Results review

Gross profit at the group level increased by 17.6% YoY ccy to CHF855.1 million in 2021, compared to CHF729.6 million in 2020. Excluding the InterGrupo acquisition, gross profit growth corresponded to 14.3% YoY ccy during the year.

Key figures

in CHF million (unless otherwise indicated)



% change at CCY

H2 2021

H2 2020

% change at CCY















Gross profit from Software & Cloud



3.0 %



8.8 %

Gross profit from Solutions & Services



53.5 %



53.5 %

Gross profit



17.6 %



23.0 %

Operating expenses



25.8 %



29.0 %




–1.0 %



8.2 %

EBITDA margin

25.7 %

30.6 %

25.0 %

28.7 %

EPS (diluted)










IFRS reported







Net cash generated from/(used in) operating activities





Net debt / (net cash)





Net working capital (after factoring) at period-end












Headcount (in FTE, end of period)





Performance by business

Software & Cloud

Gross profit from Software & Cloud grew 3.0% YoY ccy to CHF533.6 million in 2021, compared to CHF519.5 million during the prior year period. This was driven by a recovery across the key hyperscalers (Microsoft, AWS, Google) and ISVs during the year, as shown by the acceleration of gross profit to 8.8% YoY ccy in H2 2021.

In terms of Microsoft gross billings, which amounted to USD14.7 billion in 2021, SoftwareONE’s business developed in line with the overall Microsoft market, with positive momentum across all customer segments. Microsoft Cloud billings demonstrated double-digit growth, comprising 73% of total Microsoft volume in 2021, compared to 67% in 2020. SoftwareONE continues to transition customers from commitment buying to pay-as-you-go. This involves a lower upfront payment, which temporarily impacts Software & Cloud revenue growth, but significantly increases the life-time customer gross profit through a combination of increased recurring revenue and incremental services, primarily recognized in Solutions & Services.

Solutions & Services

Solutions & Services achieved strong gross profit growth of 53.5% YoY ccy to CHF321.4 million in 2021, up from CHF210.1 million during the prior year period. Excluding InterGrupo, gross profit growth in Solutions & Services was 42.4% YoY ccy in 2021. Solutions & Services represented 38% of group gross profit in 2021, up from 29% in 2020, reflecting the company’s strategic focus on cross and up-selling services and portfolio expansion to serve customer journeys end-to-end.

The strong performance in Solutions & Services was broad-based across SoftwareONE’s service lines[1], customers and geographies.

In Cloud Services, XSimple bundles (e.g. 365Simple, AzureSimple and Simple for AWS), which are highly standardized managed solutions for SMEs, demonstrated excellent growth with gross profit up >80% YoY in 2021. By 31 December 2021, SoftwareONE supported 6.9 million users 24/7 in 13 languages in the cloud, up from 5.4 million as at 30 June 2021. With acquisitions such as Predica, HeleCloud and Intelligence Partner, SoftwareONE continues to expand its offering across Azure, AWS and GCP to support customers in their public cloud journeys.

[1] Includes ITAM, Future Workplace, Digital Supply Chain, Application Services, SAP on Cloud, Cloud Services/Hyperscaler Factory and FinOps

Performance by geography

Regional performance varied primarily reflecting the portfolio mix of each region. In NORAM and APAC, where Solutions & Services represent over 40% of total gross profit, growth was very strong and corresponded to 22.5% and 31.1% YoY, respectively in 2021. Both NORAM and APAC also saw strong recoveries in Software & Cloud on the back of strong results in the Microsoft business.

EMEA delivered a solid performance with gross profit up 9.1% YoY in 2021, impacted by the transition to pay-as-you-go in the Microsoft business, while the remainder of Software & Cloud and Solutions & Services delivered strong growth.

LATAM grew 74.1% YoY in gross profit in 2021 as a result of the InterGrupo acquisition.

Continued investments in accelerated growth

Total adjusted operating expenses increased by 25.8% YoY ccy to CHF635.7 million in 2021, up from CHF506.5 million during the prior year period.

The development of SoftwareONE’s cost base reflected higher personnel costs as a result of investments in sales & marketing and delivery capabilities to support the company’s continued growth, as well as incremental operating expenses of acquired companies.

SoftwareONE launched an optimization program ‘Transformance’ late in H2 2021. While the company continues to invest in developing talent and building capabilities to drive accelerated growth, the need for operational excellence has also increased. ‘Transformance’ aims to ensure that capabilities in sales and operations match evolving business requirements, along with a focus on maintaining a lean and agile organization. The program only had a minimal positive impact in 2021 due to the timing of its implementation, with one-off costs of CHF9.3 million.

Adjusted EBITDA for 2021 was CHF219.4 million, declining 1.0% YoY ccy compared to the prior year period. This corresponds to an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 25.7% in 2021, below guidance of “approximately 30%”, reflecting investments and strategic acquisitions in line with the company’s growth strategy. Excluding the dilutive margin impact of acquisitions completed in 2021[1], the Adjusted EBITDA margin was 26.8%.

Adjusted profit for the period was CHF110.0 million in 2021, representing a decrease of 12.5% YoY in reported currency, compared to CHF125.7 in the prior year period.

IFRS reported profit for the period decreased 32.1% YoY in reported currency to CHF120.1 million in 2021, compared to CHF176.8 in the prior year period, mainly reflecting the impact of M&A, integration, earn-out and ‘Transformance’-related expenses. This result includes an appreciation of CHF63.4 million in 2021 in SoftwareONE’s shareholding in Norwegian listed company Crayon.

[1] Refers to Centiq, HeleCloud, SE16N, ITST, SynchroNet, ITPC and InterGrupo (consolidated from November 2020 and completed in early 2021)

Strong cash generation and unlevered balance sheet

Net cash generated from operating activities[1] amounted to CHF158.0 million in 2021 representing a strong cash conversion of 72% from Adjusted EBITDA. Despite the accelerated growth, net working capital improved by CHF26.6 million in 2021 as it continued to be managed very tightly with broadly flat 59 days sales outstanding (DSOs), compared to 60 in the prior year period, and increased 86 days payable outstanding (DPOs), compared to 83 in the prior year period. The net working capital improvement was lower than in the prior year, impacting the level of net cash generated from operating activities which was down by CHF118.2 million compared to 2020.

Capital expenditure totaled CHF33.3 million in 2021, mainly relating to investments in the PyraCloud platform and other intangible assets generated internally, compared to CHF22.8 million in the prior year period. Cash outflow relating to acquisitions of businesses amounted to CHF114.0 million in 2021.

Net cash position was CHF547.4 million as at 31 December 2021 compared to CHF496.5 million one year earlier.

[1] Includes earn-outs relating to prior acquisitions

FY2022 outlook and mid-term guidance

SoftwareONE expects a continued strong market environment and demand growth as organizations pursue cloud-first digital transformation.

Given strong momentum demonstrated in 2021, SoftwareONE’s guidance for 2022 is as follows, assuming no material deterioration in the economic environment, particularly in the context of the conflict in Ukraine:

SoftwareONE’s mid-term guidance is as follows:

Definitions of Alternative Performance Measures and Reconciliation to IFRSOverview

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