Talenom Plc Business Review for January-September 2023: Talenom’s growth fell short of the target but continued as strong. Profitability improvement measures progressed.


Talenom Plc, Stock exchange release on 20 October 2023 at 9:00 EEST

Talenom Plc Business Review for January-September 2023: Talenom’s growth fell short of the target but continued as strong. Profitability improvement measures progressed.

January–September 2023 in brief

  • Net sales EUR 92.0 million (75.8), growth 21.4% (24.1)
  • EBITDA EUR 24.9 million (25.4), 27.0% (33.6) of net sales
  • Comparable operating profit (EBIT)* EUR 9.5 (13.1) million, 10.3% (17.2) of net sales
  • Operating profit (EBIT) EUR 6.4 million (13.1), 6.9% (17.2) of net sales
  • Net profit EUR 2.5 million (10.0)
  • Earnings per share EUR 0.06 (0.23)

July–September 2023 in brief

  • Net sales EUR 28.3 million (23.6), growth 20.0% (21.7)
  • EBITDA EUR 7.6 million (7.3), 27.0% (30.8) of net sales
  • Comparable operating profit (EBIT)* EUR 2.4 (3.1) million, 8.4% (13.0) of net sales
  • Operating profit (EBIT) EUR -0.8 million (3.1), -2.7% (13.0) of net sales
  • Net profit EUR -1.7 million (2.2)
  • Earnings per share EUR -0.04 (0.05)

Key figures

Group1–9/20231–9/2022Change, %7–9/20237–9/2022Change, %
Net sales, EUR 1,00092,01275,76321.4%28,29223,57520.0%
Net sales, increase %21.4%24.1% 20.0%21.7% 
EBITDA, EUR 1,00024,85525,427-2.3%7,6277,2724.9%
EBITDA of net sales, %27.0%33.6% 27.0%30.8% 
Operating profit (EBIT), EUR 1,0006,35013,067-51.4%-7723,074-125.1%
Operating profit (EBIT), as % of net sales6.9%17.2% -2.7%13.0% 
Comparable operating profit,
EUR 1,000 *)
9,50913,067-27.2%2,3873,074-22.4%
Comparable operating profit, as % of
net sales
10.3%17.2% 8.4%13.0% 
Return on investment (ROI), %
(rolling 12 months)
6.8%14.8% 6.8%14.8% 
Interest-bearing net liabilities,
EUR 1,000
71,36851,22539.3%71,36851,22539.3%
Net gearing ratio, %130.1%96.0% 130.1%96.0% 
Equity ratio, %31.6%35.9% 31.6%35.9% 
Net investments, EUR 1,00030,88831,919-3.2%6,04016,481-63.4%
Liquid assets, EUR 1,00014,89517,755-16.1%14,89517,755-16.1%
Earnings per share, EUR0.060.23-75.1%-0.040.05-176.2%
Weighted average number of
shares during the period
45,096,41144,242,8881.9%45,279,66544,242,8882.3%
Net profit, EUR 1,0002,5309,964-74.6%-1,6892,165-178.0%

*) Operating profit excluding software-related write-downs

Guidance for 2023 (updated on 12 October 2023)

Talenom estimates that 2023 net sales will be around EUR 120–125 million, EBITDA around EUR 30–34 million, comparable operating profit excluding software-related write-downs around EUR 10–13 million and operating profit around EUR 7–10 million.

CEO Otto-Pekka Huhtala 

The digitalization of the European accounting market will progress strongly in the coming years, for example due to the binding legislation of EU's e-Invoicing Directive. We have systematically developed our software platform to respond to the change in the operating environment brought on by digitalization. We believe that the digitalization development will enable faster organic growth. Our strategic focus on international growth has, together with the weak economic cycle, weakened our relative profitability in the short term, as planned. After a strong acquisition-driven growth phase, we will for the time being focus on improving profitability and increasingly on organic growth.

