DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG begins 2011 with continued growth strategy and new financing
VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Quarter Results
VTG starts into 2011 with continued growth strategy and new financing structure
- Group revenue and EBITDA increased significantly
- Restructuring of Group's financing secures foundation for growth
- Good overall performance in all divisions
Hamburg, May 19, 2011. The Hamburg wagon hire and rail logistics company VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999) performed well in all divisions in the first quarter of 2011. Revenue increased by 20.4 percent, from EUR 154.8 million to EUR 186.4 million. Operating profit (EBITDA) was also pushed up, by a total of 10.5 percent, from EUR 37.3 million to EUR 41.2 million. Operating cash flow decreased by EUR 3.0 million to EUR 29.4 million.
'We have succeeded with much élan in getting the year off to a good start, increasing business in all our divisions and continuing with the clear upward trend of 2010', says Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. 'Moreover, the new financing structure finalized in early May gives us the opportunity to implement new projects for growth.'
Wagon Hire: continued path of growth in first quarter of 2011
With the purchase of the competitor Italian company Sogerent, increased capacity utilization and a rise in orders for the construction of new wagons, VTG continued its path of growth in the Wagon Hire Division in the first quarter of 2011. The takeover of Sogerent has brought a fleet of 300 wagons, comprising predominantly rail tank cars for mineral oil, chemical products and compressed gases in addition to a number of freight wagons. These wagons are on hire in Italy, Switzerland and Eastern Europe.
Orders for newly built wagons rose from approx. 300 wagons at the end of 2010 to nearly 1,000 by the end of March 2011. These orders were primarily for wagons for transporting mineral oil, chemical products and compressed gas and are being built both at VTG's own manufacturing plant Graaff and by other European providers.
Revenue in the Wagon Hire Division fell in the first three months of 2011 by 4.4 percent, to EUR 70.7 million (Q1 2010: EUR 74.0 million). This slight drop was due to a major contract awarded to the manufacturing plant Graaff in 2009, and the positive impact of this on the VTG Group's external revenue continued into the first quarter of 2010. By contrast, EBITDA rose by 5.5 percent, from EUR 35.9 million to EUR 37.9 million. The EBITDA margin related to revenue equaled 53.6 percent, up on the previous year's figure (48.6 percent).
Overall, Wagon Hire reported continued, broad-based demand at a high level for the first quarter of 2011. Capacity utilization rose again, continuing with its upward trend for the fourth consecutive quarter. As of March 31, 2011, it had reached 90.1 percent (Q1 2010: 87 percent).
Rail Logistics increases transports and employee numbers
In the Rail Logistics Division, demand for transport services remained very high. The division's pan-European network of some 165 railway partners and the existing synergies with the Wagon Hire Division enable it to deliver perfectly matched transport services to the customer, even at short notice. Due to the high level of demand, however, not all customer demands could be met.
Revenue in Rail Logistics rose in the first quarter of 2011 by 54 percent to EUR 77.0 million (Q1 2010: EUR 50.0 million). EBITDA stood at EUR 3.3 million, a rise of 61.4 percent on the previous year's figure (EUR 2.0 million). The EBITDA margin on gross profit increased from 50 percent, reaching 50.2 percent.
The very good results of the Rail Logistics Division were primarily due to the acquisition of the rail logistics company TMF in 2010 and the number of entities to be consolidated. The increase in cross-border transports to and from Eastern and Southeastern Europe has a positive effect. The expanded operations of the Rail Logistics Division means that numbers of qualified staff are currently being increased at the company's Hamburg headquarters. In turn, this will also ensure high quality customer service in future.
Tank Container Logistics continues to perform at high level
In the first quarter of 2011, the Tank Container Logistics Division recorded high demand for transport services, particularly in Europe and Asia. As of March 31, 2011, the number of deployed wagons reached a record high of 9,700 tank containers. This represents an increase of around 1,300 units compared with the first quarter of 2010.
Revenue increased in the first quarter of 2011 by 25.5 percent, reaching EUR 38.7 million (Q1 2010: EUR 30.8 million). EBITDA rose by 55.6 percent against the first quarter of 2010, from EUR 2.1 million to EUR 3.3 million. The EBITDA margin on gross profit improved, reaching 49.9 percent, as against 41.9 percent in 2010.
Restructuring of Group's financing secures foundation for further growth
The VTG Group restructured its financing in 2011. Financing was secured for the long term through a US private placement in line with the long-term orientation of the VTG business model. The additional lines of credit available to the Group can be used flexibly for investment into the wagon fleet, selected acquisitions and the expansion of the logistics divisions as lucrative opportunities arise, so enabling VTG to push ahead on its path of growth. Extraordinary expenses of around EUR 18.0 million arising from the refinancing of the Group will have a one-time, negative effect on Group profit and earnings per share in the current financial year. These one-time expenses have no impact on VTG's ability to distribute dividends.
Significant rise in employee numbers
As of March 31, 2011, the VTG Group had 1,035 employees, an increase of 81 on the same quarter last year. Of this number, 720 were employed in Germany (Q1 2010: 679) - thereof 333 in Hamburg (Q1 2010: 313) - and 315 in the companies abroad (Q1 2010: 275). This rise in employee numbers relates to all three divisions.
Outlook for 2011
* EBT Q1/2011 with refinancing = EUR -4.4 million = -158.0 %
** Group profit Q1/2011 with refinancing = EUR -2.8 million = -157.7%
*** Earnings per share Q1/2011 with refinancing = EUR -0.15 = -168.2%
VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe's leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies. The company has the largest private wagon fleet in Europe. Globally, the fleet consists of some 50,000 wagons, with a focus on tank cars and state-of-the-art high capacity freight cars and flat cars. In addition to the hiring of wagons, the Group offers global tank container transports and comprehensive multi-modal logistics services, mainly around rail transport.
With the combination of its three interlinked divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics, VTG offers its customers a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific expertise, in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost every industrial sector, for example the chemical, petroleum, automotive, paper and agricultural industries.
In the financial year 2010, VTG generated revenue of EUR 629.4 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 154.4 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, Asia and North America. As at 31 December 2010, VTG had 999 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007, VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and also on the SDAX (WKN: VTG999).
Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 23 54-1341
Fax: +49 (0) 40 23 54-1340
Investor Relations contact:
Head of Investor Relations
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 23 54-1351
Fax: +49 (0) 40 23 54-1350
Further information at www.vtg.com
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