Results Review

Key figures

in CHF million (unless otherwise indicated)

H1 2021

H1 2020

% change

% change at CCY 1






Adjusted 2





Gross profit from Software & Cloud



–2.5 %

–2.1 %

Gross profit from Solutions & Services



52.5 %

53.4 %

Gross profit



11.7 %

12.3 %

Operating expenses



21.7 %

22.5 %




–9.1 %

–9.0 %

EBITDA margin

26.3 %

32.4 %



EPS (diluted)



–20.2 %







IFRS reported





Net cash from operating activities





Net debt/(cash) 3





Net working capital (after factoring) at period-end










Headcount (end of period) 4



41.9 %


1)  In constant currency; Further information can be found under Alternative Performance Measures
2) Further information can be found under Alternative Performance Measures

3) Including change in net debt definition with reclassification of non-current supplier liabilities to non-current other payables in both periods

4) H1 2021 including around 1,450 FTEs related the the acquisition of InterGrupo, fully acquired in early 2021 and consolidated in SoftwareONE's accounts from November 2020 onwards

Solid results with accelerated investments in growth

SoftwareONE generated revenue of CHF 4,366.5 million in H1 2021, up 7.5% in constant and 6.8% YoY in reported currency. At the group level, gross profit increased by 12.3%1 YoY in constant currency, totaling CHF 414.4 million, up from 370.8 million in H1 2020. This corresponds to an increase of 11.7% in reported currency. The positive currency translation effect was due to the appreciation of the Swiss franc (CHF), SoftwareONE’s reporting currency, primarily against the EUR and GBP.

Management considers gross profit to be a meaningful metric for the group’s earnings capacity, as it excludes flow-through costs from revenue, specifically costs for software purchases on behalf of clients as well as third-party service delivery costs.

1 Except where specified otherwise, InterGrupo is included in all gross profit growth figures; InterGrupo was fully acquired in early 2021 and consolidated in SoftwareONE's accounts from November 2020 onwards

Performance by business

Gross profit from Software & Cloud decreased 2.1% YoY in constant currency to CHF 267.6 million in H1 2021, compared to CHF 274.6 million during the prior year period. This development was primarily driven by residual COVID-19-related software purchasing weakness amongst SMEs across both the Microsoft and Multi-vendor businesses, along with a continued shift towards pay-as-you-go in the Microsoft business. By region, LATAM was impacted by a weak COVID-19-related macro-economic environment which affected purchasing across customer segments.

At the gross billings level, SoftwareONE’s Microsoft business developed in line with the overall market in H1 2021 driven by strong renewals and growing demand for Microsoft’s software and cloud products. Microsoft Cloud billings, comprising 365, Azure and Dynamics, continued to see double-digit growth compared to the prior year period while On-premise declined.

By customer segment, SMEs – which typically serve as the group’s growth and profitability engine – exhibited residual COVID-19-related software purchasing weakness, with a partial recovery seen towards the end of H1 2021. Large enterprises, which demonstrate lower profitability, continued to perform strongly in terms of billings growth. Meanwhile, public sector spending slowed down in comparison to the exceptional level seen in 2020. Overall, this mix effect continued to negatively impact the Microsoft business at the gross profit level.

Furthermore, gross profit growth in pay-as-you-go (i.e. xSimple bundles such as 365Simple and AzureSimple) accelerated to >70% YoY, compared to >50% YoY during the prior year period. While positive in terms of promoting ‘stickier’ customer relationships and more recurring revenue streams, this development continued to adversely affect results in the Microsoft business due to (i) less revenue recognized upfront and (ii) the entire services component (i.e. customer mark-up for the managed service and the PyraCloud platform) being booked under Solutions & Services, which delivers highly scalable, IP-driven services.

SoftwareONE’s multi-vendor business includes many market-leading software companies, including Adobe, AWS, Citrix, Google Cloud, Oracle, Red Hat, VMware, Sophos, Symantec and Veeam. While purchasing behavior varied greatly depending on the type of software, SoftwareONE generally saw healthy growth in procurement and consumption of mission-critical enterprise software solutions, with an acceleration towards the end of H1 2021, but at levels not yet comparable to pre-COVID 19.

Solutions & Services achieved strong gross profit growth of 53.4% YoY in constant currency to CHF 146.7 million in H1 2021, up from CHF 96.2 million during the prior year period. This result includes a gross profit contribution from InterGrupo of CHF 15.9 million, following its consolidation from November 2020 onwards. Excluding InterGrupo, the gross profit growth rate of Solutions & Services corresponded to 36.0% YoY in H1 2021.

