EQS-News: USU Software AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results/9 Month figures
USU Software AG: USU achieves further record quarter and specifies guidance for 2022
24.11.2022 / 09:00 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Sales growth of 16.6% in Q3 2022
International sales up 53.5% in Q3 2022
USU increases EBITDA by 18.9% in Q3 2022
Figures for the first nine months confirm successful business performance
Recurring revenue accounts for 31.3% of consolidated sales and over 40% of new product business in first nine months
Liquidity climbs 13.4% year-on-year despite dividend payment
Orders on hand up 14.2% year-on-year
Management Board specifies sales and earnings guidance for 2022
Following on from the successful first half of the year, USU Software and its subsidiaries (hereinafter also referred to as the “USU Group” or “USU”) further accelerated their growth momentum in the third quarter of 2022. USU thus increased its consolidated sales by 16.6% year-on-year to EUR 32.6 million in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 27.9 million). In particular, USU benefited from booming international business, while domestic business also continued to grow. Following the dip in growth caused by the coronavirus pandemic, USU generated a large number of license and SaaS orders outside Germany, meaning that sales generated outside Germany increased by 53.5% year-on-year to EUR 8.6 million (Q3 2021: EUR 5.6 million). Accordingly, the proportion of sales attributable to international business rose from 20.1% in the same period of the previous year to 26.4% in the third quarter of 2022. This means that USU has returned to its growth path outside Germany in a targeted manner. At the same time, sales in USU’s home market of Germany increased by 7.4% to EUR 24.0 million in Q3 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 22.3 million).
Irrespective of the shift from one-time license business toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, the USU Group again recorded a sharp rise in license revenue thanks to a large number of new and follow-up orders. License revenue saw above-average growth of 32.6% to EUR 4.0 million in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 3.0 million). At the same time, SaaS sales enjoyed even stronger growth of 35.6% year-on-year to EUR 3.7 million in Q3 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 2.8 million). Among other things, this is because recurring revenue now accounts for more than 40% of new contracts and new product business. Accordingly, maintenance sales also increased by 8.2% year-on-year to EUR 6.5 million in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 6.0 million), meaning that total recurring revenue rose by 16.8% to EUR 10.2 million (Q3 2021: EUR 8.8 million). In the same period, USU’s consulting sales increased by 16.8% year-on-year to EUR 18.4 million (Q3 2021: EUR 15.8 million).
Meanwhile, the cost base of the USU Group increased by 15.6% to EUR 29.8 million (Q3 2021: EUR 25.8 million). As costs rose to a lesser extent than sales, however, USU significantly improved its operating earnings performance once again in the third quarter of 2022. Accordingly, the USU Group increased its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by 18.9% year-on-year to EUR 4.4 million in the reporting quarter (Q3 2021: EUR 3.7 million). Including depreciation and amortization of EUR 1.2 million (Q3 2021: EUR 1.2 million), earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 3.2 million (Q3 2021: EUR 2.5 million). This corresponds to a year-on-year increase in EBIT of 27.1%.
Net finance costs amounted to EUR 0.1 million in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 0 million) and primarily resulted from exchange rate gains. Due to the rise in profits and negative effects from deferred taxes, income taxes amounted to EUR 1.1 million in the third quarter of 2022 after EUR 0.2 million in the third quarter of 2021. All in all, USU’s consolidated earnings fell by 4.5% year-on-year to EUR 2.2 million in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2021: EUR 2.3 million). With an average of 10,523,770 shares outstanding, this translates to earnings per share of EUR 0.21 (Q3 2021: EUR 0.22).
The USU Group also enjoyed extremely positive operating performance in the first nine months of the year. In the first three quarters of 2022, USU increased its consolidated sales by 13.5% year-on-year to EUR 92.9 million (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 81.9 million). Thanks to extremely strong international business in the third quarter of 2022, consolidated sales generated abroad saw above-average growth of 15.0% to EUR 22.0 million in the first nine months of the year (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 19.1 million), thereby returning to clearly positive performance. Accordingly, the proportion of USU’s consolidated sales attributable to international business also increased again, from 23.4% in the first nine months of 2021 to 23.7% in the first nine months of 2022. At the same time, the USU Group also increased its sales in Germany by 13.0% to EUR 70.9 million (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 62.7 million).