During January-September, we systematically promoted our strategic priorities:

  1. Digital sales progressed supported by a unified brand and productization, new website and more attractive productization. The digital purchasing path has been simplified. The measures are beginning to show as higher customer numbers.
  2. Distribution of banking services progressed and Talenom Accounts kicked-off nicely. There is a clear demand for a comprehensive solution, including bank account, software and accounting services, especially in the small enterprise segment, for which the Talenom One product has been developed.
  3. In Sweden, the implementation of our own platform has been gradually expanded one office at a time after all critical features were completed. We also started selling the platform in new customer acquisition. Based on the experience in Finland, the introduction of Talenom’s processes and platform enables reducing routine work to up to a quarter of the current time spent on such tasks. For transferred customers the customer-specific savings in working time have been significant.

In January-September, Group net sales grew by 21.4% (24.1) to EUR 92.0 million (75.8). The growth was based on several acquisitions in Sweden and Spain, and organic growth in Finland. Net sales were below the targeted level due to the effects of a general economic slowdown in Finland and Sweden and the weak Swedish krona. The weak cycle resulted in a decrease in customer-specific invoicing as customers’ businesses contracted.

The Group’s EBITDA for January-September was EUR 24.9 million (25.4), which meant that the operating cash flow remained strong. The EBITDA margin was 27.0% (33.6). In addition to the slowdown in the economy, relative profitability was depressed by our planned frontloaded investments in growth, wage inflation, the system platform acquired in Spain last year, as well as integration and other non-recurring expenses related to acquisitions.

Comparable operating profit excluding software write-downs was EUR 9.5 million (13.1), or 10.3% (17.2) of net sales. We have renewed the architecture of our software platform to expand its use in new countries. As a result, old software used in Finland will be decommissioned, and in the third quarter we made a non-recurring write-down of around EUR 3.2 million on software investments. After this, operating profit was EUR 6.4 million. During spring, we launched profitability improvement measures for the entire Group. The impact of the measures is witnessed in improved euro-denominated EBITDA in the third quarter compared to the comparison period. The improvements create a good profitability base for next year while maintaining the prerequisites for growth in line with the strategy. The company’s business is still very profitable relative to the industry.

We lowered our guidance earlier this month as a result of slower than expected growth. However, we look positively into the future and estimate that the digitalization of the European accounting market creates good growth conditions.

Group financial development January–September 2023

Net sales increased by 21.4% to EUR 92.0 million (75.8). Some two-thirds of net sales growth came from acquisitions mainly in Sweden and Spain and roughly one-third organically through active sales and sales of value-added services in Finland.
Personnel costs amounted to EUR 53.4 million (39.8) representing 58.0% (52.6) of net sales. Other operating expenses, including materials and services, totalled EUR 14.1 million (11.1) or 15.4% (14.6) of net sales.

EBITDA decreased by -2.3% to EUR 24.9 million (25.4) or 27.0% (33.6) of net sales. Comparable operating profit decreased by -27.2% to EUR 9.5 million (13.1) or 10.3% (17.2) of net sales. Comparable operating profit does not include the non-recurring write-down of EUR 3.2 million related to software. Profitability was depressed by frontloaded investments in growth, wage inflation, the system platform acquired in Spain in 2022, as well as integration and other costs arising from acquisitions. Operating profit decreased by -51.4% to EUR 6.4 million (13.1) or 6.9% (17.2) of net sales. Net profit decreased by -74.6% to EUR 2.5 million (10.0). Net financial expenses rose to EUR 2.6 million (0.5). 

In August, Talenom agreed with Danske Bank Finland's branch A/S on a secured loan of EUR 10 million, with a maturity of three years and the loan period can be extended twice by one year at a time for a maximum maturity date of 30 September 2028. At the same time, the loan term of the previous loans of EUR 60 million was agreed to be extended so that the repayment date for all loans is 30 September 2026, and the loan period can be extended twice by one year at a time for a maximum maturity date of 30 September 2028. The company also agreed on a EUR 20 million credit facility, from which a EUR 5 million loan was drawn in September, which matures on 30 September 2024.

