VTG Aktiengesellschaft: VTG improves profitability in the financial year 2016 and proposes significant dividend increase
VTG improves profitability in the financial year 2016 and proposes significant dividend increase
- Operating result (EBITDA) hits new record despite slight drop in revenue
- Tangible synergies from AAE acquisition drive higher profitability
- Revenue and profit expected to increase in 2017
- Medium-term growth and profitability targets updated
- Plans to raise dividend from EUR 0.50 to EUR 0.75 per share
Hamburg, March 7, 2017. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999), one of the leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe, became significantly more profitable in the financial year 2016. Based on the preliminary (unaudited) figures released today, operating profit (EBITDA) rose by 2.6 percent to EUR 345.3 million (previous year: EUR 336.5 million), despite the fact that revenue declined by 4.0 percent to EUR 986.9 million (previous year: EUR 1,027.5 million). This positive development is due partly to the ongoing realization of synergies following the acquisition of AAE, but partly also to successful steps to improve efficiency in various Group divisions. Since profitability has improved sustainably in the wake of the AAE takeover, the Executive Board proposes that the dividend this year be increased from EUR 0.50 to EUR 0.75 per share.
"2016 was an exciting and eventful year. The realization of valuable synergies in the Railcar Division after the acquisition of AAE and successful activities to improve efficiency in our logistics divisions have impacted very positively on our business and are contributing to our growing profitability," says Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG. "We expect to see a mild positive trend in revenue and profit in 2017. We will continue to work on our strategy of making rail more attractive and more competitive. The digitization of our entire European fleet is a major milestone along this road and, at the same time, a forward-looking project that has given us a pioneering role."Railcar: EBITDA up - Revenue slightly down
The Railcar Division posted revenue of EUR 517.2 million in the financial year 2016 (previous year: EUR 537.2 million), a drop of 3.7 percent year on year. Roughly a quarter of the decline in revenue was due to better capacity utilization with internal production orders at the company's own factories and had no effect on earnings. On top of slack demand in some wagon segments, however, weaker trading activity in Europe, low diesel prices and the decrease in truck tolls in Germany in particular placed a burden on intermodal business. Across the global fleet, capacity utilization thus fell to 89.8 percent (previous year: 90.6 percent). On the other hand, synergies from the AAE acquisition, internal efficiency programs and one instance of one-time income were more than enough to offset the decline in revenue, with the result that EBITDA improved by 2.6 percent, from EUR 335.4 million in the previous year to EUR 344.3 million in the financial year 2016.Rail Logistics: Positive earnings trend continues - Tank Container Logistics feeling the effects of more difficult market conditions
The Rail Logistics Division saw revenue decline by 3.6 percent to EUR 312.3 million in the financial year 2016 (previous year: EUR 324.0 million). Besides production outages at customers and lower demand for transportation in the agricultural sector, a further factor in this slight decline was the discontinuation of low-margin business. Despite the fall in revenue, EBITDA for the division improved sharply, climbing 71.2 percent to EUR 5.8 million, up from EUR 3.4 million in the previous year. The main contributors to this development were a focus on higher-margin orders and the process optimization measures completed in 2015.
While global transportation volumes at Tank Container Logistics remained stable year on year in the financial year 2016, lower freight rates caused the division's revenue to decline by 5.3 percent to EUR 157.4 million (previous year: EUR 166.3 million). Primarily due to the elimination of one-time income totaling EUR 1.5 million from the sale of an associated company in the first quarter of 2015, EBITDA slipped from EUR 13.6 million to EUR 11.2 million in the period under review. Adjusted for the one-time effect, this equates to a decline of 7.2 percent.Revenue and EBITDA expected to increase - Substantially higher dividend proposed
The Executive Board of VTG anticipates a mild positive trend in business development in 2017. In line with moderate growth prospects, especially for Europe, revenue at the VTG Group is expected to edge up. Despite the elimination of one-time income from the previous year, EBITDA too is expected to increase slightly.
The acquisition of AAE has nevertheless significantly increased the Group's profitability - a fact which the Executive Board believes should be reflected in a similarly significant increase in the dividend. The Board therefore intends to propose to the Annual General Meeting that the previous year's dividend of EUR 0.50 per share be increased this year to EUR 0.75 per share.
Based on a package of measures, the Board in September 2015 set itself the goal of improving earnings per share to EUR 2.50 by 2018. In light of growing uncertainty about global economic development going forward and the current, rather weaker economic environment, the Board cannot at the present time rule out the possibility that the goal formulated for 2018 might only be reached a year later.About VTG:
VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe's leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies, with a fleet consisting of more than 80,000 railcars. VTG offers a full-range service, providing tank cars, intermodal wagons, standard freight wagons and sliding wall wagons. In addition to the hiring of wagons, the Group offers comprehensive multi-modal logistics services, mainly around rail transport, and global tank container transports.
With the combination of its three interlinked divisions Railcar, 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, paper and agricultural industries.
In the financial year 2015, VTG generated revenue of EUR 1,027.5 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 336.5 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, North America, Russia and Asia. As at 31 December 2015, VTG had 1,445 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. VTG AG is listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and also on the SDAX (WKN: VTG999).
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More information at www.vtg.com
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Company: VTG Aktiengesellschaft Nagelsweg 34 20097 Hamburg
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