Financial News

27/August/2008

DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG publishes half-yearly results and raises forecast for revenues and earnings for 2008



VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Half Year Results

Release of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a company of EquityStory AG.
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Press Release

VTG publishes half-yearly results and raises forecast for revenues and earnings for 2008

- Revenues climbed by 13.1 percent in first six months
- EBITDA significantly increased by 26.7 percent
- Revenues forecast for financial year 2008 raised to plus 8 to 10     percent (before 3.5 to 5.5 percent)

- EBITDA outlook raised to an increase of 11 to 14 percent(before 5 to 8     percent)

Hamburg, 27 August 2008. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (SCN: VTG999) continues its growth path and increased revenues and earnings significantly in the first half of the current financial year. The European rail logistics and wagon hire company, based in Hamburg, improved its group revenues by 13.1 percent to EUR 298.6 million. The operating profit EBITDA was even increased by 26.7 percent to EUR 77.8 million. The operating cash flow reached EUR 67.6 million and was thus 53.7 percent better than the very good reference value of the previous year. Due to the excellent business development and the positive prospects VTG raised its outlook for revenues and EBITDA for the current financial year.

'VTG profits increasingly from the growing attractiveness of rail, not least being driven by the constantly growing energy prices', says to Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Group. 'Rail as an energy efficient and environmental-friendly mode of transport gains importance for industry customers. This long-term trend is the basis for our excellent business development.'

Wagon Hire Division with ongoing strong demand 

VTG’s biggest division Wagon Hire benefited of the constantly high demand for wagon capacities in the core market Europe and realized further growth in the first half of 2008. Its position as market leader in the European wagon hire business was thereby underlined. With the acquisition of the rail freight car manufacturing segment of the Graaff Group in July, VTG expanded its activities by the production of rail freight cars and thus by a stage in the value chain prior to the existing business. The takeover still must be approved by the German anti-trust office (Kartellamt). With Graaff, a platform for innovation and construction is available for the long-term production of currently scarce special rail freight cars. In addition, synergy effects in the procurement of components and parts are expected due to higher purchasing volumes.

On 30 June, VTG’s wagon fleet consisted of about 49,300 rail freight cars. The utilisation rate climbed up to 93.8 percent by end of the half year in comparison to 91.9 percent one year before. Revenues of this division grew by 15.6 percent to EUR 143.7 million. The EBITDA increased from EUR 62.7 million to EUR 75.0 million, a strong plus of 19.6 percent. The EBITDA margin reached 52.2 percent (previous year 50.4 percent).
Rail Logistics Division profits from demand for cross-border transports
The positive development in the Rail Logistics Division is based on continuously growing demand for cross-border traffic. In this sector VTG has comprehensive know-how, especially in the management of complex cross-border transports. The Rail Logistics Division profits from the limited number of rail freight cars in the market which additionally led to an increasing demand for efficient planning and therefore for VTG’s intelligent logistics services.

Particularly based on a very good business development in the second quarter of the financial year, revenues of the Rail Logistics Division grew by 10.9 percent to EUR 86.7 million. EBITDA increased from EUR 2.5 million to EUR 4.6 million, including a one-time-effect from the selling of the VTG stake in the rail transport company rail4chem. Without this effect, EBITDA of this division would anyhow have climbed by 34.8 percent to EUR 3.3 million. Profitability of the division was clearly increased as well: The gross profit based EBITDA margin of 48.1 percent, adjusted by the influence of the selling of rail4chem, exceeded the reference value of 42.8 percent clearly.

Tank Container Logistics strengthens sales position in China
The Tank Container Logistics Division registered an again stronger demand for transports to CIS and a good business in overseas. In China VTG was able to further expand the business activities of its tank container logistics business subsidiary VOTG through a joint venture with the logistics company Cosco Logistics. Cosco Logistics is one of the biggest logistic companies in China and belongs to Cosco Group, one of the biggest shipping companies worldwide, headquartered in Beijing. Through the joint venture, VTG gets access to the dynamically growing freight logistics market in China.

Parallel to the good business development VTG was able to increase revenues of the division from January to the end of June 2008 by 11.0 percent to EUR 68.1 million. EBITDA grew by similar extent and increased by 11.2 percent to EUR 4.5 million. EBITDA margin based on gross profit slightly grew to 43.0 percent.

Outlook: Forecast for revenues raised to EUR 585 to 595 million
The excellent business development during the first six months and the very good start into the second half of the year allow expecting an overall very successful financial year 2008. 'Based on the background of this very good development we decided to raise the forecast for revenues and EBITDA given in spring, says Dr. Kai Kleberg, CFO of VTG. 'We expect now that group revenues will grow by 8 to 10 percent up to EUR 585 to 595 million for the current year. Operating profit EBITDA shall grow by 11 to 14 percent to EUR 152 to 156 million - here we originally had expected a growth of 5 to 8 percent.' The company’s objective to pay a dividend of EUR 0.30 per share for the financial year 2008 remains untouched.

 Key figures of VTG AG


01 Jan - 30 01 Jan - 30 Change Jun 2008 Jun 2007
Revenue in € million 298.6 264.0 13.1 % EBITDA in € million 77.8 61.4 26.7 % EBIT in € million 38.2 29.8 28.1 % EBT in € million 22.3 10.2 118.9 % Group result in € million 15.0 6.8 118.6 % Depreciation in € million 39.6 31.6 25.3 % Investments in fixed assets 80.0 60.0 33.3 % in € million
Cash flow in € million 67.6 44.0 53.7 % Earnings per share 0.68 0.30 126.7 % (comparable) in €*
30 Jun 2008 31 Dec 2007 Total assets in € million 1,217.8 1,165.9 4.5 % Long-term assets in € 1,036.7 990.6 4.7 % million
Short-term assets in € 181.1 175.3 3.3 % million
Equity capital in € million 295.7 278.7 6.1 % Debt capital in € million 922.1 887.2 3.9 % Equity ratio in % 24.3 23.9 0.4 %- points Number of employees 833 814 2.3 %


* Group profit attributable to the shareholders of VTG AG divided by the weighted average number of shares in issue during the period under review. For comparability reasons previous years' result was divided by the weighted average number of shares during first half-year 2008.
Note to editorial staff:

The half-yearly report 2008 of VTG is available for download under www.vtg.de.

About VTG:

VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe’s leading rail logistics and wagon hire companies. The company has the largest private wagon fleet in Europe. Globally the fleet consists of about 49,300 rail freight cars with a focus on tank cars and state of the art high capacity freight cars and flat cars. In addition to the hiring of rail freight cars, the Group offers global tank container transport and comprehensive multi-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 30 June 2008 VTG employed 833 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
27.08.2008  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  
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