At Premier Tech, everything we do stems from a genuine desire to build lasting relationships — with our suppliers, partners, clients, team members, and the communities we call home. This longstanding commitment to balance the short and long term has always been a big part of our success. Driving this ambition is a desire to grow globally while strengthening our local footprint. This opens up a world of possibilities for our products and services while positioning Premier Tech as a world-class partner for our clients. The strength of our deep local roots puts us at an advantage to help our clients succeed in whatever they set out to do.
Our acquisitions and investments in fiscal 2021 are a further step in this direction. Close proximity to markets and extensive brand reach allowed us to take an increasingly glocal, agile, and proactive approach to build on our proven track record of performance and profitable growth.
Being glocal is about growing globally while making a difference locally.
In fiscal 2021, Premier Tech grew by 6.3% over the previous year, with $982 million in sales. This $58 million increase — comprised of 4.9% organic growth and of which 1.4% is driven by fiscal 2020 and 2021 acquisitions — confirms our connection with our clients and the relevance of our products and services, and shows that our businesses are in tune with leading technological, economic, and societal trends.
Along with sales growth, Premier Tech posted operational earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (operational EBITDA) of $105 million in 2021, or 10.7% of sales for the period. Once again, this new record is an improvement in operational EBITDA in absolute figure as well as a 1.5% improvement as a percentage of revenue over the previous fiscal year.
Such results show that Premier Tech is resilient and able to nimbly and proactively adapt to the most unexpected, volatile, and complex situations.
These results also underscore the value of our strategic approach and our discipline in envisioning and paving the company’s future by rigorously mapping out our Innovation, Research and Development activities and broadening the scope of our Strategic Planning Model. Our drive to master our destiny and build a lasting enterprise is delivering results in line with our expectations both now and as we move forward. Since going private in February 2007, Premier Tech has posted a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.1% in sales and 10.9% in operating EBITDA. Over this period, our sales have risen from $250 million to $982 million, and our operating EBITDA from $27.5 million to $105 million, which represents an increase of $732 million and $77.5 million, respectively.
More than just a ripe opportunity, each acquisition is backed by a rigorous selection process and disciplined execution and integration.
Five Criteria to a Successful Acquisition
1. Our entry criterion is that it is a winning company. One that is profitable, well positioned in its markets, and its Leadership is looking to grow and work even more closely with its clients.
Then we need at least one of the following strategic criteria:
2. The acquisition allows us to integrate or accelerate the development of a new technological platform, to add key products and brands with potential to grow internationally.
3. The transaction enables us to enter a new territory or country, or a new market sector.
4. Through this integration we can consolidate our supply chain, increase our manufacturing footprint or increase our market share.
5. Our exit criterion — if things are not delivering the expected results, under no circumstances can it slow down our development and growth. The situation would need to be contained and taken care of, so we can keep on investing on opportunities brought forward by our other business groups.
At Premier Tech, we have always viewed periods of external upheaval and instability as opportunities to accelerate our positioning and development. Fiscal 2021 is a perfect example of that philosophy. We started actively pursuing acquisitions again in June and have since completed seven transactions: EPARCO, ArdTIC, AMI Assainissement, AQUA Assainissement, NEVE Environnement, and H2PRO as well as strategic peat moss reserves in Manitoba.
These transactions allowed us to add new brands to our solid portfolio, specifically EPARCO®, which is already well established in the French market for residential on-site wastewater treatment. These acquisitions also position us in new market segments and contribute greatly to our efforts to diversify our distribution channels and interactions with clients. Six of these acquisitions were completed outside Canada, which is squarely in line with our glocal vision of growth and development.
Our digital strategy, which is gaining momentum, was core to our efforts in fiscal 2021. The acquisition of French company ArdTIC marks our Digital business group’s first foray into Europe. Together with acquisitions by Premier Tech Water and Environment, the ArdTIC acquisition bolsters our presence in the French market as well as our commitment to France, which accounts for a significant percentage of overall sales — France being the country with the third most important sales..
Our digital acceleration was further amplified at the start of fiscal 2022 when we joined forces with Mirego and its team. This strategic move adds depth and a range of new skills to our digital technology teams and will be greatly accretive as we diversify our offerings. With this acquisition, Premier Tech Digital has become one of the few international players to provide clients with complete end-to-end support in their digital transformation.
We are approaching the next 24 months with the same agility and strength we demonstrated after the recession and financial crisis of 2008. The structuring transactions we executed during that period allowed us to significantly streamline efforts to diversify our lineup of products and services and strengthen our global presence. The next two years will also present key opportunities for acquisitions that will serve as springboards to organic growth for Premier Tech and its business groups for years to come. We’re therefore always on the lookout for transactions meeting our criteria and continuously cultivate ties with key players so we can be proactive whenever opportunities arise.
Investing for the Future
As we begin strategic planning for VISION 2027, we are more determined than ever to gain a deeper understanding of the major trends driving our markets. This includes looking at our external and internal environments, as well as the intuition, experience, and ambition of Premier Tech team members. Digital, glocal growth, scaling up our client solutions strategy, and growing the recognition around the Premier Tech brand were all key priorities of VISION 2023 and they will remain vital as we pivot towards 2027.
Alongside strategic planning, our latest Innovation, Research and Development results have once again allowed us to position ourselves at the forefront of market trends and better deploy our various technology platforms. In the coming year, we will continue to leverage the agility of our teams and the business velocity of our products and services to achieve profitable growth, while accelerating our digital transformation and investments.
Fiscal 2021 saw significant investments in manufacturing, team training, as well as Innovation, Research and Development. By 2027, these investments will represent over $350 million and will have led to the creation of some 1 200 new jobs around the world. The goal of this financial commitment is to support the strategies and actions set in motion in our current strategic plan and guide us as we look further ahead to 2027. In addition, a significant portion of these investments — over $100 million — will go towards enhancing our current products and developing new commercial offers to shore up our technological leadership in various market sectors.
Fiscal 2022: On the Road to a Billion Dollars
With our long-term vision and track record of profitable growth, Premier Tech is poised to achieve a major milestone by the end of the 2022 fiscal year: one billion dollars in revenues. It is a big achievement that highlights the full scope of our promise to our clients, and our ability to continuously and sustainably deliver value to them. This watershed moment in our nearly 100-year history is a testament to our clients’ loyalty to our brands and our tireless commitment to always doing more to help them succeed. We extend a heartfelt thank you to all our clients, partners, and team members. We will always pursue our efforts to make a difference by doing the right thing at the right time to help feed, protect, and improve our world.
Making a difference together.
WE ARE PT
This story is from the Premier Tech Report 2021.
Discover it now: www.premiertech.com/annual-report