Columbus continued the positive development from 2019 with revenue growth in the first two months of the year until COVID-19 hit the world community. Columbus is fully focused on serving customers digitally, adapting the business to the new situation and launching new digital sales and marketing initiatives to increase sales.
Ballerup, 28 April 2020: Columbus delivered a Q1 result with revenue growth of 6% (DKK 510m), primarily driven by sales of Columbus Care services (Application Management) and cloud services. Operating profit was DKK 28m. corresponding to a decrease of 12%, mainly due to provisions for losses on debtors and the recruitment of 190 new employees as part of Columbus' growth strategy.
Columbus came off to a good start in January and February with good speed in the business and growth in almost all business units. In the beginning of March, COVID-19 hit the world community, putting the global business climate under severe pressure.
”Columbus had a positive start to the year with progress in most of our business units until COVID-19 hit us. I am satisfied that we are delivering revenue growth despite a radical change in our business environment. We have adapted our business quickly and I would like to thank our employees for showing leadership in this difficult situation and our customers for their trust in us”, says CEO and President in Columbus, Thomas Honoré.
As a leading digitalization company, Columbus has broad experience in serving customers digitally, and the company experiences a very positive interaction with customers and employees in terms of adapting to remote work routines.
Columbus has, among other things, implemented capacity adjustments across business units to meet the temporary decline in demand. In addition, Columbus is monitoring resource allocation and increasing global sourcing. Columbus has also used various COVID-19 aid packages around the world to minimize the business impact. Furthermore, the Executive Board and the Board of Directors have reduced their salary by 30% for the remaining of 2020.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, Columbus has experienced customers holding back new investments due to temporary production or sales decrease as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
It is primarily the retail segment that is negatively affected by the closure of the community. However, retail companies with an omni-channel setup are less hard hit because they can move part of their business online which in some cases has increased the demand for digital commerce and analytics.
Columbus has launched a number of digital marketing initiatives to ensure the company's health and continued progress in the changing business structure.
“In a business like Columbus, which is digitally driven, we can deliver and support our customers 100% through digital platforms. We are in close dialogue with our customers to ensure that they can continue their operations during this period and to help them with increased digitalization, which can give them a strengthened starting point after COVID-19,” says Thomas Honoré.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus predicts a challenging 2020. As the situation normalizes, Columbus expects continued growth in sales of digitalization solutions and cloud business applications, which came off to a good start in the first two months of the year
Columbus expect that the conversion from on-premise solutions to cloud will be growing significantly over the next five years and Columbus is already well positioned with a well-developed global delivery setup specialized in upgrading customers to the cloud. In addition, Columbus will focus on helping customers with end-to-end digital solutions that help transform, maximize and future-proof the business digitally.
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