1 April – 30 June 2023
1 January – 30 June 2023
Unless otherwise noted, the figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in the previous year.
Review by the President & CEO Jacob Götzsche
“We continued on our profitable growth path in the second quarter of 2023. Together with the strong first quarter, the financial result of H1/2023 is clearly ahead of the previous year. Despite the challenges posed by the higher interest rate environment to the building construction and building technology markets, our order backlog at the end of the second quarter of 2023 provides us with a solid basis to deliver on our guidance of increasing revenue and adjusted EBITA for the full year.
Our second quarter revenue increased by 8.9 percent to EUR 628.2 (577.0) million and organic growth was 8.6 percent. Currency devaluation in Sweden and Norway impacted our reported revenue by -4.6 percent. These two divisions together accounted for approximately one third of the group revenue in the second quarter. Acquisitions increased the revenue by 4.9 percent compared to Q2/2022.
Our adjusted EBITA improved by 11.4 percent to EUR 25.5 (22.9) million and was 4.1 (4.0) percent of revenue during the second quarter of 2023. The devaluation of the Swedish and Norwegian Krona impacted also our adjusted EBITA negatively. Even if the corona pandemic in large scale seems to be behind us, we are still experiencing a higher sickness rate than before the pandemic, which continues to have a negative impact on our activity level and thereby our profitability. Furthermore, an unexpected strike in Norway in April impacted negatively on our EBITA. Our operating cash flow before financial and tax items improved to EUR 39.4 (29.7) million in the first half of the year 2023.
Our order backlog amounted to EUR 2,004.8 (1,907.9) million at the end of June and was 5.1 percent higher compared to the previous year. We expect our solid order backlog to support revenue growth also going forward. Overall, our business so far has been quite resilient to the high inflation and interest rate environment. Whereas the increasing interest rates have as much as stalled certain segments of the building construction market, the impact on Caverion’s Projects business as a whole has been modest. Inflation still continues to have some impact on the building technology market, although we have already seen the material price inflation slowing down. On the other hand, we expect wage inflation to gradually increase during the rest of the year.
As part of the implementation of our Sustainable Growth strategy, we completed the acquisitions of TM Voima group's substation and power transmission line business in Finland and in Estonia, as well as the acquisition of CRC Clean Room Control AB in Sweden during the first half of 2023. We continue to screen high quality companies that complement our existing capabilities or geographical footprint.
I would like to thank our customers, partners, shareholders and our almost 15,000 employees for their great contribution and cooperation. I am proud that we together delivered great achievements and financial results for the first half of 2023. With our solid backlog, knowledgeable employees and successfully completed acquisitions we are well set to continue our sustainable growth path in the second half of 2023. As a company, we continue to focus on our customers as well as delivering excellent and sustainable solutions and customer service.”
The economic uncertainty increased since February 2022 due to the Ukraine conflict, followed by subsequent energy crisis, mounting inflation, rising interest rates and lowered economic growth prospects. Caverion has no operations in Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. Therefore, the impact of the Ukraine war on Caverion is currently indirect.
Inflation has remained on an elevated level even during the first half of 2023. This can still be seen in
the cost inflation related to material prices, which continued to impact also the building technology market. Caverion has continued to manage any increases in material prices and delays in the supply chain on a daily basis without them having a significant impact on financial performance during the second quarter and the first half of 2023. On the other hand, wage inflation has gradually increased.
The recent drop in sentiment indicators has stabilised in the EU during the first half of 2023, but the operating environment is still impacted by lower economic growth prospects and the recent interest rate hikes. Also the corona pandemic still continued to have some impact on the operating environment through higher sick leaves than pre-corona.
In Services, the market demand and general investment activity remained positive. Caverion has continued to see a general increasing interest for services supporting sustainability, such as energy management and advisory services, driven by regulation and by the expected governmental and EU stimulus packages supporting investments in green growth. There has also been increasing interest towards long-term and large-scale service agreements. Growth has been limited by the availability of competent workforce and delays in the supply chain.
The increasing interest rates have as much as stalled certain segments of the building construction market.
Caverion is not immune to this development. The residential construction market, however, does not have a significant role in Caverion’s Projects business portfolio. On the other hand, the demand in certain other businesses, such as renewable energy related projects, has been strong. As such, for Caverion’s Projects business as a whole, the market demand has remained mostly stable.
The Projects market was also impacted by increases in material prices, delays in decision-making and supply chain as well as uncertainty in the business environment, especially related to new construction.
Caverion expects the underlying demand to be overall positive in Services during 2023.
In Projects, the economic uncertainty driven by the high inflation and increasing interest rates as well as the war in Ukraine is impacting the demand environment for new construction negatively. With its balanced Projects business portfolio, Caverion still expects the underlying business activity to remain stable in 2023.
