It is with pleasure and satisfaction that we present the first full-year report of the PolyPeptide Group AG. In a business environment driven by increasing investments into R&D in the pharmaceutical sector, the Group continued to demonstrate strong growth. PolyPeptide remains dedicated to providing high quality products and services to all its customers. In doing so, we are proud to contribute to the health of millions of patients around the world.
2021, an exceptional year
In many ways, 2021 was an exceptional year for PolyPeptide. While completing a successful IPO and listing on SIX Swiss Exchange and bringing in a new CEO, the Group was able to keep a strong growth momentum. Revenue in 2021 grew by 26.5% versus 2020 to EUR 282.1 million, and the result for the year increased by 50.8% to EUR 47.3 million (with basic EPS of EUR 1.47). Adjusted EBITDA for the full year of 2021 reached EUR 88.2 million with a margin of 31.3%, up by 3.5 percentage points, reflecting continued strong operating performance.
While partially benefiting from a favorable impact related to accelerated customer projects in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this strong result reflects well on the technical capabilities, execution mindset and strong customer focus of the Group. We are committed to long-term relationships with our customers as we partner with them on the development and commercialization of their therapeutic products. Consequently, we have further expanded our active custom projects pipeline to 196 projects by the end of 2021. In view of the promising late-stage pipeline, we invested a record EUR 76.7 million, or 27.2% of annual revenues, into the modernization and expansion of our manufacturing infrastructure.
We have also significantly advanced our capabilities in the field of oligonucleotides. The R&D and GMP pilot plant facility in Torrance (California) has been built out, a dedicated team has been hired, and the first customer contract was signed towards the end of 2021.
Amid a busy 2021, PolyPeptide has maintained a strong quality track record, with several inspections by regulatory authorities from multiple countries, including by the US FDA, at four of our manufacturing locations, with no critical or major observations.
Following the CEO change in April 2021, we have continued to strengthen the Executive Committee of the Group, with the appointment of a General Counsel and a seamless internal leadership transition for the head of Global Sales and Marketing.
A full agenda for 2022
We have come a long way in 2021, and we look forward to continuing our journey in 2022. It is planned to further grow through the expansion of our pipeline, by strengthening the manufacturing infrastructure and by striving to be the preferred partner to the industry. We will seek to accelerate our momentum through the further development of the oligonucleotide API and peptide generics API businesses. In fostering our unique management culture and the organizational efficiency, we will keep working on the right balance between our “OnePolyPeptide” priority and local diversity as well as integration of systems and processes.
In 2021, we also decided to formalize our approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters by conducting a materiality assessment and establishing an ESG agenda for the whole Group. As part of this program, we will emphasize (1) green chemistry, (2) people development and (3) supply chain engagement. As part of the green chemistry program, we will focus on innovation efforts to reduce solvent consumption and to further develop circular chemistry concepts. We also plan to conduct a carbon footprint assessment in order to establish a baseline for further improvement.
Outlook for 2022 and proposed dividend
While the recent dramatic changes in the overall political environment in Europe can not be ignored, they are currently not expected to have a material direct impact on PolyPeptide. We sincerely hope that peace can be restored soon.
For 2022, PolyPeptide targets revenue growth of 12-14% with a targeted adjusted EBITDA margin of around 30%. PolyPeptide will continue to invest in modernizing and expanding its infrastructure with capital expenditures as percent of 2022 revenue expected to be above 25%.
Thanks to PolyPeptide’s strong performance in 2021 and in line with our dividend policy, we plan to propose to our shareholders at the Annual General Meeting in April a cash distribution of CHF 0.30 per share.
We sincerely thank our shareholders, as well as all other stakeholders for being part of this exciting year and for their trust in PolyPeptide moving forward.
Last, but not least, on behalf of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee we would like to thank all our colleagues for their continued passion, dedication, and hard work in 2021.