mobilezone Group achieves record result in fiscal year 2021 – strong EBIT growth and increase in margins
Ad-hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 Listing Rules
Rotkreuz, 11 March 2022
mobilezone Group achieves record result in fiscal year 2021 – strong EBIT growth and increase in margins
- Organic sales increase by 7.3 percent to CHF 982 million
- Operating profit of CHF 72.7 million exceeds record 2019 result by 22 percent
- Proposed dividend increased by 50 percent to CHF 0.84 per share
Markus Bernhard, CEO of the mobilezone group reports: "We already laid the foundation for the record result in 2021 in the first half of the year and, thanks to our strategic positioning and as an agile organisation, we were able to more than meet all expectations in Germany as well as in Switzerland."
mobilezone closed the year 2021 with record results. Sales amounted to CHF 982 million; 67 percent of this was achieved in Germany and 33 percent in Switzerland. CHF 374 million (previous year: CHF 308 million) or 38.1 percent of sales were achieved "online" with the company's own platforms. Organic growth amounted to 7.3 percent. The good result with an operating EBIT of CHF 72.7 million and an EBIT margin of 7.4 percent confirms the consistently pursued strategic course and an agile organisation. Restructuring of the German companies was completed in the first half of the year. The positive synergy effects of more than EUR 5 million per year are working as planned.
The operating profit (EBIT) amounts to CHF 72.7 million (2020: CHF 44.0 million / 2019: CHF 59.6 million) and is thus 22 percent higher than in the pre-pandemic year 2019, which at that time was equivalent to the best result in the company's history. The EBIT guidance of CHF 67 to 72 million, which was increased by CHF 6 million in August 2021, and the sales expectation of CHF 950 million with an EBIT margin of around 7 percent communicated in the previous year were exceeded. The EBIT including the non-cash special effect of CHF 6 million from the sale of the wholesale business in Germany in January 2021 amounts to CHF 66.7 million.
Key figures in brief
The following key figures exclude non-cash negative special effect of CHF 6 million from the sale of the wholesale business in January 2021.
- Organic sales growth of plus 7.3 percent from CHF 916 to CHF 982 million: the currency effect amounts to minus 0.1 percent. In 2020, the wholesale business sold in January 2021 contributed CHF 303 million, and mobiletouch austria gmbH, which was sold in December 2020, contributed CHF 19 million to the previous year's revenue of CHF 1,238 million.
- Operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 72.7 million (previous year: CHF 44.0 million) with an EBIT margin of 7.4 percent (previous year: 3.6 percent), with Switzerland and Germany each contributing 50 percent.
- Financial expenses decreased by CHF 0.2 million to CHF 3.0 million (previous year: CHF 3.2 million).
- Tax expenses were CHF 13.8 million, an increase of CHF 7.3 million compared to the previous year.
- Net profit was CHF 56.7 million (previous year: CHF 34.5 million).
- Free cash flow was CHF 67.6 million (previous year: CHF 46.5 million).
- Earnings per share amounted to CHF 1.27 (previous year: CHF 0.77).
- As of 31 December 2021, the share price was CHF 13.62 compared to CHF 10.08 at the end of December 2020.
- Financial liabilities totalled CHF 134 million compared to CHF 183 million at the end of December 2020.
- At the end of the year, net current assets amounted to CHF 85 million (previous year: CHF 114 million).
- The net debt was CHF 76 million (previous year: CHF 120 million).
- The ratio of net debt to EBITDA was 0.92 (previous year: 2.22).
- Shareholders' equity in the individual financial statements of mobilezone holding ag amounted to CHF 175 million (previous year: CHF 177 million).
- The share buyback of 781,213 shares (1.7 percent of the outstanding shares) was completed shortly after the end of the reporting period on 3 February 2022 at an average price of 13.70 per share or a total of CHF 10.7 million.
- The Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting on 6 April 2022 the distribution of a dividend increased by 50 percent to CHF 0.84 (previous year: CHF 0.56) per share or a total of CHF 37.6 million.
- The EBIT expectation for fiscal year 2022 is CHF 70 to 80 million.
Market area Switzerland
Business development in all sectors in Switzerland was highly gratifying.
- The retail and B2B business achieved the best results at the EBIT level in the company's history.
- Sales in Switzerland grew from CHF 307 million to CHF 323 million, an increase of 4.9 percent. The sales of CHF 18.7 million generated in Austria in the previous year were eliminated.
- The EBIT increased from CHF 31.2 million to CHF 36.3 million corresponding to sales profitability of 11.2 percent (previous year: 10.2 percent).
- The number of shops was 124 (previous year: 123).
- The number of negotiated contracts (postpaid, internet and TV) increased by 4.7 percent to 398,000 (previous year: 380,000).
- Service sales (fleet management, data transfer, setting up smartphones and other services) were CHF 7.2 million (previous year: CHF 6.6 million).
- Sales of accessories grew by 11.1 percent to CHF 23.9 million (previous year CHF 21.5 million).
- Sales at the MVNO TalkTalk amounted to CHF 17.1 million (previous year: CHF 15.9 million). The sales share of mobile customers increased to 79 percent (previous year: 75 percent). In the postpaid SIM cards segment, the number of customers grew to 45,700 (previous year: 31,300) or 46 percent.
Market area Germany
German business was extremely positive despite the coronavirus-related lockdown. Restructuring in the German companies has been completed. The synergies are taking effect on both the sales and the cost side.
- Sales grew from CHF 613 million to CHF 659 million, an increase of 7.5 percent. The CHF 303 million revenue share of the wholesale business sold in January 2021 was eliminated in the previous year.
