Assets Position

The sustainable growth of Bechtle AG is based on a solid balance sheet and balanced capital figures. The company was able to further improve relevant balance-sheet indicators, most importantly the equity ratio.

As of the closing date 31 December 2008, the balance-sheet total of the Bechtle Group amounted to 496.1 million euros, a growth of 44.6 million euros or 9.9 per cent over the prior year.


    2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
Non-current assets   125.7   140.3   143.0   145.6   157.0
Current assets   260.2   273.6   275.2   305.9   339.1
Equity & liabilities                    
Equity   217.2   237.4   249.2   276.5   311.4
Non-current liabilities   26.8   26.9   28.1   23.8   31.0
Current liabilities   141.9   149.6   143.4   151.2   153.7
Balance sheet total   385.9   413.9   420.8   451.4   496.1

Bechtle has a comfortable liquidity reserve

On the assets side, the increase is mainly the result of the substantial rise in current assets, which increased by 33.3 million euros or 10.9 per cent to 339.1 million euros, primarily due to the increase in cash and cash equivalents. Including securities, these increased by 43.2 per cent from 54.2 million euros to 77.6 million euros. Together with unused credit lines amounting to 39.9 million euros (prior year: 41.6 million euros), the Bechtle Group has a solid liquidity reserve of 117.5 million euros (prior year 95.9 million euros), which leaves enough freedom for further acquisitions and future growth. Of the credit lines of about 42.3 million euros available as of the end of the fiscal year, Bechtle had utilised 2.4 million euros for bank guarantees.

A higher business volume and an accrual of incoming orders as of the end of the year in the IT system house & managed services segment inflated the inventories by 5.3 million euros to 52.1 million euros. The ratio of inventories to revenues increased slightly from 3.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent. The value indicates that Bechtle only ties up a small amount of capital in the form of stock in hand. Moreover, the majority of the inventories are linked directly to projects and are purchased on behalf of the customer. Trade receivables amounted to 188.4 million euros, a value slightly under the prior-year value of 189.3 million euros. Here, the receivables management of Bechtle AG ensures a relatively low DSO value of 38.4 days (prior year: 38.7 days).

Other current assets totalled 19.4 million euros, 6.0 million euros more than in the prior year. The item mainly consisted of refunds and other receivables from suppliers in connection with advertising allowances and outstanding credit notes amounting to 10.4 million euros (prior year: 10.0 million euros).

Higher goodwill due to acquisitions

All in all, the share of current assets in the balance-sheet total increased slightly from 67.8 per cent to 68.4 per cent. Accordingly, the investment ratio (ratio of non-current assets to the balance-sheet total) fell from 32.2 per cent to 31.6 per cent. In absolute terms, non-current assets increased by 11.4 million euros to 157.0 million euros. Due to acquisitions, the goodwill increased by 5.9 per cent from 99.9 million euros to 105.8 million euros. The increase in property, plant and equipment from 19.6 million euros to 23.8 million euros in the reporting period was also the result of the acquisitions and building activities. The coverage of the non-current assets by the equity increased from 189.9 per cent in the prior year to 198.4 per cent in the reporting period.

In the business of Bechtle AG, which does not intensively involve property, plant and equipment, the ROCE (return on capital employed) is mainly characterised by the development of the current assets and liabilities on the one hand and the earnings performance on the other. The positive development is reflected by this factor as well as by the working capital increase associated with the expansion of the business. In previous years, Bechtle’s ROCE remained largely stable at around 20 per cent. In the reporting period, it amounted to 22.7 per cent (prior year: 23.4 per cent). In view of the increased earnings, this change can be attributed to the increase in average capital employed. While the EBIT merely increased by 3.4 per cent over the prior year, the increase in the average capital employed from 249.5 million euros to 264.9 million euros amounted to a respectable 6.2 per cent.

ROCE in % | CAPITAL EMPLOYED in million euros

    2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
ROCE   19.9   20.0   19.7   23.4   22.7
Capital employed   189.8   205.9   231.6   249.5   264.9

In relation to the balance-sheet total, the working capital fell from 29.9 per cent in the prior year to 28.7 per cent. This was due to the lower build-up of trade receivables towards the end of the year.

WORKING CAPITAL in million euros

      2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
Working capital     82.8   101.0   121.4   134.9   142.5
In % of the balance sheet total     21.5   24.4   28.9   29.9   28.7

On the equity and liabilities side, current liabilities amounted to 153.7 million euros, about 2.5 million euros more than in the prior year. For reasons related to the balance-sheet date, trade liabilities amounted to 83.3 million euros, a value that was 5.0 million euros lower than in 2007. Due to the short-term loans raised and the transfer of liabilities with remaining terms to maturity of less than one year, current financial liabilities increased from 4.4 million euros to 10.5 million euros. Other current liabilities and deferrals and accruals also increased by 4.0 million euros from 47.5 million euros to 51.5 million euros. This balance-sheet item mainly consists of liabilities due to personnel. In the reporting period, these liabilities increased by 5.4 million euros from 16.0 million euros to 21.4 million euros as a result of the higher performance-related compensation components due to the positive business performance. The non-current financial liabilities of the Bechtle Group as of 31 December 2008 increased by 1.5 million euros to 5.2 million euros. All in all, the share of noncurrent debts in the balance-sheet total progressed from 5.3 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

As of the closing date, there were no contingencies toward special-purpose entities not included in the consolidated financial statements. Investment obligations due to building activities amounted to 0.9 million euros.

In 2008, the equity ratio underwent another substantial increase to 62.8 per cent

In the reporting period, the equity increased by 35.0 million euros or 12.7 per cent from 276.5 million euros to 311.4 million euros. The increase is the result of the consolidated earnings after tax amounting to 45.4 million euros less the dividend payment of 12.7 million euros. The total cost of purchased treasury shares amounting to 2.2 million euros, which was presented in the balance sheet as of 31 December 2008, reduced the equity. Despite the balance extension, the equity ratio increased from 61.2 per cent to 62.8 per cent in the reporting period. The return on equity remained unchanged: 16.9 per cent.


    2004   2005   2006   2007   2008
Return on equity   13.6   13.8   12.9   16.9   16.9
Return on total assets   8.0   8.3   8.0   10.3   10.7

In the reporting period, the debt equity ratio of the Bechtle Group improved to 0.59, compared to 0.63 in the prior year.

The return on assets, which indicates the return on the entire utilised capital, also improved in the reporting period. Despite the balance extension, it amounted to 10.7 per cent (prior year: 10.3 per cent) as of 31 December 2008 due to the profound increase in earnings.