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Brunel reports strong organic growth supported by all regions, additional boost from Taylor Hopkinson acquisition

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Amsterdam, 29 April 2022 – Brunel International N.V. (Brunel; BRNL), a global provider of flexible workforce solutions and expertise, today announced its first quarter (Q1) 2022 results.

Key points Q1 2022

  • Revenue of EUR 275 million, up 29%, 18% growth like-for-like
  • EBIT up 46% to EUR 15.6 million
  • Strategy continues to gain traction with strong need for specialists and engineering solutions across global industries; all regions growing and profitable
  • Updated ESG strategy to accelerate commitments: Net zero emission in 2022
  • Acceleration in renewable recruitment solutions through Taylor Hopkinson acquisition. Integration on track; market leadership position strengthened
  • Operational leverage further enhanced with a conversion to EBIT of 39% of the increase in gross profit
  • Strong cash position maintained at EUR 103 million
  • Brunel is in the process of selling the activities in Russia to local management.

Jilko Andringa, CEO of Brunel International N.V.: “We started the year 2022 strongly with revenue growth accelerating in all regions and strong growth outside of Europe, particularly in Asia. As the quarter advanced, we saw the trend accelerating even faster with revenue exceeding EUR 100 million in March. Our gross margin increased in almost all regions, as our clients recognize the value of the connected Brunel specialists in many pioneering projects. Supported by strict operating cost management, this resulted in an EBIT of 5.7% for the quarter, which is testament to our ability of disciplined execution.

We are in the process of selling our Russian activities to local management. I would like to thank our Russian colleagues for their commitment to Brunel and the business they build over the last 20 years.

As we acquired Taylor Hopkinson in the last quarter of 2021 to expand our capabilities in the renewable market, we are steadily progressing with the post-merger integration activities and are confident that we will complete this in the coming months. This will allow us to maintain our leading position in the renewables vertical as we are driving the energy transition of our clients. To show our strong commitment to these trends, we have updated our own ESG strategy and accelerate our ambitions to become carbon neutral.

We can build upon our strong team of Brunellers. We ask all Brunellers to be ‘curious’ to grow our knowledge leadership and to be ‘eager’ to show the right attitude to further expand our business. We are confident we can stay ahead of our five year plan and take advantage of the post-COVID momentum as most regions have abandoned their restrictions and are already delivering upon the increased demand for engineers.”

ESG strategy

Following our strategy update in March 2021, we have seen our new growth strategy gaining further traction. We are well positioned to take advantage of the increased demand for specialists and engineering solutions for a more sustainable world. The acquisition of Taylor Hopkinson has established our leadership position in the renewables vertical and we are instrumental in our clients’ energy transition. To underline our commitments for a more sustainable world, we have updated our ESG strategy and will accelerate the efforts to become carbon neutral. At last year’s capital markets day, we had committed to reduce our footprint and to fully compensate the remaining emission by 2030. The reduction plan is well underway. We have decided to already offset all remaining emission as of 2022.

Brunel International (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         274.6         213.0 29%a
Gross Profit         61.8         49.3 25%
Gross margin 22.5% 23.1%
Operating costs         45.1         38.6 17%b
Operating result         16.7         10.7 56%
Earn out related share based payments*         1.1         -
EBIT         15.6         10.7 46%c
EBIT % 5.7% 5.0%
Average directs         11,233         9,290 21%
Average indirects         1,436         1,310 10%
Ratio direct / Indirect         7.8         7.1
a 18 % like-for-like
b 8 % like-for-like
c 43 % like-for-like
Like-for-like is measured excluding the impact of currencies and acquisitions
*Relates to the acquisition related expenses for Taylor Hopkinson

Q1 2022 results by region
P&L amounts in EUR million

Summary:

RevenueQ1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
DACH region 58.4 55.7 5%
The Netherlands 48.9 47.2 4%
Australasia 34.0 25.2 35%
Middle East & India 30.8 25.2 22%
Americas 32.5 20.3 60%
Rest of world 70.0 39.4 78%
Total274.6213.029%


EBITQ1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
DACH region 6.9 6.0 15%
The Netherlands 5.2 4.0 30%
Australasia 0.2 0.0
Middle East & India 3.0 2.4 25%
Americas 0.4 -0.1 500%
Rest of world 2.8 1.3 115%
Unallocated -2.9 -2.9 0%
Total15.610.746%

In Q1 2022 the Group’s revenue increased by 29% or EUR 61.6 million y-o-y, driven by all regions, with the largest growth in Rest of World and Americas. Excluding acquisitions, revenue increased by 22%.  
Gross margin in DACH and The Netherlands increased over the quarter. As a result of the change in the mix between Europe and the other regions, total gross margin decreased by 0.6 percentage points.
EBIT increased by 46% or EUR 4.9 million y-o-y. Excluding acquisitions, EBIT increased by 47% or EUR 5.1 million.

BREAKDOWN BY REGION

DACH region (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         58.4         55.7 5%
Gross Profit         21.1         19.6 8%
Gross margin 36.1% 35.2%
Operating costs         14.2         13.6 4%
EBIT         6.9         6.0 15%
EBIT % 11.8% 10.8%
Average directs         1,985         1,901 4%
Average indirects         388         377 3%
Ratio direct / Indirect         5.1         5.0

The DACH region includes Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Czech Republic.

