The AB Group is setting new records
The largest IT and consumer electronics distributor in Poland and the CEE region closed calendar year 2021 with over PLN 13 billion in revenue and a 42% increase in net profit to over PLN 142 million. For the first time in its history, the AB Group recorded more than PLN 200 million in annual EBITDA and the value of its equity – which is responsible for its growth potential in the distribution market – approached PLN 1.1 billion. The Group, which is the market leader in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, relies on modern technologies in its operations and its commercial offer, and is optimistic about growth opportunities in the coming periods.
Selected financial results:
|Calendar year 2021||Q4 2021 (Q2 FY21/22)|
|PLN million||Y/y change||PLN million||Change in relation to Q4 2020||Change in relation to Q4 2019|
|Gross profit from sales||523.5||+27%||167.3||+24%||+61%|
|Margin||3.9%||+0.4 pp||3.8%||+0.6 pp||+0.6 pp|
|Margin||1.5%||+0.3 pp||2.0%||+0.3 pp||+0.8 pp|
|Equity (end of period)||1,089.6||+17%||1,089.6||+17%||+31%|
In the second quarter of financial year 2021/2022 (October-December 2021) the Lower Silesian AB Group recorded revenues of PLN 4.4 billion (+4% y/y) which, combined with the stability of margins based on distribution contracts, a favorable sales structure, and the highest operating efficiency in the industry, translated into a 28% y/y increase in EBITDA to almost PLN 90 million and a 24% y/y increase in net profit to over PLN 65 million.
“The financial results achieved exceeded our internal targets and we are pleased, especially as we improved in comparison with the record results we had a year ago. Bear in mind that in the fourth quarter of 2020, we increased revenue by more than 30% year-on-year and virtually doubled our net profit. As a result, we had a record calendar year, in which we grew stronger than the market and which is a good base for further long-term development of the AB Group,” pointed out Andrzej Przybyło, the CEO of AB S.A., who added that the Group has never strategically operated east of Poland, but it has joined in the assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainians, responding to questions from capital market players.
Demand for AB Group’s products and services is strengthened by the digital transformation of societies, which in the region of Central and Eastern Europe are additionally ending their historical lag behind the West.
“We are pleased to say that the surge in demand appears to be a sustained phenomenon. At the same time, the growth of our margin is driven by a number of factors, most importantly a favorable product mix, a more mature and consolidated market, and AB Group’s sustainable advantages. Another important point is that we are a technology company that invests long-term in business efficiency – not only in automation of commercial and logistics processes, in e-commerce, and in cloud computing, but also in new sales technologies, such as machine learning, robotic process automation, and business intelligence solutions,” said Andrzej Przybyło, the CEO of AB S.A.
At the end of December 2021, the value of AB Group’s equity approached PLN 1.1 billion and the value of its stock was at the level of PLN 1.3 billion. While for selected items, such as game consoles, certain models of laptops, graphics cards, and some Apple products, there is still a large unsatisfied demand globally, AB Group, even in the environment of insufficient market supply, is able to fulfill the role of an efficient distributor in an exemplary manner.
“We are also prepared for financial challenges in the market, which means that our balance sheet is developed in a conservative manner and with focus on the long term and we can compensate the increase in the value of working capital. We maintain financial ratios at very safe levels. The net debt to EBITDA (LTM) ratio is at the low level of 1. Even at the end of the peak season in Q4, we were using less than 40% of the available financing, so we have a lot of room for further growth based both on equity and on interest-bearing financing,” said Grzegorz Ochędzan, Member of the Management Board for Financial Matters at AB SA.
AB S.A.’s shareholders directly contribute to the success of our business thanks to the dividend which was paid in December (PLN 1 gross per share). The General Shareholders’ Meeting also passed a resolution to carry out a buy-back of own shares, which in total may mean almost PLN 33 million paid to shareholders from the profit earned in the 2020/2021 financial year.
The AB Group carries out numerous initiatives in the ESG area. In addition to environmental and corporate issues, the Group actively joined the fight against the coronavirus pandemic (as part of the #AByrazem nationwide campaign, nearly a thousand pieces of various equipment, including respirators, were provided to those in need). On the other hand, in the area of education, through its Competence Center, the AB Group conducts free training courses to share technological knowledge. Currently, at the time of the war in Ukraine, the Group is also responding to the needs of the Ukrainian community by supporting, among others, employees of this nationality and their families.
The AB Group and its managers are regularly awarded by resellers, vendors, and juries of various contests. For example, during the official IT Champion 2021 gala of the IT Reseller magazine, the AB Group received as many as four awards: distributor of the year, CSR campaign, IT industry personality (CEO Andrzej Przybyło), and sales director (Patrycja Gawarecka). At the end of 2021, the industry magazine CRN awarded AB S.A. in four categories in the Channel Awards contest. One of them was the award in the Service Provider category for the AB S.A.’s Competence Center. The industry thus appreciated the company’s educational offer and its activities in this business area. The AB Group was also awarded the title of the best IT distributor on the Polish and Czech markets by the Context research company on the basis of resellers’ opinions given as part of the ChannelWatch 2021 survey. This is the seventh time in a row that the AB S.A. has been recognized as the distributor of the year in the IT market.