Results affected by external factors – Atende presents its strategy for fast growth
The Atende Group closes 2021 with consolidated net loss of PLN 2.3 million and EBITDA of PLN 9.9 million. The Management Board calculates, however, that the operating result would be similar to that generated in 2020 if not affected by factors beyond the Company’s control: temporary loss of industrial security clearance certificates and related contractual penalties and lost profits, delayed deliveries from a key supplier as well as lack of consolidation of results of Atende Software and Atende Medica. At the same time, Atende presents a new ambitious Strategy for the years 2022-2024 with plans to achieve rapid growth by building on its track of achievements and technological know-how. The Strategy aims at taking advantage of the fast paced growth in the technology sector by focusing on five selected market trends, in which Atende today has strong competitive edges: Digital Transformation, Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Smart Energy, Telecommunications and Semiconductors.
At the Atende Group, 2021 was a period we will remember as full of challenges and changes, triggering the need to adapt and redirect our thinking. Having taken on the leadership of the organisation as a result of the implementation of the succession plan, my team and I were confronted from the outset with two exogenously triggered circumstances as a result of which the performance reported leaves much to be desired, deviating significantly from the assumptions we made during the year, says Marcin Petrykowski, CEO, Atende SA.
In 2021, the integration of data communication systems was the most important area for the sales result of the Atende Group (PLN 182.0 million vs. PLN 202.4 million in the previous year). The Company recorded a y/y improvement in revenues from the industry, retail and services sector (by PLN 10.6 million) and from the financial sector (by PLN 7.4 million). The decrease in consolidated sales revenue as compared to 2020 was primarily due to changes in the telecommunication and media sector, where revenues dropped by PLN 41.6 million y/y. This is due to the sale, at the end of 2020, of portfolio cmpany Atende Software, which generated most of its revenues from customers in the telecommunications and media sector (PLN 28.5 million in 2020), and because of delays in product deliveries due to disruptions in the supply chain of the key supplier of the parent company, Atende. The public sector also recorded a decrease in sales by PLN 32.8 million year-on-year; sales were negatively impacted by the loss of industrial security clearance certificates and the sale, at the beginning of 2021, of Atende Medica, which operates on the public market.
In 2021, Atende achieved good sales results in the area of solutions with a high development potential, related to smart energy (implemented by Atende Industries, and until 30 November 2020 by Atende Software, an increase by 12% y/y), microships design (OmniChip, an increase by 50% y/y), real-time operating system (Phoenix Systems, an increase by 17% y/y), and IT outsourcing (TrustIT, an increase by 27% y/y). The subsidiaries contributed 27.8% of the sales margin and 62.3% of the EBITDA.
We close 2021 feeling humble, however, with a strong confidence in the consistent growth in value, expertise and experience that we represent as a Group. We remain in a sound condition in terms of finances, operations and people, after a team effort and intellectual investment to focus the plan on ‘What next?’, adds Marcin Petrykowski.
The overarching goal defined in our new Strategy is to evolve from a traditional hardware and technology supplier towards offering comprehensive solutions based on proprietary products and services. For this reason, the Group is constantly investing in innovative technology solutions that have received positive feedback from the market in recent years. Among the significant projects delivered in 2021, the highlights include development of software for one of the largest mobile operators and new in-house services provided to the largest Polish food industry group. The most successful projects of subsidiaries are for example the contract for the use of Phoenix-RTOS software in one of the largest smart energy implementations in Europe (1 million smart gas meters in Belgium) and the launch of the largest billing system in Poland (SAP solutions in the gas sector for 7.5 million gas supply points). In addition, the Atende Group together with Netia passed the national evaluation in the EU’s IPCEI-CIS competition aimed at developing European cloud technologies with strategic importance for the EU. The Group is involved in two large tenders in the energy sector – for the supply of the Central Energy Market Information System for Polskie Sieci Elektroenergetyczne and for the implementation of central CRM and Billing systems for Polska Grupa Energetyczna. Both tenders are expected to be settled in 2022. It is also worth mentioning that the besmart.energy cloud platform has gained new artificial intelligence functionalities as part of a project co-financed by the Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR). The platform is the successor of the redGrid system, which currently serves more than 3 million Energa Operator’s customers. The first implementation of the besmart.vision platform for intelligent robotics has been completed, and EASYplus, a new product dedicated to SMEs in the Utilities industry, has been created to offer pre-configured SAP solutions provided as a service.
Successes reassure us that we have chosen the right foundations for the Group’s long-term strategy. They provide us with the tools and a sense of clear vision to monetise the rapidly growing business potential driven by technological developments. We begin 2022 with a new management model, having carried out the necessary restructuring and transformation of key business areas, with a clear vision, plan and strategic priorities aimed at consistently improving the Group’s performance, profitability and capitalisation.To achieve this goal, we focus on three areas of strategic activities: business transformation, investment in innovation and growth – both organic and inorganic. In addition, we have increased the emphasis on ESG in our operations, introducing ongoing responsibility and commitment for environmental, social (including employee) and governance areas at every level of the organisation, concludes Atende Group’s CEO.