Columbus Global

Columbus Q1 2023: Higher efficiency boosts operating profit by 33%


Columbus experienced good momentum in the first quarter of the year. Revenue increased by 7% (12% in local currencies) and operating profit increased by 33% in Q1 2023. The optimization of the delivery organization is now really taking effect with a boost in efficiency to 67% against 62% in Q1 2022.

Our unwavering focus on improving efficiency, improved project quality and cross sales is now reflected in the significantly improved EBITDA margin of 10%. We delivered a solid result in Q1 2023, and we have a positive view of the development with a strong pipeline and order backlog”. Says CEO & President, Søren Krogh Knudsen  

Strengthened business foundation

In recent years, Columbus has invested a lot of resources in streamlining the organization which has ensured a higher project quality and optimization of the delivery model. Quarter after quarter, we have delivered organic revenue growth and in Q1 2023, we have also lifted earnings significantly.

With the strengthened business foundation, we are now ready to grow through acquisitions. Therefore, it was also a great pleasure that we could announce the acquisition of the Danish IT security company, ICY Security, in mid-April 2023. Advisory within IT security has long been sought after by our customers, and with the acquisition we have gained an expanded advisory opportunity in a strategic very important area.  

Positive development in earnings in Q1 2023

Revenue increased by 7% in Q1 2023 to DKK 391m. The development covers a growth of 12% in local currencies, where especially the decline in Swedish and Norwegian currency has negatively affected revenue. However, the underlying activity has more than lived up to our expectations with many new customers and a positive effect of the implemented price increases.

In Q1 2023, operating profit (EBITDA) increased to DKK 39m, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 10%. Thereby, we reached an important milestone, and we continue to see good opportunities to improve earnings through further efficiency improvements. In Q1 2023, efficiency was lifted by 5 percentage points to 67% up from 62% in Q1 2022.

Progress across the business

Columbus’ service revenue continues to drive growth with a revenue share of 96% in Q1 2023, and the progress was delivered across the business. At country level, Denmark was leading the progress with a revenue increase of 23% to DKK 80m, but the rest of the Nordic region as well as the UK and US also showed progress. The strategic business areas: Digital Commerce, Data & Analytics and Customer Experience & Engagement all delivered growth rates above 25%.

See the revenue split on page 5 in the attached quarterly report for Q1 2023

Outlook for 2023 maintained

Based on the development in Q1 2023 and our strong pipeline and order backlog, we maintain our expectations for 2023 with:

  • Revenue of DKK 1,550m – 1,600m, corresponding to an organic growth of 8-12% (12-15% in local currencies)
  • EBITDA of DKK 119m – 139m, corresponding to an EBITDA margin of 7.4% - 9.0%

Key figures for Q1 2023


Q1 2023

Q1 2022













+2 pct point




+5 pct point

Avg. Number of full-time employees





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New analysis of Columbus’ financial result for Q2 2023 published by Aktieinfo31.8.2023 12:16:10 CEST | Pressemeddelelse

The analysis concludes, among other things, that: Columbus delivers what is promised. Growth adjusted for acquisition and currency was achieved with 16% in the second quarter (19% adjusted for currency and including acquisitions) and 14% in the first half of the year. In the second quarter, Columbus managed to invoice 70% of the consultants' hours. This testifies increased efficiency, which is one of the goals of the Focus23 strategy. With the execution of the Focus23 strategy, Columbus appears stringent and focused on servicing the core customer group. The analysis can we found here (in Danish):

New analysis of Columbus’ financial result for Q1 2023 published by Aktieinfo15.6.2023 13:56:02 CEST | Pressemeddelelse

The analysis concludes, among other things, that: “Columbus had a strong start to the year with organic growth of 12%. The greatest growth was achieved in the Danish and UK markets. Currency headwinds due to declines in the value of NOK and SEK in particular mean that the growth in reported currencies ends at 7.3%. Columbus has now delivered organic growth in the last eight quarters." “With the expectation of meeting the goals of the Focus23 strategic plan, we look forward all the more to later in the year when the management unveils a new strategic plan covering 2024 to 2026.” The analysis can we found here (in Danish):

New analysis of Columbus’ financial result for 2022 published by Aktieinfo13.4.2023 15:34:39 CEST | Press release

The analysis concludes, among other things, that “The main goal for the Focus23 strategy, which was launched nearly 3 years ago, is to gradually achieve profitable organic growth of approx. 10%. We expect the revenue target to be met this year, where earnings calculated on EBITDA are also expected to improve. Columbus is thus well on the way to living up to its own goals. Management expects to launch a new strategic plan for the period 2024-26 in the fourth quarter of the year. Now the company needs to build on the foundation to increase revenue and earnings in the coming years”. The analysis can we found here (in Danish):

Columbus acquires ICY Security ApS – Expands business to meet customer demand for cyber security11.4.2023 10:12:23 CEST | Press release

Columbus has acquired the Danish cyber security company ICY Security ApS, with the aim to create a more complete digital offering for the customers: “ICY Security focuses on Identity & Access Management, which is also a focus point for many of Columbus’ customers that are looking to operationalize their cyber security strategy,” says Søren Krogh Knudsen, CEO & President at Columbus.

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