TAKKT: 2014 financial year successfully concluded

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): Final Results

2015-03-20 / 10:30

P R E S S   R E L E A S E

TAKKT: 2014 financial year successfully concluded

  • Consolidated turnover rose by 2.9 percent to EUR 980.4 (previous year: 952.5) million; organic turnover increase of 5.5 percent
  • EBITDA margin of 14.0 (12.9) percent above previous-year level and in upper range of target corridor of 12 to 15 percent
  • TAKKT cash flow reaches EUR 98.7 (83.4) million
  • Dividend of EUR 0.32 per share proposed
  • Discontinuation of Topdeq business successfully concluded
  • Organic increase in turnover of three to five percent and higher operating profitability expected for the 2015 financial year

Stuttgart, Germany, March 20, 2015. With different growth dynamics in the core markets of Europe and North America, TAKKT was able to increase consolidated turnover organically in the 2014 financial year (i.e., adjusted for currency effects and the phase-out process of the Topdeq companies) by 5.5 percent over the previous year. Reported consolidated turnover rose by 2.9 percent to EUR 980.4 million (previous year: 952.5). The development of turnover could even slightly exceed the expected organic increase of three to five percent stated in the previous year's forecast report. "We can look back on a successful financial year and report positive figures", concluded Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG. "In Europe, we have done well during the course of the year despite the slowing economic momentum. The business in North America exceeded our expectations. Our portfolio concept proved its worth once again in the 2014 financial year."

EBITDA margin in upper range of target corridor
With a margin of 14.0 (12.9) percent, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), which is the key performance indicator of TAKKT Groupʼs operational profitability, rose to EUR 137.3 (122.8) million. Compared to the previous year, it is important to mention that 2013 was adversely affected by one-off costs of around EUR twelve million. In 2014, earnings were negatively impacted by transaction costs of EUR 1.3 million in connection with the contractually agreed sale of the Plant Equipment Group (PEG) at the end of the year. In the past financial year, turnover and earnings for the Group were slightly above the forecast announced at the beginning of 2014, which assumed organic growth of three to five percent and an EBITDA margin in the middle of the target corridor of 12 to 15 percent.

Significant increase in TAKKT cash flow
The profit for the period increased by a total of 25.1 percent to EUR 65.7 (52.5) million. Earnings per share increased accordingly to EUR 1.00 (0.80). TAKKT's cash flow (the profit for the period plus depreciation and amortization, impairment of non-current assets and deferred taxes affecting profit and loss) amounted to EUR 98.7 (83.4) million. This corresponds to a cash flow margin of 10.1 (8.8) percent and a TAKKT cash flow per share of EUR 1.50 (1.27).

CFO Claude Tomaszewski explains: "The cash flow of the TAKKT Groupʼs business remained at its usual high level in the year under review. As in the previous year, the Management Board and Supervisory Board will jointly propose to the Shareholders' Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.32 per share be paid out." Even after the payout, TAKKT will continue to have sufficient financial flexibility to take advantage of acquisition opportunities at any time. The Group recently announced the acquisition of the Post-Up Stand group of companies in the US, which will be part of the Specialties Group (SPG) of TAKKT AMERICA in the future.

TAKKT EUROPE: Good performance in both divisions
Organic turnover of the TAKKT EUROPE segment increased in the year under review by 3.3 percent. Taking into consideration the planned discontinuation of the Topdeq business, the reported turnover for the segment however decreased by 1.1 percent to EUR 519.8 (525.4) million. The segmentʼs share of consolidated turnover was 53.0 (55.1) percent.

Both divisions within the segment contributed to organic turnover. The Business Equipment Group (BEG) realized an increase in turnover in the low single-digit percentage range, which is due to the growth in virtually all brands and regions, including the home market of Germany. In contrast, the countries of Western Europe fell below expectations. The development in Eastern and Southern Europe was particularly positive. The Packaging Solutions Group (PSG) performed well with an increase in turnover in the mid-single-digit percentage range. Some of the reasons for this were the intensified field sales activities in the German market as well as growth in Italy.

The segmentʼs EBITDA margin rose to 19.1 (17.0) percent. The main reasons for the margin increase were the negative one-off effects of 2013 and the discontinuation of the Topdeq business, which had a negative impact on profitability in the past.

