Sports QIX Germany: Brenntag's restructuring plans cheer analysts and investors
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Bechtle expects growth rates of 5% for 2020 IT deals
The impending lockdown in Germany weighed on Wednesday the QIX Germany temporarily strong. As a result, the index is clearly in the red at 12,945 points in the afternoon. Chemical distributor Brenntag wants to make its sales business more profitable from 2021 by downsizing and closing locations. With IT infrastructure and services, Bechtle wants to achieve a solid increase in sales and profits this year, regardless of the effects of the virus.
One of the biggest winners on the list in the quality index on Tuesday was theshare. At times it rose by over 4% to a multi-year high of EUR 56.00. Today, however, there is profit-taking and the shares are currently at 55.50 euros. The key driver behind the latest performance was yesterday's news that the chemicals distributor plans to cut around 1,300 of its 17,500 jobs worldwide as part of its restructuring. The company announced that this should be done in a socially acceptable manner within the next two years. Globally, around 100 locations are also to be closed. Brenntag was one of the few companies that was able to achieve a profit increase on its own in the second quarter despite the considerable effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. In order to meet future requirements and to remain at the forefront of our industry, the introduction of our new operational business structure was a first important milestone, emphasized the Management Board at the same time. And in order to fully exploit the potential, Brenntag has to become leaner and more efficient. The chemicals trader, who operates as a permanent link between producers and the purchasing and processing industry, wants to take real money into it. The current savings course should initially cost 370 million euros, but should improve operating profit (EBITDA) by 220 million euros annually from 2023.
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Meanwhile, analysts are also confident that Brenntag can achieve the announced goals in the medium term. The unanimous opinion of the experts is that the ongoing cost cuts appear significantly higher than expected. At the same time, the sales company will only be introducing two areas for its industrial and specialty chemicals business at the beginning of 2021. In the future, the "Brenntag Essentials" division will market process chemicals for a wide range of industries such as the North American oil and gas industry. The second area, "Brenntag Specialties", will in future concentrate on the distribution of ingredients for selected corporate customers. And after the recent price recovery, the Brenntag share remains fundamentally attractively valued. It is currently trading at 17 times the P / E of the estimated earnings for 2021. The currentof 2.2% is also impressive. The company also achieves an operationally quite strong return on equity of 13%. The share is therefore rightly listed in the German quality share index (QIX). The is a share index made up of the best 25 German shares. The 25 shares are selected according to a set and proven set of rules.
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Despite the recent good figures, theshare also fell in the quality index on Wednesday. At the moment, however, it is still robust with a minus of only 2.7% at EUR 145.30. The technology company continues to benefit from the demand for IT infrastructure and related services, regardless of all current Corona circumstances. In the third quarter alone, sales grew by around 7% to a good 1.37 billion euros compared to the same period in the previous year. In the online business with products such as network devices, laptops and other IT requirements, the management has clearly felt the reluctance of customers to buy. In the management of IT systems in companies and authorities, especially in Austria and Switzerland, Bechtle was able to score further. The company's online sales grew by 20% last year, and the e-commerce area (IT consulting, IT project management, system integration) grew by almost 35%, which means that the area now generates a good third of total revenues . And in 2020, the business is expected to continue to grow by more than 5% in sales and pre-tax earnings.
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Above all, however, the medium to long-term growth prospects are still intact for Bechtle, given the constant demand for the hardware and software range of the company's own e-commerce platforms with which customers advance their digitization. Only the valuation of the company has anticipated some of these prospects. The share has a P / E of just under 40, but only a P / E of just under 1.3. In the next few years, Bechtle should also focus on becoming significantly more profitable. Although the return on equity in the IT business is already strong at a good 17%, the return on sales (net margin), on the other hand, is currently only 3.2%, so there is definitely room for improvement.
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