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Bechtle confirms super year after acquisitions and services growth

Bechtle AG saw annual sales jump 24.3% in 2019 to €5.374bn, the second-highest growth rate of the past 15 years. And earnings before taxes (EBT) went up 22.3% to €236.3m.

Partly due to acquisitions, the growth of the international companies was especially strong. For the first time in its history, Bechtle generated overseas revenue – outside of Germany - of more than €2bn in one fiscal year.

The group’s organic growth amounted to 15.2%. Revenues grew by double-digit rates in all regions and segments.

As of 31 December 2019, Bechtle had 11,487 employees, some 1,482 or 14.8% more than in 2018. “Last year was the third year in a row in which we were able to present double-digit growth rates. We now benefit from the strategic reinforcement that we have systematically implemented over the past years,” said Thomas Olemotz (pictured), CEO of Bechtle AG.

In 2019, the IT Systems Integration & Managed Services segment increased its revenue 19.9% to €3.485bn. Organic growth was strong and amounted to 16.8%. Last year, the company expanded its offerings across hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and offerings for the modern workplace, data centre architectures, networking, security and applications.

Last November, Bechtle acquired Switzerland's Codalis to expand its cloud, mobility and managed services business in Western Switzerland. That was Bechtle's third acquisition in Switzerland in the year after it also scooped up Algacom and Abissa Informatique.

Bechtle's IT E-Commerce segment increased its revenues 33.3% to €1.889bn, helped by the acquisition of the French Inmac WStore in September 2018. However, the segment also achieved organic revenue growth of 11.8%. The growth was especially strong in the Benelux and Southern Europe regions.

Bechtle plans to increase the dividend for the year by 20% to €1.20 per share. Despite uncertainties created by the coronavirus, Bechtle says it is “sticking with its plan to significantly increase revenue and earnings over the course of the year”. The target EBT margin is “at least on par with the previous year”

Olemotz said: “We expect that once the pandemic has passed, our customers’ propensity to invest will be as strong as ever.”