Group financial development July–September 2023

Net sales increased by 20.0% to EUR 28.3 million (23.6). Some two-thirds of the increase in net sales came from acquisitions mainly in Sweden and Spain and one-third organically through active sales and sales of value-added services mainly in Finland.

EBITDA increased by 4.9% to EUR 7.6 million (7.3) or 27.0% (30.8) of net sales. Comparable operating profit decreased by -22.4% to EUR 2.4 million (3.1) or 8.4% (13.0) of net sales. Comparable operating profit does not include the non-recurring write-down of EUR 3.2 million related to software. The operating result decreased by -125.1% to EUR -0.8 million (3.1) or -2.7% (13.0) of net sales. Relative profitability was depressed by frontloaded investments in growth, wage inflation, the system platform acquired in Spain in 2022, as well as integration and other costs arising from acquisitions. Net profit decreased by -178.0 % to EUR -1.7 million (2.2).

Country-specific financial development

Finland

 1–9/20231–9/2022Change, %7–9/20237–9/2022Change, %
Net sales, EUR 1,00066,97161,1909.4%20,26218,8217.7%
Net sales growth, %9.4%15.1% 7.7%12.3% 
EBITDA, EUR 100024,38723,8032.5%7,7657,01710.7%
EBITDA of net sales, %36.4%38.9% 38.3%37.3% 
Depreciation and amortisations, EUR 1,000-15,958-11,04244.5%-7,429-3,73499.0%
Operating profit, EUR 1,0008,42912,762-33.9%3363,284-89.8%
Operating profit of net sales, %12.6%20.9% 1.7%17.4% 
Comparable operating profit,
EUR 1,000 *)
11,58812,762-9.2%3,4953,2846.4%
Comparable operating profit, as % of net sales17.3%20.9% 17.2%17.4% 

*) Operating profit excluding software-related write-downs

January-September 2023

Net sales increased by 9.4 % to EUR 67.0 million (61.2). Net sales growth was organic and driven by active sales and sales of value-added services. The overall economic slowdown weakened growth, although new customer acquisition remained at a good level.

EBITDA was EUR 24.4 million (23.8) and the EBITDA margin was 36.4% (38.9). Talenom prepared for stronger growth with recruitments, which, together with weaker-than-expected net sales, depressed profitability. In the spring, Talenom started significant profitability improvement measures in the Finnish businesses.

July-September 2023

Net sales increased by 7.7% to EUR 20.3 million (18.8). Net sales growth was driven by active sales and sales of value-added services. Overall economic development was negatively reflected in growth. The general slowdown in the economy resulted in a reduction in volume-based invoicing per customer as customers’ business activity declined, and in increased business closures, the effects of which became more strongly visible in the third quarter. Price adjustments made against inflationary cost increases were significantly eroded due to the effects of the general slowdown in the economy.

EBITDA increased slightly with the improvement measures, and we expect profitability to improve further as the measures progress. Relative profitability improved slightly measured by EBITDA and remained unchanged measured by comparable operating profit. Relative profitability was weakened by higher costs and lower than expected growth.

Sweden

 1–9/20231–9/2022Change, %7–9/20237–9/2022Change, %
Net sales, EUR 1,00019,54513,60543.7%5,5194,30728.1%
Net sales growth, %43.7%75.5% 28.1%75.4% 
EBITDA, EUR 10001,2921,534-15.8%-48240-120.1%
EBITDA of net sales, %6.6%11.3% -0.9%5.6% 
Depreciation and amortisations, EUR 1,000-1,874-123951.2%-685-43457.8%
Operating profit, EUR 1,000-582294-297.8%-733-195-276.6%
Operating profit of net sales, %-3.0%2.2% -13.3%-4.5% 


January-September 2023

Net sales increased by 43.7% to EUR 19.5 million (13.6). Net sales growth came mainly from acquisitions. The weak Swedish krona had a negative impact on euro-denominated net sales development.

