The Cegeka Group reports growth for the fourteenth year in a row. The international technology specialist is closing its financial year with a turnover of EUR 440 million. Gimv, an investment company based in Flanders, became a shareholder in September. This was an important moment for Cegeka, with an eye to further European growth. So the future looks positive, with a lot of innovations seeing the light in 2018 too.
In 2017, Cegeka achieved an operational profit of EUR 30.5 million, or a growth of 21% (almost 7% in turnover). This gives an EBITDA margin of 9.9% in comparison with 9.4% in 2016. The organic growth is 5.8% (or EUR 24 million) and is therefore reasonably stable in comparison with last year.
The Walloon Cegeka subsidiary, NSI, also achieved good growth. It completed two acquisitions at the end of the year: taking over the Belgian activities of Groupe OPEN and Pixelixir Belux. 2017 was an absolute record year for NSI with turnover of almost EUR 52 million. With the addition of its acquisitions (including their financial year results), NSI grew its annual revenue to EUR 70 million.
Entry of Gimv acts as lever for accelerated growth in Europe
In September 2017, Cegeka welcomed Gimv as a shareholder. The Flemish investment company acquired a 23.6% share in Cegeka.
André Knaepen, Cegeka CEO: “2017 was a year of great autonomous growth once again, now for the 14th year in a row. While the Gimv’s involvement gives our plans a boost, we are keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground. In addition to the arrival of Gimv, we also implemented a reorganisation and made the business lines the driving force in the last quarter of 2017. We did this for two reasons: we expect accelerated growth and it gives us the opportunity to harmonise the value propositions across the various countries. This offers us improved efficiency and we are already seeing the results of this decision.”
“War for talent” continues
André Knaepen, CEO of Cegeka: “Our employees are increasingly evolving from pure technology specialists to versatile business consultants, with a larger role for emotional intelligence and deep insight into certain business processes or sectors. This means that attracting, developing, and retaining talent is becoming even more important for Cegeka. In addition to our HR policy, which is deeply rooted in our business strategy, the expansion of our Cegeka School is an innovative project through which we aim to develop talent in our organisation.”
Cegeka School is an initiative through which Cegeka trains individuals with varied backgrounds to become IT professionals that can then join the Cegeka team. 30 people graduated in 2017.
Focus on innovation via intrapreneurship in 2018
In 2018, Cegeka will continue to build its focus on the future. The company will continue to invest in technologies like blockchain, Internet of Things, big data, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
André Knaepen, CEO of Cegeka: “Innovation is vitally important in order to continue our growth track. An essential driver for this innovation motor is the stimulation of intrapreneurship and our own start-ups. We are monitoring innovative technologies closely and implementing these if they can generate real business value for our customers. Ideally, we innovate together with our customers through co-creation. This way, both parties remain sharp and work towards the same goal.”
Stijn Bijnens to succeed André Knaepen
Stijn Bijnens will succeed André Knaepen as CEO of Cegeka as of 1 January 2019. Bijnens will focus on charting the strategy and the day-by-day management of the European Group. Stijn Bijnens is a successful entrepreneur who combines the right background, strong leadership and relevant experience. He has been the chairman of the Limburgse Reconversie Maatschappij (LRM) since 2007. André Knaepen will remain the chairman of the board and will continue to play an active role in the development and further globalization of the company