“Thanks to the extensive commitment of all our employees, we were able to grow revenues by almost 16%. As a result of the continuous organic and inorganic expansion of our product portfolio, we registered new orders worth more than EUR 400 million for the first time,” reports Frequentis CEO Norbert Haslacher. “As a high-tech company, in 2022 we invested around 7% of revenues in research and development for our future growth.”
In January 2022, Frequentis acquired a 51% interest in Regola S.r.l. (based in Turin, Italy). Regola’s innovative software solutions complement Frequentis’ public safety product portfolio and therefore support its long-term growth strategy in this business domain.
In September 2022, Frequentis acquired a 25% stake in the Finnish software producer Aviamaps Oy. This company’s software enables users of its platform to book drone flights directly online by clicking on a map (real-time aviation maps platform). In 2023, Aviamaps’ software will be integrated into the Frequentis solution for automatic approval of drone flights in Austria.
Development of revenues and earnings
Revenues rose 15.7% to EUR 386.0 million. Looking at the regional split, Europe accounted for 65%, the Americas for 16%, Asia for 12%, and Australia/Pacific/Africa for 7%. Demand for Frequentis products remains high around the world. This is evidenced by order intake, which rose 21.5% to EUR 404.8 million in 2022. Orders on hand increased to EUR 522.0 million, a rise of 11.6%.
The operating business was still partially held back by the COVID-19 pandemic, which subsided in 2022. The outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022 indirectly impacted the Frequentis Group through higher inflation (initially for electricity, gas, and fuels). Inflation then filtered through to the cost of goods sourced from suppliers, salary rises, and thus earnings. EBIT was EUR 25.0 million and the EBIT margin was 6.5%, which was within the target range of 6-8%.
Proposal to increase the dividend again
The profit for the period was EUR 18.9 million and earnings per share were EUR 1.41. Frequentis is proposing another dividend increase this year. A dividend of EUR 0.22 would be 10% higher than in the previous year.
Asset and capital structure
Equity was EUR 147.3 million as at end-December 2022 and the equity ratio increased by 2.2 percentage points to 43.3%. The net cash position was EUR 91.0 million.
Sustainable corporate governance
Our ESG (environment, social, governance) activities were rewarded by the rating agencies. Frequentis was awarded a silver medal by EcoVadis (previously bronze), so it ranks among the top 25% of companies evaluated by this rating agency. Gaïa Research and Sustainalytics also noted improvements in aspects of sustainability.
Depending on the development of inflation, the supply chain problems, and the war in Ukraine, Frequentis aims to achieve the following targets in 2023 (compared with 2022):
• Increase revenues,
• Increase order intake,
• EBIT margin of around 6-8%.
The current financial publications can be found at http://www.frequentis.com/publications.