Interim Report 2020
ALSO WELL POSITIONED
The Covid-19 pandemic led to a disruption of the economic systems worldwide. In the ICT industry, this was reflected in a fundamental change of the speed and intensity of market movements. Demand was determined by strong fluctuations regarding time as well as regions. During this phase, companies with flat structures, responsive analytics systems, robust, platform-based business models and a diversified ecosystem were positioned best.
ALSO TAKES ACTION EARLY ON
The rapid and early introduction of measures in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as additional hygiene precautions, shift systems in the warehouses, home office, etc., supported by specialists, ensured the company's ability to deliver. Resellers were also supported with various packages (financing, legal advice). Two virtual fairs with more than 16.000 visitors and over 250.000 clicks were held at group level. The focus of all activities was and is to ensure the health of employees, customers, partners and their relatives.
ALSO ECOSYSTEM STABILISES
The business models (3S) offer ALSO access to a variety of different market participants and their technologies, so pandemic-related shifts in some customer and product categories can be offset by positive developments in others. At the same time, ALSO has actively responded to the current situation with newly created products and services, for example in the home office and home school sectors.
ALSO DIGITAL PLATFORMS WITH HIGH POTENTIAL
The development of various applications such as Workplace+ or the Rapid Development Kit for the IoT platform enables resellers to enter this promising business segment and at the same time it represents an expansion of the ALSO ecosystem.
The ALSO Cloud Platform (ACMP) recorded 140 million euros in sales (+42.9 percent) with 4.8 million (+62.8 percent) seats. It is encouraging to note that this development was achieved at a time when several software vendors have offered an increasing number of free and trial licenses due to Covid-19. Including these, 19.0 million licenses are currently managed via the ACMP. Part of these will be converted into payed seats in the future, a precise specification is not possible at this early stage. Due to the increasing monetization, it will be necessary to look at the seats differently in the future.
ALSO FINANCIAL AND STRUCTURAL OPTIMIZATION PAYS OFF
Net financial debt is reduced to zero and amounts to -0.5 million euros (219.8 million euros in 1st half 2019). In conjunction with the revolving, unused credit line of 300 million euros, ALSO is well equipped to take advantage of any opportunities arising in the market.
The reduction in operating expenses from 4.0 percent to 3.8 percent of sales was achieved with the help of digital tools (ERP, BI, CRM and AI systems). This is evidence of the successful structural optimization initiated in 2017, which will be consistently pursued in the future.
ALSO OUTLOOK: THE NEW NORMAL
The annual target of 210 to 220 million euros EBITDA is confirmed, as is the medium-term target of 250 to 310 million euros EBITDA. Due to the successful optimization of Net Working Capital, the ROCE range will be raised to 13 to 15 percent.
Industry and economic experts agree that in the 'New Normal', IT technology will be the foundation for maintaining and developing companies. In this context, cloud models will become more attractive. They increase flexibility and response times and can also be financed for SMBs through the as-a-Service model.
"ALSO is well prepared for these changes. The strategy (MORE and the 3-S business models), the ecosystem, the digital tools and platforms and the strengthening of the organization in the important areas of Solutions, Webshop, Cloud, IoT and Sales are the basis for achieving sustainable, profitable growth. I would like to thank all our customers, business partners, employees and investors for enabling us to achieve this result and thus create a solid foundation for the future”, explains Gustavo Möller-Hergt, CEO of ALSO Holding AG (SIX: ALSN)
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