• Significant revenue growth of +12% in 9M 2022 to EUR 82.1 million compared with EUR 73.4 million in 9M 2021
• Dynamic growth in the “Services” division (+24%); “Systems” division (+7%) continues its solid growth; “Products” division (sales of vacuum insulation panels) records lower revenues (-7%)
• Healthcare sector’s revenue share (Temperature Controlled Supply Chains) rises further to 78% (9M 2021: 76%)
• Adjusted EBITDA of EUR 13.4 million stable compared to previous year (EUR 13.5 million); adjusted EBITDA margin at 14% based on total income (previous year: 15%)
va-Q-tec AG (ISIN DE0006636681 / WKN 663668), a pioneer in highly efficient products and solutions in the areas of thermal insulation (so-called super insulation) and temperature-managed supply chains (so-called TempChain logistics), continued on its previous quarters’ growth track in 9M 2022. Overall, the revenue trend in the first nine months of 2022 remained very encouraging despite the challenging macroeconomic environment. Revenues posted strong year-on-year growth of 12% to EUR 82.1 million in the first nine months of 2022 (9M 2021: EUR 73.4 million). The coronavirus business accounted for 16% of revenues in 9M 2022, compared with 18% in 9M 2021. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 9M 2022 amounted to EUR 13.4 million (9M 2021: EUR 13.5 million) and were thereby approximately at the previous year’s level, resulting in an adjusted EBITDA margin of 14% based on total income. The adjustment reflects the formation of precautionary provisions of EUR 2.5 million for potential payments in arrears to financial authorities for international thermal container logistics which are still in discussion.
For the individual divisions of va-Q-tec AG, the overall trend was as follows: The Services division, which comprises the container and box rental business for the transport of temperature-sensitive goods mainly from the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, recorded year-on-year revenue growth of 24% to EUR 38.1 million in 9M 2022 (9M 2021: EUR 31.3 million). Overall, va-Q-tec benefited from a broadening of its customer base, particularly in the area of airfreight thermal containers, as well as a strong increase in the number of small thermal box rentals for “last mile” shipments. In the Systems division (sale of thermal packaging), revenues grew by 7% from EUR 23.8 million in the previous year to EUR 25.4 million. Overall, the non-Covid-related TempChain business thereby grew by +20% in 9M 2022 and the TempChain business as a whole grew by +15%. In the Products division (sale of vacuum insulation panels and phase change materials), revenues of EUR 15.9 million were down compared with the previous year’s very strong basis (9M 2021: EUR 17.0 million). In the prior-year period, this division had still benefited to a significant extent from considerably higher demand for energy-efficient refrigerators and freezers in consumer markets. By contrast, business performed very well in other end markets in the reporting period, especially in the technology and industrial sectors. Business with the innovative insulation solution “va-Q-shell pipe”, which was developed together with Finnish partner Uponor, is a prime example in this context.
Given this, the Management Board believes that the growth target for the full 2022 year, with revenues of between EUR 115 and EUR 122 million at the lower end of the range, remains within reach. As far as earnings guidance is concerned, the Management Board considers it increasingly challenging to achieve an adjusted EBITDA margin at the previous year’s level given generally higher expenses for energy, logistics and personnel.
With the va-Q-one 300P, va-Q-tec expanded its va-Q-one portfolio of thermal transport solutions in September 2022: Pharmaceuticals, infectious samples, test materials for clinical trials and many other products for temperature-controlled logistics must arrive at their destination in perfect condition. Especially for shipping to regions without the possibility of return transport, great demand exists for a passively temperature-controlled transport container in Euro pallet size offering as much usable volume as possible enabling this perfect condition. In order to be able to leverage these potentials worldwide, va-Q-tec has continued its international expansion over the past twelve months, and founded three new subsidiaries in India, China and Brazil. The founding of the new subsidiary in India is the logical response to the strong growth in India’s pharmaceutical sector. Through the new subsidiary in China, the new opening in Shanghai will address one of the most important transshipment hubs of the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. The new site in São Paulo, Brazil, enables va-Q-tec to optimize the availability of TempChain solutions, with the company now operating a network of nine subsidiaries worldwide.
Despite the expansion of business activities and the further internationalization of the Group, va-Q-tec’s liquidity recorded a positive trend. With operating cash flow of EUR 4.4 million (9M 2021: EUR 0.7 million), free cash flow was still negative overall due to the significant reduction in trade payables, although it improved significantly, by approximately EUR 11.5 million year-on-year, particularly as a consequence of the reduction in capital expenditure to normal levels.
The Supervisory Board extended the contract with CFO Stefan Döhmen, which expires at the end of 2022, by a further three years. The extension is in recognition of the Chief Financial Officer’s performance and reflects the fact that va-Q-tec AG relies on continuity for the implementation of its planned future projects. Overall, the company considers itself to be very well positioned in international business and well prepared for the future.