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SGS First Quarter 2024 Sales Update

Ad Hoc AnnouncementsAd hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LRApril 26, 2024

Strong start to the year
Strategy 2027 on track

  • Organic* sales growth of 7.1%, at the top end of guidance
  • New CEO and streamlined Executive Committee appointed
  • Management incentives implemented, fully aligned with Group targets
  • Restructuring plan launched
  • Pipeline of bolt-on acquisitions expanding
  • Successful scrip dividend
  • Outlook 2024 confirmed

Géraldine Picaud, CEO, commented:

“Today, we are delighted to report our quarterly sales for the first time. The strength of our organic growth reflects the soundness and diversity of our portfolio of activities. We have started to execute Strategy 2027 to firm up this growth momentum, streamline the organization and generate a strong financial performance. I am confident that with the energy and passion of our experienced teams across the globe, we will deliver on our promises.”

First quarter 2024 sales review

Sales reached CHF 1 577 million in the first quarter of 2024. Strong organic* growth of 7.1% offset most of the negative currency effect of 8.6%. In reported terms, sales were down 2.1% compared to prior year.

Sustainability, digital trust, supply chain services and increased regulations supported the strong organic growth, in line with industry megatrends. All divisions and regions contributed to this positive performance.

Strategy 2027: Accelerating growth, building trust

Strategy 2027 – ‘Accelerating growth, building trust’ was announced on 26 January 2024 and execution is on track.

Géraldine Picaud was appointed CEO on 26 March 2024 and announced a streamlined Executive Committee on the same day. Management incentives fully aligned with Group targets were implemented to promote a culture of accountability and performance across the network. The CHF 100 million restructuring plan was launched and execution is underway to reach the new run rate at the end of 2025. M&A was relaunched as a key growth lever and the Group is expanding its pipeline of bolt-on targets, with a view to accelerate acquisitions in leading-edge activities across the network. The scrip dividend was successful, unlocking additional firepower to drive shareholder returns through accelerated, sustainable growth.

M&A relaunched

SGS has reached an agreement to acquire ArcLight Wireless Inc., a world-class leader in systems engineering, network services, technical outsourcing and field testing for the wireless industry, headquartered in North Carolina, United States. The company has 75 full-time employees.

This acquisition, which will be effective 1 May 2024, is positioned within the digital megatrend. It allows SGS to reinforce its presence in North America and to strengthen the Group’s leadership in the dynamic connectivity industry.

Successful scrip dividend

The company’s Annual General Meeting held on 26 March 2024 had offered its shareholders the possibility to receive the 2023 dividend in cash or in new SGS shares.

As announced on 22 April 2024, 64.87% of the dividend for the financial year 2023 was elected to be paid in the form of new SGS shares, with the remaining 35.13% to be paid out in cash. The delivery of the new shares and the payment of the total CHF 207.3 million cash dividend took place on 25 April 2024.

This represents a clear endorsement of Strategy 2027 and allows SGS to reward the loyalty of its shareholders while redirecting close to CHF 400 million of cash towards attractive growth opportunities.

Outlook 2024

The Group confirms its targets for 2024:

  • Mid to high single-digit organic* growth
  • M&A relaunched
  • Improvement in adjusted operating income* margin on sales
  • Strong free cash flow* generation

Mid-term 2027 objectives

Strategy 2027 will shift gears towards growth of the top and bottom line. The Group confirms the following objectives over the next four years:

  • Organic* sales growth of 5% to 7% annually
  • Significant improvement of at least 1.5 percentage points in adjusted operating income* margin on sales by 2027
  • Cash conversion* to exceed 50% by 2027

A live webcast for analysts and investors will be held today at 10:00 am CET. A recording of the webcast will be available later in the day.

*Please refer to Alternative Performance Measures – Appendix to the Q1 2024 sales update press release.

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 99,600 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Ariel Bauer

Media & Investors

Ariel Bauer

Head of Investor Relations, Communications & Sustainability
Livia Baratta

Investors

Livia Baratta

Director, Investor Relations

News & Insights

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