The substantial growth in revenue recorded over the past few years was once again continued into 2021. Thanks to more than 24% growth in revenue, Unica recorded a total revenue for 2021 of € 663 million, as compared with € 539 million for the financial year 2020. The large-scale acquisitions by Unica over the past eighteen months resulted in a huge contribution from acquired growth to the increase in revenue in 2021. The solid organic growth achieved in 2021 was comparable to that of previous financial years.
Although revenue growth is an essential catalyst, the strategic focus at Unica remains further improving the rate of return. In 2021, EBITDA grew to € 56 million (2020: € 41 million), an increase of more than 36%. The improved return was the consequence of a combination of economies of scale due to revenue growth, improved management of operating costs and the result from better margins. The growth in return scored by Unica in 2021 is in line with the trend from the past few years, in which the growth percentage for 2020 represented a minor interruption to the trend, as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis.
The EBITDA margin rose to 8.5%, as compared with 7.7% in 2020. In 2016, Unica recorded a return of € 21 million on revenue of € 356 million, representing a margin at the time of 5.8%. With an increase of 172%, as compared with 2016, the rate of return rose almost twice as fast as revenue, which itself rose by 88%, as compared with five years ago. The margin increase to more than 8% places Unica in an ever healthier return position, appropriate for a company of our size.