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Interim Report – Quarter 3

Increased order intake and improved results compared with the first two quarters of this year. Order intake amounted to SEK 181.3 million, a 15.5 percent increase in comparison with the third quarter of last year. Net revenue was SEK 199.2 million, which was 2.7 percent lower than in the corresponding quarter of last year. EBITA continued to develop positively, compared with the first two quarters of 2022, and amounted to SEK 17.3 million in the third quarter (SEK 19.6 million).

Third quarter in brief (July – September 2022)
• Order intake amounted to SEK 181.3 (157.0) million, an increase of 15.5 percent.
• Net revenue for the third quarter amounted to SEK 199.2 (204.7) million, a decrease of 2.7 percent.
• EBITA amounted to SEK 17.3 (19.6) million. The total EBITA margin was 8.7 (9.6) percent.
• Earnings per share, before and after dilution, amounted to SEK 0.64 (0.94).
• Cash flow from operating activities was SEK 19.5 (11.5) million. Total cash flow for the period was SEK 10.0 (1.7) million.

First nine months in brief (January – September 2022)
• Order intake amounted to SEK 658.1 (538.0) million, an increase of 22.3 percent.
• Net revenue for the first nine months amounted to 594.3 (550.6) MSEK, an increase of 7.9 percent.
• EBITA amounted to SEK 35.1 (35.3) million. The total EBITA margin amounted to 5.9 (6.4) percent.
• Earnings per share, before and after dilution, amounted to SEK 1.20 (1.48).
• Cash flow from operating activities was 3.8 (26.1) MSEK. Total cash flow for the period was -35.0 (22.8) MSEK. Cash flow was affected by additional purchase price payments made in the second quarter related to previous acquisitions.

Important events during the third quarter
• Bullerbekämparen received a significant order from Nexans to supply customized control rooms at their production facilities in Norway. The value of the order amounts to SEK 16 million.
• At the annual general meeting on April 28, a decision was taken to offer a maximum of 400,000 warrants to the Group’s leading executives. During the quarter, 275,000 of these warrants were subscribed to by leading executives and key personnel.
• Henrik Nordin became the Group’s new CFO on August 15, 2022. Henrik Nordin most recently worked at the NASDAQ Small Cap company Infrea AB.

Important events after the end of the reporting period
• On October 13, the Christian Berner Group celebrated its 125th anniversary by gathering all its employees on the island of Marstrand.

We continue our work on the Group’s future development
This quarter’s EBITA of SEK 17.3 million is 50 percent higher than in Q2. In this accounting period, there were no larger projects of a one-off character, that in Q3 2021 led to a record EBITA of SEK 19.6 million. In this quarter, however, we experience that our underlying business has been stronger than in the same period last year. In contrast with the swings we experienced in the second half of last year – a very strong Q3 followed by a very weak Q4 – we are now working to achieve more even earnings.

As previously mentioned, our subsidiary Bullerbekämparen received an order worth SEK 16 million in this quarter, the largest in its history. This order will be fulfilled throughout the course of 2023. Our order backlog has decreased somewhat since the record high level it reached in the previous quarter. It is however still high, from an historical perspective, at 60 percent more than the same period last year. At the end of this quarter, Christian Berner AB reached an agreement to represent a new and exciciting supplier within the UV water purification business. After the end of the third quarter, the company secured its first deal in the Swedish market, which is a very promising start. The Group’s vision to provide innovative technical solutions for a sustainable society feels more alive than ever. It’s gratifying to see how our solutions can contribute to clean water, clean energy systems and a more sustainable industry overall.
We are seeing some stabilization in our supply chain and have been able to reduce our inventories during the quarter. Nevertheless, we are still tying up a more working capital than we would like. As I wrote in the last report, we are carrying out some older projects in the autumn and were concerned this would put pressure on gross margins. During this quarter, we managed to maintain gross margins at a smiliar level as last year, thanks to a strong business mix but also hard work.

A world in undergoing changes
We monitor the development of external factors – such as rising energy prices, interest rates and inflation, a weak Swedish currency, war in the region and potential supply challenges – carefully. While we are not immune to these factors, the Group’s exposure to several different sectors and its so far moderate pace of acquisition, mean we are relatively well positioned to withstand some fluctuations in these areas. This year, we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary. In 1897, our founder, Christian Berner, moved from Norway to Gothenburg armed with an interest in technology and language skills to establish Christian Berner AB. The entrepreneurship and drive he demonstrated inspires us to develop in the same way over the next 125 years of our history.

Caroline Reuterskiöld
CEO, Christian Berner Tech Trade AB

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