TAKKT AG: TAKKT AGM approves total dividend of 85 cents per share - New members elected to Supervisory Board

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): AGM/EGM

08.05.2012 / 13:06


TAKKT AGM approves total dividend of 85 cents per share - New members elected to Supervisory Board
First Sustainability Report in line with GRI standards presented

Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart, Germany, 08 May 2012. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of TAKKT AG today approved the payment of a total dividend of 85 cents per share. TAKKT Group achieved organic turnover growth of 7.3 percent in 2011. All earnings figures were improved again. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 20.3 percent to EUR 121 million, the EBITDA margin was in the upper third of TAKKT's own target corridor of 12 to 15 percent at 14.2 percent. In the current financial year, substantial impulses for growth are expected to come from business in North America. In addition, at the AGM the TAKKT Sustainability Report was presented to the public for the first time.

With the dividend payment of 85 cents per share approved by the shareholders, the total payout will be around EUR 56 million. This corresponds to a payout ratio of around 85 percent of the profit for the period, which totalled EUR 66 million for the financial year 2011. As TAKKT Group did not realise any larger acquisitions or investments in 2011, the positive earnings development resulted in an equity ratio of 54.7 (46.5 in the previous year) percent, thereby reaching the upper end of TAKKT's own target corridor of thirty to sixty percent. In addition to the ordinary dividend, a special payout was therefore proposed by Management in order to maintain the balance between sufficient financial scope to fund further growth and optimised cost of capital.

Even after the dividend payout and the acquisition of GPA, a B2B direct marketing company for display articles in the US, at the beginning of April, the Group's equity ratio will be above forty percent. 'TAKKT is healthy, soundly financed and has still got all options for further growth,' said CEO Dr Felix A. Zimmermann at the AGM.

The shareholders approved all items on the agenda - including the discharge of both the Management and the Supervisory Board for the financial year 2011 - by a large majority.

Since the terms of office for all members of the Supervisory Board ended after the 2012 AGM, new elections for the Supervisory Board were pending according to plan. Voted onto the Supervisory Board for the next five years were Prof. Dr Klaus Trützschler and Dr Florian Funck, members of the Management Board at Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Dr Johannes Haupt, Chairman of the Management Board of E.G.O. Blanc und Fischer & Co. GmbH and Chairman of the Management Board of the E.G.O. Group, Prof. Dr Jürgen Kluge, Chairman of the Management Board at Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Thomas Kniehl, Logistics employee at KAISER+KRAFT GmbH, and Prof. Dr Dres. h.c. Arnold Picot, Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Dr Zimmermann thanked Dr Dr Peter Bettermann and Stefan Meister, who resigned from the Supervisory Board with effect from 04 May 2011 and 31 August 2011 respectively, for their good cooperation.

German business and online sales drive growth
TAKKT Group increased its turnover by 6.3 percent to EUR 852.2 million in 2011. Adjusted for currency effects, turnover rose by 7.3 percent. The company benefited throughout most of the financial year from strong demand at TAKKT EUROPE. All earnings figures were improved substantially due to the above-average profitability of this division as well as overall better utilisation of the infrastructure and increased advertising efficiency. The growing percentage of turnover from high-margin private labels also helped to increase earnings.

While a marked slowdown in the economic development emerged towards the end of the year in Europe, the North American economy started an upward trend again. Nevertheless, TAKKT EUROPE - and especially business in Germany - was the main growth and earnings provider for the full-year 2011.

Across the Group, the online business was the main growth driver, the share of e-commerce turnover was above twenty percent for the first time. Very high growth rates were achieved in e-procurement solutions, i.e. electronic catalogues, which are adapted individually to the needs of key accounts and integrated into their IT systems. The demand for these solutions derives no longer only at large corporations, but also increasingly at large medium-sized companies with recurring order processes. Here, TAKKT can deliver a noticeable benefit by optimising the procurement processes and costs for the customers.

