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Solutions 30 : 2020 EARNINGS REPORT

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Operational performance remains extremely resilient

  1. Revenue grew by 18% to €819.3 million
  2. EBITDA margin increases to 13.0%
  3. Net cash position of €59.2 million

Accelerating the group’s transformation

  1. Foundations reinforced to consolidate growth

Long-term outlook confirmed

  1. Potential for growth underpinned by the digital transformation and the energy transition, and bolstered by European recovery plans

Solutions 30 SE today announces its consolidated earnings for the financial year ended December 31.The Supervisory Board of Solutions 30, meeting on April 27, examined and approved the financial results for 2020, as approved by the Group Management Board. These results are still being audited. The complete consolidated financial statements, including the notes, will be made available as soon as possible. The financial presentation of the accounts will be available on the company’s website at 2 pm on April 29th.

Key figures

In millions of eurosFY2020FY2019
Restated(1)
Change
Revenue819.3691.4+18%
Adjusted EBITDA106.589.4+19%
As a % of revenue13.0%12.9%
Adjusted EBIT60.952.9+15%
As a % of revenue7.4%7.7%
Consolidated net income38.338.1+0.3%
As a % of revenue4.7%5.5%
Net income, group share36.938.7-5%
As a % of revenue4.5%5.6%
Financial structure figures12/31/202012/31/2019
Restated(1)
Change
Equity172.4134.5+38.0
Net debt28.992.1-63.1
Net bank debt-59.23.0-62.2
Free cash flow124.849.6+75.2

Very strong revenue growth

After a strong start to the year, travel restrictions and the closure of some businesses during the first lockdown disrupted Solutions 30’s activities from mid-March to mid-May. Over these two months, revenue was 35% lower than pre-COVID levels. When the lockdown ended, most of the group’s markets quickly bounced back to their pre-crisis levels and Solutions 30 returned to sustainable growth by June, growth which continued throughout the year.

Solutions 30 was able to quickly adapt its call-out processes to deal with the health crisis, ensuring the safety of its employees and its business continuity. As a result, the group posted solid performance throughout the year, proving the resilience of its business model, its operational and financial flexibility, as well as its ability to seize new opportunities, especially in the telecom sector.

For 2020, Solutions 30 posted revenue of €819.3 million compared to €691.4 million in 2019, representing growth of +18.5% (+13.0% organic growth). The group’s maintenance business, which is recurrent in nature, represents 59% of the group’s revenue.

In France, 2020 revenue was €522.7 million, compared to €434.4 million a year earlier, an increase of 20.4% (+19.7% organic growth). This performance was mainly driven by the 40% growth in the telecom business linked to FTTH sales and an uptick in the number of fiber subscribers.

In the Benelux, revenue reached €136.3 million, up +8.3% (+1.4% organic growth), thanks to the strong resilience of the telecom business.

In other countries, Solutions 30’s 2020 revenue amounted to €160.3 million, up +22.2% (+2.1% organic growth). The year was remarkable for the successful integration of the Polish business and the group’s entry into the UK market.

Adjusted EBITDA margin of 13.0%

Solutions 30 has the advantage of a largely variable cost structure that, along with the partial unemployment measures implemented during the first lockdown, helped to limit the impact of lower activity in March, April, and May on profitability for the first half of the year. Excellent momentum in the second half of the year helped Solutions 30’s operating margin bounce back for the period, wiping out the one-off decline in profitability from earlier in the year.

This meant that by the end of December 2020, adjusted EBITDA stood at €106.5 million, or 13.0% of revenue, compared to €89.4 million, or 12.9% of revenue in 2019. Excluding IFRS 16, adjusted EBITDA amounted to €83.0 million, or 10.1% of revenue, a stable margin compared to 2019.

In France, adjusted EBITDA reached €86.6 million, a margin of 16.6%, up 0.5 points from last year, thanks to an increase in call-out volumes in the second half of the year.

In the Benelux, adjusted EBITDA amounted to €21.4 million. The margin remained stable at 15.7% of revenue.

In other countries, and despite the effects of lockdown measures that particularly affected Italy and Spain, EBITDA was €7.6 million, representing 4.8% of revenue, compared to 4.5% a year earlier.

After accounting for €22.2 million in impairments and operational provisions, and after amortizing the usage rights for leased assets (IFRS 16), worth €23.5 million, adjusted EBIT stood at €60.9 million, a 15.0% increase compared to the previous year.

Customer relationship amortization amounted to €13.0 million in 2020, compared to €10.7 million a year earlier.

In 2020, Solutions 30 posted non-recurring income of €0.4 million, mainly related to negative goodwill recognized following the acquisitions of Algor and Brabamij, compared to non-recurring income of €5.1 million posted in 2019, mainly composed of negative goodwill related to the acquisition of a 51% stake in Byon and the income on the sale of Italian subsidiaries BSI and BRSI.

Net financial income, arising mostly from financial fees, represented an expense of €4.1 million, compared to €1.6 million in 2019. This includes finance costs from applying IFRS 16, which amounted to €0.6 million in 2020, stable compared to 2019.

