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DGAP-News: VTG’s revenues and earnings up significantly in the first 9 months

VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Quarter Results

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VTG’s revenues and earnings up significantly in the first 9 months
  - Revenues up 4.2 percent

  - EBITDA raised by 17.0 percent

- 2007 full-year revenue and EBITDA forecast raised
Hamburg, November 29, 2007. VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of Europe’s leading rail logistics companies (SCN: VTG999), continued its solid growth in the first nine months of the current financial year with significant year-on-year improvement in both revenues and earnings. Revenues were up 4.2 percent, while EBITDA grew 17.0 percent. VTG has raised its forecast for fiscal 2007 and now projects higher full-year revenues of between EUR 537 and 542 million, a year-on-year increase of approx. 3.5 to 4.5 percent (the original forecast was 1 to 2 percent). In terms of operating earnings (EBITDA), VTG’s management expects to report a growth of 19 to 21 percent (EUR 134 - 137 million), a stronger growth than initially indicated (the original forecast was 17 to 19 percent).

The revenues and EBITDA reflect the continued good business performance –
significant increase in Group profit 

The Hamburg-based rail logistics company increased its revenues by 4.2 percent to EUR 402.6 million between January and September. Third-quarter performance was especially encouraging: it contributed EUR 138.6 million (EUR 130.5 million in 2006) to total revenues – equating to 6.2 percent year-on-year growth. Performance in terms of operating earnings was also very good, with EBITDA increasing 17.0 percent to EUR 98.4 million. Excluding the non-recurring costs of VTG’s IPO in June of this year as well refinancing expenses, EBITDA would come to EUR 99.7 million. Operating cash flow rose by 9.6 percent to EUR 74.3 million (previous year: EUR 67.8 million).

IFRS-based Group profit increased to EUR 30.9 million on September 30, 2007 (from EUR 6.2 million in the same period of the previous year). This significant increase was driven considerably by special tax effects, mainly due to the reform of corporate tax in Germany. Without this tax effect the Group profit grew to EUR 12.2 million, an increase of 96.8 percent – representing an effective tax rate of 45.1 percent.
'The first nine months of 2007 show that VTG Group’s consistent focus on growing markets is also bearing fruit on the operating side. Strategic acquisitions, sustained, organic growth and continuous improvements in the operating business have resulted in a positive performance,' said Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG.


Good performance in the Wagon Hire division

Following the encouraging economic setting in Europe, the Wagon Hire division again provided positive business performance of the VTG Group. The division’s order book benefited from a further increase in demand for cargo-transport services by rail. Capacity utilization stood at a very good 92.3 percent on September 30. Wagon Hire division’s revenues rose by 8.8 percent year on year to EUR 190.9 million (from EUR 175.4 million). The division’s EBITDA improved by 14.7 percent to EUR 99.1 million (from EUR 86.4 million in the previous year). The EBITDA margin widened to 51.9 percent (last year 49.3 percent).

Rail Logistics division boosts profitability further
The Rail Logistics division generated revenues of EUR 117.2 million in the first nine months of 2007, down from EUR 127.4 million in the same period of the previous year. This slight revenue decline is due to the loss of one customer contract as well as an invoicing change involving another customer. There were significant increases in the third quarter especially in block-train traffic to and from Eastern Europe as well as cross border transports of liquefied gas. The division sharpened its focus on international transport and generated a substantial increase in EBITDA of 25.7 percent to EUR 3.6 million (from EUR 2.8 million in the previous year). EBITDA margin based on gross profit increased to 40.6 percent compared to 35.2 percent in the same period last year.
Tank Container Logistics division benefiting from a favorable market
Driven by a further rise in transport demand from the chemicals industry, VOTG, the leading company of the Tank Container Logistics division, reported good utilization of the fleet that it operates. Accordingly, the division’s revenues improved by 12.8 percent to EUR 94.4 million (from EUR 83.7 million in the previous year). EBITDA rose even more strongly, climbing from EUR 4.8 to 6.1 million – a 26.7 percent gain. The EBITDA margin based on gross profit of 42.6 percent was above the benchmark figure of 37.6 percent. VTG took over the British tank container hire company Tankspan Leasing Ltd after September 30, 2007. This is part of VTG’s strategic objective of expanding its tank container hire business, which already exists to a moderate extent, in order to further strengthen in its Tank Container Logistics division the Group’s core area of expertise, namely leasing of long-lived means of transport.

