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Financial year 2015 concluded successfully – Higher dividend proposed

  • Group sales up 8.5 percent to EUR 1,063.8 (previous year: 980.4) million; organic sales increase of 4.7 percent
  • Gross profit margin of 42.6 percent unchanged from previous year
  • EBITDA margin of 14.8 (14.0) percent above previous-year figure and in upper range of target corridor of 12 to 15 percent
  • Dividend of EUR 0.50 (0.32) per share proposed
  • TAKKT expects positive and profitable performance for 2016

Stuttgart, Germany, March 17, 2016. “For the first time in the history of the company, we sold more than one billion euros in goods in one year. This is a milestone that we are proud of. While Europe showed a slight improvement over the course of the year, we were able to continue the previous year’s good performance in North America with strong growth,” noted Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT AG. For TAKKT, the 2015 financial year was once again characterized by varying momentum in the core markets of Europe and North America. In Europe, however, business development was affected, in particular, by the weak performance in Switzerland. With Post-Up Stand in the US and BiGDUG in the UK, two smaller companies were acquired. At the same time, the Plant Equipment Group (PEG) was sold. TAKKT was able to achieve an organic (i.e. adjusted for currency, disposal and acquisition effects) increase in Group sales of 4.7 percent compared to the previous year. Reported sales of EUR 1,063.8 (previous year: 980.4) million were 8.5 percent higher than in the previous year.

EBITDA margin once again within upper third of target corridor
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of EUR 157.3 (137.3) million was 14.6 percent higher compared to the previous year. The corresponding EBITDA margin, the key performance indicator for the operational profitability of the TAKKT Group, increased significantly to 14.8 (14.0) percent, once again placing it in the upper third of the target corridor of 12 to 15 percent. Along with the organic increase in sales, the associated improvement in the utilization of the infrastructure at TAKKT AMERICA and the positive effect from the sale of the less profitable PEG business also contributed to this positive development. In addition, a positive one-off contribution to earnings of EUR 3.3 million was realized in the year under review due to the deconsolidation of PEG. Adjusted for the income from the deconsolidation, the EBITDA margin in 2015 amounted to 14.5 percent.

TAKKT EUROPE: Subdued development in both divisions
In the TAKKT EUROPE segment, organic sales grew slightly by 0.7 percent. Reported sales were 3.6 percent above the previous year’s figure and came to EUR 538.3 (519.8) million. The share in Group sales thus decreased to 50.6 (53.0) percent. While Topdeq realized sales during the phase-out process in 2014, there were no longer corresponding sales in 2015. This was offset by a positive impact from the acquisition of BiGDUG through its contribution to the sales of TAKKT EUROPE since July. Sales for the segment in the reporting currency of euros were also positively influenced by currency effects, especially as a result of the stronger Swiss franc. Overall, the Business Equipment Group (BEG) recorded a slight organic increase in sales. The Packaging Solutions Group (PSG) also realized slight organic sales growth. In the year under review, EBITDA in the TAKKT EUROPE segment fell slightly by 0.8 percent to EUR 98.4 (99.1) million. This resulted in an EBITDA margin of 18.3 (19.1) percent. The lower operational margin is largely attributable to the subdued business development.

TAKKT AMERICA: Above-average sales growth
Organic sales growth in the TAKKT AMERICA segment was 10.0 percent. Reported sales in the 2015 financial year increased by 14.1 percent to EUR 525.8 (460.9) million. The share of Group sales increased to 49.4 (47.0) percent. Sales growth in the reporting currency of euros benefited from the stronger US dollar as well as the first-time consolidation of the acquired activities of Post-Up Stand as of April. By contrast, the disposal of the North American PEG Group division as of January 30, 2015, had a negative effect.

The Specialties Group (SPG) recorded organic sales growth in the low double-digit percentage range. Particularly notable was the very dynamic growth of Central, specialist supplier for the restaurant industry. The Office Equipment Group (OEG) achieved even higher organic sales growth than the SPG. In 2015, the division benefited from the good business with government customers and even more so because of the high demand from private companies.