After including tax expenses of €6.0 million, compared to €7.5 million a year earlier, the group share of net income amounted to €36.9 million, compared to €38.7 million in 2019.

A solid financial structure, the foundation for sustainable growth

At December 31, 2020, the group had €172.4 million in equity, compared to €134.5 million at December 31, 2019. The group had €159.3 million in gross cash, an increase of €75.1 million over the end of December 2019. Gross bank debt increased by €12.9 million compared to December 31, 2019, reaching €100.0 million. The group had cash net of debt (excluding IFRS 16) of €59.2 million at the end of December 2020, compared to net bank debt (excluding IFRS 16) of €3.0 million at the end of December 2019.

Including €63.5 million in leasing liabilities (IFRS 16) and €24.6 million of potential financial debt on future call options and earnouts, the group has a total net debt of €28.9 million, compared to €92.1 million a year earlier.

Outstanding receivables under the group’s deconsolidating factoring program amounted to €93.5 million at December 31, 2020, compared with €54 million at the end of 2019. Committed to a particularly sustained growth trajectory, since 2018 Solutions 30 has had in place a non-recourse, and therefore deconsolidating, factoring program with all of its subsidiaries to finance working capital from recurring activities that are fully developed. The use of factoring frees up the cash generated by these receivables to finance the group’s growth strategy, in particular the ramp-up of new contracts, at a cost of less than 1% of the amount of assigned receivables.

Operating cash flow amounted to €91.5 million in 2020. Sustained revenue growth throughout the year led to an increase of €45 million in working capital requirements. Net operational investments amounted to €11.6 million, or 1.4% of revenue, compared to 2.0% a year earlier. This falls within a normal range, generally considered to be between 1.5% and 4% of revenue, and goes mostly to investing in the group’s IT infrastructure and technical equipment. This means that the group had €124.8 million in free cash flow. Excluding IFRS 16, free cash flow amounted to €101.3 million, or 12.4% of the group’s total revenue. 

Accelerating the group’s transformation

At the beginning of April, Solutions 30 announced that it would be accelerating the improvement plan it began in 2019, which has already seen concrete progress, including the adoption of IFRS in 2019, the transfer of company shares to a regulated exchange, and better governance.

In line with these actions intended to support its strong growth, the Solutions 30 group has embarked on a new phase of its transformation, led by Robert Ziegler, newly appointed Chief Transformation Officer and member of the management board.

Solutions 30 is launching a transformation plan designed to strengthen its organization in terms of governance, risk management, and compliance, with the aim of having its new management and control procedures in place by the end of 2021. This plan integrates issues related to corporate social responsibility and extends the efforts undertaken by the group since 2019 in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) accountability criteria. One result of this action plan is a significant improvement in its ratings in 2020 and early 2021.

Through this transformation plan, Solutions 30 intends to consolidate its foundations to build a better future for the company and its growth. To this end, the group will rely on the commitment of its teams, the loyalty of its customers, the solidity of its financial structure, and the agility of its business model.

Sustained growth prospects throughout Europe

From an operational standpoint, the group took advantage of 2020 to consolidate its achievements and confirm the strength of its business model in a booming market, entering a new phase of growth driven by the digital transformation and the energy transition (smart grids and electric mobility).

The group’s teams remain focused on executing the growth strategy and capitalizing on its recent successes, especially in Italy with the broadband Internet roll-out and in Belgium with the installation of smart meters. Solutions 30 is heading into 2021 with confidence and serenity, determined to reach its goal of €1 billion in revenue.

All over Europe, recovery plans of unprecedented scale—both in terms of their amount and their duration—are being implemented, allocating significant funds to deploy more efficient telecommunication infrastructures and to accelerate the energy transition. These public measures are in addition to the initiatives of private service providers spearheading efforts to deploy fiber-optic networks, next generation mobile networks, and electric mobility. Solutions 30 is well positioned in all of these sectors, which greatly enhances its prospects for growth.

Upcoming event

2021 Q2 Revenue                                                                                                           July 27, 2021

(1)   Following the investigations carried out by Deloitte and Didier Kling Expertise & Conseil, Solutions 30 has made two changes to its consolidation scope which have led to a restatement of its 2019 accounts:

Worldlink: On December 1, 2020, the group acquired 100% of the share capital of Worldlink Gmbh, in which it had previously held a 20% stake. When the 2019 consolidated financial statements were published, the group had not accounted for its control of Worldlink, so that company had not been fully consolidated into the accounts. However, given that purchase and sale options had been signed by the end of March 2019, Solutions 30 could have increased its stake in Worldlink and become its majority shareholder before it officially took over operations in 2020. According to IFRS, Worldlink should have been fully consolidated into the accounts as of April 1, 2019. Data for 2019 have been restated after the decision was made to set Worldlink’s takeover date at April 1, 2019.

