10.11.2022 - 07:03:45

EQS-News: SYNLAB AG: SYNLAB reports strong underlying performance in 9M 2022, confirms 2022 guidance and releases 2023 guidance

(?) ? 1.50 ? Unlevered FCF 95.4 339.1 (291)


COVID-19 testing Q3 2022 9M 2022 9M YoY var. Revenue (?m) 105 720 (460) Average PCR price (?, rounded) 42 42 (18)% Average PCR volume (m, rounded) 2.3 16.1 (23)%


Financial performance

Continued strong underlying growth at 6.3% and expectedly lower COVID-19 testing

Compared to the high prior-year base, 9M 2022 reported revenue was down 8% to ?2,549 million (9M 2021: ?2,772 million). This included a 18% year-on-year decline in Q3 2022, driven by a reduction in the COVID-19 testing activity.

9M 2022 underlying organic growth (excluding COVID-19 related revenues) remains strong at 6.3%, which was mostly volume-driven (6.0% volume growth), while prices were broadly stable at 0.3%. Adjusted for the scope effect from the Southeast London hospital outsourcing contract (The SEL contract) in Q1 2022, 9M 2022 underlying organic growth was a robust 3.5%, in line with our longer-term guidance.

Q3 2022 underlying organic growth was 4.1% as volume growth picked up post the Omicron wave, notably in most countries of South and North & East segments. In Germany, hospital activity remained impacted by the stronger impact of COVID-19 in Q3 2022 compared to last year. Q3 2022 prices were also up 1.0% resulting in a positive effect of around ?10 million based on price increases in several countries from the North & East and South segments. The price increases were only partially offset by an expected negative price impact in Switzerland and France. SYNLAB also continued with the implementation of its organic growth initiatives: The Group opened 21 new blood collection points in Q3 2022 as part of its retail initiative. In specialty testing, SYNLAB reached an expansion of its strategic agreement with Microba on an advanced gut microbiome test.

9M 2022 COVID-19 testing revenue was in line with expectations and declined by 39% to ?725 million[2] (9M 2021: ?1,180 million[3]). SYNLAB performed 16.1 million PCR tests during the nine-month period. The average price per PCR test was around ?42 in 9M 2022, down from around ?51 in 9M 2021.

Q3 2022 COVID-19 testing revenue was ?105 million, with SYNLAB performing around 2.3 million PCR tests at an average price of around ?42.

The total contribution of the fourteen acquisitions finalised in 9M 2022 was ?33 million[4], including around ?5 million of COVID-19 testing revenue. This represented a 1.1% revenue increase compared with 9M 2021. The four additional acquisitions in Q3 2022 were bolt-on deals in Italy, Germany, Spain and Ecuador. In Q3 2022 and as part of its continuous portfolio review, SYNLAB sold its UK Veterinary testing business for total net proceeds of ?84 million. The UK Veterinary testing business has an insignificant impact on yearly Group revenue and adjusted EBITDA.

9M 2022 FX impact remains stable at 0.8% with the strength of the Swiss Franc and the Mexican peso more than offsetting the weakening of a few emerging currencies.

Margins remain high with expected impact from lower COVID-19 volume and higher inflation

As expected, 9M 2022 adjusted EBITDA (AEBITDA) decreased by 27% to ?663 million, while the adjusted operating profit (AOP) decreased by 36% to ?487 million with margins of 26.0% and 19.3% respectively.

Margins developments are largely explained by the expected reduction in the COVID-19 testing activity in Q3 2022 and associated ramp down costs, with margins declining sequentially from the very high levels of 2021 and Q1 2022. In addition, and in line with the first half-year of 2022, SYNLAB was able to offset some of the PCR price and volume decrease based on procurement efficiencies for reagents and capacity adjustments.

As forecasted, SYNLAB continues to experience increased inflationary pressure, mostly from higher fuel and energy prices and higher wage cost in some countries. This is partly offset by efficiencies from the ongoing SALIX program (?18 million in savings overall in 9M 2022) and price increases. The SEL contract also has a dilutive impact on Group margins, of around one percentage point.

Net profit reflecting improved financial structure as well as the sale of the UK Veterinary business?

9M 2022 net profit (Group share) was ?191 million. The improved financial results and lower tax expense partly offset the decrease in operating profit, a ?71 million profit from the disposal of the UK Veterinary testing business and the ?173 million goodwill impairment recorded in Germany in Q2 2022. 9M 2021 net profit (Group share) included ?18 million of a residual sale of the Analytics & Services business.

9M 2022 adjusted net profit was ?332 million, a ?182 million reduction compared with 9M 2021. Adjusted net profit excludes the ?173 million of goodwill impairment and the ?71 million profit from the disposal of the UK Veterinary testing business.

9M 2022 adjusted EPS was ?1.50[5] (H1 2022: ?1.44).



