Stuttgart, 03 March, 2022 – Revenue up 27 percent, adjusted EBITDA up 52 percent, EBT up 184 percent year on year. All key performance indicators show: GFT Technologies SE (GFT) set new records in 2021.
The reasons for GFT’s extremely positive development were consistently high demand for complex, highly profitable digitalisation solutions and active management of administrative costs.
As a result of its successful business performance, the GFT share price was highly dynamic in 2021 and GFT was elevated to the SDAX index in December. Shareholders achieved value growth of 287 percent over the year. This made GFT one of Germany’s top-performing small-cap stocks in 2021.
"We significantly outpaced the market in all segments and markets,” states GFT’s CEO Marika Lulay. “We are proving over and over again that we can react quickly to new circumstances. That is how we broadened our client base and expanded our footprint in key markets in the past year."
Very positive trend continues
GFT reached its ambitious targets for 2021, and even exceeded them slightly in the case of revenue. The company expects this very positive trend to continue in 2022. Revenue is expected to grow by 20 percent to around EUR 680 million and pre-tax earnings by 36 percent to EUR 54.5 million. GFT is thus upgrading its guidance for 2022 slightly compared to that of 21 October 2021.
Marika Lulay explains: "Our clients know that they are in good hands with us, no matter how complex the project. Our digitalisation solutions help them enhance their performance, make them even more productive and more efficient – in other words, make them even more competitive."
GFT continues to diversify
GFT vigorously continued its diversification strategy aimed at tapping new business fields and broadening its client base. As expected, the share of total revenue contributed by the company’s top-2 clients* was decreased further to 16 percent (2020: 21 percent). The company disproportionately grew its revenue by 52 percent in the Insurance sector. Growth in the Industry & Others sector amounted to 27 percent. Revenue in the Banking sector rose by 23 percent.
As of 31 December 2021, the GFT Group employed a total of 7,718 people (FTE) – another record figure. This represents 29 percent growth compared to the end of the previous year (5,986 employees). The increase resulted mainly from strong expansion in Brazil.
Disproportionately strong growth in key earnings figures
As expected, there was disproportionately strong growth in earnings in 2021. This was due to a higher revenue contribution, a focus on high-margin projects and active cost management. In addition, the prior-year figures for 2020 were burdened by restructuring expenses and capacity underutilisation. Adjusted EBITDA rose by 52 percent to EUR 64.79 million in 2021 (2020: EUR 42.52 million). EBT climbed by 184 percent to EUR 40.03 million (2020: EUR 14.11 million). Net income jumped by 201 percent to EUR 29.89 million (2020: EUR 9.94 million).
In view of this extremely dynamic performance, at the Annual General Meeting the Administrative Board of GFT Technologies SE plans to propose an increase in the dividend to EUR 0.35 per share for the financial year 2021.
Financial stability and flexibility remain high
In the financial year 2021, operating cash flow amounted to EUR 52.99 million (2020: EUR 60.25 million) and thus remained at a high level. The GFT Group’s net liquidity improved strongly to EUR 1.93 million (31 December 2020: EUR -31.35 million). The balance sheet was strengthened once again; the equity ratio increased significantly to 36 percent as of 31 December 2021 (31 December 2020: 31 percent).
Revenue and earnings outlook 2022 raised slightly
The positive development of the GFT Group steadily gained momentum over the course of the financial year 2021, resulting in a total of three guidance upgrades: on 26 April, 20 July and 21 October 2021. This was due to active cost management and above all the structurally stronger demand for high-margin digitalisation solutions. GFT is well-known on the market for its outstanding technological and sector expertise, attractive product offerings and proven partner network. It is the preferred choice of clients for the implementation of sophisticated digitalisation projects. This enables GFT to focus on higher-margin projects. By means of active cost management, the company was able to slow the increase in administrative expenses.
Due to the high level of new orders for 2022, the GFT Group expects its very positive business performance to continue. For the financial year 2022, GFT forecasts a significant increase in revenue of 20 percent to around EUR 680 million (2021: EUR 566.19 million). Adjusted EBITDA is likely to grow by 17 percent and reach around EUR 75.5 million (2021: EUR 64.79 million). EBT is expected to increase by 36 percent to around EUR 54.5 million (2021: EUR 40.03 million). The forecast for EBT is thus slightly above that of 21 October 2021.