- The EBIT increased from CHF 11.9 million to CHF 36.2 million, which corresponds to sales profitability of 5.5 percent. The previous year includes restructuring costs of CHF 4.8 million.
- Volume in the online business increased by 5.8 percent to 600,000 (previous year: 567,000) mobile phone contracts. Of these, 522,000 (previous year: 492,000) — or an unchanged 87 percent — were handled via our own platforms.
- The focus in online business to an increased extent is on mobile phone contracts with higher margins. This resulted in an overall increase in the contribution margin and per contract by more than 14 percent.
- In "B2B trade", 419,000 (previous year: 452,000) mobile phone contracts were concluded; this corresponds to a drop of 7.3 percent.
- In total, an unchanged 1,019,000 mobile phone contracts were concluded "online" and in "B2B trade".
- Sales at the MVNO High were CHF 17 million (previous year: CHF 13 million). The customer base was 69,000 (previous year: 54,000), representing an increase of 28 percent.
In November 2020, mobilezone launched a new e-commerce platform called Pricezilla that uses the new Shoptech architecture to market smartphones, tablets and accessories without a subscription. Among other things, the focus in the first year was on building customer trust, which got off to a good start — a rating of 4.9 out of 5 was achieved on the customer rating platform, Trust Pilot. With still limited functionalities on pricezilla.de, 38,400 orders with sales of almost CHF 16.3 million were achieved in the second half of the year despite delivery bottlenecks.
Second Life and refurbishing of smartphones continues to grow
As part of the ESG measures, the Second Life area — that is the repair and refurbishing of smartphones — is becoming increasingly important in mobilezone's business, especially in Switzerland. Accordingly, measures were intensified last year to increase sales of used smartphones and grow in the area of returns. In the reporting year 2021, 1.5 percent of the total smartphones sold by mobilezone Switzerland were used smartphones (previous year: 0.4 percent). The aim is to increase this figure to close to 2 percent in 2022. Likewise, mobilezone was able to take back 6.4 percent of its total smartphones sold (previous year: 3.6 percent).
Change in the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors proposes Dr Lea Sonderegger, Chief Digital Officer / Chief Information Officer and member of the Executive Board of Swarovski, a proven expert in e-commerce, for election to the Board of Directors at the General Meeting on 6 April 2022 (https://www.mobilezoneholding.ch/en/about-us/organization/board-of-directors.html).
Changes in Group Management
Jens Barth, Chief Digital Officer (CDO), will leave Group Management as of 30 April 2022, as already communicated.
Dividend proposal to the General Meeting
At the General Meeting on 6 April 2022, a dividend of CHF 0.84 (previous year: CHF 0.56) per registered share will be proposed, which is 50 percent higher than the previous year. Half of the payout will come from available earnings and half from reserves from capital contributions corresponding to a payout ratio of 74 percent. If this proposal is approved, the dividend will be paid out on 19 April 2022. The share will be traded ex-dividend from 13 April 2022. In accordance with COVID-19 Regulation 3 issued by the Federal Council, the General Meeting will be held without the shareholders being present in person.
Confident outlook for 2022
The very good fiscal year in 2021 confirms the resilient business model of the mobilezone Group. There is a great demand for telecommunications products among the public. The times when personal contacts were limited have confirmed this. Accordingly, mobilezone is looking ahead to the next few years with confidence for all business segments in Germany and Switzerland. The EBIT expectation for fiscal year 2022 is CHF 70 to 80 million. In addition, we are aiming for a further steady increase in the EBIT margin from today's 7.4 percent in the coming years. Growth is expected primarily in the online business and in the MVNO business. Investments are expected to increase from CHF 1 million to CHF 15 million. The investments are related to completion of the modernisation and renovation of all shops in Switzerland by the end of 2022, investments in the online platforms in Germany and Switzerland as well as customer acquisition costs of the two MVNOs TalkTalk and High. The Group is very well positioned today and looks forward to positive further development.
The annual report for 2021, including the detailed financial statement pursuant to Swiss GAAP FER, can be accessed with immediate effect at https://www.mobilezoneholding.ch/en/investors-1/reports-and-presentations.html.
A video conference for investors, analysts and the media will take place at 9.15 a.m. this morning (https://www.mobilezoneholding.ch/en/investors-1/financial-calendar.html).
A summary of the figures can be found in a video presentation (in German): https://www.mobilezoneholding.ch/en/investors-1/reports-and-presentations/video-presentation-annual-figures-2021.html
Founded in 1999, mobilezone holding ag is the leading independent Swiss and German telecoms specialist with sales of CHF 982 million and a net profit of CHF 50.7 million in the reporting year 2021. The registered shares of mobilezone holding ag (MOZN) are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange AG.
The mobilezone group employs around 1,000 employees at the locations in Rotkreuz, Urnäsch, Zweidlen, Berlin, Bochum, Cologne and Münster. Its product range includes a complete assortment of mobile phones and tariff plans for mobile and fixed-line telephony, digital TV, and Internet from all providers. Providing independent consulting and services for private and business customers, providing repair services, and supplying specialist retailers round out its product range. The services and products are provided online via various web portals and in over 120 shops of its own in Switzerland.
|6 April 2022||General Meeting 2022|
|19 August 2022||Publication of the 2022 semi-annual report|
|12 April 2022||Last trading day with dividend entitlement|
|13 April 2022||First trading day without dividend entitlement (ex date)|
|14 April 2022||Record date for dividend entitlement|
|19 April 2022||Dividend payment|