TAKKT off to a good start in 2015: Strong performance in North America

TAKKT AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results

2015-04-30 / 07:29

TAKKT off to a good start in 2015: Strong performance in North America

- Organic consolidated turnover rises by 3.6 percent (relative to Q1/2014); reported consolidated turnover climbs by 5.8 percent to EUR 252.3 (previous year: EUR 238.6) million

- Gross profit margin of 43.0 (Q1/2014: 43.9) percent

- Significant increase of the EBITDA margin to 17.3 (15.7) percent, 16.0 percent after adjusting for the gain on deconsolidation from the sale of PEG

- Earnings per share rise to EUR 0.38 (0.28)

- Successful completion of the sale of PEG effective January 30, 2015 with a gain on deconsolidation in amount of EUR 3.3 million

- Acquisition of the US direct marketing specialist Post-Up Stand; the effective closing date of the transaction was April 01, 2015

Stuttgart, Germany, April 30, 2015. In the first quarter of the financial year 2015, the TAKKT Group was able to build on the previous yearʼs growth. TAKKT AMERICA was able to benefit from positive general conditions in its target markets, while TAKKT EUROPE had a subdued performance as expected. On the Group level, TAKKT achieved an organic increase in turnover of 3.6 percent in the first quarter relative to the previous yearʼs period. The organic turnover result has been adjusted for currency effects as well as for divestment effects from the phase-out of Topdeq and the sale of the US division Plant Equipment Group (PEG). Measured in the reporting currency of euros, the consolidated turnover grew by 5.8 percent to EUR 252.3 (238.6) million.

Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG, put these numbers in perspective: "We are pleased with the successful start to the 2015 financial year. In particular, our business operations in North America are performing well. In Europe, there are indications of a gradual economic recovery as the year progresses, which makes us generally optimistic as we look ahead to the rest of the 2015 financial year."

As planned, PEG was sold effective January 30, 2015; until this date, the division contributed a further EUR 6.3 million to consolidated turnover. As announced in March, the acquisition of the Post-Up Stand group, an American direct marketing specialist for customized printed displays, was completed effective April 01, 2015. The turnover of Post-Up Stand was therefore not included in the consolidated turnover for the reporting period.

With a margin of 17.3 (15.7) percent, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose to EUR 43.8 (37.4) million. The EBITDA figure includes other operating income in the amount of EUR 3.3 million from the deconsolidation of the American PEG. After adjusting for this one-time gain, the EBITDA margin would have been 16.0 percent in the reporting period. The profit for the period rose to EUR 25.1 (18.5) million, whereby the Groupʼs earnings per share climbed to EUR 0.38 (0.28).

The TAKKT cash flow (defined as the profit for the period plus depreciation and amortization, impairment of non-current assets and deferred taxes affecting profit and loss) amounted to EUR 34.4 (26.5) million, also a significant improvement over the prior year's period. This corresponds to an improved cash flow margin of 13.6 (11.1) percent and an improved TAKKT cash flow per share of EUR 0.52 (0.40).

TAKKT EUROPE: Slight decrease in turnover and EBITDA
In the TAKKT EUROPE segment, the first quarter of 2015 saw an organic turnover decline of 1.7 percent relative to the previous yearʼs period. The reported turnover decreased by 3.2 percent to EUR 134.5 (138.9) million. While operations in Southern and Eastern Europe produced positive results, business in Western Europe continued to disappoint expectations. In Germany, the TAKKT Group's home market, the trend was stable. In Switzerland, the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc and the concomitant deterioration of the economic outlook led to investment restraint. Turnover in local currency declined significantly, due also in part to granted currency rebates.

There also was a divergent performance when it came to TAKKT EUROPEʼs two divisions: The Packaging Solutions Group (PSG), a packaging specialist which is more resistant to cyclical trends, booked organic growth in the low single-digit percentage range. The Business Equipment Group (BEG), on the contrary, registered a decrease in organic turnover in the low single-digit percentage range in light of the decline in the purchasing manager indexes in the second half of 2014. The segmentʼs EBITDA took a slight dip to EUR 27.3 (28.5) million, whereby the EBITDA margin amounted to 20.3 (20.6) percent.

TAKKT AMERICA: Good economic environment
In the TAKKT AMERICA segment, turnover in the first three months of 2015 grew organically by 11.9 percent. It should be noted, however, that the previous yearʼs quarter, in which organic growth amounted to 3.3 percent, was the weakest period of a generally outstanding previous financial year. As measured in the reporting currency of euros, turnover climbed as much as 18.1 percent to EUR 117.9 (99.8) million thanks to the appreciation of the US dollar.

Of the divisions within the TAKKT AMERICA segment, the Office Equipment Group (OEG) achieved organic turnover growth well in the double-digit percentage range, thanks to the currently high volume of business being transacted with federal institutions. The Specialties Group (SPG), meanwhile, recorded organic turnover growth in the low double-digit percentage range. The performance of the Group company Central was particularly positive. The TAKKT AMERICA segmentʼs EBITDA rose to EUR 18.5 (11.5) million, whereby the EBITDA margin climbed to 15.7 (11.5) percent. The EBITDA figure includes other operating income in the amount of EUR 3.3 million from the deconsolidation of PEG. Adjusted for this effect, the EBITDA margin was 12.8 percent.

Outlook: Staying on a growth path
Given the results achieved during the first quarter of 2015, Claude Tomaszewski, CFO of TAKKT AG, continues to hold to the scenario forecast in the 2014 annual report: "As before, we expect to see improvement in GDP growth compared to the previous year in Europe and especially in the USA as the year progresses. On this basis, we continue to anticipate organic turnover growth of three to five percent for the 2015 financial year. The EBITDA margin should come in at the upper range of our target corridor of 12 to 15 percent; in other words, above the level for the financial year 2014."

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. (CEST) on April 30, 2015. To take part, please dial the following number: +49 69 201744-220 (access code: 779134#).

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

IFRS figures for the TAKKT Group as of the end of Q1 2015 (in EUR million)

  Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Change in %
TAKKT Group turnover 252.3 238.6 +5.8
Organic growth     +3.6
TAKKT EUROPE 134.5 138.9 -3.2
TAKKT AMERICA 117.9 99.8 +18.1
EBITDA 43.8 37.4 +17.1
EBITDA margin (%) 17.3 15.7  
EBIT 37.4 30.9 +21.0
EBIT margin (%) 14.8 13.0  
Profit before tax 35.0 27.8 +25.9
Pre-tax profit margin (%) 13.9 11.7  
TAKKT cash flow 34.4 26.5 +29.8
TAKKT cash flow margin (%) 13.6 11.1  

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 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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