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In the third quarter of 2022, the KATEK Group was able to successfully continue and even accelerate its growth path. The Group recorded a 37.3% increase in sales compared to the same quarter of the previous year. For the nine-month period, revenue growth is 23.3% year-on-year or EUR 495.7 million achieved through the end of September 2022. KATEK thus broke the sales mark of EUR 500.0 million in October – that number was reached in December 2021. Significant growth impulses are again of organic origin: The strongest growth Q3/22 YTD is again delivered by the solar/renewables business (+131.8%), followed by tele-care (+170.6%). The eMobility business was only able to grow by around 10.9% due to customer supply chain issues. Various customer challenges also meant that the rest of the automotive business was only on a par with the previous year. Overall, all indicators point to continued strong organic growth: with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.1 and an order backlog for the next twelve months already at the level of current annual sales.
The general economic situation is putting pressure on the earnings situation, since not all cost increases in the areas of energy, material and personnel can be passed on to all customers at the same time and in full. However, thanks to extensive countermeasures on the cost and price side, adjusted EBITDA at the previous year’s level of EUR 21.2 million was achieved after the first three quarters. Based on the current order backlog and specific customer call-offs, KATEK expects a strong final quarter in 2022, as in previous years.
Based on the Q3 and nine-month figures for 2022, despite the uncertainties in the current environment, the KATEK management continues to expect sales of more than EUR 635.0 million including the SigmaPoint consolidation. The EBITDA adjusted should continue to be at least 10% above the previous year and more than EUR 33.4 million. This is supported by three considerations:
a) Order backlogs remain very high with first signs of easing in material shortages
b) Seasonally very strong Q4 at KATEK as in previous years
c) Sum of current bottom-up forecasts of operating units
Due to two recent acquisitions in Canada (SigmaPoint, closing August 22) and USA (Nextek, provider of high-tech and high-value electronics, signing November 22), KATEK is now very well represented in the important North American market. This means that all European customers with international business can now be fully served in North America and the North American customers of SigmaPoint and Nextek can access all services of KATEK in Europe and Malaysia.
The know-how and customer portfolio of both companies also strengthen KATEK’s industry presence in the currently rapidly growing Homeland Security & Defense and Aerospace sectors. KATEK’s North American business thus has a potential of more than USD 100.0 million as early as 2023, assuming that the market continues to develop well.
In order to make targeted use of the opportunities arising in the current crises and to continue the strong growth, KATEK is expanding its management team with two top managers, each with an impressive track record. As Chief Sales Officer (CSO), Klauspeter Bader will bring together all go-to-market issues in the Group from January 2023 and drive them forward together with the operating units. Petra Becker has been on board as Chief Transformation Officer (CTRO) since November 2022. She will give priority to the bundled activities in the Group to bring down strategic inventories in a targeted manner as the situation on the components market eases, as well as coordinating all margin protection measures. The inventory build-up has already been slowed down considerably to the current level of EUR 236.1 million (Q2/2022: EUR 215.6 million; adjusted for the inventories of SigmaPoint, which was acquired in August), with EUR 21.4 million now being cash-neutral in the form of customer prepayments.
The complete quarterly statement as of September 30, 2022 is published on the website of KATEK SE in the Investor Relations section.