Interview with Pierre Boccon-Liaudet, Chief Financial Officer of Exclusive Networks

Boursier.com: Why did last year’s sales exceed 15%?

PB-L. : We have benefited from our unique position in the market and the sustained demand for cybersecurity solutions at the global level. This growth will be 73% in the same region as the previous year with existing suppliers, 13% by extending contracts with existing suppliers to new regions and new suppliers, and 15% with acquisitions. This growth could have been even stronger, especially if it had not experienced the supply problems that the industry experienced in the second half of 2021. Very strong demand makes it possible to reach our goal, but historically makes it possible to attack 2022 with higher-order books.

Boursier.com: You are introduced as a simple distributor of cybersecurity solutions. What is the added value of the group?

PB-L. : We are a distributor of solutions at the heart of the vast and highly fragmented cybersecurity market. We are the company behind the cybersecurity companies you know and the partner of choice for industry leaders. Today, about 80% of cyber security services go through aggregators like us in Europe and Asia, and 50% in the United States. Note that Exclusive Networks worked for approximately 100,000 end customers in 2021, including a large number of CAC 40 or SBF 120 companies. In this ever-evolving world of cybersecurity, there is one thing for sure. Our global reach, our ability to launch solutions very quickly in the market, our network of suppliers and resellers, and our deep technical expertise.

Boursier.com: Are you bound by an exclusive contract with a supplier?

PB-L. : Our strategy is based on getting the best possible technology for resellers and customers. With this in mind, our technology ecosystem is the industry’s most essential to our mission to share our vision and provide a “trusted digital infrastructure” to all our customers. It is made up of innovative and reliable vendors. Faced with ever-changing market demand and the complexity of technology and cyber environments, our approach has always been established technology suppliers (market-leading suppliers), growing suppliers (large suppliers), and It was to strike a balance between emerging technologies that are native. Designed for specific technology segments (startup vendors). This provides customers with access to a comprehensive portfolio and end-to-end solutions to meet the demands of all markets.

Boursier.com: Remember the 2022 goal and what steps you rely on to reach it. Are you aiming for an adjusted EBITA / net profit margin of 40% or more in the medium term?

PB-L. : 2021 proved to be a decisive year for our group, with our group’s successful transition from a private company to a Euronext-listed company last September. rice field. We will continue to build on this strong foundation and realize our ambitious growth plan for 2022 and beyond. Specifically, we aim to increase sales by more than € 3.8 billion in 2022, or at least 14.5%. The net profit margin is 362 to 368 ME and the adjusted EBITA is 133 to 138 ME, and we have set a goal of increasing the EBITA margin of net profit margin to 40% in the medium term. To reach our goals, we rely on strong growth in the cybersecurity market, unique positioning, and proven strategies. We have a long and successful track record of constantly identifying and assessing acquisition targets that meet the criteria for accelerating growth and creating value, and integrating such acquisitions.

Boursier.com: The company has a lot of debt, are you going to reduce it? What are your goals in this area?

PB-L. : Exclusive Networks net liabilities reached € 391.5 million, with net liabilities leveraged / adjusted EBITDAal (EBITDA after lease) increased by 3.1 times. This has been affected by non-end of the year, which was canceled at the beginning of January 2022. With a pre-tax cash production of € 56.5 million in 2021, a normalized cash conversion of 64.4% of EBITDA gives us confidence in our ability to meet our debt reduction targets. We are targeting 80% pre-tax operating cash generation of adjusted EBITDA in 2022 and a debt ratio of less than 2.5 times.

Boursier.com: Is there a way to make a new acquisition, like many in the past?

PB-L. : Cash and cash equivalents are 129.8 ME and aim to pursue a targeted acquisition policy to complete our offer or geographic scope. We constantly identify and evaluate merger and acquisition goals that meet our value creation criteria and have a long and successful track record of integrating these acquisitions with 18 acquisitions over the last nine years.