Revenue per working day in DACH increased by 3%. The higher revenue and the 0.9 percentage point higher gross margin are mainly driven by one additional working day as well as higher rates, partially offset by a lower productivity due to higher illness related absence. The gross margin adjusted for working days is 35.2% in Q1 2022 (Q1 2021: 35.2%). EBIT% increased 1.0 percentage point.

Working days Germany:

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FY
2022 64 60 66 62 252
2021 63 60 66 65 254


The Netherlands (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         48.9         47.2 4%
Gross Profit         14.9         13.5 10%
Gross margin 30.5% 28.6%
Operating costs         9.7         9.5 2%
EBIT         5.2         4.0 30%
EBIT % 10.6% 8.5%
Average directs         1,677         1,733 -3%
Average indirects         276         301 -8%
Ratio direct / Indirect         6.1         5.8

Revenue per working day in The Netherlands increased by 2.1%. The increase is mainly the result of higher rates, partially offset by the lower headcount and a lower productivity. The business line Legal continues to be the major driver of the growth. The gross margin adjusted for working days is 29.7% in Q1 2022 (Q1 2021: 28.6%).

Working days The Netherlands:

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FY
2022 64 61 66 64 255
2021 63 61 66 66 256


Australasia (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         34.0         25.2 35%a
Gross Profit         3.1         2.4 29%
Gross margin 9.1% 9.5%
Operating costs         2.9         2.4 21%b
EBIT         0.2         -
EBIT % 0.6% 0.0%
Average directs         1,256         906 39%
Average indirects         101         83 22%
Ratio direct / Indirect         12.4         10.9
a 31 % like-for-like
b 22 % like-for-like
Like-for-like is measured excluding the impact of currencies and acquisitions

Australasia includes Australia and Papua New Guinea. Revenue increased significantly in both markets following the lifting of travel restrictions in the second half of 2021. Gross margin decreased slightly due to a change in the client mix.

Middle East & India (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         30.8         25.2 22%a
Gross Profit         5.2         4.1 27%
Gross margin 16.9% 16.3%
Operating costs         2.2         1.7 29%b
EBIT         3.0         2.4 25%
EBIT % 9.7% 9.5%
Average directs         2,179         2,078 5%
Average indirects         130         125 4%
Ratio direct / Indirect         16.8         16.7
a 14 % like-for-like
b 21 % like-for-like
Like-for-like is measured excluding the impact of currencies and acquisitions

Middle East & India includes Qatar, Kuwait, Dubai, Oman, Kurdistan, Iraq and India.
All countries contributed to the strong revenue increase, mainly driven by new projects with both existing and new clients, another short term shutdown project and a favourable currency effect. Gross margin increased due to focus on higher value added activities and client diversification. Operating costs increased as a result of investments in staff to support future growth.

Americas (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         32.5         20.3 60%
Gross Profit         4.2         2.6 62%
Gross margin 12.9% 12.8%
Operating costs         3.8         2.7 41%
EBIT         0.4         -0.1 500%
EBIT % 1.2% -0.5%
Average directs         861         761 13%
Average indirects         115         100 15%
Ratio direct / Indirect         7.5         7.6
a 47 % like-for-like
b 26 % like-for-like
Like-for-like is measured excluding the impact of currencies and acquisitions

We continue to see strong growth in our main markets in the USA, Canada and Brazil. The growth is mainly driven by new projects and higher rates. The increased volume helped the region return to profitability in Q1 2022.

Rest of world (unaudited)
P&L amounts in EUR million
Q1 2022Q1 2021Δ%
Revenue         70.0         39.4 78%a
Gross Profit         13.3         7.1 87%
Gross margin 19.0% 18.0%
Operating costs         9.4         5.8 62%b
Operating result         3.9         1.3 200%
Earn out related share based payments*         1.1         -
EBIT         2.8         1.3 115%c
EBIT % 4.0% 3.3%
Average directs         3,276         1,911 71%
Average indirects         366         264 39%
Ratio direct / Indirect         9.0         7.2
a 35 % like-for-like
b 8 % like-for-like
c 127 % like-for-like
Like-for-like is measured excluding the impact of currencies and acquisitions
*Relates to the acquisition related expenses for Taylor Hopkinson

The growth is mainly driven by the acquisition of Taylor Hopkinson in Q4 2021 and a strong performance in Asia, where we continue to see strong growth with construction projects in China and Singapore.

Outlook
We expect the current favourable trends to continue throughout Q2 2022: Revenue will be higher y-o-y at a slightly lower overall gross margin compared to the same quarter in 2021. Compared to Q1 2022, gross margin and EBIT in Q2 2022 are expected to be lower than Q1 due to seasonality and a lower number of working days, following the normal trend in our business.

Brunel is in the process of selling the activities in Russia to local management. In Q1 2022, Russia contributed EUR 9.7 million revenue and EUR 0.8 million EBIT to Brunel’s results. The net investment in Russia at 31 March 2022 is EUR 14 million.

Source: Brunel International NV

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