(new: Berenberg analyst in first and penultimate paragraph, share price)

FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX Broker) - A major order from the German government drove the shares of cloud provider Ionos to a record high on Tuesday. Analyst Usman Ghazi from the private bank Berenberg described the order as a lighthouse project in an initial reaction. This order demonstrates the great growth potential in this area as well as the company's good market position on the German market.

The shares of the United Internet subsidiary recently led the second-line index SDax with a plus of almost 15 percent to 24.40 euros. The shares of the MDax parent company rose by 2.6 percent. United Internet thus once again tested the upper edge of the downward trend that began at the end of January.

Ionos was awarded a major contract by the federal administration to set up a particularly strictly secured computer cloud solution. An upper limit of 410 million euros was specified in the tender for the framework agreement. The "private enterprise cloud", which has been certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), among others, is to be operated in the data centers of the Federal Information Technology Center (ITZBund).

By way of comparison, Ionos increased its turnover by a tenth to a good 1.4 billion euros in 2023 and achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 390 million euros, adjusted for one-off effects.

The special feature of the Ionos solution for the federal administration is that the platform is not connected to the public Internet. It uses a concept known as "air gapping". This makes it almost impossible for outsiders to access sensitive information. With air gapping, the computers are separated from the networks and the data traffic for software updates, for example, is then handled using portable storage media.

The implementation of the framework agreement will begin late in the second half of the year, explained Berenberg analyst Ghazi following a discussion with Ionos, although there are no minimum obligations. Meanwhile, the financial impact is not yet included in the company's forecasts for 2024 and 2025. However, the more significant impact will only become apparent in 2025, with the monetary extent only becoming clearer late in the current year or early in the coming year.

United Internet floated Ionos on the stock exchange in February 2023 at a price of EUR 18.50 per share. This was followed by a slide below the EUR 12 mark until October, before an upward trend began./mis/ngu/jha/