Return on capital employed at 15.6% with further reduction in net debt

Capital employed was ?4.04 billion, broadly stable compared with the year-end of 2021, including the impact of the 14 acquisitions completed in 9M 2022 as well as the goodwill impairment in Germany recognised in Q2 2022. The return on capital employed was 15.6%.

The decrease in the COVID-19 testing activity has positively impacted working capital since Q2 2022, with Days Sales Outstanding at 54 over the period, down from 57 days in Q3 2021 and 62 days in Q4 2021 respectively.

The 9M 2022 unlevered free cash flow generation was strong recording ?339 million. Together with the reduced net interest and the proceeds from the sale of the UK Veterinary testing business, it enabled SYNLAB to reduce adjusted net debt by another ?217 million during the reporting period. Meanwhile, SYNLAB continued to invest in M&A (?92 million cash out in 9M 2022). At the end of September 2022, adjusted net debt was ?1.45 billion compared with ?1.67 billion at the end of December 2021. The leverage ratio[6] remains at a low level: 1.5x at the end of September 2022.


Outlook for FY 2022 and 2023

Despite the currently challenging market environment and political uncertainties, SYNLAB sees itself well-positioned to deliver on its FY 2022 targets. Today, the Group confirmed its guidance, expecting FY 2022 revenue to be around ?3.2 billion compared with ?3.76 billion in FY 2021. Adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to be within a 24 to 25% range compared with 32.1% in FY 2021. The year-on-year expected decrease is mostly attributable to lower COVID-19 testing revenue. The adjusted AOP is expected to evolve accordingly.

The adjusted EBITDA margin range factors in 1) the strategy to maintain the COVID-19 response capacity at the level medically necessary and potential lag time before any further ramp down 2) the dilutive impact on the margin of additional organic growth initiatives, notably set up of Direct to Consumer (D2C) activities and 3) inflation risks.

For the final quarter of 2022, SYNLAB will continue implementing its proven strategy by further investing in its organic growth initiatives as well as driving growth through M&A. SYNLAB aims to exceed ?200 million M&A spend in 2022. While the pipeline remains strong and diversified, the Group will continue to keep a very disciplined acquisition approach.

With regard to the FY 2023, SYNLAB expects revenue to be around ?3.0 billion. This estimate is based on the assumption of the continued robustness of the underlying activity, reflecting the resilient nature of our business based on our critical role in the healthcare decision-making chain. Growth is expected to be mostly volume driven but also to benefit from an increasingly favourable pricing environment in most of our countries, driving a rounded 4% underlying growth.

Furthermore, COVID-19 testing revenue is anticipated to be around ?250 million, around 15% of the 2021 peak activity, as previously expected. The adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to be at 18-20%, similar to the implied margin range for the second semester of 2022 and based on our FY 2022 guidance. The margin range factors in some uncertainty on the inflationary environment, the timing required to bring back the business at the pre-COVID-19 productivity levels, some potential variability on COVID-19 activity and timing on M&A closing.


Conference call


The conference call with the SYNLAB Management Board for analysts and investors at 3:00 p.m. CET can be accessed here.

For more information:

Media contact: David Eeckhout, FTI Consulting????????? +49 (0) 151 467 123 Investor contact: Etienne Ziller, SYNLAB ?



SYNLAB Group is the leader in medical diagnostic services and specialty testing in Europe. The Group offers a full range of innovative and reliable medical diagnostics to patients, practising doctors, hospitals and clinics, governments and corporates. Providing the leading level of service within the industry, SYNLAB is the partner of choice for routine and specialty diagnostics in human and veterinary medicine. The Group continuously innovates medical diagnostic services for the benefit of patients and customers. SYNLAB operates in 36 countries across four continents and holds leading positions in most markets, regularly reinforcing the strength of its network through a proven acquisition strategy. Around 30,000 employees, including over 2,000 medical experts, contribute every day to the Group?s worldwide success. SYNLAB performed around 600 million laboratory tests and achieved revenues of ?3.76 billion in 2021. More information can be found on


Financial Calendar

Kepler Cheuvreux Diagnostics Day 22 November 2022 (plenary session) Exane Diagnostics Imaging & Life Sciences??????? 29 November 2022 SYNLAB Q4/FY 2022 results 16 March 2023 (pre-market)