Sustainable management as an integral company objective
In 2011, TAKKT has made sustainability management a company objective. Under the name of SCORE (Sustainable Corporate Responsibility), TAKKT Group's entire activities in the area of sustainability are bundled and systemised. 'We consider Corporate Responsibility for sustainable business activities to be more than just a way of improving one's image. Sustainable business has to become an integral part of the entire value chain: From add-on to build-in,' explained Zimmermann. Therefore, we defined some focus areas in an extensive sustainability strategy, based on economical, ecological and social topics, which are relevant to TAKKT and all stakeholder groups. Zimmermann continued, 'This way, we want to systematically incorporate responsibility for reducing CO2 emissions or offsetting unavoidable emissions into our business model. Our objective is certainly ambitious - we aim to become a worldwide role model in terms of sustainability in our industry by 2016.'

At today's AGM, Zimmermann also presented the first TAKKT Sustainability Report in line with the international standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The GRI distinguishes between three application levels - A, B and C. The Sustainability Report has been awarded a rating of 'C+' in accordance with the GRI certification.

Joining the United Nation's Global Compact
At the beginning of 2012, TAKKT joined the Global Compact. This initiative, which was founded in 2000 by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations at the time, is a reaction to the emerging negative implications of globalisation. With this membership, TAKKT commits to report annually on adhering to and improving the ten principles of the Global Compact in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and fighting corruption. 'We at TAKKT already meet all requirements and regard them as a blueprint for corporate conduct in the future. Continuous development and improvement and the gradual expansion to our sphere of influence, the entire value-creation chain from suppliers to customers, is decisive.' explained Zimmermann.

For example, as concrete measures in the area of Corporate Responsibility (CR), the main German sites switched entirely to eco-power supply in 2011 and all of KAISER+KRAFT's, Topdeq's and gaerner's mailings and catalogues in Germany were distributed CO2 neutrally with GO Green. In the meantime, the paper advertising media are predominantly produced with certified paper from renewable sources. Furthermore, one of the biggest photovoltaic systems in whole Ohio was recently installed on top of the Hubert warehouse in the USA. Measuring more than 11,000 square metres, this solar roof is already up and running and will generate more than a million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year. This corresponds to slightly more than a quarter of the total amount of energy needed at Hubert every year.

For all TAKKT groups, sustainability targets will be defined in the future, and their achievement will be monitored through the existing planning and controlling tools. This integrates CR as a decision criterion within all business processes.

For TAKKT, CR does not only refer to the environment, but also to the way of cooperating with employees, customers and suppliers. TAKKT's corporate values, which were first set out in writing in 2011, provide orientation and form the basis both for internal teamwork as well as collaboration with external business partners.

Outlook: A good start for TAKKT AMERICA
At the beginning of 2012, the economic slowdown in Europe continued, which was reflected by a decline in TAKKT EUROPE's turnover in the first quarter. In contrast, TAKKT AMERICA experienced an upward trend in business due to economic growth in North America. In total, TAKKT Group recorded consolidated turnover of EUR 222.8 million (213.5 million) in the first quarter, an increase of 4.4 percent. TAKKT therefore benefited from its regional diversification once again. Adjusted for currency effects, turnover grew by 2.2 percent. The TAKKT Management Board still expects organic turnover growth of around two percent for the full-year. Furthermore, the foundation for additional growth has been laid by acquiring GPA, which will be included into the TAKKT Group as of the second quarter of 2012 and has not yet been recognised in the growth forecast.

Short profile of TAKKT AG
TAKKT is the leading B2B direct marketing specialist for business equipment in Europe and North America. The Group is represented with its brands in more than 25 countries. The product range of the TAKKT subsidiaries comprises some 175,000 products for the areas of business and warehouse equipment, classic and design-oriented office furniture and accessories, and supplies for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.

TAKKT Group employs some 1,900 staff, has around three million customers worldwide and distributes more than 45 million catalogues and mailings per year.

TAKKT AG is listed on the SDAX and was admitted to Deutsche Boerse's Prime Standard on 01 January 2003.

Dr Felix A. Zimmermann, CEO Tel. +49 711 3465-8201
Dr Claude Tomaszewski, CFO Tel. +49 711 3465-8207

Email: investor@takkt.de

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