUR 28.8 million)

Jilko Andringa, CEO of Brunel International N.V.:
“The month on month revenue growth over the past period has now resulted in strong growth for the year to date. Our revenue, gross margins and EBIT are improving fast, driven by our strategic focus on higher added value for our clients. The multi-year performance indicators in our markets show positive momentum, and our positioning leads to revenue growth in almost all regions, with the Americas, Asia and Russia standing out. Despite the increasing shortages in the labour markets, we remain successful in connecting more and more specialists to pioneering projects. While doing so, we have been successful in increasing our added value as is reflected in the strong increase in gross profit. In combination with continued disciplined execution, this results in a strong increase in our profitability.

Whilst we continue to expand our business in our strategic verticals, we also continue to develop our capabilities. Some examples of new types of services we delivered in this quarter are a recruitment solution (RPO) for a large mining site in Finland and the commissioning of a newbuild chemicals plant in Singapore we executed with a partner. We also accelerated our success in our traditional global mobility and recruitment services with many off-shore wind and hydrogen projects. We are well-positioned to take advantage of the increased demand for specialist and solutions for a more sustainable world, evidenced by the high growth percentage in our renewable vertical.

Now that COVID-19 restrictions are getting lifted in most regions, the return to topline growth provides the fundament for high single digit growth in the years to come."

Brunel International (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        227.2        207.110%a        654.3        683.2-4%b
Gross Profit        54.3        47.115%        151.1        143.16%
Gross margin23.9%22.8%23.1%20.9%
Operating costs        40.7        36.910%c        119.2        124.1-4%d
EBIT        13.6        10.234%        31.9        19.068%
EBIT %6.0%4.9%4.9%2.8%
Average directs        9,994        9,5994%        9,636        10,464-8%
Average indirects        1,299        1,395-7%        1,303        1,481-12%
Ratio direct / Indirect        7.7        6.9        7.4        7.1
a 9 % like-for-like
b -3 % like-for-like
c 10 % like-for-like
d -3 % like-for-like

Q3 2021 results by division
P&L amounts in EUR million


RevenueQ3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
DACH region55.654.62%164.7177.0-7%
The Netherlands44.445.5-2%136.6142.7-4%
Middle East & India25.725.03%75.988.7-14%
Rest of world48.437.130%130.3119.59%

Gross ProfitQ3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
DACH region21.019.67%58.255.25%
The Netherlands14.312.416%40.337.96%
Middle East & India4.24.13%12.314.5-15%
Rest of world8.66.531%23.420.514%

EBITQ3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
DACH region7.46.89%16.810.264%
The Netherlands4.43.048%11.67.848%
Middle East & India2.22.010%6.77.1-6%
Rest of world2.21.1103%5.13.070%

In Q3 2021, the Group’s revenue increased 10% or EUR 20.1 million y-o-y. Higher rates and a higher productivity resulted in an improved gross margin to 23.9%, which is an increase of 1.1 percentage points versus Q3 2020. All regions are both increasing both their gross margins and profitability, leading to an EBIT of 6%, an increase of EUR 3.4 million increase y-o-y, or 34%, compared to the same period last year.


DACH region (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        55.6        54.62%        164.7        177.0-7%
Gross Profit        21.0        19.67%        58.2        55.25%
Gross margin37.8%35.8%35.3%31.2%
Operating costs        13.6        12.86%        41.4        45.0-8%
EBIT        7.4        6.89%        16.8        10.264%
EBIT %13.3%12.4%10.2%5.8%
Average directs        1,972        2,019-2%        1,936        2,200-12%
Average indirects        371        432-14%        378        475-20%
Ratio direct / Indirect        5.3        4.7        5.1        4.6

Revenue in DACH increased by 2%, mainly driven by a higher rates and a higher productivity, partially offset by a 2% lower average headcount over the quarter. The higher rates and productivity lead to a 2.0 percentage points increase in gross margin.

The number of specialists in short-time working reduced from 9 in Q2 2021 to 5 at the end of Q3 2021.

Headcount as of September 30th was 1,991 (2020: 2,007)

Working days Germany:


Brunel Netherlands (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        44.4        45.5-2%        136.6        142.7-4%
Gross Profit        14.3        12.416%        40.3        37.96%
Gross margin32.1%27.2%29.5%26.6%
Operating costs        9.9        9.45%        28.7        30.1-5%
EBIT        4.4        3.048%        11.6        7.848%
EBIT %9.9%6.5%8.5%5.5%
Average directs        1,687        1,844-9%        1,713        1,919-11%
Average indirects        269        327-18%        282        346-18%
Ratio direct / Indirect        6.3        5.6        6.1        5.6

Revenue in The Netherlands decreased by 2%. Gross margin increased by 4.9 percentage points in Q3 2021, mainly driven by higher rates and a higher productivity. While we saw a strong increase in gross profit, which was achieved in almost all business lines, there was only a limited increase in operating cost, showing our operational leverage. This resulted in a 48% higher EBIT.

