Financial News

28/April/2008

DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG reports increased EBITDA and revenues



VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Final Results

Release of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a company of EquityStory AG.
The issuer / publisher is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

VTG reports increased EBITDA and revenues 

  - EBITDA increased by 21.3 per cent

- Revenues up by € 22.9 million to € 541.4 million
- Leading market position expanded further through organic growth and     targeted acquisitions

- Forecast for 2008: Continued excellent business development
- Ability to pay dividend expected for financial year 2008
Hamburg, 28 April 2008. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (SCN: VTG999), one of Europe’s leading rail logistics companies, reported a very strong financial year 2007. VTG increased Group revenues by 4.4 per cent and EBITDA by 21.3 per cent, meeting the forecast for revenues and slightly exceeding forecast on EBITDA.

'2007 was a successful year for VTG not only because of its IPO as Europe’s first rail logistics company, but in our operating business as well. The renaissance of the railway as a secure and environmentally friendly carrier for trustworthy and reliable transportation, particularly over long distances, is clearly to our advantage. Therefore, we are optimistic for the current financial year, to be able to continue improving revenues and EBITDA' explained CEO Dr. Heiko Fischer.

Revenues and EBITDA strong

In the past financial year VTG boosted Group revenues from EUR 518.6 million to EUR 541.4 million. The Group profit increased to EUR 49.7 million (previous year: EUR 7.5 million). The improvement was primarily assisted by special tax effects due to a German corporate tax reform. Without these effects the Group result would have reached EUR 19.1 million. A significant increase can also be seen in Group EBITDA which, at EUR 137.0 million, was EUR 24.1 million higher than in the previous year. Operating cash flow improved by 2.3 per cent to EUR 113.5 million.
Wagon Hire Division benefits from positive economy
VTG’s Wagon Hire Division was able to benefit from favorable economic conditions to improve the utilisation rate of the rail car fleet from already high 90.7 per cent to 93.9 per cent at year end. The substantial rise was driven by the increased demand for freight transport services. At the end of 2007, VTG had access to a fleet of 47,800 wagons (previous year: 47,400). In the financial year 2007 approximately 1,000 new rail cars were taken into service. Accordingly, the biggest share of the Group investments in fixed assets, amounting to EUR 116.7 million (2006: EUR 69.0 million), was attributed to the Wagon Hire Division. In addition to the fleet enlargement with wagon types already in service, wagons beyond the tank car focus were purchased, since these sectors promise great growth opportunities. With the new wagons the range of services offered by the Wagon Hire Division was expanded to new industries and the fleet as a whole was modernized further. In 2007, revenues by this division grew by 10.8 per cent to EUR 260.5 million. EBITDA grew to EUR 137.1 million, exceeding the prior year result by 18.6 per cent. The EBITDA margin based on revenue increased from 49.2 per cent to 52.6 per cent.

Rail Logistics Division continues to develop business model
The Rail Logistics Division continued to develop successfully in the financial year 2007 and is now concentrating more strongly on profitable international bloc-train-traffic. Important for the division was the chemical industry, bloc-train-traffic to and from Eastern Europe, and cross-border transports of liquefied gas. The division generated revenues of EUR 153.8 million (from EUR 170.4 million). The slight decline is from an invoicing change by one customer and the loss of a customer contract. However, it has no effect on EBITDA which increased by 10.0 per cent to EUR 4.4 million. The gross profit based EBITDA margin reached 38.8 per cent (prior year 35.0 per cent).

Tank Container Logistics Division significantly increases EBITDA
The positive market conditions in the chemical industry and the higher transport volumes to Russia, the CIS, and to Turkey provided for positive business development in the Tank Container Logistics Division. Furthermore, VTG continued to optimize transport flows and to eliminate the costs of empty runs of tank containers. Revenues rose by 12.4 per cent to EUR 127.2 million. EBITDA grew to EUR 8.1 million, which was almost one third higher than the comparable amount in 2006. The gross profit based EBITDA margin climbed from 34.9 per cent to 40.9 per cent.

Acquisitions strengthen market position

In the financial year 2007, VTG accelerated its growth through targeted company acquisitions. In January, 800 wagons were taken over from a Swiss competitor and in April the remaining shares of VOTG Tanktainer GmbH (41.65 per cent) were purchased to increase the shareholding to 100 per cent. In November 2007, VTG acquired the British company Tankspan Leasing Ltd. in order to further expand the profitable business activity of tank container hire. After reaching a principle agreement in December 2007, the company took over the McAllen, Texas, based Texas Railcar Leasing Company in January 2008, entering the North American market for rail freight transport. As the world’s largest rail logistics market, long-term growth opportunities in North America are very good.

