Linz, 07.05.2020. The technology group S&T AG (www.snt.at) is delivering its 45th record quarter in a row at the start of the year with the first quarter of 2020. This even though the corona crisis is currently having a strong impact on the global economy and personal everyday life. Both revenues and profitability increased further compared to the same quarter last year. Revenues increased by around 20% to EUR 270.1 million (PY: EUR 225.1 million), while gross profit rose from EUR 85.3 million to EUR 107.8 million, reaching a new record gross margin level of 39.9%. EBITDA increased by a pleasing 18.2% to EUR 25 million (PY: EUR 21.2 million). Earnings per share increased by 7% to EUR 15 cents (PY: EUR 14 cents).
The PEC ("Profit Efficiency Cash") program launched in the summer of 2019 is continuing to have an effect: the operating cash flow in the first quarter of 2020 improved by EUR 19.4 million from minus EUR 13 million to EUR 6.4 million. This leads to a sustained strong financial situation for the S&T Group, which has, despite further share buybacks and the ongoing repayment of financial liabilities, liquid funds of EUR 276.1 million at its disposal.
Overall, the first quarter was therefore very positive for S&T AG, but from March onwards was burdened by the first significant effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. While sectors such as aviation, entertainment or tourism are currently experiencing a complete collapse, the S&T Group sees growth in communication and medical technology as well as online trading. Overall, the Covid-19 pandemic, which started in Asia at the beginning of the year, and its effects on the supply chains, had a negative impact of around EUR 1.8 million on the results of Group S&T, otherwise the results would have been correspondingly higher.
In the short term, S&T AG will not be able to completely escape the current developments, but in the medium term it sees itself as one of the winners of the Corona crisis. With its broad customer base, S&T is well diversified and resilient. The high level of cash and cash equivalents and further unused credit lines make the S&T Group financially strong and crisis-proof. This strength can and will be used to take over financially weaker competitors at favorable terms during the crisis.
On the basis of the aforementioned strengths, the figures for the first quarter of 2020 and the latest forecasts, the Management Board of S&T AG considers it likely that business development for the current financial year will exceed previous year's level despite the corona crisis. This is underpinned by the further increase in orders on hand to EUR 873m (31.12.2019: EUR 841m). In 2020, revenues are expected to reach around EUR 1,150 million and profitability around EUR 115 million EBITDA. Both figures are around 3% above the 2019 financial year, which means that the S&T Group will continue its profitable growth path, despite the massive distortions in the global economy. Thus, even with the corona pandemic, an EBITDA margin of 10% should be achieved for the first time in 2020. "In the medium term, S&T will be a winner in the crisis. We therefore reaffirm our ambitious Agenda 2023 target of EUR 2 billion in revenue with an EBITDA of EUR 220 million", states Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of S&T AG.