asknet Solutions AG publishes annual financial statements for 2020 and continues strategic repositioning of the company

May 28, 2021
  • Gross profit, the key performance indicator for the asknet business, climbs to EUR 11.0 million (previous year: EUR 9.2 million)
  • EBIT improves to EUR -1.2 million (previous year: EUR - 2.7 million)
  • Comfortable cash reserves: EUR 8.5 million (previous year: EUR 3.2 million) to fund potential strategic investments
  • New CFO Florent Guillomeau to take over responsibility as planned on June 1, 2021

May 28, 2021, Karlsruhe (Germany) – asknet Solutions AG, a leading software and service company for academic institutions and e-commerce marketplaces, published today its annual financial statements for 2020. On the top-line, asknet Solutions AG enjoyed a positive gross profit development in the reporting period. On the bottom-line, this was contrasted by high restructuring costs. In addition, the company is currently undergoing a fundamental strategy re-formulation, launched at the end of the year 2020.

In the financial year 2020, asknet Solutions AG posted sales revenues, which reflect the product sales handled via asknet, in the amount of EUR 81.9 million. The 2.8% decrease compared to the prior year was mainly due to a shift in the customer base of the eCommerce business unit. Driven by the net proceeds of EUR 1.5 million from the sale of Nexway Group AG (incl. its subsidiary Nexway SAS) as well as a strong performance in the Academics business unit, gross profit, the key performance indicator for the asknet business, climbed to a record high of EUR 11.0 million (previous year: EUR 9.2 million). The gross profit margin (including other operating income) improved to 13.1% (previous year: 10.9%). Other operating expenses rose 17.3% to EUR 7.8 million (previous year: EUR 6.7 million) due to high one-time and extraordinary costs for the restructuring of the company in the total amount of nearly EUR 1 million, including consulting and legal expenses for the realization of the demerger from Nexway Group AG (incl. its subsidiary Nexway SAS) and other restructuring charges.

The EBITDA improved in the reporting period to EUR -0.5 million compared to EUR -1.9 million in the year 2019. The EBIT improved to EUR -1.2 million (previous year: EUR -2.7 million). Net loss for the reporting period amounted to EUR -1.6 million (previous year: EUR - 2.7 million).

On December 31, 2020, the asknet Solutions AG's balance sheet total amounted to EUR 31.8 million (December 31, 2019: EUR 12.9 million). Main factors for the extension of the balance sheet were - among others - a successful capital increase carried out in the first half of 2020 and a bond issue. Cash and cash equivalents stood at the comfortable level of EUR 8.5 million compared to EUR 3.2 million on December 31, 2019.

New strategy formulation process

After completing the demerger from Nexway Group AG and having launched a set of important client projects and partnerships in the second half of 2020, a strategy formulation process was initiated before the year end 2020.

In the Academics business unit, asknet now aims to expand beyond its original focus on the university sector to the entire education market including K12 (i.e. schools), especially secondary schools, adult education and employee training. This new focus is closely connected to the recently established strong partnerships with leading EdTech company Blackboard as well as Digital Domain, global market leader in the field of visual effects, virtual reality, digital humans and virtual human technology.

In the eCommerce business unit, asknet aims to shift its mindset from revenue to profitability by strengthening its three fields of excellence: its technology platform, its merchant of record services, and its payment facilitation services and solutions. To do so, the company will execute targeted investments in necessary resources as well as skills and know-how and in the platform’s further enhancement.

Christian Herkel, CEO of asknet Solutions AG: “2020 was a year of reorientation for our company, leading to a fundamental strategy formulation process we started in the second half of 2020. Even if this process still needs further refinement, we can already provide a more precise picture of our new alignment. We see a great opportunity to reposition our company in exciting, fast-growing markets – especially within the EdTech market. To achieve our goals, we will take further steps and measures in the current year, to refine and implement our new strategy, to strengthen our team and both business units. Our new CFO Florent Guillomeau, who will assume his role on June 1, 2021, will certainly make a valuable contribution in this matter.”

Regarding the Blackboard sales partnership, asknet is currently rolling out a number of proactive sales and marketing campaigns. Together with Digital Domain, the company is currently working on providing a common product offering still to be launched in 2021. In addition, asknet successfully developed the Dell Hosted Shopping Application (HSA) over the past year, which will generate new, constant revenue streams.

For the full financial year 2021, the management currently expects a flat to single digit increase in sales revenues. Gross profits will be slightly below the 2020 level. At the same time, significant reduction in losses (EBIT) compared to 2020 is expected.

The full financial report 2020 of asknet Solutions AG is available on the company website:

The Annual General Meeting of asknet Solutions AG will take place on July 5, 2021.

About asknet Solutions AG
asknet Solutions AG, founded in 1995, is a leading procurement, e-commerce and payment specialist focusing on the academic universe. The company offers software procurement and sales services for European academic institutions, including professors, students and alumni. The procurement portals offered by asknet are used by more than 80% of German universities of higher education. asknet Solutions AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Ticker: ASKN; ISIN: DE000A2E3707).

Magda Gajny