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SD Worx realises double-digit growth in 2021

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SD Worx, the leading European HR and payroll services provider, achieved a consolidated turnover in 2021 of EUR 858.1 million (+15.4% compared to the EUR 743.5 million in 2020) and a normalised EBITDA of EUR 115.6 million, an increase of 20.0% compared to 2020 (EUR 96.3 million). The net result amounts to EUR 46.8 million.

"Reported results are growing for both SD Worx People Solutions, our payroll and HR segment, and for SD Worx Staffing & Career Solutions, the segment that focusses on staffing and flexible working," says Filip Dierckx, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SD Worx.

"Consolidated turnover is up 15.4% compared to 2020. SD Worx People Solutions, which continued to do well financially during the first year of the crisis, saw its turnover increase last year compared to 2020. Also SD Worx Staffing & Career Solutions delivered a strong growth in revenues. We should mention that 2020 was a difficult year for this segment due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it is promising that we were able to catch up substantially in 2021. Finally, our acquisitions in 2021 also explain our growth in revenues: Aditro, launch! and Teal Partners joined our group during the first half of the year, and all three are doing well."

Another noteworthy fact is that SD Worx for the first time breaks through the EUR 100 million mark for its normalised EBITDA, at EUR 115.6 million. This is an increase of 20% compared to 2020. This is also driven by strong organic growth and the previously mentioned acquisitions. The consolidated net result in 2021 is EUR 46.8 million. This is almost double the EUR 24.1 million of 2020.

Strong international growth

Within the consolidated turnover of EUR 858.1 million, SD Worx People Solutions, which today provides payroll and HR services to more than 76,000 clients worldwide, increased its turnover from EUR 529.5 million in 2020 to EUR 606.9 million in 2021 (+14.6%). Without the acquisitions, turnover grew by 6.3%. The normalised earnings before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 22.8%, from EUR 90.2 million in 2020 to EUR 110.8 million in 2021.

SD Worx Staffing & Career Solutions focusses on the flexible working market and provides services relating to temporary employment, secondment, recruitment and selection, career guidance, outplacement and specific payrolling of temporary employees. This segment grew from EUR 216.8 million of revenues in 2020 to EUR 253.8 million in 2021 (+17.1%). Normalised EBITDA decreased from EUR 7.2 million in 2020 to EUR 6.6 million in 2021 (-8.1%). However, if we take into account governmental support measures, such as the NOW subsidy in the Netherlands, the aforementioned EBITDA increases by 44.1%.

Kobe Verdonck, CEO of SD Worx: "We are pleased to see that our growth strategy is working. Special thanks to our employees for putting their shoulders to the wheel, and to our customers for their trust. It is our ambition to become the European reference in payroll and HR. In 2021, we strongly expanded internationally. We opened offices in Poland, Spain and Italy, and with the acquisitions of Aditro and launch!, we are now also active in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The intention is to eventually have a presence in all of Europe. This international expansion allows us to grow with our customers, wherever they do business. We are literally close to them, with local payroll & HR professionals now in 17 European countries. This also takes us into new markets where we see opportunities in all segments, both in the private and public sectors. We invest heavily in digitalisation and have further broadened our offering so that we can offer our customers a complete range of services and digital solutions within payroll and HR. In this way, we can help all of our customers, from smaller local players to large multinationals, and their employees to be successful."

Revenue
Revenue

FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE NET RESULT

Non-recurring costs

Restructuring costs and integration costs amount to EUR 5.4 million and have increased by EUR 2.4 million compared to 31 December 2020, mainly as a consequence of the growth plan in the UK, costs incurred for the integration of Aditro, launch! and Protime in SD Worx and the divestment of the Aspex business.

Acquisition and transaction costs have increased by EUR 1.3 million to EUR 1.7 million as a consequence of the acquisition of Aditro, Teal Partners and launch! during the first semester of 2021.

The cost of non-committed share plans for the group management is spread evenly over a vesting period of three years. The increase of EUR 1.9 million is related to the share plans issued in FY2020 and FY2021.

Depreciations and amortisations

Depreciations and amortisations on tangible and intangible assets of EUR 48.4 million have been recorded per 31 December 2021 and are mainly related to the group's important and continuing investments in digital solutions (EUR 23.6 million), the depreciation of leased right-of-use assets such as rented buildings and company cars (EUR 21.4 million) and the amortisation of intangible assets acquired in business combinations (EUR 3.4 million).

Financial results

The financial result per 31 December 2021 amounts to EUR -6.4 million, mainly due to the interest costs of the subordinated EUR 80 million bond issued in June 2019, the committed EUR 125 million revolving credit facility and financial charges on lease liabilities.

The financial result improved by EUR 2.2 million compared to 2020, which is mainly the result of the loss realised per 30 June 2020 on the sale of the group’s cash investments in financial assets held in discretionary management.

Taxes

Tax charges decreased by EUR 7.4 million from EUR 10.1 million to EUR 2.7 million. The lower effective tax rate is mainly a consequence of the recognition of deferred tax assets on fiscal losses carried forward in Belgium, which have been deemed recoverable as a result of a legal merger between two subsidiaries. A fiscal ruling on the tax neutrality of the merger has been obtained.

Net result

The net result, recorded at EUR 46.8 million, increased significantly in relation to the same period last year due to the aforementioned increase in operating profit, the increased financial result and decreased effective tax rate.

More details can be found in this report.
External audit

The Statutory Auditor, DELOITTE Bedrijfsrevisoren BV, represented by Ben Vandeweyer and Maurice Vrolix, has confirmed that the accompanying balance sheet of SD Worx NV as of December 31, 2021, and the related statements of income, and disclosing notes for the year then ended were not audited yet and, accordingly, the Statutory Auditor does not express an opinion on them.