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2021-11-04

Relais Group Oyj: Relais Group Plc Interim Management Statement January 1-September 30, 2021 (unaudited) - The profitable growth continues

Relais Group Plc
Company release 4 November 2021, 9:00 a.m. EET

This release is a summary of Relais Group's Interim Management Statement January-September 2021. The full release is attached to this company release and is available on our website at https://relais.fi/en/investors/.
 

JULY-SEPTEMBER 2021 IN BRIEF

  • Net sales totaled EUR 58.6 million (July - September 2020: 32.8), +78.6% change
  • EBITDA was EUR 8.7 (5.6) million, 14.8% (16.9%) of net sales, +56.4% change
  • EBITA was EUR 8.3 (5.5) million, 14.2% (16.6%) of net sales, +52.8% change
  • EBIT was EUR 5.0 (3.6) million, 8.4% (11.0%) of net sales, +39.3% change
  • Comparable earnings per share excluding amortization of goodwill (undiluted) was EUR 0.32 (0.21) *)
  • Lighting season sales started strongly
  • The global shortage of components has not been reflected in sales during the review period, but the related risks have not disappeared and may affect product availability at the end of the year and in early 2022
  • Logistics costs are clearly increasing due to the international situation
  • Significant inventory growth to secure delivery capacity continued
  • Strands Group AB's growth was particularly strong
  • Acquisition of STS Sydhamnens Trailer Service AB after the end of review period on 14 October 2021. The transaction is expected to be finalized during November 2021.

 JANUARY-SEPTEMBER 2021 IN BRIEF

  • Net sales totaled EUR 164.4 million (January - September 2020: 91.7), +79.3% change
  • EBITDA was EUR 21.7 (13.3) million, 13.2% (14.5%) of net sales, +63.7% change
  • EBITA was EUR 20.5 (12.9) million, 12.5% (14.1%) of net sales, +58.5% change
  • EBIT was EUR 11.1 (7.3) million, 6.8% (7.9%) of net sales, +52.8% change
  • Comparable earnings per share excluding amortization of goodwill (undiluted) was EUR 0.80 (0.50) *)
  • The company continued the implementation of its growth strategy by acquiring the entire share capital of Swedish Strands Group AB and Finnish Raskone Oy and Lumise Oy
  • The Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2021, decided to pay dividends of EUR 0.30 (0.10) per share for the financial year 2020
  • Strategy recalibration and a new long-term net sales target in May 2021: the revised aim is to reach proforma net sales of EUR 500 million by the end of 2026
  • Starting the investigation of the transition to the main list (Nasdaq Helsinki) for the transition to take place at the earliest in 2022
  • Acquisitions made during the review period clearly contributed to the growth in total net sales and EBITA
  • The market situation improved in all operating countries and product lines compared to the previous year
  • The winter conditions had a clear positive effect on sales, especially in electrical spare parts during the first quarter
  • Demand for lighting products was very strong. The growth was supported especially by the development of Strands Group AB acquired in January 2021
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business during the review period is minor, but the indirect effects of global logistics and supply chains continued

*) The average undiluted number of shares Jan-Sep 2021 was 17,562,625 and Jan-Sep 2020 16,645,205

2021 OUTLOOK AND LONG-TERM FINANCIAL TARGETS

Relais has been able to demonstrate the effectiveness and resilience of its business model even under the challenging circumstances, being able to grow strongly while maintaining its profitability. In the company's view, the market situation enables favorable business development also in the last quarter of 2021. By early purchases and with pre-orders, the company has strived to secure the majority of the deliveries needed in 2021. Although the market situation at the time of publishing this release is generally stable, the visibility of the business is weakened by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the global shortage of components and semiconductors, as well as challenges in international logistics. Therefore, the company does not provide a numeric guidance for financial year 2021.  

According to the the new long-term target published on 17 May 2021, the company aims to reach pro forma net sales of 500 MEUR by the end of year 2026.

The new net sales target is based on the recalibrated strategy for the years 2021-2026. The new recalibrated strategy continues to rely on a combination of strong growth through acquisitions and a faster than market average organic growth. Relais aims to accelerate and reinforce its acquisition activities. In this context, the Company has chosen to expand its potential acquisition target area to include the entire mobility-related aftermarket, with the main focus remaining on the Nordic vehicle aftermarket.

The earlier long-term financial targets published in 2019 included an ambition to double the company's net sales by 2025.

