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DGAP-News: VTG meets 2009 forecast and continues to strengthen its business model

VTG Aktiengesellschaft / Final Results

20.04.2010 10:00

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Press Release

VTG meets 2009 forecast and continues to strengthen its business model
- Revenue decreases by 4.5 percent, EBITDA by 3.8 percent: forecast fully met

- Wagon Hire: fleet diversified and plant and workshops strengthened
- Rail Logistics: international expansion of operations
- Tank Container Logistics: positive development in China
- Revenue and EBITDA for 2010 expected to be around 2009 level
- Dividend payment of EUR 0.30 planned

Hamburg, April 20, 2010. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999), one of the leading private wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe, today announced its figures for the financial year 2009. Group revenue decreased compared to the previous year by 4.5 percent to EUR 581.5 million. Operating profit (EBITDA) fell against the adjusted figure for the previous year, by 3.8 percent to EUR 149.4 million. With these results, the company has achieved its forecast made in February 2009 for the year as a whole.
'Despite the economic crisis, we used 2009 for further development', comments Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. 'We were able to further diversify our wagon fleet, invest in our plant and workshops, expand Rail Logistics and directed Tank Container Logistics well through the crisis.' For 2009, VTG has maintained cash flow and profitability in a difficult economic environment, focused on strengthening the core market of Europe, and slowed down the rate of expansion into other global markets. 'Even though 2010 will again be a difficult year, I am in no doubt that we will benefit from the strengthening of our business model, since the long-term trend of growth in global rail freight traffic has not been interrupted, even by the economic crisis', adds Fischer.
In the last financial year, Group revenue showed a moderate drop of EUR 27.2 million, to EUR 581.5 million. EBITDA fell only slightly against the adjusted figure for the previous year, by EUR 5.7 million to EUR 149.4 million. Group profit decreased by EUR 5.4 million to EUR 22.5 million. As of December 31, 2009, the Group had 963 employees: of these, 678 were in Germany and 285 abroad.

Wagon Hire with strengthened services in Europe, but moderate drop in revenue

In the Wagon Hire Division, the company has pushed on with its strategy of wagon fleet diversification, expanding the fleet with the addition of wagons for transporting coal, sand, steel coils, iron ore, and limestone. Additionally, VTG strengthened the plant and workshops and accompanying services. Waggonbau Graaff, which VTG bought in 2008, was integrated successfully into the Group and was already back at a production level of more than 250 wagons per annum and had produced its first wagon enhancements. Within the European network of repair workshops, the spare parts management process was optimized and VTG's own workshops were modernized with investments into the infrastructure, new machinery and equipment.

Wagon Hire showed a moderate decrease in revenue; a decrease that slowed again down in the second half of the year. Revenue for the financial year 2009 fell slightly, by 1.7 percent, to EUR 289.0 million. Capacity utilization of the wagons (numbering some 50,000) fell against the very positive result of the previous year, by 3.7 percentage points, to 87.4 percent. EBITDA, at EUR 146.3 million, was 4.0 percent below the figure for the previous year. The EBITDA margin related to revenue was 50.6 percent, almost reaching the level of the previous year of 51.8 percent.
Rail logistics strengthens European operations and shows growth despite economic crisis

The Rail Logistics Division has successfully pushed ahead with its strategy of international expansion. Accordingly, the division opened a sales office in Rotterdam in August 2009 to raise its market profile in the Benelux countries. In Hungary, operations were expanded with the transport of biofuels. In Turkey, new sales opportunities are being opened up through a partnership entered into in 2009 with a rail forwarder. The newly acquired southeastern Europe transports, the positive development of block train and liquefied gas transports, coupled with the expansion of the range of services and the acquisition of new customers and routes more than compensated for the downturn in chemical transports. Acquisitions made at the turn of the year - LOG-O-Rail customer contracts and the takeover of the company Bräunert Eisenbahnverkehr - will further improve business in 2010.

Rail Logistics successfully increased its revenue, despite growing competitive pressure, by 1.0 percent compared with the previous year, to EUR 179.4 million. EBITDA improved to EUR 6.7 million, it was 5.9 percent higher than the adjusted figure for the previous year. The EBITDA margin on gross profit, at 41.7 percent, was slightly below the adjusted one of the previous year (44.7 percent).

Tank Container Logistics on the road to recovery after steep decline in demand in chemical industry

In 2009, the Tank Container Logistics Division was already reaping the rewards of the joint venture entered into only in 2008 with Cosco Logistics in China. The economic crisis initially hit the Tank Container Logistics especially hard: however, in the second half of the year, it began to recover at a very modest level, benefiting here in particular from the attractive Chinese market. At the same time, the overall economic recovery in Asia generated growth in transport early on within the region as well as from and to Asia. The US export market also increasingly recovered. The intra-European transport market, however, only picked up again slightly at the end of 2009.

