Thanks to strong domestic business, USU Software AG, together with its subsidiaries (hereinafter also referred to as the USU Group or USU), successfully continued its growth trend after a good start to the quarter. USU increased its consolidated sales (IFRS) by 3.3% year-on-year to EUR 26.7 million in the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2020: EUR 25.9 million), benefiting mainly from excellent license and SaaS business.
Group expenses increased only slightly year on year, up by just 2.6% at EUR 24.9 million (2020: EUR 24.3 million). This means that USU generated considerable earnings growth compared to the previous year. The USU Group thus improved its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 15.2% to EUR 3.5 million in the reporting quarter (Q2 2020: EUR 3.0 million). Taking into account depreciation and amortization expense of EUR 1.2 million (Q2 2020: EUR 1.3 million), earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 2.3 million (Q2 2020: EUR 1.7 million). This corresponds to a year-on-year increase in EBIT of 32.7%.
After interest and taxes, profit for the period came to EUR 1.8 million (Q2 2020: EUR 1.5 million), representing an upturn of 16.0%. This corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 0.17 (Q2 2020: EUR 0.14). In the same period, EBIT adjusted for the extraordinary effects of acquisitions (adjusted EBIT) also picked up by 24.5% year-on-year to EUR 2.4 million (Q2 2020: EUR 1.9 million), while the adjusted net result increased from EUR 1.7 million in the previous year to EUR 1.9 million. This corresponds to adjusted earnings per share of EUR 0.18 (Q2 2020: EUR 0.16).
In the first six months of the year, the USU Group increased its consolidated sales (IFRS) by 3.5% year-on-year to EUR 53.9 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 52.1 million). This was due in particular to new domestic digitalization projects, which are enjoying particularly strong demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Accordingly, the USU Group increased its sales in Germany by 8.4% to EUR 40.4 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 37.3 thousand), whereas international sales declined to EUR 13.5 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 14.8 million).
Broken down by type of sales, USU’s consulting revenue saw above-average growth of 8.2% year-on-year to EUR 32.0 million thanks to the high number of new orders acquired (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 29.6 million). At the same time, it benefited from the sustained growth in cloud and maintenance business. Maintenance sales including sales from SaaS business increased by 4.7% to EUR 16.6 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 15.9 million), of which EUR 5.1 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 4.5 million) was attributable to SaaS sales alone. This represents an increase in SaaS sales of 12.5%. As a result of the higher share of new contracts attributable to SaaS, license sales in the Q1-Q2 2021 reporting period were down 17.8% on the very strong prior-year figure at EUR 4.8 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 5.8 million) despite the increase in the second quarter of 2021.
As the operating cost base of the USU Group increased by only 2.4% year-on-year to EUR 50.3 million in the reporting period (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 49.1 million), USU improved its profitability significantly. Accordingly, the company increased its EBITDA by 9.6% to EUR 6.7 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 6.1 million), while its EBIT rose by 24.6% to EUR 4.3 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 3.5 million). All in all, consolidated net profit improved by 22.8% to EUR 3.8 million in the first half of 2021 (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 3.1 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 0.36 (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 0.29).
As a result of the business growth, USU also increased its adjusted EBIT in the first six months of 2021 by 17.3% year-on-year to EUR 4.6 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 3.9 million), improving its earnings margin on adjusted EBIT from 7.5% to 8.5%. At the same time, adjusted consolidated earnings also climbed by 15.9% to EUR 4.0 million (Q1-Q2 2020: EUR 3.5 million). Adjusted earnings per share rose accordingly from EUR 0.33 in the previous year to EUR 0.38.
With an equity ratio of 54.9% (December 31, 2020: 53.5%), the 18.5% rise in what was already extensive Group liquidity of EUR 22.0 million (December 31, 2020: EUR 18.5 million) and no liabilities to banks, the USU Group still has extremely sound and secure financing.
For 2021 as a whole, the Management Board expects the USU Group to record slight growth in sales and an improvement in adjusted EBITDA to at least EUR 9-10 million. The main contributing factor will be strong SaaS business. One key indicator here is the record level of Group-wide orders on hand, which grew to EUR 66.2 million in the reporting period (June 30, 2020: EUR 59.5 million). In addition, the Management Board anticipates positive effects and increased efficiency in connection with the implementation of the “One USU” strategy. The Management Board is also confirming current 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.