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DGAP-News: VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG takes advantage of a stable business model

VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Final Results

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VTG takes advantage of a stable business model 

- Revenue in 2008 increased by 12.4% to EUR 608.7 million
- EBITDA increased by 14.2% to EUR 156.4 million
- All divisions reported increases in revenue and EBITDA
- Despite economic crisis, revenue and EBITDA for 2009 expected to be     slightly below the level of 2008

Hamburg, 22nd April 2009. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (Securities Identification Code: VTG999), Europe's leading private wagon hire and rail logistics company, ended the financial year 2008 with significant increases in revenue and operating profit (EBITDA). VTG increased group revenue by 12.4 per cent and EBITDA by 14.2 per cent, exceeding its forecast for sales and EBITDA.

'2008 was a very successful year for us', says Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. 'We increased our wagon fleet, expanded our business internationally and enriched our services with a wagon manufacturing plant. So far, we have felt minimum affects by the economic downturn and are looking to 2009 with a healthy mix of realism and optimism.'

In 2008, VTG increased group revenues by EUR 67.3 million to EUR 608.7 million. The EBITDA increased by EUR 19.4 million to EUR 156.4 million. Group profit as adjusted for one-off tax effects also rose by EUR 8.8 million to EUR 27.9 million. As of 31st December 2008, the VTG Group had a total of 1,004 employees, 190 more than in the previous year.
Wagon Hire Division expanded 

At the end of 2008, the Wagon Hire Division had a fleet of some 49,600 wagons (previous year: 47,800). This increase is primarily due to our entry into the North American market with 1,000 wagons and subsequent expansion of the fleet by 80 %. Capacity utilization of the global wagon fleet remained high, at a level of 91.1 per cent at year end. The slight drop in capacity utilization of 2.8 percentage points on the previous year was mainly due to the decline in demand for wagons for transporting automotive parts. Through the acquisition of the wagon manufacturer Graaff in 2008, VTG has secured its own production capacities and construction expertise. This means that the company can accommodate customer requirements with more flexibility. The majority of the Group's investments in fixed assets, amounting to EUR 140.9 million, were made in the Wagon Hire division. In this division, VTG generated a sales increase in 2008 of 13.0 per cent, taking the figure to EUR 294.1 million. At EUR 152.5 million, EBITDA also exceeded the figure for the previous year by a considerable 11.2 per cent. The EBITDA margin related to sales continued to be strong at 51.8 per cent.
Rail Logistics Division gaining ground in the European market
In 2008, the Rail Logistics Division made an impact with its focus on international transports. The emphasis was on strengthening and expanding operations in Europe, particularly in eastern and south-eastern Europe. Growth drivers were transports for the chemical and petrochemical industries and those from and to eastern Europe. This division generated sales of EUR 177.7 million, an increase on the EUR 153.8 million of the previous year. There was also a significant increase in EBITDA: at EUR 6.3 million, it exceeded the 2007 level by 43.3 per cent (excludes one-time effect in 2008). The EBITDA margin on gross profit of 44.7 per cent was also much higher than the 38.8 per cent in the previous year.
Tank Container Logistics division strengthens its position in growth market of Asia

Tank Container Logistics grew considerably, even with the impact of the economic crisis. The chemical industry was still in a relatively good market position in the first six months of 2008 which helped supporting positive growth. As a first step, VTG was able to counteract the subsequent decline in demand to a certain extent through early cancellation of hire contracts for tank containers from external providers. Moreover, the company expanded its operations in the internal Chinese transport market by entering into a joint venture with Cosco Logistics in the summer. The division's sales increased from EUR 127.2 million to EUR 136.8 million. There was an even more significant increase in EBITDA, which went up by EUR 19.3 per cent to EUR 9.6 million. The EBITDA margin on gross profit rose from 40.9 per cent to 44.3 per cent.

Inclusion in the SDAX and secure financing 

The inclusion of VTG in the SDAX selection index in September of last year affirmed the success of the company's clear growth strategy and gave it a higher profile in the capital market. VTG's solid, long-term financing strategy has also been important in this respect. Cash flow from operating activities once again rose significantly, to EUR 149.6 million - an increase of 28.0 per cent on the previous year. With an equity ratio of 23.3 per cent, VTG also has a solid balance sheet structure. As at 31st December, total assets had reached EUR 1,240.5 million, a rise of 6.4 per cent on the previous year.

