TAKKT benefits from the good economic environment in the US

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): 9-month figures

30.10.2014 / 07:30

TAKKT benefits from the good economic environment in the US

- Organic consolidated turnover increased by 5.4 percent in first nine months of 2014 (against 9M/2013); increase of 1.8 percent in reported consolidated turnover

- Gross profit margin sinks to 42.8 (43.7) percent, adjusted for the contribution of Topdeq companies at 42.9 (43.5) percent

- EBITDA margin stable at 14.5 (14.5) percent

- Earnings per share up at EUR 0.78 (0.74) against previous year

Stuttgart, Germany, October 30, 2014. TAKKT was able to continue along the growth path of the first half of 2014 in the third quarter. Driven by stronger economic momentum, TAKKT's North American business developed better than it did in Europe, where the economic indicators weakened in the course of the year. Business developments were satisfactory in the core market of Germany, the growth drivers were primarily in Southern and Eastern Europe.

In the first nine months of 2014, TAKKT was able to increase consolidated turnover organically (i.e. adjusted for currency effects and for the phase-out of the Topdeq companies) by 5.4 percent against the previous year's period. Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG, had the following to say about the figures: "Despite the worsening economic situation in Europe, we were once again able to achieve a very solid growth in the third quarter. Business developments in North America were particularly pleasing, driven noticeably by increasing demand from the public sector."

The reported consolidated turnover in the first nine months of 2014 increased by 1.8 percent against the previous year's period to EUR 726.1 (713.4) million. The difference between organic and reported turnover was due in equal measure to the result of negative currency effects and also the planned dissolution of the Topdeq companies that are not included in the organic turnover. TAKKT grew organically by 7.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014. The reported consolidated turnover climbed by 4.4 percent to EUR 254.8 (243.9) million.

In the first nine months of 2014, the TAKKT Group's gross profit margin was at a lower level than in the previous year's period at 42.8 (43.7) percent. Adjusted for the contributions of the Topdeq companies, it would have been 42.9 (43.5) percent in the reporting period. The key indicator for the operational profitability of the TAKKT Group, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), came to EUR 105.2 (103.3) million in the first nine months of 2014. The EBITDA margin remained stable at 14.5 (14.5) 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) remained at its usual high level of EUR 75.0 (71.8) million in the period under review, while the cash flow margin amounted to 10.3 (10.1) percent.

TAKKT EUROPE: solid growth, Topdeq discontinuation completed
The TAKKT EUROPE division increased its organic turnover by 3.6 percent against the previous year's period, while reported turnover decreased slightly by 0.2 percent to EUR 384.7 (385.5) million due to the discontinuation of Topdeq operations on September 1. Organic turnover for this division increased by 4.8 percent in the third quarter of 2014. This was much stronger growth than in the previous quarter. On an individual level, the Business Equipment Group (BEG) grew organically in the low single-digit percentage range in the first nine months. The Packaging Solutions Group (PSG) achieved a slightly higher increase in turnover, adjusted for currency effects, than the BEG. The division's EBITDA rose to EUR 74.1 (71.8) million, and the EBITDA margin increased to 19.3 (18.6). The margin of the prior year's period was adversely affected by losses at the Topdeq companies.

TAKKT AMERICA: strong turnover increase, business with public sector recovers
The TAKKT AMERICA division grew organically by 7.3 percent in the first nine months of 2014, benefiting from the continued positive economic developments in the USA. The reported turnover climbed by 4.1 percent to EUR 341.6 (328.1) million. In the third quarter, organic turnover growth at TAKKT AMERICA came to 9.4 percent, putting it above the previous quarter's high value. On an individual level, the Specialties Group (SPG) developed very well in the first nine months of 2014, with turnover growth in the low double-digit percentage range - GPA in particular, which specializes in display items, once more reported above-average growth. The Office Equipment Group (OEG) benefited from improved demand in the public sector, and organic turnover increased in the high single-digit percentage range. The Plant Equipment Group (PEG) was able to continue on the upward trend of the first half-year and reported slightly higher turnover in the third quarter than in the previous year's period, but its turnover for the full nine-month period was nevertheless still declining slightly. EBITDA at TAKKT AMERICA rose to EUR 39.0 (37.8) million. The corresponding EBITDA margin remained stable at 11.4 (11.5) percent. When comparing figures against the previous year's period, it should be noted that the result for the first nine months of 2013 was adversely affected by the increase in the variable purchase price for the acquisition of GPA amounting to EUR 1.3 million.

Outlook for the 2014 financial year confirmed
The PMI values for the eurozone were above the threshold of 50 points in the first nine months of 2014, which indicates a positive development in order intake, but were recently trending downward. Leading economic institutes also revised their GDP growth forecasts for the TAKKT Group's European target markets. The economic situation in Europe developed slightly worse in the reporting period than expected by the Management Board at the beginning of the year. The economic situation in North America remained positive, however, and was even better than expected at the beginning of the year. Claude Tomaszewski, CFO of the TAKKT Group, specified the outlook for the current financial year: "Business in North America continues to develop well, and business in Europe remains stable. Therefore, we expect organic turnover growth in the upper range of the guidance of between three and five percent which was given earlier in the year and an EBITDA margin in the mid-range of the target corridor of 12 to 15 percent for 2014."

Supervisory Board is complete again
Effective October 13, 2014, Dr Dorothee Ritz, Senior Director Strategic Projects, Microsoft International, Munich, was appointed Member of the Supervisory Board at TAKKT AG by the Stuttgart local court. She succeeds Prof Dr Klaus Trützschler, who stepped down from his post on June 30, 2014. At the Supervisory Board meeting held on September 15, 2014, Dr Johannes Haupt was elected Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

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 3:00 p.m. (CET) on October 30, 2014. To take part, please dial the following number: +49 69 201 744 220 (access code: 779134#).

Financial calendar
TAKKT will present the preliminary figures for the financial year 2014 on February 19, 2015.

IFRS figures for TAKKT Group for the first nine months of 2014:
(in EUR million)

   Change in %
    Change in %
TAKKT Group turnover 254.8 243.9 4.4 726.1 713.4 1.8
Organic growth     7.2     5.4
TAKKT EUROPE 122.2 122.2 0.1 384.7 385.5 -0.2
TAKKT AMERICA 132.6 121.8 8.8 341.6 328.1 4.1
EBITDA 36.2 36.0 0.6 105.2 103.3 1.9
EBITDA margin (%) 14.2 14.8   14.5 14.5  
EBIT 29.6 29.4 0.7 85.6 83.4 2.6
EBIT margin (%) 11.6 12.1   11.8 11.7  
Profit before tax 26.3 25.9 1.4 76.6 73.4 4.3
Pre-tax profit margin (%) 10.3 10.6   10.5 10.3  
TAKKT cash flow 24.4 24.1 1.2 75.0 71.8 4.5
TAKKT cash flow margin (%) 9.6 9.9   10.3 10.1  

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, office furniture, transport packaging, display articles, supplies for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.

The TAKKT Group has approximately 2,500 employees and almost 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

30.10.2014 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

294024  30.10.2014

Your Contact

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