Frankfurt/Main, 11 February 2021. Based on preliminary figures for fiscal year 2020, the Amadeus FiRe Group generated operating EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation of goodwill and purchase price allocation) of EUR 41.1m (previous year: EUR 38.7m). This corresponds to an increase of 6.2 percent. This exceeded the Management Board's forecast of 22 October 2020 to almost reach the result of fiscal year 2019. In the corona crisis year 2020, an operating EBITA margin of 14.7 percent (previous year: 16.6 percent) was maintained.
Background for this development was a positive course of business in the fourth quarter, which exceeded the company's own expectations, both in the personnel services segment and in the training segment. In all services, the recovery dynamic that began in the middle of the year accelerated in the fourth quarter.
In fiscal year 2020, the Amadeus FiRe Group generated consolidated preliminary sales revenues of EUR 280.2m (previous year: EUR 233.1m). This represents a year-on-year increase of 20 percent in revenue.
In 2020, turnover in the personnel services segment fell by 8 percent to EUR 190.6m (previous year: EUR 207.1m) due to the pandemic. The market for personnel services has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to government restrictions on public life to protect the population, demand for personnel services initially collapsed significantly in the second quarter of 2020. The bottom was touched at the beginning of the third quarter and demand picked up continuously until the end of the financial year. Currently in the temporary staffing service, this positive momentum is being slowed down by the stricter lockdown measures introduced at the beginning of January.
In the training segment, sales revenues of EUR 89.7m (previous year: EUR 26.0m) were realised in the reporting period. Included here for the first time are COMCAVE sales revenues of EUR 60.8m and GFN sales revenues from the fourth quarter of EUR 6.0m. The organically generated training revenues in 2020 declined by 12 percent.
COMCAVE, specialised on public funded trainings for commercial and IT qualifications, was acquired by the Amadeus FiRe Group in December 2019. In the 2020 financial year, the COMCAVE business figures are included for the first time in the consolidated income statement. On 15 September 2020, the GFN Group was acquired as a further specialist in the area of IT training. Due to the late acquisition period in the reporting year, the business figures of GFN will only be included in the consolidated income statement from the fourth quarter of 2020.
The year 2020 was marked by the corona pandemic in all business units. In the personnel services segment at Amadeus FiRe, the expansion planned for 2020 was suspended with the beginning of the pandemic. It was replaced by a high level of cost awareness in order to be prepared for the potential impacts. The possibility, as a personnel services company, to use short-time work for internal employees as well as external employees in temporary employment was an additional valuable support in bridging the crisis caused by the pandemic with a fully manned workforce.
In the training segment, it was necessary to take a huge step towards digitalisation starting in March 2020, as attending classes in person had become impossible. This was quickly achieved throughout the group. At COMCAVE, training execution was already based 100% on a virtual classroom concept beforehand, so that participants could start learning from home after just a few days.
The market for public funded training and education must be considered anti-cyclical due to its dependence on the labour market. The fundamentally improving market environment due to rising unemployment and increasing qualification requirements was initially suppressed for reasons related to the pandemic. The significantly higher workload of the public authorities due to crisis-related short-time work and the lack of digital processes in the issuing of education vouchers have led to a processing backlog at the funding institutions. This backlog is currently slowly clearing up.
The final figures for the 2020 financial year will be announced at a financial press conference / DVFA event on 23 March 2021.