Outlook for 2009: stable growth in a difficult economic environment
The current financial year is set against the backdrop of an economic crisis whose end cannot yet be predicted. The VTG Group is also not impervious to this influence. For 2009, the company expects business development to be slightly below the level achieved in the previous year, with a drop of up to five per cent in revenue and EBITDA as compared with the very high levels of 2008. The very moderate decline is due to the great stability of VTG's business model. VTG's services constitute an integral part of the industrial infrastructure, they are also based on long-term customer relationships and are well-diversified, covering various market segments and countries. These elements make the company less susceptible to economic fluctuations than is the case with many other companies in the traditional logistics sector. This also means that VTG can better predict its business development.

'Our business model is designed for sustainable growth. Of course we cannot extricate ourselves completely from the effects of the economic crisis. Our secure long-term financing does enable us to make targeted acquisitions, however we are weighing up good opportunities very carefully and properly against the market situation', says CFO Dr. Kai Kleeberg.
There are different outlooks for the individual divisions: while in Wagon Hire there will be a certain slowing of growth, in Rail Logistics VTG expects only a slight decline after the very positive results of the fourth quarter. By contrast, the Tank Container Logistics Division will not be spared the effects of the slump, which were already in evidence by the end of 2008.

The executive and supervisory boards shall be proposing to the 2009 Annual General Meeting the issue of a dividend of EUR 0.30 per share for the financial year 2008.

 Key figures for VTG Aktiengesellschaft

Financial year 2008 2007 Change in % Revenue in EUR million * 608.7 541.3 12.4 EBITDA in EUR million 156.4 137.0 14.2 EBIT in EUR million 75.6 68.4 10.5 EBT in EUR million 43.1 32.7 31.9 Group profit in EUR million 
(adjusted for tax effects) 27.9 19.1 45.9 Depreciation and amortization 
in EUR million 80.8 68.6 17.8 Capital expenditure in EUR million 140.9 116.7 20.7 Cash flow in EUR million ** 149.6 116.9 28.0 Earnings per share in EUR 
(adjusted for tax effects) 1.26 0.87 44.8 Wagon Hire Division
Revenue in EUR million 294.1 260.3 13.0 EBITDA in EUR million 152.5 137.1 11.2 EBITDA margin in % 51.8 52.6 Rail Logistics Division
Revenue in EUR million 177.7 153.8 15.5 EBITDA in EUR million *** 6.3 4.4 43.3 EBITDA margin in % *** 44.7 38.8 Tank Container Logistics Division
Revenue in EUR million 136.8 127.2 7.6 EBITDA in EUR million 9.6 8.1 19.3 EBITDA margin in % 44.3 40.9
31.12. 31.12. Change 2008 2007 in % Number of employees 1,004 814 23.3 in Germany 674 510 32.2 abroad 330 304 8.6
31.12. 31.12. Change 2008 2007 in % Balance sheet total in EUR million 1,240.5 1,165.9 6.4 Non current assets in EUR million 1,081.2 990.6 9.1 Current assets in EUR million 159.3 175.3 -9.1 Shareholders' equity in EUR million 288.4 278.7 3.5 Total liabilities in EUR million 952.1 887.2 7.3 Equity ratio in % 23.3 23.9

* 2007 revenue has been adjusted to account for the fact that, as of 2008, changes to inventory no longer form part of revenue. ** 2007 cash flow has been adjusted to account for the fact that, as of 2008, dividends from non-consolidated companies involved in operating activities are part of cash flow from operating activities. *** Excludes one-time effect in the year 2008

About VTG:

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 about 49,600 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 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 automotive or paper industries.
In the financial year 2008 VTG generated operating revenues of EUR 608.7 million and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 156.4 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 2008 VTG employed 1,004 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007 VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange - since September 2008 also on the SDAX (SCN: VTG999).

Media contact:
Tanja Laube
Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 23 54-13 41
Fax: +49 (0) 40 23 54-13 40

Felix Zander
Head of Investor Relations
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 23 54-13 51
Fax: + 49 (0) 40 23 54-13 50 

Further information at
22.04.2009  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
Indices:      SDAX
Listed: Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Berlin, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München, Stuttgart  
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