European digital services group SQLI today announces its results for the year 2021, which were approved by the Board of Directors at its meeting on 8 March 2022, chaired by Philippe Donche-Gay. The statutory auditors have conducted the audit procedures.
Results are in line with management’s targets, with a return to growth in activity (+5.4%) and an increase of more than 2 points in the current operating margin (+2.4 points).
|In €m – IFRS – Audited data||2019||2020||2021|
|CURRENT OPERATING INCOME||13.2||7.2||13.1|
|OPERATING INCOME (EBIT)||9.7||7.5||11.7|
Return to growth in activity
SQLI returned to organic growth in Q2 2021 and ended the year with consolidated revenues of €225.4m, an increase of 5.4% in reported data and +4.8% at constant scope and exchange rates2.
Sales momentum gradually improved in France (+3.9% to €119.1m, 53% of the Group’s total), and remained solid internationally (+5.9% at constant scope and exchange rates at €106.2m, 47% of the total).
Recovery in profitability underway
This renewed growth in activity, combined with a gradual improvement in operating indicators (utilisation rate, industrialisation of offers via Service Centres and optimisation of structural costs), enabled a recovery in margins. EBITDA thus came out at €15.2m (6.7% of revenues) and current operating income €13.1m (5.8% of revenues), a level comparable to that generated in 2019 before the health crisis.
After taking into account net other operating income and expenses (-€1.4m), operating income (EBIT) came in at €11.7m versus €7.5m in 2020 and €9.7m in 2019.
Annual net profit was €5.3m, incorporating the cost of net financial debt (€2.3m) and a tax charge of €3.7m (of which €1m related to the cancellation of deferred taxes).
Net financial debt under control and post-closing refinancing
SQLI generated a solid gross cash flow margin (€14.2m before the impact of IFRS 16), well above the increase in the working capital requirement (€4.5m) due to year-end growth. Net financial debt was €16.4m at the end of 2021, or 16% of equity (€100.9m) and 1.1x annual EBITDA.
In February 2022, SQLI fully refinanced, giving it a financial capacity in line with its development strategy. The company issued a seven-year bullet bond worth €28m, repaid all of its financial debt (including the state-guaranteed loan (PGE) of €25m) and negotiated two additional lines (CAPEX credit and 36-month RCF line) for a total amount of €30m. These operations, combined with factoring capacities, provide overall fire power of around €50m. The implementation cost as well as the costs of the takeover bid amount of around €5m will be recorded in the accounts for H1 2022.
SQLI will announce its Q3 2022 revenues figure on 22 September 2022 after close of trading.
1 EBITDA = earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (excl. IFRS 16).
2 Redbox Digital, an e-commerce agency based in the UK and the Middle East, was incorporated in March 2020