CEO's comment

More than 72 per cent of our revenue now comes from modern SaaS products, and our cloud revenue share has surpassed 86 per cent. This underlines the competitive edge we have forged by being an early mover in cloud technology.

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Looking back on the year that has passed, I feel both sadness and pride. Sadness, because we saw even more military conflict with horrific consequences for civilians, both in Ukraine and the Middle East. It was also a year of growing economic uncertainty, as the battle against rampant inflation led to a rapid rise in interest rates, squeezing budgets both for households and businesses to a point where many feared a recession on the horizon.

So when I still feel pride, it’s because of how well Visma has performed throughout this period of rising uncertainty, and continued our growth and geographic expansion. This largely reflects that our solutions are needed, both in good and bad times. We provide mission-critical software to the private and public sectors, supporting vital functions that enable a well-functioning and prosperous society. We have demonstrated this resilience of our business model several times in the past, and 2023 is no exception.

Visma ended 2023 with record revenue of EUR 2.4 billion, a year-on-year growth of 16.3%, and all-time high EBITDA of EUR 705 million, up 20% from the year before. We now serve over 1.7 million customers in Europe and Latin America, a fantastic increase of 300,000 year-on-year. More than 72 per cent of our revenue now comes from modern SaaS products, and our cloud revenue share has surpassed 86 per cent. This underlines the competitive edge we have forged by being an early mover in cloud technology.

Expanding to new markets

In addition to record organic sales growth, M&A was again an important growth driver for Visma in 2023, with a total of 32 acquisitions of high-quality software companies. In some cases we strengthened our position in existing markets, like with post-accounting software provider Silverfin in Belgium. Or by securing Acos, a leading supplier of digital solutions to Norway’s public sector. 

Other acquisitions marked our first entry in new countries, like Moloni in Portugal and Payday in Iceland. We have now expanded our software business to 31 countries, and expect to plant even more Visma flags in the years to come. Through constant sharing of knowledge and best practices between more than 180 Visma companies, we are leveraging our position as the largest entrepreneurial SaaS network in Europe.

A vote of confidence

Our strong development was recognised in late December, when we announced that Visma had expanded its shareholder base through a secondary sale to leading international investors, to support further international growth. The transaction, which values Visma at EUR 19 billion, welcomes around 20 new investors to our shareholder register, worth over EUR 1 billion of equity investment. New investors include Altaroc, Jane Street, NPS and NYC Retirement System.

The transaction will also result in around EUR 3 billion of new investment from existing shareholders, including Hg, who will continue its 17-year long investment in the business with a majority stake, in addition to a group of co-investors including GIC, ICG, TPG and Visma management. 

We are immensely proud of this strong vote of confidence from world-class investors, and look forward to creating value for all our stakeholders also in the years to come.

The value of people

Strong growth can be challenging for any organisation. In the last decade alone, the number of employees at Visma has increased by five times to more than 15,000, with a large part of this growth coinciding with a global pandemic. Considering the strain this event placed on people’s lives, and the changes it has brought in terms of more hybrid working and digital collaboration, I’m extremely pleased to see that employee engagement in Visma remains sky-high, and comfortably within the top 5 per cent in the tech industry. Visma’s most valuable asset will always be its people. And while we are often separated by borders, or even continents, we are united by a common vision of shaping the future of society through technology.

We also have a strong culture of innovation and the ability to adapt quickly to change, with the emergence of generative AI as a good example. After an initial phase of exploring and experimenting, Visma now has close to 200 AI initiatives ongoing within the group. Several of them have already materialised into new products and functionalities that further enrich our software ecosystem, and help us work smarter and more efficiently. I am hugely impressed by how quickly we have adapted the company to make use of this exciting new technology, and convinced that it will enable us to deliver significant value to our customers through even more smart, automated and efficient software.

Gearing up for more success

In 2019, Visma became title sponsor of a Netherlands-based pro cycling team with high ambitions and talented riders, aiming to take the final step in their development and challenge for the major titles. What a fantastic journey it has been! 

Guided by a long-term strategy based on innovation, team spirit and old-fashioned hard work, Team Jumbo-Visma developed into the best cycling team the world has ever seen. In 2023, the team crowned a historic season with an unprecedented three Grand Tour victories, including the Tour de France. 

We are delighted with the way this sponsorship continues to raise Visma’s profile and support our growth both in new and existing markets, in addition to being a source of pride and engagement among our employees. That’s why it was such a pleasure to announce in late November that Visma is gearing up its commitment further, by taking the role of first title sponsor from the 2024 season and onwards. We look forward to cheering on these amazing athletes in the years to come, now as Team Visma | Lease a Bike!

As a profitable and growing company, we are also in the fortunate position where we can give back. For many years now, Visma has made annual donations to UNICEF to support their important work of protecting children in vulnerable situations. From 2024 we are continuing our support through a formal partnership, with a combination of financial support and free access to our software. Visma will donate a total of EUR 530,000 over the next three years, and will also provide UNICEF with software to manage the organisation’s mission-critical processes, worth a total of EUR 105,000.

The funds will partly be earmarked for UNICEF’s UPSHIFT program, supporting education and capacity building for adolescents. We consider this a hugely important area when it comes to creating equal opportunities for all young people, regardless of where they are born.

The way forward

Looking ahead, I am highly confident that Visma can continue on its strong trajectory. Regardless of economic fluctuations, the future is digital, and we deliver the modern and user-friendly tools that organisations need to stay future-proof. 

I want to thank everyone at Visma for their fantastic efforts towards making 2023 another year for the history books. And I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in the years to come.

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