TAKKT remains on growth course in first half of 2014

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results

31.07.2014 / 07:29

TAKKT remains on growth course in first half of 2014

- Organic consolidated turnover up by 4.4 percent in first half of 2014 (relative to H1/2013), reported consolidated turnover up by 0.4 percent
Gross profit margin decreased to 43.2 (44.0) percent, adjusted for contribution of Topdeq companies at 43.4 (43.8) percent
EBITDA margin climbed to 14.6 (14.3) percent
Earnings per share at EUR 0.51 (0.48)

Stuttgart, Germany, July 31, 2014. TAKKT continued to grow in the first half of 2014. At the same time, the economic situation in the core markets of North America and Europe had a significant impact on business development. The period of strong growth in the first quarter of 2014 was followed by a slowdown in the second quarter, especially in Europe. North America on the other hand developed very well. In organic terms, i.e., adjusted for currency and acquisition effects, consolidated turnover increased by 4.4 percent. "The first half of 2014 developed according to our expectations," said Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG. "Our portfolio approach has paid off. The slowdown of growth in Europe can be overcompensated by a good development in North America. TAKKT remains on a growth path."

Overall, TAKKT was able to increase its reported consolidated turnover in the first half of 2014 by 0.4 percent to EUR 471.3 (469.5) million. The difference between organic and reported consolidated turnover was primarily the result of currency effects as well as the planned dissolution of the Topdeq companies, which are not included in organic turnover. In the second quarter of 2014, TAKKT grew organically by 4.0 percent, while the reported figures revealed a slight drop of 0.4 percent in consolidated turnover to EUR 232.7 (233.6) million.

At 43.2 (44.0) percent, the gross profit margin in the first half of 2014 was lower than in the previous year. Adjusted for the contribution of the Topdeq companies, it would have been 43.4 percent during the reporting period following 43.8 percent in the first half of 2013. The TAKKT Group's most important earnings figure - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) - amounted to EUR 69.0 (67.3) million in the first half of 2014, while the EBITDA margin increased to 14.6 (14.3) percent. The discontinuation of operations of the Topdeq companies had little material impact on the Group's profitability in the first half of 2014. 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 50.6 (47.7) million in the first half of 2014.

TAKKT EUROPE: PSG performs well
The TAKKT EUROPE division increased its organic turnover (adjusted for currency effects and turnover of the Topdeq companies) in the first half of 2014 by 3.1 percent over the previous year's period. Reported turnover decreased by 0.4 percent to EUR 262.4 (263.3) million. Following the period of strong organic growth in the first quarter of 2014 (6.1 percent), stable organic turnover development was reported in the second quarter compared with the previous year's period (minus 0.1 percent). It should be noted that the Easter holidays in 2014 were in the second quarter, whereas in the previous year, they were at the end of the first quarter. With regard to the groups within the division, in the first half of the year the Packaging Solutions Group (PSG) had turnover growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range, which was higher than that of the Business Equipment Group (BEG) in the lower single-digit percentage range. In the PSG, development in the domestic, high-turnover market of Germany was particularly positive. In the course of gradually closing down the Topdeq operations, TAKKT was able to sell Topdeq's trademark rights and address records to an interested party with effect on September 1, 2014. At EUR 52.1 (51.7) million, the division's EBITDA remained stable, with an EBITDA margin of 19.8 (19.6) percent.

TAKKT AMERICA: Exceptional development of SPG
The TAKKT AMERICA division grew organically by 6.1 percent in the first half of 2014. Translated into the reporting currency of euros, the division's turnover increased by 1.3 percent to EUR 209.0 (206.3) million. Following organic growth of 3.3 percent in the first quarter, organic turnover at TAKKT AMERICA increased by 8.8 percent in the second quarter. With an increase in organic turnover in the double-digit percentage range in the first half of the year, the Specialties Group (SPG) performed exceedingly well within the division. In particular, the Group company GPA, which specializes in display items, still grew at an above-average rate. The Office Equipment Group (OEG) also benefited from the again rising demand of the public sector with an organic growth rate in the mid-single-digit percentage range. In contrast, the Plant Equipment Group (PEG) did not yet achieve a satisfactory result with an organic decrease in turnover in US dollars in the mid-single-digit percentage range. However, there was a clear upward trend over the course of the second quarter. The division's EBITDA increased to EUR 22.2 (19.9) million, while the EBITDA margin rose to 10.6 (9.6) percent. It should be noted that the result in the first half of 2013 was lower by EUR 1.3 million due to adjustment of the variable purchase price for the GPA company.

Outlook: Forecast scenario for 2014 confirmed
Despite slightly lower PMI values in the last two months, particularly in the eurozone, the economic conditions in the first half of 2014 generally reflected the Management Board's expectations. TAKKT CFO Claude Tomaszewski provides an outlook for the current financial year: "For 2014, we continue to expect organic turnover growth of three to five percent and an EBITDA margin in the mid-range of our self-imposed corridor of 12 to 15 percent. We therefore confirm our main scenario from the 2013 annual report." In this scenario, TAKKT assumes better GDP growth rates compared with the previous year and a Purchasing Managers' Index in the target markets of well above the threshold of 50 points.

Conference call
We invite you to address your questions to the Management Board personally. We will be hosting a conference call for this purpose at 3:00 p.m. (CEST) on July 31, 2014. To participate, please dial the following number: +49 69 201 744 220 (access code: 779134#).

Financial calendar
The nine-month figures for the 2014 financial year will be published on October 30, 2014.

IFRS Figures for the TAKKT Group to the end of H1 2014:
(in EUR million)


   Change in %
   Change in %
TAKKT Group turnover 232.7 233.6 −0.4 471.3 469.5 0.4
Organic growth     4.0     4.4
TAKKT EUROPE 123.5 127.9 −3.5 262.4 263.3 −0.4
TAKKT AMERICA 109.2 105.7 3.4 209.0 206.3 1.3
EBITDA 31.6 30.4 4.0 69.0 67.3 2.6
EBITDA margin (%) 13.6 13.0   14.6 14.3  
EBIT 25.1 23.7 5.8 56.0 54.0 3.7
EBIT margin (%) 10.8 10.1   11.9 11.5  
Profit before tax 22.5 20.4 10.3 50.3 47.5 5.9
Pre-tax profit margin (%) 9.7 8.7   10.7 10.1  
TAKKT cash flow 24.1 21.7 11.1 50.6 47.7 6.1
TAKKT cash flow margin (%) 10.4 9.3   10.7 10.2  

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 in the areas of plant and warehouse equipment, office furniture, transport packaging, display articles, and supplies for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.

The TAKKT Group has some 2,500 employees and nearly three million customers worldwide. TAKKT AG is listed on the SDAX and since January 1, 2003 in the Prime Standard of the German stock exchange.

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

Email: investor@takkt.de

31.07.2014 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de

280091  31.07.2014

Your Contact

Michael Loch
Michael Loch
Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +49 711 3465-8222