Corona / Covid-19 Pandemic Leading to Massive Uptick in Demand for Computing Capacity

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  • Use of High-Performance Computing accelerates identifying new therapeutic substances
  • Transformation in global work habits are pushing existing data infrastructure to its limits
  • Northern Data Preparing to expand the Texas site from 1 to 3.6 gigawatts
  • Development of new locations in Canada and Scandinavia

Frankfurt am Main – March 30, 2020 – Northern Data AG (XETRA: NB2, ISIN: DE000A0SMU87), one of the world’s largest providers of high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, today reports that the Corona Virus / COVID-19 –Pandemic is resulting in a massive increase in computing capacity demand. In order to meet the increased demand, the company has instigated an acceleration of the expansion of capacities at its locations and in addition is looking to develop further locations.
Immediate demand for computing power in the wake of the pandemic is being driven by two immediate and game changing developments:
Firstly, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions worldwide are using HPC systems on a large scale for the first time in order to carry out calculations and simulations in the field of bioinformatics and epidemiology in the shortest possible time, which with conventional computer systems can take several months or even years. This gives research teams the opportunity to accelerate the development of novel drugs that can be used against the coronavirus in the short term. Northern Data management expects this trend to continue after the end of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Secondly working conditions worldwide have shifted drastically online in a matter of weeks through the course of the COVID 19 pandemic, this has led to a massive increase in demand for computing capacity. Due to the current restrictions, many companies in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia are forced to operate with an almost 100% home office ratio. The associated use of digital applications such as video conferencing tools is causing an explosion in demand for data capacities. Also, this trend will continue beyond the corona crisis.
Northern Data will start operating its newest HPC facility in the United States in the coming days. The world’s largest HPC data center is being built in Texas on an area of ​​more than 100 acres, which corresponds to the size of around 57 soccer fields. The company originally intended to achieve a total capacity of one gigawatt at the US location by the end of the year. Due to the changed and overwhelming demand situation, plans are now beginning to seamlessly expand the location to up to 3.6 gigawatts.
The company is also accelerating the development of additional locations for additional large-scale HPC facilities in Canada and Scandinavia.
“We are facing overwhelming demand,” said Aroosh Thillainathan, CEO of Northern Data AG. “In some areas we see a thirty times higher market demand than we can build up capacities by the end of the year. We now benefit from our many years of experience in large-scale high-performance computing in order to further accelerate ongoing scaling.”
Northern Data published its forecast for 2020 on March 16. Based on current expectations and in line with contracts already signed, the Management Board expects revenues of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million in the course of 2020. Accordingly, the Management Board expects EBITDA of between EUR 45 million and EUR 60 million. This guidance is based only on a partial utilization of initially 30% of the 1GW expansion stage, based on already concluded contracts for the provision of HPC solutions with global customers. The forecast will be adjusted in due course as new customer acquisition progresses.

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This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for any securities of Northern Data AG and does not constitute a prospectus of Northern Data AG. The information contained in this press release is not intended to form the basis of any financial, legal, tax or other business decision. Investment or other decisions should not be made solely on the basis of this press release. As with all business and investment matters, please consult qualified professional advice. This release and the information contained herein are not for distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States of America, Canada, Australia or Japan.

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