KEY FIGURES

Thousand euros unless 7-9/2021 7-9/2020 1-9/2021 1-9/2020 1-12/2020
stated otherwise
Net sales 58 649 32 847 164 408 91 690 128 924
Gross profit 25 893 11 203 69 018 31 547 44 996
EBITDA 8 701 5 564 21 720 13 271 19 127
EBITDA margin, % 14.8% 16.9% 13.2% 14.5% 14.8%
EBITA 8 342 5 459 20 519 12 949 18 711
EBITA margin, % 14.2% 16.6% 12.5% 14.1% 14.5%
Operating profit 5 014 3 599 11 098 7 263 11 088
Operating profit margin, % 8.5% 11.0% 6.8% 7.9% 8.6%
Profit (loss) for the 2 375 1 715 4 640 2 645 6 937
period
Profit (loss) for the 4.1% 5.2% 2.8% 2.9% 5.4%
period margin, %
Comparable profit (loss) 5 674 3 575 14 061 8 331 14 561
excluding amortization of
goodwill
Comparable profit (loss) 9.7% 10.9% 8.6% 9.1% 11.3%
excluding amortization of
goodwill margin, %
Return on equity (ROE) 9.8%*) 8.4%*) 9.8%*) 8.4%*) 10.1%*)
Equity ratio 37.8% 45.5% 37.8% 45.5% 46.7%
Net gearing 95.1% 47.8% 95.1% 47.8% 39.2%
Earnings per share, basic 0.13 0.10 0.26 0.16 0.42
(EUR)**)
Earnings per share, 0.13 0.10 0.25 0.15 0.40
diluted (EUR)**)
Comparable earnings per 0.13 0.10 0.26 0.16 0.42
share, basic (EUR)**)
Comparable earnings per 0.13 0.10 0.25 0.15 0.40
share, diluted (EUR)**)
Comparable earnings per 0.32 0.21 0.80 0.50 0.87
share
excluding amortization of
goodwill, basic (EUR)**)
Comparable earnings per 0.30 0.20 0.76 0.48 0.84
share
excluding amortization of
goodwill, diluted (EUR)**)
Personnel at the end of 848 290 848 299 296
the period, FTE

*) Items affecting the comparability and amortization of goodwill are not eliminated

**) The average undiluted number of shares Jan-Sep 2021 was 17,652,625 and Jan-Sep 2020 16,645,205. The average diluted number of shares Jan-Sep 2021 was 18,299,424 and Jan-Sep 2020 17,339,219. 

CEO ARNI EKHOLM COMMENTS:

"Our strong and profitable growth continued during the third quarter. The net sales grew with 79.3% to EUR 164.4 million and EBITA with 58.5% to EUR 20.5 million."

The clear strategy accelerates growth

"The strategy of Relais Group is based on combining growth through acquisitions with faster than market average organic growth. This growth is supported by synergies between the existing and acquired companies. During the first three quarters of the year 2021, we have continued the uncompromised execution of our chosen strategy and managed to achieve significant and profitable growth in our different operating units.

Organic growth

The Nordic vehicle aftermarket developed positively during the third quarter of the year. The partial easing of the COVID-19 related societal restrictions in the latter part of the review period, and the continued growth of the general economy had a favorable effect on the market. According to our own estimates we were able to grow even faster than the market in average.

The organic growth was especially strong for the Group's own vehicle lighting brands. Several successful product launches, the increased market share in Sweden supported by cross-sales through local Group Companies, and the strong growth in export markets were the main contributors in this development. Especially the export of Strands-branded products to e.g., Germany and Canada has grown strongly during the first nine months of this year.

Corporate acquisitions

As we communicated in June, we increased our resources in the M&A function which is of vital importance to us. Due to this we can now analyze the target markets even better and make contacts with a larger number of potential acquisition targets with a good strategic fit in the Nordic countries. During July-September our pipeline has already been complemented with several potential target companies.

In addition to the acquisitions already carried out earlier this year (Strands Group AB, Raskone Oy, Lumise Oy) we announced the acquisition of STS Sydhamnens Trailer Service AB after the review period. The transaction is expected to be completed during November 2021. After its completion the acquisition will substantially strengthen our already significant heavy commercial vehicle business in Sweden together with our Group companies Huzells i Karlstad and TD Tunga Delar AB.

COVID-19

Apart from the disruptions in the global logistics and supply chains, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had a significant effect as such in our operating markets during the third quarter. Especially the commercial vehicles sector has picked up as the overall economic activity has increased. However, the delays in the deliveries of new vehicles have to some extent had an effect on the demand of vehicle equipment products, and the still continuing lower than normal level of bus traffic has decreased the demand of related spare parts. On the other hand, the growth of e-commerce has increased the need for different type of last-mile home deliveries. This has led to growth in the usage of light commercial vehicles and increased the demand for related services and spare parts.

As the pandemic still continues, the health and safety of our employees and business partners is of paramount importance to us. Even though some restrictions have already been lifted locally, we continue to carefully follow the different recommendations of the authorities in our operating countries. Fortunately, we have so far had no serious COVID-19 incidents reported among our personnel, and we will continue striving to guarantee everyone's safety in the best possible manner also in the future.

Sustainability and electrification of the vehicles

For us, sustainability means above all practical and meaningful actions. We take good care of our employees, customers, and business partners and the environment. We have set clear ESG-related criteria to our global suppliers and several spare parts that we sell are covered by a refund system extending their life cycle after remanufacturing at the production site. We also take seriously the responsibility of our own line of business in reducing the ...

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