The digitalisation and sustainability megatrends are in many ways favourable to Caverion and they are believed to increase demand for Caverion’s offerings going forward. The increased energy efficiency requirements, and the increasing digitalisation, automation and technology requirements in the built environment remain strong, together with the urbanisation megatrend. Increasing awareness of sustainability is supported by both EU-driven regulations and national legislation setting higher targets and actions for energy efficiency and carbon-neutrality. The continued focus on energy efficiency and CO2 reduction activities and projects continues to support activity and business volume in Caverion’s operating environment.
Guidance for 2023
In 2023, Caverion Group’s revenue (2022: EUR 2,352.1 million) and adjusted EBITA (2022: EUR 105.8 million) will grow compared to 2022.
In April–June, the Group’s operating cash flow before financial and tax items decreased to EUR -12.7 (-9.3)
million. The Group’s free cash flow improved to EUR -18.4 (-42.2) million. Cash flow after investments was EUR -22.2 (-44.1) million.
At the end of June, the Group’s working capital was affected by the following items: The amount of trade and POC receivables increased to EUR 624.6 (560.1) million, other current receivables increased to EUR 31.3 (29.4) million and inventories increased to EUR 21.3 (18.0) million. On the liabilities side, advances received increased to EUR 269.1 (248.4) million, other current liabilities increased to EUR 286.1 (262.5) million and trade and POC payables increased to EUR 233.5 (203.1) million.
Caverion’s cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 36.1 (58.7) million at the end of June. In addition,
Caverion had undrawn revolving credit facilities amounting to EUR 100.0 million and undrawn overdraft facilities amounting to EUR 19.0 million.
The Group’s gross interest-bearing loans and borrowings excluding lease liabilities amounted to EUR 206.5 (136.2) million at the end of June, and the average effective interest rate was 3.8 (2.5) percent. Approximately 27 percent of the loans have been raised from banks and other financial institutions and approximately 73 percent from capital markets. Caverion has issued commercial papers to support sufficient liquidity. At the end of June, the outstanding commercial papers amounted to EUR 76.9 million. Lease liabilities amounted to EUR 133.0 (137.9) million at the end of June 2023, resulting to total gross interest-bearing liabilities of EUR 339.5 (274.1) million.
Caverion has a balanced debt maturity profile, where most of the long-term debt matures in 2025 and in
In March, Caverion repaid the remaining part of the EUR 75 million senior unsecured bond according to its terms and conditions which totalled EUR 3.5 million following the tender offer in February 2022.
On 15 May 2020 Caverion issued a EUR 35 million hybrid bond, an instrument subordinated to the company's other debt obligations and treated as equity in the IFRS financial statements. The hybrid bond does not confer to its holders the rights of a shareholder and does not dilute the holdings of the current shareholders. The coupon of the hybrid bond was 6.75 percent per annum until 15 May 2023. Caverion announced on 14 April 2023 that it will exercise its right to redeem its EUR 35 million hybrid bond. The hybrid bond was redeemed in full on 15 May 2023 in accordance with its terms and conditions.
Caverion’s external loans are subject to a financial covenant based on the ratio of the Group’s net debt to EBITDA according to the calculation principles confirmed with the lending parties. The financial covenant shall not exceed 3.5:1. Caverion is in compliance with the quarterly monitored financial covenant.
There have been no material changes in Caverion’s significant short-term risks and uncertainties reported in the Board of Director’s Report presented in the Annual Review of 2022. Those risks and uncertainties are still valid. The most significant factor creating uncertainty is the war in Ukraine and its potential implications on the operating environment of Caverion. The impacts of the war on Caverion’s business have been described earlier in the report in “Operating environment in the second quarter and during the first half of 2023”. Further
escalation or prolongation of the conflict or regional unrest in neighbouring areas could negatively affect
Caverion's operating environment.
The prolonged public tender offer process may also have certain adverse impacts for Caverion’s operations.
The short-term risks related to the lack of availability of materials and supply as well as the increase in
material prices are still valid. The same applies to the risk of rising energy and fuel prices. Possible problems with the availability and cost of materials, labour, energy and fuel may impact the operating environment in the near future. These risks have already partly materialised. Also wage inflation has gradually increased. The key measures how Caverion is managing the situation include price increase clauses in tenders and agreements covering these costs.
The elevated inflation in the EU countries poses several risks and may lead to a recession within the
EU and also wider. The situation may have an impact on the market demand going forward due to a
weakening economic sentiment. The potential risk is balanced by the growing need for energy efficiency in
the built environment where Caverion is able to support its customers.
Cyber risks have increased due to the Ukraine crisis. There have been concrete cases of cyber-attacks on
business enterprises and government authorities. Government authorities have warned of an increasing
number of cyber-attacks. Caverion has improved the company’s cyber security operations and technologies continuously and is well prepared against cyber security threats. However, it cannot be excluded that also Caverion could face cyber-attacks with potential impact on operations.