“We have made significant progress on our new strategic plan, which was implemented at the start of the year.
“At the same time, our colleagues continue to deal with Covid-related challenges and sometimes tragedies in their personal lives. Their dedication and dynamism through this challenging period remain the basis of our success.
“Our strong 2021 performance has confirmed our strategic focus. Combined with the investment in our platform we are building a thriving future for SGS. We will continue to evolve into a more sustainable, digital and data-driven company to support our commitment to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world for all our stakeholders,” says Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS.
A Strong Financial Performance
Total revenue reached CHF 6.4 billion, up by 14.3% (14.2% at constant currency*), driven by the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as strategic focus and significant contribution from acquired revenue. Organic revenue* increased by 8.9%.
Operating income increased from CHF 795 million in prior year to CHF 977 million in 2021 due to the revenue increase and related productivity improvement. No goodwill impairment was recognized in 2021. In 2020, the high restructuring costs were partly offset by a gain on business disposal.
Adjusted operating income* increased from CHF 900 million in prior year to CHF 1 055 million in 2021, an increase of 17.2% (16.8% at constant currency*).
Adjusted operating income margin* increased from 16.1% in prior year (also 16.1% at constant currency*) to 16.5% in 2021, supported by additional productivity increase.
Profit attributable to equity holders increased from CHF 480 million in prior year to CHF 613 million in 2021, an increase of 27.7% over prior year.
Basic earnings per share increased from CHF 64.05 in prior year to CHF 81.91, an improvement of 27.9%.
Cash flow from operating activities was CHF 1 169 million, comparable with prior year. Higher profit was offset by a higher net working capital requirement to support the recovery of activity in 2021. Operating net working capital* remained negative as a percentage of revenue at (2.4)% compared to (2.5)% in prior year.
Free cash flow (FCF)* decreased from CHF 758 million in prior year to CHF 635 million in 2021. The lower level of FCF was mainly driven by higher capex investment.
The Board of Directors is pleased to propose a stable dividend at CHF 80 per share.