Headcount as of September 30th was 1,680 (2020: 1,835)

Working days per Q 2021 / 2020:


Australasia (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        27.7        26.74%a        77.6        85.0-9%b
Gross Profit        2.9        2.421%        7.9        7.210%
Gross margin10.5%9.0%10.2%8.4%
Operating costs        2.6        2.313%c        7.4        7.40%d
EBIT        0.3        0.1114%        0.5        -0.2429%
EBIT %1.1%0.5%0.6%-0.2%
Average directs        981        9365%        948        1,012-6%
Average indirects        95        8019%        88        828%
Ratio direct / Indirect        10.3        11.7        10.7        12.4
a 3 % like-for-like
b -12 % like-for-like
c 14 % like-for-like
d -2 % like-for-like

Australasia includes Australia and Papua New Guinea. Revenue was up 4% over Q3. Australia continued to be hindered by COVID-19 restrictions, while the travel restrictions in PNG were lifted, allowing expats to travel, supporting the region’s performance. Focus on higher value added activities increased the gross margin with 1.5 percentage points.

Middle East & India (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        25.7        25.03%a        75.9        88.7-14%b
Gross Profit        4.2        4.13%        12.3        14.5-15%
Gross margin16.3%16.2%16.2%16.3%
Operating costs        2.0        2.1-5%c        5.6        7.4-24%d
EBIT        2.2        2.010%        6.7        7.1-6%
EBIT %8.6%8.0%8.9%8.0%
Average directs        2,068        2,089-1%        2,056        2,435-16%
Average indirects        125        130-3%        125        139-10%
Ratio direct / Indirect        16.5        16.1        16.5        17.5
a 1 % like-for-like
b -10 % like-for-like
c -5 % like-for-like
d -21 % like-for-like

In Middle East & India we see the start of new projects as well as some extensions that drive the growth throughout the region compared with Q3 2020. Travel restrictions have eased in Qatar, India and the Emirates. Revenue is lower in Kuwait as travel restrictions continue to limit our activities. Supported by higher revenue, slightly better gross margin and lower costs, the EBIT percentage has increased with 0.6 percentage points to 8.6%.

Americas (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        25.4        18.240%a        69.2        69.50%b
Gross Profit        3.4        2.255%        9.1        7.915%
Gross margin13.5%12.2%13.1%11.3%
Operating costs        3.2        2.719%c        8.8        9.8-10%d
EBIT        0.2        -0.5142%        0.3        -1.9114%
EBIT %0.8%-2.7%0.4%-2.8%
Average directs        816        68918%        801        7714%
Average indirects        104        1031%        102        109-6%
Ratio direct / Indirect        7.8        6.7        7.8        7.1
a 35 % like-for-like
b 3 % like-for-like
c 15 % like-for-like
d -7 % like-for-like

Revenue growth in the Americas was very strong in Q3 and achieved in all countries in the region, proving our successful positioning. The gross margin increase of 1.3 percentage points is supported by an increase in recruitment revenue in the United States. All countries contributed to the increase, delivering a positive EBIT against a loss in 2020.

Rest of world (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q3 2021Q3 2020Δ%YTD 2021YTD 2020Δ%
Revenue        48.4        37.130%a        130.3        119.59%b
Gross Profit        8.6        6.531%        23.4        20.514%
Gross margin17.7%17.6%18.0%17.2%
Operating costs        6.4        5.419%c        18.3        17.55%d
EBIT        2.2        1.1103%        5.1        3.070%
EBIT %4.5%2.9%3.9%2.5%
Average directs        2,471        2,02222%        2,182        2,1074%
Average indirects        273        2615%        266        2670%
Ratio direct / Indirect        9.0        7.7        8.2        7.9
a 34 % like-for-like
b 16 % like-for-like
c 16 % like-for-like
d 7 % like-for-like

Rest of world includes Asia, Russia & Caspian, Belgium and rest of Europe & Africa. The main driver of growth continues to be Asia with two projects completed in Q3. In Russia we also achieved significant growth, leading to an overall 1.6 percentage points EBIT improvement. The region’s growth is partially offset by unfavourable exchange rate developments.

Cash position
The cash balance at 30 September 2021 amounts to EUR 138.4 million (EUR 155.0 per 31 December 2020), of which EUR 17.5 million restricted (EUR 15.1 per 31 December 2020). The cash balance decreased compared to 31 December 2020 in line with the normal seasonality, the distribution of dividend and the share buyback program in Q2.

We expect the current trends to continue in Q4 2021, supported by the lifting of COVID restrictions in most regions. The economic outlook for our sectors remains strong. Based on this, we expect revenue for the full year to be between EUR 880 million and EUR 900 million (2020: EUR 893 million), with EBIT between EUR 43 million and EUR 45 million (2020: EUR 28.8 million).


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