DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG announces solid half-year results and re-affirms guidance
VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Half Year Results/Quarter Results
VTG announces solid half-year results and re-affirms guidance
- Clear increase in revenue and EBITDA
- Growth in all business divisions
- New group financing structure opens up further growth opportunities
- VTG enters CIS and Baltic markets
- Wagon fleet capacity utilization continues to increase
- High levels of investment and increased employee numbers
- Re-affirmation of forecast in upper range
Hamburg, August 23, 2011. The Hamburg wagon hire and rail logistics company VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999) saw a continued upward trend in business in the first half of 2011, continuing its path of growth. Revenue for the first six months of 2011 was EUR 373.8 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 21.7 percent (first six months of 2010: EUR 307.1 million). Operating profit (EBITDA) rose by 11.8 percent, to EUR 83.9 million. Operating cash flow, at EUR 60.9 million, was 6.1 percent lower than in the same period of the previous year. This was primarily due to an increase in receivables as a result of the increased volume of business. Based on the positive trend in business, the Executive Board re-affirms its expectation that VTG will achieve levels of revenue and EBITDA for the year 2011 at the higher end of the ranges forecast.
'Despite the current fluctuations in the capital markets, we have succeeded in achieving the necessary conditions for pushing ahead on our path of growth. The new financing for the Group at the right time has given us the flexibility to continue to pursue market opportunities as they arise', explains Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. VTG refinanced its financing arrangements in early May, with a US private placement and a syndicated loan. 'The takeovers of the wagon hire company Sogerent and the Railcraft group of companies affirm our pursuit of our strategy of growth, enabling us to access new international customers and markets', adds Fischer.
Wagon Hire reports rising capacity utilization and continued growth
In Wagon Hire, the first six months saw stable growth and a continued high level of demand. Accordingly, capacity utilization at the end of the first half of the year has risen for the fifth consecutive quarter. As of June 30, 2011, it reached a level of 90.8 percent compared with 87.4 percent for the same period of the previous year. Revenue in this division rose by 3.1 percent, from EUR 142.6 in the first half of 2010 to EUR 147.1 million. EBITDA increased by 8.1 percent, to EUR 77.9 million (first half of 2010: EUR 72.1 million). There was a year-on-year increase in the EBITDA margin related to revenue from 50.6 percent to 53.0 percent.
The VTG Group continued on its path of growth with the takeover of the Italian wagon hire company Sogerent, with a fleet of 300 wagons, and of the Railcraft group of companies, with a fleet of 870 mineral oil wagons of standard Russian design. Moreover, with the Railcraft takeover, VTG has entered the Baltic market and that of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the world's second-largest rail transport market.
Rail Logistics sees clear rise in revenue and EBITDA
In the Rail Logistics Division there was an increase in demand for transport services, due in part to the positive trend in business in eastern and southeastern Europe. Other factors that contributed to this improved trend were the addition of the Polish subsidiary to the group of consolidated companies, due to its increasing importance for operations, and the acquisition of the rail logistics company TMF in 2010. As of June 30, 2011, revenue in Rail Logistics stood at EUR 149.4 million. This represents an increase of 55.5 percent on the same period of the previous year (EUR 96.1 million). EBITDA, at EUR 6.5 million, was 64.2 percent higher than the figure for the first six months of 2010 (EUR 3.9 million). The EBITDA margin on gross profit amounted to 50.2 percent (first half of 2010: 50.5 percent).
Tank Container Logistics benefits from growth in demand
As in Rail Logistics, the positive trend in business in Tank Container Logistics in the first half of 2011 was primarily due to a continued rise in demand for transport services. In particular, there was dynamic growth in demand from customers in the European chemical industry for both intra-European and intercontinental transports. This in turn was driven by positive trends in Russia, Turkey and China. Revenue in the Tank Container Logistics Division rose in the first six months by 12.9 percent, to EUR 77.3 million (first half of 2010: EUR 68.5 million). EBITDA stood at EUR 6.3 million, representing an increase of 38.0 percent on the first six months of 2010 (EUR 4.6 million). The EBITDA margin on gross profit increased from 42.5 to 49.4 percent. As of June 30, 2011, the number of tank containers had risen in line with transport volumes, reaching 9,800, an increase of 900 units since June 30, 2010.
High levels of investment and increased employee numbers
In the first half of 2011, VTG invested EUR 79.6 million (first half of 2010: EUR 56.1 million). The majority of this investment (EUR 75.6 million) was in the Wagon Hire Division, with these funds being used for the modernization of the wagon fleet and the purchase of the fleets of both Sogerent and the Railcraft group of companies. As of June 30, 2011, the number of wagons on order and still awaiting delivery amounted to approx. 1,800 units. Orders have grown steadily since the beginning of the year, with the number almost doubling since the first quarter of 2011. This trend clearly reflects the increase in customer demand. Delivery of wagons on order is to take place in the remaining months of 2011 and in 2012.
The upward trend in VTG's business is also reflected in the clear rise in employee numbers. As of June 30, 2011, the VTG Group had 1,082 employees, thereof 738 in Germany and 344 in the companies abroad. This represents a total increase of 125 employees since June 30, 2010. The number of employees rose in all three business divisions.
Outlook: Forecast re-affirmed, expected in upper range
Based on current economic forecasts and market conditions, the VTG Group is confident that, in 2011, it will be able to push up performance significantly in all three divisions compared with the previous year. The Group also expects a continued upward trend in utilization of fleet capacity over the second half of the year. It is anticipated that the Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics Divisions will continue on their path of growth. Forecasts for revenue and EBITDA for the Group for the financial year 2011 were announced in early February and re-affirmed in the first quarter of the year. The Executive Board of VTG AG expects to achieve the higher end of the forecast ranges for 2011 of EUR 720 to 760 million for revenue and EUR 165 to 170 million for EBITDA. This is subject to the provision that economic growth is no further depressed by the current factors causing uncertainty and that no lasting setbacks are suffered by key VTG industries. Having issued a dividend of EUR 0.33 per share for the financial year 2010, VTG remains committed to issuing solid dividends reliably over the long term.
Key figures for the VTG Group
Unadjusted figures compared with the previous year:
* EBT for first half of 2011 with refinancing = EUR 0.5 million = -97.0%
** Group profit for first half of 2011 with refinancing = EUR 0.3 million = -97.0%
*** Earnings per share for first half of 2011 with refinancing = EUR -0.03 = -106.7%
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 51,200 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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