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Interim report Q1

The first quarter of the year saw strong growth and increased earnings. The year started on a high level with strong development in both business areas, Technology & Distribution and Energy & Environment. The trend in earnings and growth reflects good order intake in a market that is growing locally despite geopolitical and market causes for concern globally. The Group’s offerings address key societal challenges in their respective markets.

First quarter 2023
• Order intake amounted to SEK 237.8 (215.0) million, an increase of 10.6 per cent.
• Net revenue for the first quarter was SEK 238.3 (181.3) million, an increase of 31.4 per cent, of which organic growth amounts to 31.3 percentage points.
• EBITA was SEK 14.3 (6.2) million, an increase of 132.6 per cent. The EBITA margin amounted to 6.0 (3.4) per cent.
• Earnings per share before and after dilution were SEK 0.47 (0.17).
• Cash flow from operating activities was SEK 14.7 (3.2) million. Total cash flow for the period was SEK 6.1 (-3.9) million.

Significant events during the reporting period
• The financing agreement with the Group’s main bank was renewed during the quarter.
• Managing director of subsidiary Bullerbekämparen, Katarina Munter, took office on 1 January.
• During the quarter, extensive work was carried out to implement a new ERP system, with five of the Group’s companies estimated to go live during the second quarter.

Significant events after the end of the reporting period
• There were no significant events after the end of the reporting period.

We are beginning to see the results of our work
The first quarter got off to a strong start for the Group. Good order intake in the autumn were translated into revenue, and earnings are moving in the right direction. We still have more to do, but it is gratifying to see the results starting to come. Our business operates at the heart of major societal challenges in energy, infrastructure, water, sewage, and general industry, which provides an ability to decrease vulnerability during times of external fluctuation.

The Group’s business model provides a great opportunity for a healthy return and we are working to get back to this position after the years affected by the pandemic and disruptions to logistics. The reorganisation at the end of the fourth quarter has reduced internal administration, while enabling better transparency. The increased focus on decentralisation unleashes the strength within our ambitious and knowledgeable employees. The disruptions to logistics have begun to ease and we are starting to work our way back to more efficient working capital management again. Our aim is to reestablish a more efficient, fast-moving organisation while maintaining a high level of service to our customers.

Higher revenue…
Revenue in the quarter increased by 31 per cent compared to the previous year. However, the order intake increased by only 11 per cent, but the level as a whole is acceptable and partly reflects strong comparative figures. In addition, the order intake was somewhat affected by the fact that one of our largest subsidiaries was preparing for a change of ERP system at the end of the quarter, which had a temporary effect on their order intake. We are already beginning to see the energy that is being freed up by having more efficient and modern business support and look forward to being able to achieve even more leverage during the year.

… and higher profits
EBITA in the quarter more than doubled and the margin increased to 6 per cent. We are pleased with the increase, but the financial margin target we have set is higher and we still have more to do. We are continuing our work to establish a higher and more consistent level of earnings than we have achieved so far.
It is gratifying that both business areas show a strong trend in both growth and margin. At Group level, the quarter was somewhat affected by some minor one-off effects, including writing off older systems that is retired in connection with ERP system changes.

During the quarter, we also extended our existing financing. Together with our focus on increasing the Group’s own cash conversion and our new organisation that more easily enables the integration of new acquisitions, we look forward to being able to continue our acquisition strategy.

Caroline Reuterskiöld
CEO, Christian Berner Tech Trade AB

For the full details, please see attached pdf-file.