The HighCo Group’s gross margin increased by + 3.2% in fiscal 2021 to 76.52ME.
The increase in adjusted ROE and the stability of restructuring costs (2021: 0.71 ME; 2020: 0.78 ME) will increase COI by + 21.7% to 14.82 ME (2020: 12.18 ME).
Considering another operating profit of 2.46 ME related to the fair value revaluation of the additional price recognized during the acquisition of Useradgents in 2018, the operating profit in 2021 was 17.28 ME, a very high + 41.9%. Has increased significantly.
The tax amount is stable at 4.29 ME in 2021 (2020: 4.24 ME fare). The effective tax rate plummeted by 660 basis points to 29.6% during the period. Adjusted net income increased by + 50.9% to 8.71 ME (2020: 5.77 ME) and published net income was 11.19 ME, also up significantly to + 161.9% (2020 announced: 4.27 ME). doing.
Therefore, the group recorded an adjusted EPS of € 0.42, a very strong increase of + 51.4% compared to 2020.
Cash flow was € 18.48mn, an increase of + 13.6% compared to December 31, 2020. Excluding the impact of IFRS 16 (lease), cash flows were 15.33 ME, an increase of + 17.9% compared to 31 December 2020.
As of December 31, 2021, net cash (net cash surplus) was € 73.71 million, a decrease of € 3.25 million compared to December 31, 2020.
Excluding net working capital resources (€ 55.79 million as of December 31, 2021), net cash was € 17.92 million, an increase of € 4.5 million compared to December 31, 2020.
Due to these strong performances, a dividend of € 0.32 per share was proposed at the next General Assembly on May 16, 2022, significantly + 18.5% (€ 0.27 per share paid in 2021 for 2020). Will increase.
Proposal to cancel about 8% of treasury stock
The company plans to cancel more than 8% of its equity capital by canceling its treasury stock (excluding liquidity contracts) by the end of June 2022.
The Management Committee has noted that the statutory limit of treasury stock has reached almost 10% within the framework of the shareholder return policy, and by canceling the treasury stock acquired in succession to the Board of Corporate Auditors, the company’s capital will be increased. He presented a plan to reduce it. Share the buy-back program. As mentioned earlier, the Group recorded a significant increase in profitability in 2021 and exhibits a strong financial position with a high net cash surplus. These factors are beneficial in completing this operation.
The Board of Corporate Auditors, who met today, approved the Board of Directors to carry out this work.
The Board of Directors plans to implement this approval by the end of June 2022, subject to the following conditions:
Vote in favor of a resolution by the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on May 16 to approve the cancellation of treasury stock within the statutory limits,
AMF’s decision to grant WPP (reference shareholders holding 34% of capital) an exemption from the obligation to make a public offering on request, and
There will no longer be an appeal against this decision.
WPP has stated that it will refrain from voting for cancellation resolutions submitted to the General Assembly.
These guidelines were established on the basis of the factors available in the complex and evolving context associated with the war in Ukraine and the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.
In this regard, the Group recalls its non-existence directly or indirectly in the conflict zone and emphasizes that it did not affect activity levels as of the end of February 2022.
In this regard, HighCo forecasts 2022 as follows:
Slight increase in gross profit (MB 2021: 76.52 ME);
Adjusted operating margin (adjusted ROE / MB) increased by 50 basis points (2021 adjusted operating margin: 20.3%).
The financial resources of the group are allocated as follows:
Innovation by startup studio HighCoVenturi (investment in overseas business of over 4 million euros).
CAPEX between 2ME and 3ME (1.06 ME in 2021).
Acquisition and / or holding;
Return to shareholders by paying a significantly increased dividend (approximately 6.6 ME) and continuing the share buyback program in excess of 1 ME (1.31 ME in 2021).
HighCo’s (Mixed) Annual Meeting will take place on Monday, May 16, 2022 at 10:30 am at Aix-en-Provence headquarters.
Given the crisis situation associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the procedures for hosting and attending this conference are subject to change as the health progresses, according to the rules.