TAKKT AMERICA: Above-average turnover growth in SPG and OEG divisions
In the TAKKT AMERICA segment, turnover in the year under review grew organically by 8.1 percent. Reported turnover increased by 7.8 percent to EUR 460.9 (427.5) million, whereby the segment's share of consolidated income increased to 47.0 (44.9) percent. Of the divisions within the segment, the Office Equipment Group (OEG) performed especially well. One of the reasons for the organic growth in the low double-digit percentage range can be attributed to the improvement of business with federal institutions. The SPG developed very positively as well and realized organic turnover growth in the high single-digit percentage range. The division also continued to benefit from the high growth dynamic of the Group company GPA. On the other hand, the PEG, which was sold as of January 30, 2015, recorded an organic decrease in turnover in the low single-digit percentage range due to the ongoing challenging market environment.

The profitability of the segment developed positively with an increase in the EBITDA margin of TAKKT AMERICA to 10.3 (9.9) percent. Earnings in the previous year were adversely affected by the adjustment of the purchase price liability for GPA in the amount of EUR 3.6 million.

Sustainability as a component of TAKKTʼs corporate strategy
TAKKT has come measurably closer to its goal of being a role model in terms of sustainability in its industry by 2016. Sustainability is an integral component of TAKKT's corporate strategy, which does not end at the boundaries of the company. In addition to parcels, the company has also been working with the logistics partner Schenker since January 2014 in order to be able to provide carbon-neutral shipping of general cargo from the central warehouse in Kamp-Lintfort as well. With measures like these, TAKKT is not only contributing to environmental protection but also positioning itself in the competitive environment early on. The focus areas, concrete measures and goals in sustainability are presented in the new progress report, which will be published today.

Outlook: Cautious start to the year in Europe, strong start in North America
The early indicators of business performance that are relevant for TAKKT have been pointing to a weaker start to the year in Europe since mid-2014. Zimmermann explains: "For Europe, a cautious start to the 2015 financial year is likely. However, we expect to see increasing recovery during the course of the year. In the USA, the signs have been pointing to expansion from the beginning."

From today's perspective, the Management Board expects that 2015 will most likely develop as follows: TAKKT expects the GDP growth rates in Europe and especially the USA to improve compared to 2014. Under these circumstances, the Group should be able to achieve an increase in organic turnover of three to five percent. According to the general conditions expected, the EBITDA margin of the Group should fall within the upper end of the self-imposed target corridor of 12 to 15 percent.

A deviation from the most likely scenario is dependent on the economic trend and therefore cannot be ruled out. Zimmermann explains in summation: "We see great opportunities in the further development to a multi-channel PLUS company. At the same time, we want to maintain our diversification strategy and also grow through acquisitions that fit well with TAKKTʼs portfolio in the future."

IFRS figures of the TAKKT Group for the 2014 financial year
(in EUR million)

  2014 2013 Change in %
TAKKT Group turnover 980.4 952.5 +2.9
Organic growth     +5.5
TAKKT EUROPE 519.8 525.4 -1.1
TAKKT AMERICA 460.9 427.5 +7.8
EBITDA 137.3 122.8 +11.9
EBITDA margin (%) 14.0 12.9  
EBIT 110.8 95.8 +15.6
EBIT margin (%) 11.3 10.1  
Profit before tax 99.3 81.2 +22.4
Pre-tax profit margin (%) 10.1 8.5  
TAKKT cash flow 98.7 83.4 +18.3
TAKKT cash flow margin (%) 10.1 8.8  
Capital expenditure 13.6 9.6 +41.7
TAKKT cash flow per share in EUR 1.50 1.27 +18.1
Earnings per share in EUR 1.00 0.80 +25.0
Non-current assets 663.6 649.0 +2.2
in % of total assets 75.2 76.2  
Total equity 368.8 332.5 +10.9
in % of total assets 43.8 39.0  
Net borrowings 217.5 273.0 -20.3
Employees (full-time equivalent) as of December 31 2,357 2,389 -1.3

Financial calendar
The TAKKT figures for the first quarter of 2015 will be published on April 30.
The Shareholders' Meeting will be held at the Forum Ludwigsburg on May 06, 2015.

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 over 2,000 employees and just under three million customers worldwide. The company is listed on the SDAX and the Deutsche Boerse Prime Standard.

Dr. Christian Warns Tel. +49 711 3465-8222
Giuseppe Palmieri Tel. +49 711 3465-8250
Email: investor@takkt.de


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