Nieke Roos
19 August 2020

In the first half of this year, ICT Group’s revenue came in at 81.4 million euros, a 2 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019. Organically, excluding acquisitions and divestments, it was down 1.3 percent. Net profit took a 16 percent year-on-year dive to 2.1 million. The Barendrecht-based software solutions specialists are calling it a solid result, with Covid-19 impact being limited – effects were more visible in April and May and as of June, productivity recovered. On 30 June 2020, the group employed 1,503 people, 2.4 percent more than at year-end 2019.

Esprit Management & IT Services isn’t included in the figures yet. ICT bought 100 percent of the shares halfway in July. Founded by Marc Reijnen in 1999, the Sint-Oedenrode-based company is active in technical software development and recruitment services in the technical automation domain. It employs over 20 professionals and generates an annual turnover of around 2 million euros. After an initial integration period, Esprit will merge with Additude Netherlands, the Dutch branch of the Swedish company Additude acquired by ICT in 2019. Their combined offering will broaden the group’s services and open up an additional part of the labor market. Reijnen will lead the integration and further development within ICT.

ICT Barendrecht
Credit: ICT

In light of the Covid-19 crisis, ICT has taken necessary measures to cut and control costs, with a strong focus on cash management. It didn’t apply for governmental support in the Netherlands. The company did conclude a revised financing agreement, which includes an additional 10 million euro government-secured facility by Rabobank, to provide a back-up financing facility in case the crisis would further intensify.

ICT’s high tech activities weren’t affected by Covid-19 and are performing in line with expectations. The infra and mobility segment also experienced little impact, with many projects in the public domain continuing. The group’s Bulgarian nearshoring entity, Strypes, even saw a further increase in customer demand. In automotive, the crisis did leave a mark, but the sales funnel still looks promising.

The machine building unit, in particular the secondment business, was impacted significantly. Customers are scaling back development programs, which is having an effect on productivity. Some are starting up again, though. The industrial automation segment, too, serves customers that have been heavily impacted by the crisis. Especially, the logistics & transport and industry sectors suffered a blow in the second quarter. ICT does see demand increasing again. In healthcare, mainly the consultancy activities were affected that were already operating at lower productivity levels before the crisis. Fetal care products did show a positive performance. Covid-19 also had an impact on Attitude, putting pressure on hiring.

“Pre-corona we saw productivity levels steadily improving; however, the crisis impacted productivity in April and May. During June, productivity levels increased again,” comments ICT CEO Jos Blejie. “Particularly our secondment services in Sweden and the Netherlands were impacted. Our activities in Bulgaria showed substantial organic growth. Overall, our projects in high tech and public infrastructure continued at the same level as before. We also saw the favorable development of our SAAS activities continue. As evidenced by the performance in June, we’re well positioned to benefit quickly when business activities overall would return again to normal levels.”