The strong performance in Solutions & Services was broad-based across SoftwareONE’s services offering, customers and geographies. This business line now represents 35% of group gross profit, up from 26% in H1 2020. The Commercial and Technology Transformation portfolios grew 15% and 39% YoY in gross profit, respectively, while the group’s strategic growth areas, including Application Services, SAP on cloud and Industry Vertical Solutions, delivered growth in excess of 100% YoY. Managed cloud support in particular demonstrated excellent growth, with 5.4 million users now supported 24/7 in 13 languages in the cloud. During H1 2021, SoftwareONE also continued to expand its hyperscaler offering to include AWS and Google Cloud-related services to support customers with their multi-cloud strategies.

On a geographical basis, performance varied depending on the extent of continued disruption from COVID-19-related restrictions and economic recovery. EMEA delivered a solid performance with gross profit up 8.2% YoY in H1 2021, with DACH performing strongly while certain other countries in the region lagged behind. APAC experienced exceptional gross profit growth of 25.1% YoY and NORAM demonstrated increasing strength through the period at 11.3% YoY. LATAM was impacted by COVID-19 and a weak macro-economic environment in key markets such as Brazil and Mexico, resulting in gross profit decreasing 5.4% YoY, excluding InterGrupo.

Accelerated investments across strategic growth areas

Total adjusted operating expenses increased by 22.5% YoY in constant currency to CHF 305.3 million in H1 2021, up from CHF 250.8 million during the prior year period, excluding share-based compensation, IPO, integration and M&A and earn-out expenses which amounted to CHF 16.6 million in total.

The development of SoftwareONE’s cost base reflected significant investments in strategic growth areas to increase recurring revenues and drive future profitable growth, as well as in sales and marketing and global and local delivery capabilities. The additional personnel expenses relating to these investments, as well as the consolidation of InterGrupo, amounted to approximately CHF 55 million in H1 2021 compared to the prior year period.

The number of FTEs stood at 8,269 as at 30 June 2021, an increase of 2,050 compared to 6,219 as at 31 December 2020, of which approximately 1,450 were related to the InterGrupo acquisition.

With regards to the integration of Comparex, SoftwareONE achieved run-rate cost synergies of CHF 41.9 million by 30 June 2021, thereby exceeding the targeted amount of CHF 40 million of cost savings on schedule.

Adjusted EBITDA for H1 2021 was CHF 109.1 million, compared to CHF 120.0 million for the prior year period. This implies a margin of 26.3% and 32.4% in H1 2021 and H1 2020, respectively, reflecting the aforementioned strategic investments.

Adjusted profit for the period was CHF 54.3 million in H1 2021, representing a decrease of 20.0% YoY in reported currency, compared to CHF 67.9 million in the prior year period.

IFRS reported profit for the period decreased 42.5% YoY in reported currency to CHF 38.3 million in H1 2021, compared to CHF 66.7 in the prior year period. This result includes the aforementioned adjustments and related tax impact, as well as a depreciation in SoftwareONE’s shareholding in Norwegian listed company Crayon of CHF 1.2 million in H1 2021. In H1 2020, the shareholding in Crayon appreciated by CHF 13.3 million.

Liquidity and balance sheet

Net cash generated from operating activities amounted to CHF (32.4) million in H1 2021, driven primarily by an increase in net working capital (NWC) due to seasonal effects, business growth and a record low level of NWC at 31 December 2020. Excluding the impact of COVID-19-related vendors’ deferred payment programs in the amount of approximately CHF 250 million, the level of NWC decreased compared to 30 June 2020 driven by continuous improvements in the collection of receivables and prudent management of payment terms.

Capital expenditure totaled CHF 14.3 million in H1 2021, mainly relating to investments in the PyraCloud platform and other intangible assets generated internally, compared to CHF 10.8 million in the prior year period. Cash outflow relating to acquisitions of businesses amounted to CHF 34.8 million in H1 2021, including earn-out payments relating to prior acquisitions. Free cash flow was CHF (46.1) million during H1 2021.

Net cash position was CHF 385.5 million as at 30 June 2021 compared to CHF 366.2 million one year earlier.


With a solid foundation for future growth in place, SoftwareONE re-iterates its guidance for 2021, based on the assumption of no material deterioration in the environment due to COVID-19:

This outlook is supported by early signs of more normalized levels of purchasing activity, particularly among SMEs, driving a recovery in Software & Cloud as well as a strong backlog in Solutions & Services. Overall, this is expected to drive a further acceleration in gross profit growth in H2 2021.

Furthermore, the company’s cost base is expected to remain at approximately the same level in H2 2021 compared to H1 2021 as a result of investments being predominantly frontloaded earlier in the year.

Beyond 2021, SoftwareONE continues to expect gross profit growth in the ‘mid-teens’ in constant currency, with EBITDA growth in excess of gross profit growth.

Alternative Performance MeasuresIntroduction

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