Q3/9M 2022 SEGMENT REPORTING In ?million Revenue AOP ? Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Organic Growth Underlying Growth Q3 2022 Q3 2021 MarginQ3 2022 Margin, Q3 2021 ? France 145.5 187.0 (23.1)% (0.2)% 25.8 50.1 17.7% 26.8% ? Germany 150.6 144.9 2.9% (5.0)% 26.2 14.3 17.4% 9.9% ? South 207.3 239.8 (26.4)% 5.6% 11.3 50.5 5.5% 21.1% ? North & East 194.5 277.6 (29.7)% 12.6% 12.5 77.2 6.4% 27.8% ? SYNLAB Group 697.9 849 (21.9)% 4.1% 75.8 192.1 10.9% 22.6% ? ? 9M 2022 9M 2021 Organic Growth Underlying Growth 9M 2022 9M 2021 Margin9M 2022 Margin, 9M 2021 ? France 527.9 628.6 (16.8)% (0.6)% 108.8 166.6 20.6% 26.5% ? Germany 556.6 512.1 7.9% (0.4)% 134.0 110.1 24.1% 21.5% ? South 745.4 785.3 (18.8)% 1.2% 98.6 189.5 13.2% 24.1% ? North & East 719.4 846.4 (14.9)% 24.1% 145.4 294.5 20.2% 34.8% ? SYNLAB Group 2,549.3 2,772.3 (12.4)% 6.3% 486.7 760.7 19.1% 27.4% ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 9M VIEW Simplified P&L ? ? ? In ?million 9M 2022 9M 2021[7] Growth Revenue 2,549.3 2,772.3 (8)% Gross profit 1,948.6 2,082.9 (6)% AEBITDA 663.0 907.3 (27)% As % of revenue 26.0% 32.7% (6.7)pp Adjusted operating profit (AOP) 486.7 760.7 (36)% As % of revenue 19.1% 27.4% (8.3)pp Operating profit 265.3 689.1 (62)% Financial result (11.6) (86.6) (87)% Income tax expenses (129.8) (145.1) (15) Adjusted net profit (Group share) 332.4 514.1 (35)% Net profit (Group share) 190.9 471.3 (280) Adjusted EPS (?) 1.50 2.42 (0.92) Simplified cash flow ? ? ? In ?million 9M 2022 9M 2021 Growth Operating cash flow 549 786 (237) Unlevered free cash flow 339 630 (291) Net debt and leverage ? ? ? In ?million Sep. 2022 Dec. 2021 Growth Net debt 1,388 1,602 (214) Adjusted net debt 1,454 1,671 (217) Leverage ratio x1.50 x1.35 +0.15 QUARTER VIEW Simplified P&L ? ? ? In ?million Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Growth Revenue 697.9 849.3 (18)% Gross profit 537.7 636.1 (15)% AEBITDA 135 245.3 (45)% As % of revenue 19.3% 28.9% (9.6)pp Adjusted operating profit (AOP) 75.8 192.1 (61)% As % of revenue 10.9% 22.6% (11.7)pp Operating profit 59.0 173.8 (66)% Financial result (11.8) (11.2) (1) Income tax expenses (46.3) (33.3) (13) Adjusted net profit (Group share) 13.4 143.3 (130) Net profit (Group share) 69.1 128.0 (59) Simplified cash flow ? ? ? In ?million Q3 2022 Q3 2021 Growth Operating cash flow 165 263 (98) Unlevered free cash flow 95 202 (107)


The Q3/9M 2022 report has been published on the SYNLAB Investor Relations website.


This document does not constitute or form a part of, and should not be construed as, an offer for sale or subscription of or solicitation of any offer to purchase or subscribe for any securities in any jurisdiction.

Statements made in this document may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "believes," "expects,? ?expected,? "may," "will," "would," "should," "seeks," "pro forma," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "estimates," ?estimated,? or the negative of any thereof or other variations thereof or comparable terminology, or by discussions of strategy or intentions. These statements are not guarantees of future actions or performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Actual actions or results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in these forward-looking statements. As a result, these statements speak only as of the date they were made and SYNLAB undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. It should be noted that past performance is not a guide to future performance. Interim results are not necessarily indicative of full-year results.

Certain data included in this document are "non-IFRS" measures. These non-IFRS measures may not be comparable to similarly titled financial measures presented by other entities, nor should they be construed as an alternative to other financial measures determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards or any other generally accepted accounting principles. Although SYNLAB believes these non-IFRS financial measures provide useful information to users in measuring the financial performance and condition of its business, users are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any non-IFRS financial measures and ratios included in this document. Due to rounding, numbers presented throughout this document may not add up precisely to the totals provided and percentages may not precisely reflect the absolute figures.


[1] Based on 221,919,992 shares in 9M 2022

[2] Including ~?5 million COVID-19 revenue from acquired companies in 2022

[3] Including ~?43 million COVID-19 pre-acquisition revenue from 2021 acquisitions

[4] Including post-acquisition revenue contribution of ?23.1 million and pre-acquisition revenue of ?9.5 million

[5] Based on 221,919,992 shares in 9M 2022

[6] Net debt to LTM pro-forma adjusted EBITDA

[7] 9M 2021 AEBITDA, AOP and Adjusted net profit restated by ?0.7 million: share-based payment programmes no longer reported as an adjustment component

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Language: English Company: SYNLAB AG Moosacher Stra?e 88 80809 Munich

Germany Phone: +49 1701183753 E-mail: Internet: ISIN: DE000A2TSL71 WKN: A2TSL7 Indices: SDAX Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange EQS News ID: 1483735 ? End of News EQS News Service