Vitgo Telecomunicaciones: On October 23, 2019, the group acquired 100% of Vitgo Telecomunicaciones’ share capital, having previously held a 49% stake in the company. As of the date of preparation of the 2018 and 2019 annual consolidated financial statements, the group had not considered it was in control of Vitgo Telecomunicaciones until October 23, 2019 and had therefore consolidated it using the equity method until that date. However, given the group’s economic exposure to Vitgo Telecomunicaciones, the objective of prioritizing substance over form should have led Solutions 30 to fully consolidate Vitgo Telecomunicaciones from the IFRS transition date of January 1, 2018, even before the effective takeover date in October 2019. Data for 2018 and 2019 have been restated after the decision was made to set Vitgo Telecomunicaciones’s takeover date at January 1, 2018.

The impact of these restatements will be detailed in the financial statements. This mainly resulted in a positive impact of €9.2 million on 2019 revenue, and a negative impact of €2.4 million on adjusted EBITDA and
-€1.1 million on consolidated net income.

About Solutions 30 SE

The Solutions 30 group is the European leader in solutions for new technologies. Its mission is to make the technological developments that are transforming our daily lives accessible to everyone, individuals and businesses alike. Yesterday, it was computers and the Internet. Today, it’s digital technology. Tomorrow, it will be technologies that make the world even more interconnected in real time. With more than 30 million call-outs carried out since it was founded and a network of more than 15,700 local technicians, Solutions 30 currently covers all of France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Iberian Peninsula, the United Kingdom, and Poland. The share capital of Solutions 30 SE consists of 107,127,984 shares, equal to the number of theoretical votes that can be exercised.
Solutions 30 SE is listed on the Euronext Paris exchange (ISIN FR0013379484- code S30). Indexes: MSCI Europe Small Cap | Tech40 | CAC PME | SBF120 | CAC Mid 60. Visit our website for more information: www.solutions30.com


Contact

Analysts/investors             Nathalie Boumendil     |  Tel: +33 6 85 82 41 95       |                                        nathalie.boumendil@solutions30.com

Press - Image 7:                Leslie Jung                  |  Tel: +44 7818 641803        |                                        ljung@image7.fr
                                        Flore Larger                |  Tel: +33 6 33 13 41 50       |                                        flarger@image7.fr       
                                        Charlotte Le Barbier     |  Tel: +33 6 78 37 27 60       |                                        clebarbier@image7.fr

APPENDIX 1 - Glossary

Organic growth                           Organic growth includes the organic growth of acquired companies after they are acquired, which Solutions 30 assumes they would not have experienced had they remained independent.

FY2019
Restated(1)
FY 2020
TotalOrganic growth of existing subsidiariesOrganic growth from acquired companiesAcquisitionsTotal
Value%Value%Value%ValueChange
Total691.476.311%13.82%38.05%819.319%
From France434.477.518%82%2.91%522.720%
From Benelux125.92.22%-0.50%8.77%136.38%
From other countries131.1-3.5-3%6.35%26.320%160.322%

EBITDA                                        Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as well as non-recurring income and expenses. It corresponds to the “operating margin” in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income.

Adjusted EBIT                             Operating income before amortization of intangible assets, including customer relationships, and non-recurring income and expenses.

In thousands of euros FY2020FY2019
Restated(1)
Operating income48,27947,337
Customer relationship amortization12,99610,694
Earnings on sale of holdings49-2,057
Other non-recurring operating income, including badwill-464-3,071
Adjusted EBIT60,85852,903

Non-recurring transactions       Income and expenses that are infrequent, unusual in nature, and significant in amount are considered non-recurring transactions.

Customer relationships              Intangible assets related to the fair value measurement of acquired companies at the time of consolidation. The amortization period of 3 to 15 years is the estimated time for the consumption of the majority of economic benefits flowing to the company.


Net debt                                       Net debt includes loans from credit institutions, bank overdrafts, lease liabilities, and future liabilities from earnouts and put options, less cash and cash equivalents.

In thousands of euros 12/31/202012/31/2019
Restated(1)
Bank debt100,04587,153
Lease liabilities63,54861,916
Future liabilities from earnouts and put options24,61827,179
Cash and cash equivalents -159,279-84,194
Net debt28,93392,054

Net bank debt                              Net bank debt includes loans from credit institutions and bank overdrafts, less cash and cash equivalents. This represents net debt excluding the impact of IFRS 16. Net bank debt is used as a reference in calculating the covenants included in the group’s debt contracts.

In thousands of euros 12/31/202012/31/2019
Restated(1)
Loans from credit institutions, long-term71,97765,827
Loans from credit institutions, short-term and lines of credit28,06821,326
Cash and cash equivalents -159,279-84,194
Net bank debt-59,2342,959

Free cash flow                             Free cash flow corresponds to the net cash flow from operating activities minus the acquisitions of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment net of disposals.

In thousands of euros 12/31/202012/31/2019 Restated(1)
Net cash flow from operating activities136,84763,679
Acquisition of non-current assets-12,670-15,297
Disposal of non-current assets after tax 6391,223
Free cash flow124,81649,606

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