CEO-Letter: #researchneverstops cannot be stopped by cyber-attacks


Dear Friends of Evotec,

We detected a cyber-attack on 6 April. I write you today from my temporary E-Mail, which might appear as a sign that we are “back”, but in fact we have never been “gone”. 

Cyber-attacks are malicious acts, that we all have to accept as a new reality in business life. However, our mission research never stops (#ResearchNeverStops), also not due to cyber-attacks! 

Please allow me to share with you what that means for us.  

Protection of our mission and prioritisation of business-critical processes  

For the sake of prudence, we took all our systems pro-actively offline and restricted all processes to ensure the highest possible data integrity and to protect business critical processes. In parallel, we prioritised necessary steps for a structured and safe recovery. Just to give you a dimension here, this means conducting forensic checks on more than 6,000 computers and machines  which have either gone back or will only go back online when they are 100% safe. I am proud to report that we have already been successful in many areas and that rapid further progress is in the making. Still, some challenges will need to be resolved while we continue to grow our business in parallel.  

On that note, we like to acknowledge great support from our business partners, despite delays they are facing in this interim period. Partner retention has been north of 90% over the years and we can already say that our partners also will stick with us when it counts these days – demonstrating the value of true collaboration, as we are all aware that we are together in this.

Building an even more agile and secure company and offering, benefiting the “Shared R&D Economy” 

The rapid improvements and partial come back we made would not have been possible without the tremendous effort of our people. More manual processes bind capacity and require strict prioritisation to handle the workload. It is simply amazing to see, how creative our people have been in changing processes to run experiments decentralised and offline in only a very few days. - And at the same time, we learn probably faster than ever how the whole ecosystem can be made not only better but also more secure.

Still, data integrity has priority over speed in the coming days and maybe for some weeks. We are preparing kind of a “catch-up-mode" as soon as we are fully back online. Where needed and possible, we may work in shift systems – which is not new to us, as this was the basis for being fully operational and successful throughout the Covid pandemic. 

Nevertheless, it is already clear today that for these learnings many things will help us to even further accelerate our key role in building the centre of the Safe & Shared Economy platform in R&D.

Let us stay in close contact

Quarterly phasing of our business might not have the usual pattern, especially in Q2. However, we are confident that our measures lead to a catch-up effect in the second half of the year. We therefore keep our guidance for our operational business unchanged, as provided on 28 March 2023. We expect revenues to come in in the range of € 820 – 840 m (€ 835 – 855 m at constant fx-rates) and adj. EBITDA in the range of € 115 – 130 m (€ 125 – 140 m at constant fx-rates). 

One of the consequences of prudent capacity management is that the publication of our annual report and our sustainability report, originally planned for 25 April 2023 – will be postponed to most likely May 11th. We hope for your understanding. Numbers were anyways already released on 28 March and will not change. 

In May, we will provide an update on the operational development in Q1, but please accept that this time we will not publish financial metrics to the extent you are used to. The date for our virtual Capital Markets Day remains the 5 June 2023 and we will provide additional colour then. Also, our AGM remains scheduled for 20 June. 

Let me finish by thanking you for your understanding & support. Please feel free to reach out in case of further questions directly to me under (temporary) or to Volker and his team under (temporary). We will evolve into an even stronger organisation from here and look forward to continuing the inspiring dialogue with you on the journey where #ResearchNeverStops