London– Softline Holding PLC [SFTL, US83407L2079] (Softline, Softline Group, the Group, or the Company), a leading global IT solution and services provider with a focus on digital transformation, cloud, and cybersecurity, announces unaudited key operating highlights for the third quarter of financial year ending 31 March 2022.
Q3 AND 9M 2021 BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS
- Gross Profit increased 25% YoY to $102M for period Q3’21, and 36% YoY to $231M for the 9 Months to 31 December 2021
- Adj. EBITDA Margin (from Gross Profit) was 35% for period Q3’21, an increase of 47% YoY. For the 9 Months to 31 December 2021, Adj. EBITDA Margin (from Gross Profit) was 26%, an increase of 42% YoY, and provides a strong foundation for 2021 business outlook
- Turnover for the period 31 March – 31 December 2021 increased by 20% year-on-year to US$1,642 million. Including the impact of unconsolidated turnover of $46M from Belitsoft, DigiTech and Squalio, turnover growth was 23% for the same period.
- Turnover growth of 84% YoY from higher profitability Services business.
- Recurring turnover increased to more than 55% of overall turnover.
- Softline made five key strategic acquisitions since IPO accelerating geographic expansion, skills and capabilities, including Umbrella Infocare – a market-leading cloud services company based in Delhi; Softclub – a specialist in the rapidly-growing industry of fintech; MMTR Technology – a specialist in software development and application engineering employing nearly 500 software engineers; Academy IT – bespoke corporate training solutions; and TC Engineer – cyber security capabilities.
- Launched industry leading performance based long-term all employee partnership program, driving talent attraction and retention. We expect this comprehensive motivational programme help drive a long-term partnership with employees as we double down on attracting the best talent and boosting opportunities which is critical in this industry, and strengthens our long-term competitive positioning.
- 37% increase in headcount YoY to 6,536. Boosted capacity to 2,500 software engineers since 31st December, and targeting 5,000 professionals in the medium term.
- Completed the expansion of the Board, which now has a majority of independent non-executive directors, in line with our commitment to best practice governance
- Published our ESG statement, in line with our focus on ESG
- Implemented and increased the share buyback programme to fund the Company’s long-term management incentive plan, the long-term employee partnership program (“LTEPP”), and the employee share purchase scheme announced on 24 January 2022
Igor Borovikov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Softline Group, noted:
“Softline is a story of growth. Bringing the company to the stock market was a dream we have since fulfilled, and we have already embarked on the next chapter on our journey to reach our Dream 2.0 as we drive the next wave of growth. We will continue on our geographic expansion to more than 80 countries, solidifying our position as a global leader in digital transformation solutions, platforms and services. Our talent strategy also underpins Dream 2.0, and we recently made a significant step forward by implementing the industry leading performance based long-term employee partnership program. The company that wins in the market is the one that knows how to attract and retain the best personnel, and we strive to be the best company on the market for employees, creating an environment of shared success where our people can prosper. In addition to the business results, we want to further improve our position as sector leader in compliance and in matters that define modern responsible business: environment, society and governance. We look forward to continuing this journey alongside our customers, teams, partners, and investors.”
Softline Global CEO Sergey Chernovolenko said:
“I would like to thank our entire team of more than 6,500 Softliners around the world, in addition to warmly welcoming more than 1,700 newcomers to our business over the past month, as we remain committed to partnering with our customers and continuing to help drive their digital transformation. Once again, the results demonstrate the success of our 3D strategy, and we are pleased with the very significant profitability in the third quarter. We are operating at speed and scale, and we continue to deliver on the commitments we made during our IPO. We promised to invest the large majority of US$400 million capital raised on strategic and targeted M&A using advantageous multipliers, and we are delivering. The five new deals we have recently announced bring significant skills and capabilities in fast growing areas, for example with our expanded footprint in Services, where we now have around 2,500 software engineers and developers around the world, well on our way to our target of 5,000. Acquisitions are a catalyst for growth, and are aligned with our 3D strategy and our ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond.”
|9M 2021||9M 2020||%||3Q 2021||3Q 2020||%|
|Turnover ($ ‘000)||1 641 531||1 362 695||20%||665 055||587 076||13%|
|Recurring turnover %||55.2%||54.6%|
|Turnover by business line ($ ‘000)|
|Software & Cloud||1 368 133||1 139 066||20%||530 255||484 980||9%|
|IT Services||100 449||54 447||84%||49 632||23 572||111%|
|Hardware||172 949||169 183||2%||85 168||78 523||8%|
|9M 2021||9M 2020||%||3Q 2021||3Q 2020||%|
|Turnover by region ($ ‘000)*|
|APAC||395 670||213 145||86%||109 948||76 410||44%|
|EMEA||107 685||24 456||340%||60 169||11 913||405%|
|Russia||885 221||864 306||2%||403 204||401 667||0%|
|RoE||104 464||96 942||8%||42 753||51 106||-16%|
|LATAM||147 692||163 846||-10%||48 181||45 980||5%|
*Added totals differ slightly from group turnover because of headquarter impact of $0.8 in 9M 2021
BUSINESS REVIEW – THIRD QUARTER
Services – Services grew 111% YoY, and 96% QoQ reflecting the success of our 3D strategy. While traditionally a higher growth quarter, we exceeded the seasonality impact in Q3. Growth reflects the impact of acquisitions, but we also had strong organic growth.
Software & Cloud – Turnover from Software & Cloud increased by 9% in Q3, driven by growing demand for digital transformation among our customers. The cloud business is growing very well, with continued strength in Q3, and growth overall was on the base of a strong compare in Software.
Hardware – Hardware grew 8%, despite the increased delivery time due to the global shortage of chips. We continue to see demand, even with extended production times for hardware.
Geographic Turnover – Growth was driven by particular strength in our International business with turnover now representing 46% of total turnover. This is part of our promise for advancing the diversification of our business. Growth was particularly strong in EMEA, and APAC, both organically and due to recent acquisitions. Russia came in as expected, and growth was impacted partly due to a strong Q3 from 2020 with the impact of the VAT introduction for software transactions, and hardware delays, though overall there is no significant change to customer demand. LATAM improved with growth at mid-single digits in Q3.
Gross Profit in Q3 2021 was $101.8M, up 25% year over year, compared to $81.2M for Q3 last year. Growth was broad-based overall, particularly with 146% growth of our Services business. Gross Profit margin, turnover based, was 15.3%, compared to 13.8% for Q3 last year thanks to the contribution of more profitable Services business.
For Q3, adjusted EBITDA was $36.0M, representing growth of 47% from $24.5M reported in Q3 2020. Adjusted EBITDA margin, Gross Profit based, was 35.4%, compared to 30.1% for Q3 last year.
Other selected financial metrics
As previously announced, Softline implemented a GDR buyback programme intended to fund the Company’s long-term management incentive plan, as notified in the Company’s half year report on 30 November 2021, and additionally the long-term employee partnership program (“LTEPP”), and the employee share purchase scheme announced on 24 January 2022. The maximum number of GDRs that can be bought back under the Programme remains up to 10% of the Company’s issued share capital (no more than 18.3M GDRs) and the Company cannot own such GDRs for more than 2 years. The company will continue to fund the buyback programme from operations, and finance investments. As approved by the Board the programme has one year duration starting from the date of approval. However, the Company intends to continue the programme for the next few years.
The company had 16,508,117 management LTI options outstanding as at 31 December 2021.