European IT group Cegeka has grown for the 17th year in a row. The technology specialist, based in Hasselt, Belgium, is closing the 2020 financial year with a consolidated turnover of 640 million euros, an increase of 14% on the previous year. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was yet another year of continuous growth and innovation for Cegeka. 'COVID-19 presented many new challenges. The entire Cegeka organization, spread across our various branches in all countries, managed to respond quickly and flexibly to these challenges. Once again, I am incredibly proud of the achievements of Cegeka and its employees and customers over the past few months,' André Knaepen, chairman of Cegeka's board of directors, says.
With the publication of Cegeka's year-end figures, it’s a good time to reflect on the past, but also to look forward to the future. 'To say that 2020 was an exceptional year – both on a human and on a business level – is stating the obvious. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be underestimated. At Cegeka we had to make adjustments, just like every business. But as a specialist in digital workplaces, we were able to switch to teleworking without any problems and continue to provide our customers with high-quality services,' Stijn Bijnens, CEO of Cegeka, says. 'Cegeka has shown great resilience in these challenging times, and at the same time invested significantly in future technologies,' he emphasises.
Cegeka continues strong annual growth
In 2020, the Cegeka Group’s turnover amounted to 640 million euros – an increase of 14% compared to 2019. Operating profits rose by 31% to 51.1 million euro compared to the previous year. Recurring EBITDA increased to 70.56 million (55.13 million in 2019, up 28%).
'In 2020, we were able to further strengthen the Cegeka Group's financial position despite the pandemic. The foundations for these year-end figures were laid in 2019. Despite challenging circumstances, we nonetheless managed to successfully complete the acquisitions of KPN Consulting, Call2 and Finavista in the Netherlands in 2020, and integrate them into our organization in 2021. Our healthy financial situation was one of the reasons why this was possible. In Belgium, too, we have made considerable investments in innovation. The acquisition of Gridmax and our majority participation in Citymesh, which enables us to become the fourth mobile operator in the country, are proof of that,' Stephan Daems, CFO of Cegeka, says.
Ready for the future with a resilient organization
'Looking back at 2020, we cannot underestimate the enormous impact of COVID-19. The past few months have been particularly challenging for many people and organizations, and Cegeka was no exception. Yet despite the difficult circumstances, our teams have done a fantastic job. I cannot stress enough how proud I am of them,' Stijn Bijnens says.
The pandemic brought the world economy to a standstill, but it has also triggered a digital acceleration. 'In fact, I am convinced that with the right resilience and innovation, we will spark a true renaissance after the pandemic. As an IT company, we are able to reinvent ourselves in these challenging times and help our customers do the same,' Bijnens continues. 'We show resilience by focusing on unburdening our customers in every area of IT: we ensure that they can work anytime, anywhere and from any device – safely and cost-efficiently. Additionally, the strong collaboration between Data, Applications and Infrastructure is a driving force for innovation within our company, to accelerate the digital transformation of our clients,' Stijn Bijnens says.
Technological investments as a foundation for the future
This last year was also characterized by investment. 'Thanks to well targeted technological investments, we were able to build a further foundation for future growth in 2020. For example, our investments in 5G and artificial intelligence are real game changers,' Stijn Bijnens points out. Last year, Cegeka significantly invested in its own IP with regard to digital healthcare and smart mobility. In addition, cybersecurity and the ‘cloud first’ strategy played an important role in Cegeka's investment programme.
‘In close cooperation’ as our philosophy of life
The past few months have taught us that proximity and local entrepreneurship must be nurtured more than ever. At Cegeka, we have always valued our European identity. We are a European IT group headquartered in Hasselt, Belgium, with a second home base in the Netherlands and operations in a dozen other European countries, all driven by local entrepreneurship and leadership. 'We have more than 5,000 employees in the Cegeka family. Everyone is approachable, accessible and ready to assist our customers. This is the idea behind 'in close cooperation'. It's not just a slogan, but a philosophy of life, a modus operandi and a promise to our customers and to everyone we do business with.'
'As a European IT provider of digital ecosystems in many industries – from healthcare to manufacturing, from government to finance, from energy to logistics – we want to continue to serve our customers in 2021 with end-to-end solutions provided by our Business Lines Data Solutions, Applications and Infrastructure,' Stijn Bijnens concludes.