Press release: VTG AG continues its positive performance in the 1st half of 2007
- EBITDA up 12.8 percent to record levels in the 1st half of 2007
- 2007 Guidance: Expected revenues EUR 525 – 530 million; EBITDA approximately EUR 132 – 134 million rising up 17 to 19 percent
- Equity ratio increased to 20.5 percent in July 2007 following successful IPO and repayment of the shareholder’s loan
Hamburg, August 30, 2007. VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of Europe’s leading rail logistics companies (securities code number VTG999), continued its solid corporate growth in the 1st half of 2007. Both revenues (EUR 264.0 million) and operating earnings (EBITDA: EUR 61.4 million) in the first half of 2007 were up on the same period in the previous year. Moreover the successful IPO in June 2007 strengthened its equity structure substantially, creating the flexibility to take advantage of rail freight market growth opportunities.“An eventful first half lies behind us. The successful IPO has enabled us to strengthen our capital structure, and we have thus created fresh scope for further growth,” commented Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG. “The Wagon Hire and Tank Container Logistics divisions, in particular, had especially good performance and increased their revenues substantially.”
Modest revenue growth, significant increase in profitability in the 1st half of 2007
All in all, consolidated revenues were up by 3.1 percent to approx. EUR 264.0 million in comparison with the 1st half of 2006. While revenues in the Wagon Hire and Tank Container Logistics divisions increased significantly, the lower cumulative growth rate is attributable to a minor revenue decline in the Rail Logistics division, caused by the loss of a customer’s order and a client’s invoicing conversion. However, this decline did not have an impact on the earnings position of this division.
Operating earnings (EBITDA) of the VTG Group in the 1st half of 2007 were up by 12.8 percent year on year to EUR 61.4 million. Not including the non-recurring IPO expenses and the costs incurred through refinancing EBITDA came to EUR 63.1 million at June 30, 2007, equivalent to an increase of 15.9 percent. Group profit in the 1st half of 2007 stood at EUR 6.8 million. This figure amounts to an almost twofold increase over the H1 2006 figure (EUR 3.6 million). Operating cash flow in the 1st half of 2007 rose by 42.7 percent year on year to EUR 44.0 million.
Satisfying performance of the business divisions
In the Wagon Hire division revenues rose to EUR 124.4 million (H1 2006: EUR 115.9 million), while its EBITDA improved to EUR 62.7 million (H1 2006: EUR 56.3 million). This good performance was driven by increased demand for rail-born freight services and the resultant good order situation, which was also reflected in a fleet utilisation rate of nearly 92 percent at June 30, 2007.
The Rail Logistics division, which is focusing increasingly on smaller and high-margin special transports, also improved its profitability further, despite a highly competitive market environment. Although revenues declined to EUR 78.2 million because of two unrelated client decisions (H1 2006: EUR 85.0 million), EBITDA increased to EUR 2.5 million (H1 2006: EUR 2.1 million). Growth opportunities resulted from the transportation of bio-fuels and their raw materials and from the cross-border traffic of feedstock for chemicals manufacture.
In the Tank Container Logistics division, the continuing strong demand from the chemicals industry and the general shortage of transportation resources led to good capacity utilisation of the VOTG fleet used. Accordingly, significant increases were recorded on all markets served by VOTG: revenues in the 1st half of 2007 were up to EUR 61.4 million (H1 2006: EUR 55.1 million). At the same time, EBITDA increased from the EUR 3.5 million of the same period last year to EUR 4.1 million.
Alongside the IPO, VTG AG realized a number of important steps in its operating business in the first half of 2007. Thus in January 2007 it took over approx. 800 wagons from a Swiss competitor. With a fleet of around 48,200 rail freight wagons it has further extended its leading market position in the area of private wagon hire. In the Tank Container Logistics division the Company acquired the remaining 41.6 percent of shares in VOTG from Vopak in April 2007, thus increasing VTG’s equity holding to 100 percent.
VTG also replaced its former EUR 440 million of loans with a new EUR 640 million facility which will provide substantial resources for expansion. Interest rate risk has been hedged through 2012. Equity is now 20.5 percent of the Company’s capital structure, a strong ratio for a growing company in rail logistics.
Guidance: Solid revenue and earnings growth
VTG AG expects the harmonization and deregulation of European rail freight traffic and the enlargement of the European Union to open up further opportunities for growth in 2007, with the greatest growth potential provided by the wagon segments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The increase in demand for biofuels and their transportation in response to the state of the economy will also lead to more demand for VTG services.
Estimating a continuously positive macro-economic development VTG Group expects revenues to total between € 525 million and € 530 million for fiscal 2007, i.e. between 1 and 2 percent above the 2006 level. The expected revenue growth in the Wagon Hire and Tank Container Logistics divisions of between 5 and 7 percent this fiscal year contrasts with a minor revenue decline in the Rail Logistics division. Despite the IPO expenses and the costs incurred as part of refinancing, VTG expects EBITDA at the end of 2007 to increase by between 17 and 19 percent over the comparable previous year’s figure.
|Financial year||01.01. – 30.06.2007||01.01. – 30.06.2006||Change (%)|
|Revenue € m||264.0||256.0||3.1|
|EBITDA € m||61.4||54.5||12.8|
|EBIT € m||29.8||26.2||13.9|
|Group profit € m||6.8||3.6||91.8|
|Depreciation € m||31.6||28.3||11.8|
|Investments tangible fixed assets € m||60.0||29.9||100.7|
|Cash flow € m||44.0||30.8||42.7|
|Earnings per share €||1.961)||---2)||---|
|No. of employees||792||784||1.0|
|of which: other countries||287||273||5.1|
|Balance sheet total3) € m||1,262.7||1,009.6||25.1|
|Non-current assets € m||961.2||859.6||11.8|
|Current assets € m||301.5||150.0||101.0|
|Shareholders’ equity € m||237.1||63.9||271.1|
|Loan capital € m||1,025.6||945.7||8.4|
1) The method of calculating earnings per share is explained in detail in the section of the Notes bearing this heading.
2) Earnings per share for the same period last year were not calculated because the parent company was still in the form of a private limited company (GmbH) on 30th June 2006.
3) The increase in balance sheet total is attributable to the effects of the IPO and to first consolidation of KR Klostertor Rail GmbH and Deichtor Rail GmbH.
About VTG AG:
VTG is a leading European rail logistics company. In its core market of Europe, the Company offers wagon hire and a broad range of rail logistics services to its well-known, major clients in the chemical, oil, automotive and paper industries. VTG is also active in the global market for tank container logistics.
With about 48,200 rail freight cars, VTG has Europe’s largest private wagon fleet. The Company’s track record includes many years of experience and specialist know-how particularly in transporting liquid and sensitive goods. With the combination of its three strong business divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics, VTG offers its clients a high-performance platform for international transport of their goods.
In 2006, VTG generated operating revenues of EUR 518.6 million and an EBITDA of EUR 112.9 million. The Group’s headquarters are located in Hamburg. Through its subsidiaries, the Company is represented in 33 locations in 9 European countries. On December 31, 2006, the Company had a total of 795 employees across Europe. Furthermore, the VTG Group provides its services in a total of 39 countries, partly through non-consolidated equity holdings and representative offices.
Since June 2007 VTG AG is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
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