Relative EBITDA was 6.6% (11.3) and operating profit -3.0% (2.2) of net sales. The growth and profitability in Sweden were weakened by the effects of a general economic slowdown. Talenom prepared for stronger growth with recruitments, which, together with weaker-than-expected net sales, depressed profitability. Higher loan loss provisions and non-recurring items increased costs by a total of EUR 0.6 million. In addition, profitability in Sweden was still depressed by the planned acceleration of integration and the introduction of the new platform, as well as the resourcing required for these activities. In Sweden, after a period of strong growth, Talenom is slowing down the implementation of acquisitions for a restricted period focusing on improving efficiency and profitability by reaping economic benefits from a unified approach and the platform. The weak Swedish krona also had a negative impact on euro-denominated EBITDA development.

July-September 2023

Net sales increased by 28.1% to EUR 5.5 million (4.3). Net sales growth came mainly from acquisitions. Growth was slowed down by the effects of a general economic slowdown. In addition, the weak Swedish krona had a negative impact on euro-denominated net sales development.

Relative profitability decreased. The EBITDA margin was -0.9% (5.6) and the EBIT margin -13.3% (-4.5). Profitability in Sweden was still depressed by the planned acceleration of integration and the introduction of the platform, as well as the resourcing required for these activities. Higher loan loss provisions increased costs by a total of EUR 0.1 million. The weak Swedish krona also had a negative impact on euro-denominated EBITDA development.

Other countries

 1–9/20231–9/2022Change, %7–9/20237–9/2022Change, %
Net sales, EUR 1,0005,496969467.1%2,511447462.0%
Net sales growth, %467.1%546.4% 462.0%198.1% 
EBITDA, EUR 1000-794-100-693.7%-9015-689.5%
EBITDA of net sales, %-14.4%-10.3% -3.6%3.4% 
Depreciation and amortisations, EUR 1,000-673-79.0754.4%-285-30857.4%
Operating profit, EUR 1,000-1,467-179.0-720.5%-375-15-2467.8%
Operating profit of net sales, %-26.7%-18.5% -14.9%-3.3% 


January-September 2023

Net sales increased by 467.1% to EUR 5.5 million (1.0). Net sales growth came mainly from acquisitions.

The business was loss-making. The Spanish accounting business is profitable measured by EBITDA, but profitability is depressed by the relative share of support functions. The profitability of the Spanish business is also burdened by the platform business acquired in autumn 2022, which aims to utilize the growth potential from the introduction of EU's e-Invoicing Directive. Talenom has leveraged its experience of establishing itself in Sweden and has strengthened management resources in a frontloaded manner, while simplifying and accelerating integration processes. In addition, the product offering has been harmonized to strengthen growth and robotics projects have been launched to improve process efficiency. Talenom expects the Spanish businesses to clearly improve their relative profitability as business volume grows and Talenom’s efficient processes are implemented. With the acquisitions carried out during the year, the balance between volume and support functions has improved. Acquisitions carried out at the end of the period and future acquisitions support profitability development. In Italy, we continue to learn about the market and operating environment through the implemented acquisition.

July-September 2023

Net sales increased by 462.0% to EUR 2.5 million (0.4). Net sales growth came mainly from acquisitions.

The business was loss-making. The Spanish accounting business is profitable measured by EBITDA, but profitability is depressed by the relative share of support functions and the platform business acquired in Spain. As the business scaled in the third quarter, profitability has improved measured by EBITDA compared to previous quarters.

Unallocated items

Unallocated items include revenue and cost recognition of additional purchase prices related to acquisitions.