These positive trends did lead to slow recovery as of the second quarter, but could not offset the steep decline in demand in the chemical industry. Accordingly, for the year as a whole and compared with the previous year, revenue fell by 17.4 percent, to EUR 113.1 million. EBITDA fell by 24.3 percent, to EUR 7.3 million. Due to strict cost management measures, the EBITDA margin related to revenue shrank only slightly, from 44.3 percent to 41.4 percent.

Secure financing and cautious investment policy 

VTG places great importance on stability and security. For this reason, the company slowed down the rate of investment initially planned for 2009 and ultimately made investments totaling EUR 153.3 million (previous year: EUR 158.2 million). The focus of investment was Wagon Hire in Europe, with a 96.0 percent share. Even in the economic crisis, the company has financed itself largely from cash flow from operating activities, which, at EUR 144.8 million, almost reached the previous year's level of EUR 149.6 million. With an equity ratio of 23.2 percent, VTG also has a solid balance sheet structure. The balance sheet total as of December 31, 2009 amounted to EUR 1,277.2 million, an increase of 3.0 percent on the previous year.
Outlook for 2010: moderate investment and stable growth in difficult economic environment

In 2010, the executive board expects to prove once again VTG's stability. If the moderate rate of economic growth continues as forecast, then the three operational divisions will develop as follows: in Wagon Hire, the level of capacity utilization of the fleet will again exceed that as of the end of 2009, Rail Logistics will continue on its path of growth and Tank Container Logistics will continue to recover. In 2010, VTG will be just as cautious with investments and adapt to general conditions as already in 2009. Where good opportunities arise and VTG can strengthen its business model with moderate investments, the Group will act. As a result of this, VTG expects revenue and operating profit for 2010 to be around the levels of 2009.

As in 2009, the executive board of VTG intends to propose to the 2010 annual general meeting a dividend payment of EUR 0.30 per share for the financial year 2009. VTG is thereby adhering to its objective of reliably continuing to issue payments and doing so over the long term.
 Key figures for VTG Aktiengesellschaft

Financial year 2009 2008 Change in % Revenue in EUR million 581.5 608.7 -4.5 EBITDA EUR million
(adjusted for one-off effect) 149.4 155.1 -3.8 EBIT in EUR million 66.9 75.6 -11.6 EBT in EUR million 35.4 43.1 -18.0 Group profit in EUR million 22.5 27.9 -19.3 Depreciation and amortization
in EUR million 82.5 80.8 2.1 Capital expenditure, tangible
fixed assets, in EUR million 153.3 140.9 8.8 Capital expenditure, total, in EUR million 153.5 158.2 -3.0 Cash flow from operating
activities in EUR million 144.8 149.6 -3.2 Earnings per share in EUR 1.01 1.26 -19.8 Wagon Hire Division
Revenue in EUR million 289.0 294.1 -1.7 EBITDA in EUR million 146.3 152.5 -4.0 EBITDA margin in % 50.6 51.8 Rail Logistics Division
Revenue in EUR million 179.4 177.7 1.0 EBITDA in EUR million * 6.7 6.3 5.9 EBITDA margin in % * 41.7 44.7 Tank Container Logistics Division
Revenue in EUR million 113.1 136.8 -17.4 EBITDA in EUR million 7.3 9.6 -24.3 EBITDA margin in % 41.4 44.3
12/31/ 12/31/ Change 2009 2008 in % No. of employees 963 1,004 -4.1 - in Germany 678 674 0.6 - abroad 285 330 -13.6
12/31/ 12/31/ Change 2009 2008 in % Balance sheet
total in EUR million 1,277.2 1,240.5 3.0 Non-current assets
in EUR million 1,124.9 1,081.2 4.0 Current assets
in EUR million 152.3 159.3 -4.4 Shareholders' equity
in EUR million 296.7 288.4 2.9 External capital
in EUR million 980.4 952.1 3.0 Equity ratio in % 23.2 23.3 0.0

* Including one-off effect from the sale of a shareholding in 2008: EBITDA = EUR 7.6 million, EBITDA margin = 53.5%

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 some 50,000 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 transports and comprehensive multi-modal logistics services, mainly around rail transport.

With the combination of its three interlinked divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics, VTG offers its customers a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific expertise, in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost every industrial sector, for example the chemical, petroleum, automotive and paper industries.
In the financial year 2009, VTG generated revenue of EUR 581.5 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 149.4 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 2009, VTG had 963 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007, VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and also on the SDAX (WKN: VTG999).
Media contact:

Tanja Laube 
Head of Corporate Communications
Telephone:  +49 (0) 40 23 54-1341
Fax:             +49 (0) 40 23 54-1340

Investor Relations contact:

Felix Zander
Head of Investor Relations
Telephone:    +49 (0) 40 23 54-1351
Fax:          +49 (0) 40 23 54-1350

Further information at

20.04.2010 Ad hoc announcement, Financial News and Media Release distributed by DGAP. Media archive at and

Language:     English
Company:      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, Düsseldorf, Hannover, München, Hamburg, Stuttgart  
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