'Our consistently implemented acquisition policy is part of our Group strategy - on the one hand, to reinforce VTG’s leading position in the European core market and, on the other hand, to grow in new, promising markets such as North America or CIS', commented Dr. Fischer.
Total assets higher – equity ratio up substantially
In the financial year 2007, total assets of the VTG Group increased by 15.5 per cent and amounted to EUR 1,165.9 million as of December 31, 2007 (previous year EUR 1,009.6 million). The equity ratio grew substantially from 6.3 to 23.9 per cent.

Prospects for 2008: Growth in revenues and EBITDA
VTG expects continued high demand for logistics services for 2008. Potential economic fluctuations are expected to affect rail freight transport only to a very limited degree. In addition, long-term customer relations and contracts guarantee stable incomes for VTG. The chosen sustainable growth strategy will be continued and the fleet capacity will be expanded further. Additional objectives are to broaden the range of services offered and to continue the optimization of internal processes. For 2008, capital expenditure of approximately EUR 100.0 million is expected.

After a successful start into the new financial year, VTG expects a positive business performance for 2008. Accordingly, annual revenues are expected to reach EUR 560 to EUR 570 million, representing an increase of 3.5 to 5.5 per cent. At Group level, VTG expects EBITDA to improve by 5 to 8 per cent to EUR 144 to 148 million compared to the year before. Furthermore, VTG intends to ensure its ability to pay a dividend for the financial year 2008.

 Key figures VTG AG


Financial year 2007 2006 Change in
% Revenue in € million 541,4 518,6 4,4 EBITDA in € million 137,0 112,9 21,3 EBIT in € million 68,4 53,6 27,6 Group result in € million 49,7 7,5 > 100,0 Group result adjusted for special tax 19,1 7,5 > 100,0 effects in € million
Investments in fixed assets in € million 116,7 69,0 69,2 Depreciation and amortization in € million 68,6 59,3 15,7 Cash flow in € million 113,5 110,9 2,3 Earnings per share adjusted for special tax 0,87 n.a. n.a. effects in €
31.12.2 31.12.2 007 006 Number of employees 814 795 2,4 In Germany 510 517 -1,4 Abroad 304 278 9,4 31.12.2 31.12.2 007 006 Total assets in € million 1.165,9 1.009,6 15,5 Non-current assets in € million 990,6 859,6 15,2 Current assets in € million 175,3 150,0 16,9 Shareholders’ equity in € million 278,7 63,9 > 100,0 Borrowings in € million 887,2 945,8 -6,2 Equity ratio in % 23,9 6,3 > 100,0


* based on the number of circulating shares at the balance sheet date
Note to editorial staff:

The VTG Business Review 2007 is available for download under www.vtg.de.
About VTG:

VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe’s leading rail logistics and wagon hire companies. With about 47,800 rail freight cars, VTG has Europe’s largest private wagon fleet. In addition to the hiring of rail freight cars, the Group offers global tank container transport and comprehensive mulit-modal logistics services mainly around rail transport.
With the combination of its three interrelated divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics VTG offers its clients a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific know-how in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost all industrial sectors such as, for example, chemicals, mineral oil, the automobile or paper industries.
In the financial year 2007 VTG generated operating revenues of EUR 541.4 million and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 137.0 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 2007 VTG employed 814 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007 VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (SCN: VTG999).
Press contact:

Bettina Fries

Telephone:  +49 (0) 211 430 79-70

Fax:   +49 (0) 211 430 79-79

Email:   bfries@heringschuppener.com

Investor Relations:

Felix Zander

Telephone:  +49 (0) 40 23 54-1351

Fax:   +49 (0) 40 23 54-1350

Email:   felix.zander@vtg.com

Information also available under www.vtg.de 
28.04.2008  Financial News transmitted by DGAP

 
Language:     English
Issuer:       VTG Aktiengesellschaft
              Nagelsweg 34
              20097 Hamburg
              Deutschland
Phone:        040 2354 0
Fax:          040 2354 1199
E-mail:       info@vtg.de
Internet:     www.vtg.de
ISIN:         DE000VTG9999
WKN:          VTG999
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München, Stuttgart  
End of News DGAP News-Service  



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