- Sales growth of 19.3% to EUR 26.2 million
- Record first-quarter earnings: Adjusted EBIT increased by a factor of twelve year-on-year to EUR 2 million
- Cash flow and liquidity increased further
- Continued sound financing
- Orders on hand reach new record in company’s history
- Forecast anticipates further growth
Möglingen, May 26, 2020. - According to the figures for the first quarter of 2020 published today, Europe’s biggest provider of digital customer service solutions increased its consolidated sales by 19.3% to EUR 26.2 million (Q1 2019: EUR 22.0 million). The very strong operating performance was shaped by the acquisition of several major orders. USU benefited in particular from very good international business. The Group accordingly generated an above-average increase in its sales generated outside Germany of 45.7% year-on-year to EUR 7.9 million in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2019: EUR 5.4 million).
Broken down by sales type, USU generated a particularly high year-on-year increase in consulting income of 22.3% to EUR 14.8 million (Q1 2019: EUR 12.1 million). At the same time, the Group benefited from continuing growth in cloud and maintenance business. For example, maintenance sales including sales from the software-as-a-service (SaaS) business increased by 15.3% year-on-year to EUR 7.8 million (Q1 2019: EUR 6.7 million). Despite the growing trend toward SaaS business, sales from software licenses also increased by 12.9% year-on-year to EUR 3.4 million in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2019: EUR 3.0 million).
As a result of the positive business development and the associated increase in high-margin software license and SaaS business, the USU Group’s profitability increased significantly in the first quarter of 2020 as compared to the previous year. USU’s EBITDA thus tripled as against the previous year to EUR 3.1 million (Q1 2019: EUR 1.0 million). Adjusted for depreciation and amortization totaling EUR 1.3 million (Q1 2019: EUR 1.2 million), USU generated EBIT of EUR 1.7 million in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2019: EUR -0.2 million).
Overall, consolidated net income improved to EUR 1.6 million in the reporting period, after a quarterly loss of EUR -0.6 million in the first quarter of 2019. With an average of 10,523,770 shares outstanding, this corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 0.15 (Q1 2019: EUR -0.06).
USU increased its EBIT adjusted for extraordinary effects relating to acquisitions (adjusted EBIT) by a factor of twelve year-on-year to EUR 2.0 million in the first three months of 2020 (Q1 2019: EUR 0.2 million). At the same, adjusted consolidated earnings rose to EUR 1.8 million (Q1 2019: EUR -0.3 million). Adjusted earnings per share thus improved from EUR -0.03 in the previous year to EUR 0.17.
As a result of the improvement in earnings, USU’s cash flow from operating activities climbed from EUR 7.6 million in the first three months of 2019 to currently EUR 8.6 million. The USU Group thus increased its liquidity to EUR 17.6 million as of March 31, 2020 (December 31, 2019: EUR 10.4 million).
At the same time, USU’s equity improved from EUR 60.2 million as of December 31, 2019 to EUR 61.6 million as of March 31, 2020. With total assets of EUR 109 million (December 31, 2019: EUR 104.5 million), the equity ratio was 56.5% as at March 31, 2020 (December 31, 2019: 57.6%). With this equity ratio, extensive Group liquidity, and no liabilities to banks, the USU Group still has extremely sound and secure financing, even in the coronavirus crisis.
As a result of the strong order development, USU also increased its orders on hand to EUR 57.8 million at the end of the reporting period (March 31, 2019: EUR 51.7 million), marking a new record in the company’s history. This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 11.8%.
In view of the continued uncertainty over the duration and development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scale of the associated effects on the global economy, it is not currently possible to make a reliable and realistic precise estimate of the future business development. However, the Management Board anticipates growth in sales and positive adjusted EBIT in fiscal 2020 even in the event of much longer-lasting crisis or a further deterioration in the current situation.
The Management Board is also confirming the USU Group’s medium-term planning, which includes average organic sales growth of 10% in the next few years and an increase in the operating margin on adjusted EBIT to between 13% and 15% by 2024.