GOOD START OF FINANCIAL YEAR 2021
Strong order intake in the first weeks of financial year 2021
TTS (Trust-Transparency-Share) program launched
Maximum price for share buybacks increased
After the order backlog already increased by 10% in 2020 despite the Corona crisis, the increase of the order intake of S&T AG and the S&T Group (ISIN: AT0000A0E9W5, WKN: A0X9EJ, stock exchange symbol: SANT) has again accelerated significantly in recent months. The largest order we received at the beginning of 2021 was from a medical technology company with a volume of more than EUR 62 million. Furthermore, S&T was able to win public tenders from state or state-related rail infrastructure operators in the amount of more than EUR 81 million in past months. Particularly to mention here are SDCZ (Czech Republic) with an order volume of EUR 25 million and LTG (Lithuania) with EUR 16 million. Further train projects were won in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Spain. The public sector also developed very positively with EUR 82 million in new orders in the first quarter of 2021, of which the most, with EUR 44 million, came from Poland. In total, we expect new orders to exceed revenues by around 20% in the 1st quarter of the current financial year. This will lead to an increase in organic growth in the financial year 2021, although there may be slight shifts in sales from Q1 2021 to subsequent quarters due to the current shortage of microchips.
Likewise, the implementation of the TTS program (Trust-Transparency-Share) was started in the first quarter of 2021. The TTS program aims is to strengthen confidence in the S&T AG share through increased transparency. In addition to the publication of further key figures (for example M&A effects, revenue distribution, etc.), there will also be ongoing reporting on improvements, for example the reduction of subsidiaries or in course of the PEC² program. Concerning our shareholders, the new profit distribution provides for 50% of the annual net profit to be used in the form of share buybacks or dividends, while 50% will be invested in further growth under Agenda 2023. Therefore, the maximum price for share buybacks under the current Share buyback program II 2020 was also increased from EUR 20.00 to EUR 22.50 as of March 8, 2021. This was done in line with S&T's strategy to acquire treasury shares at favorable conditions - not more expensive than 10 times EBITDA. For the 2020 financial year, EBITDA guidance was between EUR 115 and 122 million, resulting in our maximum price of EUR 20.00 for share buybacks. Based on the increased share price and the EBITDA guidance of at least EUR 140 million for 2021, the maximum price was increased to EUR 22.50.
Hannes Niederhauser, CEO of S&T AG: "The new financial year got off to a very encouraging start but there is a lot to do. 2020 was burdened by the Corona pandemic and at the beginning of the current financial year our business is affected by the chip shortage. Nevertheless, I am very optimistic that we will be able to at least meet or exceed our guidance in 2021, as in previous years, due to good customer demand."