In the TAKKT AMERICA segment, EBITDA increased by 44.9 percent to EUR 68.9 (47.6) million. The EBITDA margin of the TAKKT AMERICA segment rose to 13.1 (10.3) percent. After adjusting for the positive effect from the deconsolidation of PEG, the EBITDA margin would have amounted to 12.5 percent. Besides the good business performance and the sale of the less profitable PEG business, the acquisition of Post-Up Stand also had a positive effect because the new US company realizes an above-average EBITDA margin.

Sustainability report meets highest standards
TAKKT defined sustainability as an integral component of the corporate strategy early on and has made great progress toward its goal of becoming the global role model for sustainability in the industry by the end of 2016. Acting sustainably includes the entire supply chain. At KAISER+KRAFT, for example, more than 90 percent of the shipments (parcels and general cargo) within Germany are now carbon neutral. The further progress made in the defined focus areas are described in the new sustainability report, which is published at the same time as the 2015 annual report. It has once again been prepared in accordance with the “Comprehensive” level, the highest application level of the international standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Increase in dividend to EUR 0.50 per share proposed
Due to the good performance, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of TAKKT AG will propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting in May that the dividend be increased to EUR 0.50 per share. This corresponds to a payout ratio of 40 percent of profits for the period.

CFO Claude Tomaszewski explains: “The dividend proposal follows the amended dividend policy announced in February, which provides for a payout ratio of between 35 and 45 percent of the profit. This change reflects our desire for our shareholders to participate even more in TAKKT’s success.”

Appointment of Dirk Lessing renewed
Besides the dividend proposal, the Supervisory Board decided in yesterday’s meeting to renew Dirk Lessing’s appointment to the Management Board for five years effective from 01 January 2017. Lessing is a member of TAKKT’s Management Board since 01 January 2014 as well as the Chairman of the Management Board of KAISER+KRAFT EUROPA GmbH.

Outlook: Positive sales and earnings development expected
For 2016, TAKKT anticipates a positive business development. According to economic forecasts, slightly better economic growth is expected in the relevant TAKKT target markets. In light of this, and provided that the current unrest on the financial markets does not spill over into the mood and investment behavior of the real economy, TAKKT expects organic sales growth of three to five percent and an EBITDA margin in the upper third of the target corridor as the most likely scenario. TAKKT will also continue developing its business model in 2016 as part of its multi-channel PLUS strategy. “With our DYNAMIC growth and modernization initiative, we are creating the foundation to harness the opportunities of digitalization and to make them even more tangible for our customers and business partners. To this end, we will be developing a broad digital agenda in 2016,” says Felix Zimmermann, summarizing the direction for 2016.

IFRS figures for the TAKKT Group for the 2015 financial year
(in EUR million)

 20152014Change in %
TAKKT Group sales1,063.8980.4+8.5
Organic growth  +4.7
TAKKT EUROPE538.3519.8+3.6
TAKKT AMERICA525.8460.9+14.1
EBITDA157.3137.3+14.6
EBITDA margin (%)14.814.0 
EBIT129.4110.8+16.8
EBIT margin (%)12.211.3 
Profit before tax119.999.3+20.7
Pre-tax profit margin (%)11.310.1 
TAKKT cash flow114.298.7+15.7
TAKKT cash flow margin (%)10.710.1 
Investment14.213.6+4.4
TAKKT cash flow per share in EUR1.741.50+16.0
Earnings per share in EUR1.241.00+24.0
Non-current assets735.6663.6+10.8
in % of total assets76.375.2 
Total equity473.4368.8+28.4
in % of total equity and liabilities49.143.8 
Net borrowings244.0217.5+12.2
Employees (full-time equivalent) as of December 312,3042,357-2.2

About TAKKT AG
TAKKT is the leading B2B direct marketing specialist for business equipment in Europe and North America. The Group is represented with its brands in more than 25 countries. The product range of the subsidiaries comprises more than 300,000 products for the areas of plant and warehouse equipment, office furniture, transport packaging, display articles, equipment for the food service industry, hotel market and retailers.

The TAKKT Group has over 2,000 employees and just under three million customers worldwide. The company is listed on the SDAX and Deutsche Börse Prime Standard.

Contacts:
Dr. Christian Warns Tel. +49 711 3465-8222
Giuseppe Palmieri Tel. +49 711 3465-8250
Email: investor@takkt.de