Interim Report October-December 2021
Organic growth and a strong order intake during the quarter
Regulatory press release
• Net sales increased by 11 percent to SEK 6,218 million (5,614)
• The order backlog rose by 20 percent to SEK 16,519 million (13,791)
• EBITA rose by 31 percent to SEK 625 million (478)
• The EBITA margin was 10.1% (8.5)
• Profit after tax was SEK 468 million (351)
• Cash flow from operating activities was SEK 1,115 million (873)
• Net debt amounted to SEK -1,003 million (-1,124)
• Eight acquisitions were made during the quarter, adding annual sales of approximately SEK 360 million
• Basic and diluted earnings per share were SEK 2.32 (1.73) and SEK 2.31 (1.73)
• Repayment of pension funds from the insurance company AFA affected EBITA by SEK 96 million in Sweden
Organic growth was 6 percent and the order intake increased by 41 percent during the fourth quarter. All countries contributed to the overall growth, which comes from both service and installation activities. The EBITA margin improved compared to last year. With a record order backlog and increased demand for services, Bravida remains well positioned for the coming quarters.
Netsales and EBITA
I am very pleased with our good performance during the quarter. Our previous assessment was that organic growth would return by the end of the year and it is pleasing to see that this is indeed the case. Organic growth for the fourth quarter was 6 percent and was positive in all countries except Norway, where we see a distinct improvement in growth during the quarter. Total growth was also good, at 11 percent for the quarter.The strong development is explained by higher production in the installation business and increased demand in the service business in all countries.
The order backlog increased by SEK 1,251 million during the quarter. This was mainly due to a very strong increase in the order intake in Norway, where we signed several large hospital projects. Several of the projects are collaborative projects where we have been involved in the development at an early stage.
EBITA for the quarter was SEK 625 million and the margin was 10.1 percent. Earnings includes a repayment of pension funds of SEK 96 million from AFA. Excluding the repayment, the EBITA margin was unchanged at 8.5 percent compared to the previous year, this despite continued investments in digitalisation of the business. EBITA margin improved in Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Dividend proposal and record low debt
The operating cash flow increased in the quarter compared to last year, mainly due to more activity in the installation business. Debt amounted to a record low 0.5 times EBITDA. The Board proposes raising the dividend by 20 percent to SEK 3 per share for 2021, which corresponds to 53 percent of earnings per share. I am very pleased that we can increase the dividend during a pandemic year, which is proof of ours strong balance sheet and a stable earnings trend.
Our pursuit of acquisitions has intensified over the past six months, as we start to move away from the challenges caused by the pandemic, which made it difficult to meet potential companies. We made 20 acquisitions in 2021, with total annual sales of approximately SEK 1,052 million, and in 2022 we have so far completed six acquisitions with annual sales of approximately SEK 197 million. Looking to the future, we see good opportunities to further increase the pace of acquisitions as we have a strong pipeline of potential companies and a stable price level for the bolt-ons acquisitions we make.
In order to reduce our climate footprint and improve what we can offer employees, Bravida Sweden took the decision during the quarter to offer only electric cars as company cars. Bravida has a total of approximately 1,200 company cars in Sweden. We are very pleased to now be able to give both existing and new employees the opportunity to drive completely fossil free.
There is a clear recovery in both the service and installation businesses, and we witnessed a gradual improvement in the market in 2021. In a shorter perspective, we are taking into account that the pandemic is still causing some uncertainty. We had a higher than normal sickness absence rate in late 2021 and this trend continued in early 2022. This will have a short-term impact on our own production.
As we previously announced, raw material prices are rising sharply and there is a risk of material shortages in some areas. Bravida is following these developments closely and we have good systems for handling such eventualities. So far the impact has been minimal. In addition, we will increase our work with direct import to counteract price increases.
Our assessment is that high energy prices and our customers’ sustainability requirements regarding their properties will drive demand for energy-efficient solutions and energy optimisation in the future. This is a demand that we are well equipped to meet. Our investments in areas such as building automation and technical facility management further strengthen our range of services and create more opportunities for profitable growth.
I am optimistic about the coming quarters, with our strong order backlog and good demand for services likely to result in a high level of business activity.
Stockholm, February 2022
For further information, please contact:
Peter Norström, Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +46 8 695 20 07
The report will be presented at 09:30 CET by CEO and Group President Mattias Johansson and CFO Åsa Neving. The presentation will be held in English and can be followed on the web or over the phone. There will be room for questions.
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This disclosure contains information that Bravida Holding AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU nr 596/2014). The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person, on 15-02-2022 07:30 CET.