Prospects: Higher revenues and earnings now forecast for 2007
VTG expects the business setting to remain favorable over the remainder of the year, even though economic risks have mounted. 'The strong business performance of the VTG Group in the first three quarters will, from our perspective, also continue in the final three months. We have therefore raised our revenue and earnings projections for the year as a whole,' said Dr. Kai Kleeberg, CFO of VTG AG. The Company now projects consolidated revenues of EUR 537 to 542 million for 2007, which would equate to growth of about 3.5 to 4.5 percent versus the previous year (the original forecast was 1 to 2 percent). The target for both the Wagon Hire and Tank Container Logistics divisions is revenue increases of between 8 and 12 percent. The Rail Logistics division’s full-year revenues will probably not quite match the fiscal-2006 figure of EUR 170.4 million.

VTG also now estimates a higher figure than previously forecast for consolidated EBITDA. The rail logistics group projects an EBITDA increase of 19 to 21 percent for the current financial year versus 2006 (having originally forecast 17 to 19 percent).

VTG AG key figures

Financial year Current year Prev. year % change Jan 1 – Jan 1 – Sep 30, 2007 Sep 30, 2007
Revenues (€ million) 402.6 386.5 + 4.2 % EBITDA (€ million) 98.4 84.0 + 17.0 % EBIT (€ million) 49.8 41.1 + 21.2 % Group profit (€ million) 30.9 6.2 + 399.0 % Group profit adjusted for 12.2 6.2 + 96.8 special tax effects (€ % million)
Depreciation/amortization (€ 48.6 43.0 + 13.1 million) % Investments fixed assets (€ 89.8 41.7 + million) 115.6 % Cash flow (€ million) 74.3 67.8 + 9.6 % Earnings per share (€) 3.201) ---2) --- Per-share earnings adjusted 0.571) ---2) --- for special tax effects (€)
Sep 30, 2007 Sep 30, 2006 Number of employees 808 784 + 3.1 % in Germany 517 513 + 0.8 % outside Germany 291 271 + 7.4 % Sep 30, 2007 Dec 31, 2006 Total assets3) (€ million) 1,158.0 1,009.6 + 14.7 % Non-current assets (€ 972.0 859.6 + 13.1 million) % Current assets (€ million) 186.0 150.0 + 24.0 % Shareholders’ equity (€ 255.9 63.9 + million) 300.6 % Loan capital (€ million) 902.1 945.7 -4.6 %

1) The method of calculating 'earnings per share' is explained in detail in the quarterly financial report as at 30th September 2007 in the section in the notes bearing this title. On the basis of the number of shares in issue at the closing date (21,388,889) an adjusted earnings per share of € 0.57 would result after adjusting for special tax effects for the period from 1st January to 30th September 2007.
2) Earnings per share were not calculated for the same period last year because the parent company is in the form of a public limited company     (AG) since 25th September 2006.

3) The increase in total assets is attributable to the effects of the IPO and the first-time 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.

Press contact: 

Trade Media
Simone Aulert
Head of Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 (0) 40 2354 1343
Fax: +49 (0) 40 2354 1340

Business and Financial Media
Bettina Fries
Phone: +49 (0) 211 430 79 70
Fax: +49 (0) 211 430 79 79

Information also available at

Trade Media
Simone Aulert
Head of Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 (0) 40 2354 1343
Fax: +49 (0) 40 2354 1340

Business and Financial Media
Bettina Fries
Phone: +49 (0) 211 430 79 70
Fax: +49 (0) 211 430 79 79

29.11.2007  Financial News transmitted by DGAP

Language:     English
Issuer:       VTG Aktiengesellschaft
              Nagelsweg 34
              20097 Hamburg
Phone:        040 2354 0
Fax:          040 2354 1199
ISIN:         DE000VTG9999
WKN:          VTG999
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München, Stuttgart  
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