Annual Report 2021
2021: a truly outstanding year
2021 was a truly outstanding year for Amplifon. We achieved excellent financial results, the operating performance of the business saw a further strengthening of our competitive positioning and we undertook important strategic initiatives.
Letter to shareholders
If we were to summarize 2021 in one word, it would be extraordinary. Certainly because we live in a time of radical change and events that are deeply affecting everyone’s lives. But for Amplifon it was an extraordinary year because of the financial results achieved, in a complex environment, and the strategic initiatives undertaken.
In terms of numbers, we closed the year with a record performance, consolidating our competitive positioning and confirming our strong execution capabilities, the validity of our strategy and the sustainability of our business.
It is not a novelty for our Group to record excellent financial results year over year, but doing it in 2021 was not a given, let alone exceeding the pre-pandemic levels so quickly. We reached new historic highs in revenues and EBITDA, while the recurring net profit jumped around 50% compared to 2019 to more than 175 million euros.
These outstanding results allow us to propose a dividend of 26 euro cents per share to be distributed to Shareholders, 18.2% higher compared to the 22 euro cents paid in 2020, with a pay-out of 37%.
Growth was accompanied by the usual financial discipline, demonstrated by a free cash flow of approximately 255 million euros and a net financial debt of 871 million euros, with financial leverage at 1.68x, even though more than 600 million euros was invested in M&A, Capex, dividends, and share buybacks.
In terms of strategic initiatives, 2021 saw a further strengthening of our competitive positioning in all the core markets. We consolidated our position on the Australian market by closing the Bay Audio acquisition, the second largest in our history, and also continued our expansion in China, an attractive, fast-growing market.
Organic growth was sustained by a unique customer proposition that leverages on our key assets: the undisputed leading brands in the industry, a superior customer knowledge, and digital technologies. In fact, we continued with the successful roll-out of the Amplifon Product Experience in four new countries, including the important Spanish market. During the Capital Markets Day held in September 2021, we also presented Ampli-care, the new digital platform destined to revolutionize the entire audiological experience for our customers.
Our daily operations and strategic initiatives were guided by the implementation of our Sustainability Plan. ESG topics have become an integral of the business, as well as the remuneration and incentive policies for top management. We also signed the first two sustainability-linked credit lines. Testimony to our commitment, we were included in the MIB ESG index which is dedicated to the 40 Italian blue chips who adopt the best Environment, Social & Governance practices, as well as in S&P’s Global Sustainability Yearbook 2022. And this year we are happy, once again, to present all the progress made in our 2021 Sustainability Report.
In short, we have many reasons to be proud of the results we achieved in 2021. Above all, we believe we have strengthened the foundations of an increasingly global, innovative, and sustainable Group that continues to grow and to provide shareholders with satisfaction.
All of this would not be possible without the commitment, passion, professionalism, and the great sense of responsibility possessed by the management, the Company’s directors, all the employees, staff members and partners. Amplifon’s stakeholders are an integral part of the Group’s growth path and the engine of our development strategies.
A company, however, stands on the trust of its customers, whom we would like to thank, and its shareholders. If 2021 was an extraordinary year it is also, above all, thanks to you. And now, strengthened by this trust, we look to the future with renewed enthusiasm and optimism.
Susan Carol Holland - Chairperson
Enrico Vita - Chief Executive Officer
Global leader in hearing care
global market share
of which hearing care prof.
1,948.1 million euros, an increase at constant exchange rates of 29.5% compared to 2020 and of 18.7% compared to 2019 (not impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic), thanks to a strong organic growth of 24.0% compared to 2020 and of 11.9% compared to 2019. Acquisitions contributed for 5.5% compared to 2020 and for 6.8% compared to 2019.
recurring reached a record 482.8 million euros, an increase of 32.0% compared to 2020 and of 26.8% compared to 2019, with the EBITDA margin at 24.8%, 190 basis points higher than in 2019.
recurring reached all-time high of 175.2 million euros, an increase of 81.4% compared to 2020 and of 49.6% compared to 2019 driven by the strong revenue growth, greater operating leverage, and lower financial expenses.
Performance by region
The performance was positive across all regions compared to both 2019 and 2020, despite temporary and localized lockdowns and the peak in Covid contagions registered in December.
Strong top-line & record profitability
In the table above:
- 2018 data is presented with the application of IFRS 15 accounting principle
- Since 2019, data is presented with the application of IFRS 16 accounting principle
- Since 2020, data is presented without the contribution of the Elite business that was discontinued at the end of 2021