Broken down by sales type, USU recorded a particularly high year-on-year increase in SaaS sales of 32.3% to EUR 10.4 million thanks to the new orders acquired and the existing orders on hand (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 7.9 million). Irrespective of the trend toward cloud business, USU again benefited from the renewed growth in license and maintenance business in the current year. With the number of licenses agreed increasing, maintenance sales rose by 6.9% year-on-year to EUR 18.7 million (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 17.5 million). USU thus increased its recurring revenue by 14.8% year-on-year to EUR 29.1 million in the first nine months of the year (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 25.4 million), meaning that the share of total sales attributable to recurring revenue rose from 31.0% in the previous year to 31.3% in the reporting period. At the same time, USU increased its license revenue by 25.6% to EUR 9.8 million in the reporting period thanks to numerous on-premises orders (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 7.8 million). USU’s consulting sales also rose by 11.5% year-on-year to EUR 53.2 million in the first nine months of 2022 thanks to the sustained digitization trend (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 47.8 million).
The USU Group’s operating cost base increased by 12.3% year-on-year to EUR 85.4 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2022 (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 76.1 million). In particular, this reflects the workforce expansion to 755 employees (September 30, 2021: 750 employees) and the higher costs resulting from the increased use of freelancers and partners in connection with the business growth. Operating costs also include costs for the implementation of the One USU strategy. USU has now concentrated its sales and marketing activities under the central “USU” brand. Corresponding activities have also been initiated in the areas of consulting and research and development.
As a result of the business growth and the above-average increase in high-margin SaaS and license revenue, the USU Group also improved its operating profitability in the first three quarters of 2022 as forecast. USU’s EBITDA thus increased by 12.6% to EUR 11.7 million compared with the first nine months of 2021 (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 10.4 million). The EBITDA margin remained essentially unchanged at 12.6% (Q1-Q3 2021: 12.7%). Including depreciation and amortization totaling EUR 3.5 million (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 3.5 million), USU generated EBIT of EUR 8.2 million in Q1-Q3 2022 (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 6.9 million). This corresponds to a year-on-year increase in EBIT of 19.0%.
Net finance costs amounted to EUR 0.2 million in the first nine months of 2022 due to currency effects (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 0.04 million). Due to the rise in profits and negative effects from deferred taxes, income taxes amounted to EUR 2.6 million in the first nine months of 2022 after EUR 0.7 million in the same period of 2021. The IFRS effects from deferred taxes are now negligible, meaning that USU is subject to a “normal” tax rate under IFRS. As a result, USU’s consolidated earnings declined by a notional 6.0% year-on-year to EUR 5.8 million in the reporting period (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 6.1 million). With an average of 10,523,770 shares outstanding, this corresponds to earnings per share of EUR 0.55 (Q1-Q3 2021: EUR 0.58).
With an equity ratio of 54.1% (December 31, 2021: 55.5%), a year-on-year increase in Group liquidity of 13.4% to EUR 22.4 million (September 30, 2021: EUR 19.7 million) despite the dividend payment in the meantime and no liabilities to banks, the USU Group’s financial situation is still extremely sound and secure.
In light of the very strong course of business in the first three quarters with the early achievement of a high sales and earnings level, the successful start to the final quarter of 2022 and the 14.2% year-on-year increase in orders on hand to EUR 73.8 million (September 30, 2021: EUR 64.6 million), the Management Board has specified or slightly raised its guidance for 2022. Accordingly, the Management Board now expects USU to record sales growth at the upper end of the forecast range of EUR 120-125 million, with EBITDA increasing to the upper end of the forecast range of EUR 14.5-16.0 million. This will also be driven by the strong growth in high-margin SaaS business and further increasing international business in the final quarter of 2022. The Management Board is also confirming the current medium-term planning, which includes average organic sales growth of 10% in the next few years and, in view of the continued growth in SaaS business, an increase in the EBITDA margin to between 16% and 18% by 2024.
Based on the above assumptions, the Management Board is in turn planning to enable the shareholders of USU Software AG to participate significantly in the company’s operating success in fiscal 2022, as in previous years, and to continue the shareholder-friendly dividend policy with the distribution of a dividend that is never lower than in the previous year and that amounts to around half of the profit generated.
This press release is available at www.usu.com.
USU Software AG
As a leading provider of software and service solutions for IT and customer service management, USU enables companies to manage the requirements of today’s digital world. Global organizations use our solutions to cut costs, become more agile and reduce risks – with smarter services, simpler workflows and better collaboration. With more than 40 years of experience and locations worldwide, the USU team brings customers into the future.
In addition to USU GmbH, which was founded in 1977, the subsidiaries USU Technologies GmbH, USU Solutions GmbH, USU Solutions Inc. and USU SAS also belong to USU Software AG (ISIN DE 000A0BVU28), which is listed in the Prime Standard of the German Stock Exchange.
Further information: www.usu.com.
USU Software AG
Dr. Thomas Gerick
Tel.: +49 (0) 71 41 - 48 67 440
Fax: +49 (0) 71 41 - 48 67 909
USU Software AG
Tel.: +49 (0) 71 41 - 48 67 351
Fax: +49 (0) 71 41 - 48 67 108
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