'A strong start to the quarter transformed into a clear downturn towards the end. The start-up of our digital business has helped us face this downturn from a position of strength. Previous experience indicates that Ework's services fare well in cyclical downturns. Opportunities for us to advance our position may also open up this time round.'
Extract from CEO Zoran Covics commentary to the Interim Report
First quarter 2020 compared to 2019
· Net sales increased by 9% to SEK 3,413 M (3,128).
· EBIT increased by 8% to SEK 28.5 M (26.4).
· Profit after financial items was up by 13% to SEK 27.5 M (24.4).
· Order intake rose by 13% to SEK 4,426 M (3,909).
· Earnings per share after tax after dilution were SEK 1.30 (1.10), an 18% increase.
· Ework's business continued to perform well until the latter half of March, when the global Covid-19 pandemic caused reduced business activity from clients, which negatively impacted revenue. This lower business activity sustained for a period, although it is not possible to get an overview of its effects yet.
· As planned, earnings were charged with expenses for the final phase of Ework's digitalisation project, which has continued for several years. New functionality was added, we started the launch of a consultant interface for our digital platform, whose implementation continued with more clients.
· From 1 April, Ework decided to start making short-term lay-offs, consistent with relevant government guidelines, to mitigate reduced client business activity. After the end of the period, Ework took further cost-saving actions.
· Ework decided to postpone its Annual General Meeting (AGM) until 4 June. After the end of the period, the Board of Directors decided to propose to the AGM that no dividend would be paid to shareholders, partly in light of the guidelines on support for lay-offs, and partly to ensure continued financial strength to enable Ework to benefit from opportunities that present themselves on a weaker market.
The complete Interim Report is available via link below or at www.eworkgroup.com
For further information, please contact:
Zoran Covic, CEO, 46 (0) 706 65 65 17
Ola Maalsnes, CFO, 46 (0) 8 50 60 55 00, 46 (0) 738 68 22 90
The information disclosed in this Interim Report is mandatory for Ework Group AB (publ) to publish pursuant to the EU's Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). This information was submitted for publication at 11:00 a.m. (CET) on 29 April 2020, through the agency of the CEO.