TAKKT reports turnover and earnings growth in the first quarter of 2014

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): Interim Report

29.04.2014 / 07:29

TAKKT reports turnover and earnings growth in the first quarter of 2014

  • Rise in consolidated turnover of 1.1 percent (relative to Q1/2013), organic increase in turnover of 4.9 percent
  • Gross profit margin of 43.9 (Q1/2013: 44.4) percent
  • Group's EBITDA margin climbs slightly to 15.7 (15.6) percent
  • Earnings per share rise to EUR 0.28 (0.27)
  • Discontinuation of the Topdeq business proceeding according to plan
  • Constant dividend proposal amounting to EUR 0.32 per share

Stuttgart, Germany, April 29, 2014. TAKKT got off to a good start in 2014. The economic recovery continued in Europe. The overall environment was positive in North America as well, although the harsh winter restrained growth at times. Under these conditions, the TAKKT Group was able to organically increase its turnover by 4.9 percent over the previous year's period. The organic turnover development has been adjusted for effects arising from currency changes and the phase-out of the Topdeq group. In the reporting currency of euros, TAKKT achieved turnover growth of 1.1 percent. The increase in demand signaled by positive early indicators as early as mid-2013 was reflected in order intake during the reporting period.

The gross profit margin was 43.9 (44.4) percent. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved to EUR 37.4 (36.9) million. This corresponds to an improved EBITDA margin of 15.7 (15.6) percent. The TAKKT cash flow - defined as the result for the period plus depreciation and amortization, impairment of non-current assets and deferred taxes affecting profit and loss - amounted to EUR 26.5 (26.0) million in the first quarter. At the division level, TAKKT EUROPE organically performed somewhat better than TAKKT AMERICA. Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG, commented: "The positive start to the 2014 financial year is encouraging. In the first quarter, we managed to achieve decent organic turnover growth at the Group level and slightly improved our profitability. The main drivers were higher order numbers and a rise in average order values for both divisions of the TAKKT Group."

TAKKT EUROPE: Economic environment supports positive performance
In the first quarter, the TAKKT EUROPE division organically increased its turnover by 6.1 percent from the previous year's period. Turnover growth in the reporting currency of euros was 2.6 percent. Overall, TAKKT EUROPE sold EUR 138.9 (135.4) million worth of goods in the first quarter. Within the division, both groups developed positively. The Packaging Solutions Group (PSG) achieved turnover growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range. The Business Equipment Group (BEG) benefited particularly from the improved economic environment in Europe and achieved a higher organic growth rate than the PSG in the first quarter. The phase-out of the Topdeq division is proceeding according to plan and did not significantly impact the Group's profitability in the reporting period. Turnover of Topdeq declined significantly as expected. TAKKT EUROPE's EBITDA amounted to EUR 28.5 (26.6) million, while the EBITDA margin improved to 20.6 (19.6) percent due to a higher advertising efficiency and a higher level of infrastructure utilization.

TAKKT AMERICA: Solid turnover growth in local currency
The TAKKT AMERICA division experienced a slight decrease in turnover of 0.8 percent in the first three months of 2014. Translated into the reporting currency of euros, the division's turnover was subject to negative exchange rate effects as a result of the weak US dollar. Organic turnover grew by 3.3 percent. Total quarterly turnover in the division was EUR 99.8 (100.6) million. Significant differences in performance were evident in the individual groups. The Specialties Group (SPG) recorded organic turnover growth in the high single-digit percentage range. After a significant drop in turnover in the previous year, the Office Equipment Group (OEG) achieved stable organic turnover growth from January to March 2014 in comparison to the first quarter of 2013 and showed clear signs of a recovery towards the end of the quarter. The performance of the Plant Equipment Group (PEG) was again unsatisfactory in the reporting period and showed a fall in organic turnover in the mid-single-digit percentage range. The intense competitive environment continues to take its toll on the group. EBITDA of EUR 11.5 (12.6) million was lower than in the previous year. The EBITDA margin also fell to 11.5 (12.5) percent. The reasons for this were the negative impact on earnings of lower turnover at PEG and higher expenses necessary to support the strong growth of GPA.

Outlook for 2014: Forecast confirmed
TAKKT's business is dependent on the economic situation and is particularly influenced by cycles in the USA and, above all, Europe. Following the first quarter of 2014, TAKKT CFO Claude Tomaszewski has confirmed the most likely forecast scenario from the 2013 annual report: "Assuming that GDP growth rates improve and PMI values are well above 50 points, TAKKT continues to forecast organic turnover growth between three and five percent in 2014 and expects an EBITDA margin in the middle of its self-imposed target range of 12 to 15 percent."

Conference call
We invite you to directly address the Management Board with your questions. We will be hosting a conference call for this purpose at 15:00 (CEST) on April 29, 2014. To take part, please dial the following number: +49 69 201744-220 (access code: 779134#).

Financial calendar
The figures for the first half of 2014 will be published on July 31, 2013.
The Shareholders' Meeting will be held at the Forum Ludwigsburg on May 06, 2014.

IFRS figures for the TAKKT Group to the end of Q1 2014:
(in EUR million)

Q1 2014
Q1 2013 Change in %
TAKKT Group turnover 238.6 235.9 1.1
Organic growth     4.9
TAKKT EUROPE 138.9 135.4 2.6
TAKKT AMERICA 99.8 100.6 -0.8
EBITDA 37.4 36.9 1.4
EBITDA margin (%) 15.7 15.6  
EBIT 30.9 30.3 2.0
EBIT margin (%) 13.0 12.8  
Profit before tax 27.8 27.1 2.9
Pre-tax profit margin (%) 11.7 11.5  
TAKKT cash flow 26.5 26.0 2.1
TAKKT cash flow margin (%) 11.1 11.0  

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 more than 200,000 products for the areas of plant and warehouse equipment, classic and design-oriented office furniture and accessories, transport packaging, display articles, supplies for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.

The TAKKT Group has over 2,500 employees and more than three million customers worldwide. TAKKT AG is listed on the SDAX and has been in the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard since January 1, 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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