Sitowise’s Interim Report January-September 2022: Net sales up by 16 percent, healthy organic growth
Interim reports - 2.11.2022 at 8.30 UTC+2
Sitowise Group Plc, Interim Report, 1 January – 30 September, 2022, 2 November 2022 at 8.30 a.m. (EET)
Q3: NET SALES UP BY 16 PERCENT, HEALTHY ORGANIC GROWTH
July–September (Q3) in brief
January–September (Q1–Q3) in brief
CEO Heikki Haasmaa:
In the third quarter of the year, Sitowise’s net sales increased by 16 percent, and organic growth amounted to 6 percent. Net sales increased in all business areas, with the renovation business and the team in Sweden recording the strongest growth. Sitowise’s order book hit a new record high of EUR 175 million in the third quarter. Our order book includes several sizeable long-term projects that contribute to the stability and predictability of our business.
Our adjusted EBITA was at last year’s level at EUR 4.9 (4.9) million but, relative to net sales, profitability fell short of our ambitions. Delays related to certain newbuild projects of individual clients have caused a negative effect on Sitowise’s billing rate. In addition, our profitability was adversely affected by isolated project overruns, increased need for subcontracting in digital services, and high levels of sickness absences compared to the previous year. We strive to maintain the highest profitability in our industry. We believe that Sitowise’s unique digital platform, Voima, our motivated employees and strong management culture create a solid foundation for this. Our efforts to increase profitability by focusing on pricing and cost control continue.
Increased material costs and rapidly rising interest rates have caused higher uncertainty in the construction sector. The effects on technical consulting are not quite as significant but the risks of somewhat lower activity levels are visible in some of Sitowise’s market segments. For these reasons, Sitowise updated its guidance on profitability on 26 October 2022. Overall, the number of project delays and cancellations has increased somewhat in the third quarter, although it is not yet the time to talk about a significant turning point in the market. The outlook for next year is also affected by municipalities’ recent decisions to cut next year’s investment budgets.
The megatrends supporting our long-term growth remain unchanged: urbanization, renovation backlog, digitalization, and sustainable development. We have ramped up our presence in multiple markets where demand has remained stronger in relative terms. Renovation projects currently account for most of the net sales from our Buildings business area. As for the Infrastructure business area, the last 18 months have seen us win a considerable number of extensive, long-term infrastructure contracts involving, for example, railways. We have invested systematically in expanding our Digital Solutions business area, albeit that our growth in that sector is currently somewhat slowed down by the intensifying competition for skilled labor.
We are also looking for long-term growth in Sweden, where the construction industry as a whole has developed more steadily than in Finland. In October, we announced an acquisition of Convia, which strengthens the Sitowise Group’s expertise in the fields of infrastructure and construction. This is our sixth acquisition this year, and we bid a warm welcome to the newest 23 members of the Sitowise family.
We continue to actively seek both organic and inorganic profitable growth. Sitowise is well positioned to strengthen its market position and to take advantage of growth opportunities even in a time of economic slowdown.
|% of net sales||10.7%||12.4%||10.3%||12.1%||11.8%|
|Profit for the period||2.8||2.6||5.5||5.2||7.9|
|Cash flow from operating activities before financial items and taxes||0.6||0.4||9.6||8.8||22.8|
|Net debt / EBITDA, adjusted||2.9x||2.0x||1.4x|
|Equity ratio, %||44.1%||47.8%||46.0%|
|Earnings per share (EPS), EUR||0.08||0.07||0.15||0.14||0.22|
|Number of personnel, average||2,177||1,990||2,122||1,953||1,969|
OUTLOOK, GUIDANCE, AND FINANCIAL TARGETS
The stable growth in the demand for design and consulting services to create sustainable societies is supported by megatrends such as urbanization, renovation backlog, sustainability, and digitalization.
During the third quarter, Sitowise’s net sales and order book continued to grow strongly, both organically and through recent acquisitions.
The uncertainty in the market brought by the war in Ukraine, material availability issues, energy price increase, and inflationary pressures may affect the short-term decision-making of Sitowise’s clients. The market outlook remains solid in Sweden, but the uncertainty in the construction market in Finland has increased during the third quarter.
The effects on the technical consulting business are not quite as significant, but the risks of somewhat lower activity levels are visible in some of Sitowise’s market segments.
Sitowise has on 26 October 2022 updated its guidance for profitability in 2022. The guidance for net sales remains unchanged.
Long-term financial targets (unchanged)
The Board of Directors of Sitowise Group has set the following long-term financial targets:
MAIN EVENTS AFTER PERIOD-END
On 1 October 2022, Hanna Masala started as CFO.
On 18 October 2022, Sitowise announced it had issued 188,926 of its own shares in connection with the acquisition of Convia Ingenjörsbyrå AB and Convia Infrastructure AB through a directed share issue. The acquired companies provide construction consulting services focusing on structures, buildings, and infrastructure. The companies employ 23 people in Sweden, and their net sales exceeded SEK 36.6 million in 2021. Further information can be found in the stock exchange and media release published by Sitowise on the company’s website.
On 26 October 2022, Sitowise issued a profit warning and updated its guidance for profitability in 2022. The guidance for net sales remained unchanged.
On 27 October 2022, Sitowise announced it had received a notification in accordance with the Chapter 9, Section 10 of the Finnish Securities Market Act from Paradigm Capital Value Fund SICAV, according to which Paradigm Capital Value Fund SICAV 's direct holding of the shares and votes of the Company increased to 5 percent on 26 October 2022. According to the notification, Paradigm Capital Value Fund SICAV holds a total of 1,784,944 shares corresponding to 5.00 percent of the Company’s shares and votes.
Sitowise will announce the planned publication dates for financial reports in 2023 before the end of the year 2022.
Briefing for analysts, media, and investors
Sitowise's CEO Heikki Haasmaa and CFO Hanna Masala will present the company's results in a live webcast held in English on 2 November 2022 starting at 1:00 pm (EET).
The briefing will be streamed at https://sitowise.videosync.fi/2022-q3-results. Written questions can be submitted through the webcast. Presentation material and a recording of the event will be available afterwards at www.sitowise.com/investors/reports-and-presentations.
Heikki Haasmaa, CEO, email@example.com, tel. +358 50 304 7765
Hanna Masala, CFO, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 558 1323
Minttu Vilander, Chief Communications and Corporate Responsibility Officer, email@example.com, tel. +358 40 575 6660
Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd
SITOWISE IN BRIEF:
Sitowise is a Nordic expert in the built environment and digital solutions. We provide design and consulting services to enable more responsible and smarter urban development as well as smooth transportation. We operate in three business areas in Finland and Sweden: real estate and buildings, infrastructure, and digital solutions.
We want to raise the bar for intelligence and sustainability, and that is why our vision is to be the most responsible partner in developing thriving and sustainable living environments. Sitowise has grown rapidly and profitably in recent years. The Group’s net sales were approximately EUR 179 million in 2021, and the company employs more than 2,000 experts. Sitowise Group Plc is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki as SITOWS.
This release is a summary of Sitowise Group’s Interim Report January–September 2022. The complete Interim Report is attached, and also available on the company’s website at www.sitowise.com/investors/reports-and-presentations.
The figures in this report are unaudited. Comparative figures for the corresponding period of the previous year are in brackets. This report has been published in Finnish and English. If there are any differences between the English translation and the original Finnish version, the Finnish report shall prevail.