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La Défense, Paris

ViaCon's Interim report January September 2022

Continued good demand and strong order book, in a quarter of geopolitical tension and rising inflation.

THIRD QUARTER

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 663.5 million (627.8), an increase of 5.7% compared with the same period last year. Organic growth amounted to 3.1%.
  • Operating earnings before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to SEK 82.8 million (106.0), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 12.5% (16.9).
  • Operating earnings (EBIT) amounted to SEK 68.0 million (91.3), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 10.2% (14.5).
  • Underlying earnings before depreciation (underlying EBITDA) amounted to SEK 94.5 million (113.2), corresponding to an underlying EBITDA margin of 14.2% (18.0).
  • Order intake amounted to SEK 585.4 million (520.1), an increase of 12.6 % on the same period last year. Organic growth amounted to 15,0%.
  • ViaCon has joined the SteelZero initiative, which entails a commitment to 100% net zero steel by 2050.

JANUARY – SEPTEMBER

  • Net sales amounted to SEK 1,669.7 million (1479.5), an increase of 12.9% compared with the same period last year. Organic growth amounted to 11.7%.
  • Operating earnings before depreciation (EBITDA) amounted to SEK 152.6 million (186.0), corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 9.1% (12.6).
  • Operating earnings (EBIT) amounted to SEK 107.6 million (143.0), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 6.4% (9.7).
  • Underlying earnings before depreciation (underlying EBITDA) amounted to SEK 192.3 million (207.3), corresponding to an underlying EBITDA margin of 11.5% (14.0).
  • Order intake amounted to SEK 1,901.5 million (1,590.8), an increase of 19.5 % on the same period last year. Organic growth amounted to 17,6%.

COMMENTS FROM THE CEO

Sales for the quarter totalled SEK 663.5 million (627.8), an increase of 5.7% on the previous year. ViaCon’s acquired operations contributed SEK 39.5 million to sales, although we also chose to leave non-core business with sales of around SEK 21.8 million in the corresponding period last year. Organic growth was 3.1% adjusted for divestments and acquisitions. Operating earnings for the quarter were affected by inflation, a higher cost structure, and non-recurring expenses for medium- and long-term initiatives. Adjusted for non-recurring items, operating earnings before depreciation and amortisation amounted to SEK 94.5 million (113.2), which resulted in an adjusted EBITDA margin of 14.2% (18.0). Macroeconomic disruptions have led to a less favourable sales mix, primarily in the GeoTechnical Solutions business unit.

There are various infrastructure investments under way across Europe, as there is a great need to renew and expand ageing infrastructure in many countries. Recent inflation and interest rate rises have caused delays in customers’ financing solutions for infrastructure projects, and certain customers are more cautious about the future, particularly in the StormWater Solutions business unit. Incoming orders were however very good during the third quarter, and the order book for the season remains strong, albeit with unusually long lead times. Demand and incoming orders for the first nine months were strong and amounted to SEK 1,901.5 million (1,590.8), of which organic growth was 17.6%. They were however uneven between the first two quarters. During the third quarter incoming orders amounted to SEK 585.4 million (520.1), of which organic growth was 15.0%.

ViaCon’s business is affected by the geopolitical tension and rising inflation. There is uncertainty regarding macroeconomic developments, so ViaCon has focused heavily on flexibility during the quarter, ensuring agile adaptability of operations in the event of a shift in demand. Costs related to energy, transport and supply chain disruptions are high, which is a challenge, and we are working actively to try to compensate for these effects.

Cash flow was strong during the quarter, mainly as a direct result of a decrease in working capital. Working capital was higher than normal during the first six months of the year. This was a result of postponed deliveries for infrastructure projects, combined with the longer lead times in the wake of recent strains on the supply chain, which have primarily entailed increasingly high inventory levels. The trend has now been bucked, and during the third quarter we have seen some improvement in customers’ requested delivery times and in the supply chain, with shorter lead times and less disruption, with reduced capital tied up as a result. We have also worked concertedly and successfully to reduce our overdue accounts receivable during the quarter.

ViaCon is determined to be at the forefront in guiding the infrastructure sector in a sustainable direction, an area where we genuinely can make a difference for our customers and our wider environment. It is therefore very pleasing to have received several awards for our sustainability work during the year. We view these distinctions as solid recognition of our sustainability work and our contribution to building a sustainable future. To continue our adaptation to important sustainability goals and lead the change for positive action for green development and against climate change, ViaCon has joined the SteelZero initiative, which means we are committed to switching over completely to net zero steel by 2050.

ViaCon is an entrepreneurial company with a history of meeting challenges in a flexible, dynamic way. We will continue to integrate our recent acquisitions, and to develop our operation and further strengthen our team. With our strategy, we are confident that we can continue to deliver strong development as the leading European supplier of sustainable solutions in our business units, both by progressively broadening our market presence and customer offering, and by increasing our productivity.

Stefan Nordström,
President and CEO, ViaCon Group

Presentation of the report

A live presentation of the business results and development for the period will be held as follows:

Date: Friday, November 18, 2022

Time: 09:00-09.30 CET

Presenters: CEO Stefan Nordström and CFO Philip Delborn

Link to webcast: https://www.finwire.tv/webcast/viacon-group/q3-2022/

The presentation material will be available on ViaCon’s website shortly before the broadcast begins. The broadcast will also be available afterwards at the link above.

The full report is published at www.viacongroup.com.