During Q1 2022 Quest Group recorded Sales €238m, EBITDA €16,9m and EBT €14m.
Continued Operations (excluding Cardlink’s numbers which was sold on the 30/9/2021) consolidated sales grew by 16,1%, EBITDA by 18,4%, EBT by 21,3% and EAT by 17,5% compared to 2021.
Compared to last year’s Q1 (including Cardlink’s results) Quest Group Sales grew by 10,2% , EBITDA and EAT decreased by -8,1% and -8,5% respectively, while EBT remained steady. It is worth noting that Q1 2021 EAT from continued operations benefited by about €1m, whereas Q1 2022 EAT benefited by €1,3m from the sale of minority stakes. Excluding the extraordinary earnings, EAT is improved by roughly 15%.
The main consolidated financial results & figures are illustrated as follows and are broken down to continued and “discontinued” operations (corresponding to Cardlink S.A. and Cardlink One S.A., according to IFRS):
* Do not include “other gain/losses” related to investment activity.
Group’s Net Cash (Cash and Cash Equivalents - Debt) was €46,4m, compared to €84,5m at 31/12/2021. The change is mainly due to the distribution of an interim dividend of €44,7m in February 2022. The Group’s investments during Q1 were roughly €5,5m. Most of it is related to the development of the new central hub of postal services and to the energy sector.
Q1 2022 Results per segment:
- Commercial Activities (Info Quest Technologies, Quest on Line, iSquare, iStorm, Clima Quest, FoQus).
Sales grew by a double digit (+21,9%), followed by a double digit EBT growth (+14,3%) on a YoY basis. The steepest growth comes from Apple products sales, while on the opposite side e-commerce sells less, compared to last year’s Q1, where there was no physical retail alternative due to the lockdowns.
- IT Services (Uni Systems, Intelli Solutions, Team Candi).
Sales augmented at a double-digit pace (+13,1%), EBT grew even higher (+61,3%), while profit margins continued to improve, and Intelli’s Solutions earnings were consolidated (~€1m). Demand for IT services continues to grow, due to the high number of digital transformation projects of the private and public sector. Furthermore, Intelli’s acquisition improved EBT by roughly €1m.
- Postal Services (ACS Courier).
Sales mildly declined (-3,7%), followed by a flat EBT (-0,7%). The results are mainly driven by the fall of e-commerce in 2022, since last year’s parcel deliveries were boosted by lockdowns. There is also an impact by higher transportation costs related to the increase in the cost of fuels.
- Renewable Energy Production (Quest Energy).
Sales were higher by 8% and EBT by 17%, due to the addition of 2MW and the relative lower interest rates.
Quest Holdings (parent company).
Parent company revenues reached €419k. compared to €397k. last year. EBT were negative - €245k. compared to a profit of €851k. in 2021. The difference is mainly due to extraordinary profits of about €1 m. in 2021 from the sale of minority stakes.
In more detail, the following outlook is estimated per segment:
Commercial Activities: For the full year we estimate a mild growth in sales, driven mainly by an increase of market share and the launch of new product categories followed by a similar to 2021 profitability. However, there are serious concerns about the consumption trends and the economy in general, given the impact of the energy cost and the war in Ukraine.
IT Services: For 2022 a further growth in sales and profitability is foreseen, driven by a high demand for services in Greece and abroad. Intelli Solutions is expected to further assist the segment’s growth, having an EBITDA contribution of more than €1,2m.
Postal Services: For the full 2022, we estimate flat or mildly increased sales and a flat or slightly lower profitability impacted mainly by the higher transportation costs. This segment will also be adversely impacted by a possible recession and a drop in consumption.
Renewable Energy Production: The company increased its installed base in 2022 reaching 30MW. Further growth is planned for 2022 targeting a total output power of more than 32MW while a mild growth is expected for all the result figures.
On aggregate, we estimate a mild growth in sales for 2022 and a compression in profit margins which will lead to the same or slightly lower profitability compared to last year. The current outlook assumes that there will be no further deterioration of the economy, the war in Ukraine, the inflation in energy prices and goods and the impact in consumption trends. It must be noted that the Group has a solid commercial and financial position to successfully address any further challenges that might arise.
The Group’s cash position is solid, having above €200m in cash and available credit lines, allowing a non-disrupted continuation of its planned investments. Furthermore, the Group distributed an interim dividend to its shareholders of total €45m (€1,25/ share).
Quest Group’s management will host a conference call to present and discuss the Q1 2022 Financial Results, on Thursday 26th of May 2022, at 15:30 Athens time.
- GR participants dial in: + 30 213 009 6000
- UK participants dial in: + 44 203 059 5872
- US Participants dial in: +1 516 447 5632
Group’s 2022 Financial Results per Operating Sector:
Parent company is included in Unallocated functions.