 1–9/20231–9/2022Change, %7–9/20237–9/2022Change, %
Net sales, EUR 1,000      
Net sales growth, %      
EBITDA, EUR 1000-30190    
EBITDA of net sales, %      
Depreciation and amortisations, EUR 1,000      
Operating profit, EUR 1,000-30190    
Operating profit of net sales, %      


Investments and acquisitions during the review period

The total net investments during the review period were EUR 30.9 million (31.9).

Investments1.1. −30.9.20231.1.−30.9.2022Change
New customer agreements, EUR 1,0002,2982,422-124
Software and digital services, EUR 1,00010,6008,4342,167
Acquisitions in Finland, EUR 1,000 *)0857-857
Acquisitions abroad, EUR 1,000 **)15,57719,623-4,046
Other investments2,4125831,829
Total net investments, EUR 1,00030,88831,919-1,031

*) includes an estimated EUR 0 (116,000) in recorded additional deal prices
**) includes an estimated EUR 3,059,000 (5,183,000) in recorded additional deal prices

Share transactions in January-September:

  • MTE Göteborg Ab, Sweden
  • R2 Redovisning Ab, Sweden
  • BKF Asesores, S.l., Spain
  • Easycount Ab, Sweden
  • Bv Coruña Asesoría De Empresas, S.l., Spain
  • Consultoria Granadina S.l. and Grupo CG Consultores 2012 S.l., Spain
  • LR Redovisning i Strängnäs Ab, Sweden
  • Aditio Gestion S.l., Spain
  • Advisoria Advocats I Economistes S.l.p., Spain
  • Acega Asesores S.l.u., Spain
  • VM Redovisning Ab, Sweden

Business acquisitions in January-September:

  • Studio Gavazzi, Italy

Purchase prices, net sales and operating profit of the acquisition targets during the review period:

EUR 1,000Share transactionsBusiness acquisitions
Total purchase prices11,372270
Maximum contingent consideration3,798170
Net sales, previous 12 months at time of purchase, total10,422553
Operating profit, previous 12 months at time of purchase, total2,3660


In acquisitions, part of the purchase price was paid with new Talenom Plc shares subscribed for in directed issues. A total of 386,638 shares were subscribed for in directed share issues related to acquisitions during the review period.

Acquisitions after the review period

Share transactions after the review period:

  • Sant Cugat Consulting S.l., Spain
  • Gesgal Asesores S.l., Spain

Purchase prices, net sales and operating profit of the acquisition targets after the review period:

EUR 1,000Share transactionsBusiness acquisitions
Total purchase prices2,0150
Maximum contingent consideration1000
Net sales, previous 12 months at time of purchase, total1,7900
Operating profit, previous 12 months at time of purchase, total3650


Webcast

Talenom will present the main points of the review on a webcast today on 20 October 2023 at 10:00 EEST in Finnish and at 11:00 EEST in English.

You can watch the webcast live in Finnish at 10:00 EEST at https://talenom.videosync.fi/q3-2023
You can watch the webcast live in English at 11:00 EEST at https://talenom.videosync.fi/business-review-q3-2023

Talenom Plc
Board of Directors

Further information:
Otto-Pekka Huhtala
CEO, Talenom Plc
+358 40 703 8554
otto-pekka.huhtala@talenom.fi

Talenom in brief
Talenom is an agile and progressive accounting firm established in 1972. Our business idea is to make daily life easier for entrepreneurs with the easiest-to-use digital tools on the market and highly automated services. In addition to comprehensive accounting services, we support our customers’ business with a wide range of expert services, as well as financing, account and payment traffic services. Our vision is to provide superior accounting, account and payment traffic services for SMEs.

Talenom’s growth history is strong – average annual net sales growth was approximately 17% between 2005 and 2022. In 2022, Talenom’s net sales was some EUR 102 million and the company has more than 1,300 employees in Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy at the end of the year. Talenom’s share is quoted on the Main Market of Nasdaq Helsinki. Read more: investors.talenom.com/en

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Talenom Business Review Q3 2023