Despite a challenging and changing world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered fantastic projects and record profitability in 2021. The favourable results stemmed from high demand at the same time as we continued our successful strategic shift. Employee satisfaction was at a historically high level and we welcomed new colleagues through the acquisitions of Squeed, Tedsys and Walkgrove. The Board resolved to separate the Product Information business area and initiate preparations for a potential public listing.
Semcon’s greatest contribution to sustainable development can be found in the services we offer and we are now further strengthening our sustainability offering. We are already active in a number of projects in green technology, including electric transport solutions and renewable energy. Moreover, we can help our customers in their climate transition and the shift to a circular economy. To achieve this in a credible manner, we must naturally set a good example ourselves and in 2021, we accelerated our climate action agenda and joined several initiatives working for exponential climate action. We also began work to calculate our emissions throughout our value chain and to set science-based climate targets.
The sustainability notes on pages 94-111, together with other sustainability-related information in the Annual Report, constitutes Semcon’s sustainability report for 2021 according to the Swedish Annual Accounts Act. For the other sustainability-related information in this Annual and Sustainability Report, see, inter alia, Strategy, page 12, People, page 22, Planet, page 28, Business models, page 44, Research, Development and Innovation, page 46 and Risks, page 52.
Semcon’s sustainability report has for the first time been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Index (Core Option), and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures TCFD) standards. The sustainability report also constitutes Semcon’s Communication on Progress (CoP) according to the UN Global Compact’s reporting principles.
THE YEAR IN BRIEF
The performance during the year was a show of strength for the business, with double-digit sales growth noted for three consecutive quarters. This growth is based on healthy organic development, where the Group is well-positioned to meet trends such as sustainability and digitalisation, combined with acquisitions. Profitability developed positively in 2021 and with an EBITA margin of 10.4 per cent (8.2) for the full year, we achieved the financial objective set by the Board at the beginning of the year. Each business area reported healthy development, driven by high demand and the continued successful strategic shift in terms of the offering and industry diversification. Earnings per share amounted to SEK 7.57 (5.70).
- The acquisition of the Swedish IT companies Squeed and Tedsys further strengthened Semcon’s digital position. At the turn of the year, the UK company Walkgrove was acquired and expanded Semcon’s leading offering in digital learning.
- The Board resolved to initiate a separation of the Product Information business area and prepare for a potential public listing.
In our employee survey, which is held twice a year, the responses from Semcon employees indicate a sense of community in a good work environment. More than 80 per cent of employees give Semcon a high score as a recommended workplace, which gives us an Employee Net Promoter Score at the continued high level of +41 (an increase by seven units compared with 2020). We are convinced that diversity in combination with an inclusive culture is a key to success. Every new perspective broadens our understanding of end users.