DGAP-News: TAKKT AG / Key word(s): Annual Results/Forecast
P R E S S R E L E A S E
- Reported sales in 2018 up 5.8 percent, organic growth of 3.4 percent
- EBITDA margin at 12.7 (13.5) percent
- Digital transformation driven forward, acquisition strategy developed further
- Investment in Bremen-based start-up Profishop
- Special dividend of EUR 0.30 per share proposed in addition to ordinary dividend of EUR 0.55 per share
- Organic growth expected for 2019
- CFO's contract extended for another five years
Stuttgart, Germany, March 28, 2019. "Despite the increasing political and economic uncertainty throughout the year, TAKKT achieved good growth in 2018," said Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG. Reported sales growth came to 5.8 percent, while sales grew organically by 3.4 percent. EBITDA remained constant at EUR 150.1 (150.3) million. The EBITDA margin of 12.7 (13.5) percent was slightly below the target corridor projected at the beginning of the year of 13 to 14 percent.
Digital transformation continued to be a key strategic focus for TAKKT in the year under review. More than 50 percent of the total order intake was generated via electronic channels for the first time. In addition, the approximately 100 positions created as part of the digital agenda have now been filled. The newport group, which was newly established at the beginning of 2018, developed favorably overall in the year under review. It allows the brands bundled there to have more autonomy in how they position themselves, making it possible to address relevant customer groups even more effectively and thus tap into significant growth potential.
In addition to implementing the digital transformation, the further development of the acquisition strategy was a key area of focus. The acquisition filter was expanded in connection with this. In the future, the services provided will generally extend far beyond the basic sales transaction and offer perceptible added value for customers. In addition, TAKKT AG will shape its role as a holding company even more actively and expand its activities in order to increase the value of the individual companies. Besides strategic management, these include the company's development, providing support for strategic initiatives, portfolio management, the selection of target markets and strategic personnel management. In particular, TAKKT sees great potential in the domains of operational excellence and data & analytics and will build small teams in both segments in order to support the divisions in these areas.
Another area of focus is the momentum from investments in start-ups. The most recent investment made was in the Bremen-based start-up Profishop. Established in 2012, the company is a high-growth B2B e-commerce platform for consumer goods and equipment for business, storage, industrial use and building services.
TAKKT has also achieved notable success in the area of sustainability. Receiving the German CSR Award 2018 in the category of "Environmental Commitment" is a great incentive for the company to vigorously pursue its ambitious sustainability goals. In the latest interim sustainability report, you can read about the progress made in defined focus areas and the goals set for 2020.
TAKKT wants its shareholders to participate in the success of the company through a consistent and reliable dividend stream. Based on the cash flow strength and comparatively high equity ratio as of the end of the reporting period, the Management and Supervisory Boards of TAKKT AG will propose to the Shareholders' Meeting in May 2019 that, in addition to the ordinary dividend of EUR 0.55, a special dividend of EUR 0.30 per share be paid for the past financial year. This would correspond to a payout ratio of 63.3 percent compared to the profit for the financial year attained in 2018.
For the current fiscal year, TAKKT expects an economic slowdown in Europe and North America. "We want to achieve slight organic sales growth in 2019. At the same time, we are preparing for a possible economic decline, in which scenario we would take countermeasures by adjusting costs," said CFO Claude Tomaszewski. The company acquisitions carried out in 2018 will make additional contributions to sales. In addition to organic growth, the Group will continue to grow through acquisitions. The EBITDA margin should fall within the long-term target corridor of 12 to 16 percent.
With regard to the composition of the Management Board, the Supervisory Board has extended the contract of Claude Tomaszewski by an additional five years until the end of October 2024. "I am glad to see this sign of stability and continuity and look forward to the continued positive and trusting collaboration," Felix Zimmermann said of the personnel news.
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