R. STAHL, leading supplier of products and systems for explosion protection, today published its results for the first quarter of 2015:
- Order intake stable at EUR 88.4 million (previous year: EUR 88.4 million).
- Sales growth of 21.6% to EUR 82.2 million (previous year: EUR 67.6 million).
- Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) up 128.1% year on year at EUR 4.1 million (previous year: EUR 1.8 million) with EBIT margin of 5.0% (previous year: 2.7%).
- Despite dynamic sales growth in the first quarter, cautious full-year guidance upheld.
R. STAHL completed numerous project orders in the first quarter of the new fiscal year and recorded the highest quarterly sales over the first three months of 2015, thanks to the high order backlog of the previous year. Order intake also reached the same high level as in the previous year. CEO Martin Schomaker commented as follows on the company's results: "We started the new year with a high level of order backlog. This should not disguise the fact that the situation is difficult in certain markets. Nevertheless, we can be very satisfied with this strong rise in sales."
Regional differences in business trend
With the exception of Germany, growth was achieved in all sales regions during the first three months. As a result, the proportion of sales generated outside Germany rose strongly to 81.3% (previous year: 74.9%). In Germany, sales fell by 9.2% to EUR 15.4 million (previous year: EUR 16.9 million). In Europe (excluding Germany), revenue increased by 7.3% to EUR 34.5 million (previous year: EUR 32.2 million). Whereas Norway in particular recorded lower sales, France, Italy and the UK all enjoyed significant growth. Sales in the Americas were up 57.7% year on year at EUR 14.5 million (previous year: EUR 9.2 million), while growth in the Asia/Pacific region reached 91.5% with sales of EUR 17.8 million (previous year: EUR 9.3 million).
The development of order intake in the first quarter indicates a weaker trend for Germany (-1.9%), Europe (-7.2%) and the Americas (-17.6%) in the months ahead. In Russia, the effects of the Ukraine crisis on R. STAHL's business are apparent. This not only affects direct demand from the region, but above all the sale of R. STAHL components to German machine builders which export to Russia. At the same time, a major order worth tens of millions was received to supply an LNG plant in the north of Russia. However, R. STAHL has taken the precaution of not booking the complete project as order intake, but will process it in several tranches. A further challenge is the persistently low oil price. In Norway, for instance, high regional production costs mean that energy corporations are exposed to considerable risks. Nevertheless, a prestigious major order was also received here for the fitting of an oil field 140 km off the coast of Stavanger. In the Americas, business was hampered above all by economic and political instability in the southern half of the continent. By contrast, order intake in the Asia/Pacific region achieved further growth of 32.9% to EUR 23.8 million (previous year: EUR 17.9 million). Business here was bolstered by two major orders from the Arab Gulf region.
At EUR 99.7 million (previous year: EUR 84.8 million), order backlog at the end of the first quarter provides a solid basis for business in the remaining months of 2015.
Increased costs continue to burden earnings
Due to the expansion of capacity over the past three years, increased fixed costs continue to place a burden on earnings. Investments in buildings, machines, equipment and office fittings as part of the expansion programme resulted in a year-on-year increase in depreciation of 7.6%. Compared to the same period last year, however, the cost of materials ratio based on total performance fell from 36.2% to 34.4%. The ratio of personnel expenses to total performance remained steady.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) more than doubled year on year to EUR 4.1 million (previous year: EUR 1.8 million). The EBIT margin for the first three months of 2015 amounted to 5.0% (previous year: 2.7%). Pre-tax earnings (EBT) reached EUR 3.5 million (previous year: EUR 1.0 million) with an EBT margin of 4.3% (previous year: 1.4%).
Balance sheet strengthened by sale of treasury shares
R. STAHL's equity ratio as of 31 March 2015 rose to 32.7% (31 December 2014: 27.3%). This was mainly due to the sale of 644,000 treasury shares to RAG-Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft. The shares were transferred in January 2015 on payment of the agreed purchase price. The proceeds of EUR 13.3 million had no effect on net income and were disclosed in capital reserves after netting with the transaction expenses. There was a total positive effect on equity of EUR 24.0 million. The cash received from the sale of treasury shares was used to repay short-term financial debt, which was more than halved to EUR 17.1 million (31 December 2014: EUR 35.6 million). Our inventories increased particularly for work in progress. CFO Bernd Marx commented: "In the past few months, we have delayed the delivery of certain orders already completed at the request of our clients. Although storing such products worsens our balance sheet due to increased inventories of finished and unfinished goods, it helps foster good customer relationships and secure possible follow-up orders - which is why it makes economic sense for us to offer this customer service. We are therefore strengthening long-term customer retention and enhancing our market position."
Full-year guidance confirmed
The Executive Board has confirmed its guidance for the full year 2015. The main factor is the development of the oil industry, the most important sales market for R. STAHL at present. "We have already started to focus our order acquisition efforts more strongly on regions with lower production costs," says Martin Schomaker. "Moreover, low commodity prices are encouraging investment in other sectors, such as the chemical industry." Positive effects for business are expected from product innovations and new regulations - such as the revised standard for lighting offshore helicopter landing areas. However, these positive effects will be overshadowed by the challenges presented by the low oil price and the geopolitical situation in Russia, Brazil and North Africa. The Executive Board therefore looks forward with caution to the rest of the current fiscal year.
For the fiscal year 2015, order intake and sales revenues of between EUR 320 million and EUR 330 million are expected. The forecast range for EBIT is between EUR 16 million and EUR 20 million. As the external factors which influence business can change very quickly, these forecasts are still subject to a high degree of uncertainty.
R. STAHL AG is pleased to invite all interested analysts, investors and media to participate in the quarterly results conference call to be held on 7 May 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (CET). The telephone conference will be held in English language. Please dial the following number to join the call: +49 69 247503443. Additionally to the call, we will provide a presentation online. Please log on as a participant entering eventmanager.meetyoo.de, insert your full name and the following PIN: 42373697. An audio cast of the call will be available thereafter on the company's website: http://www.r-stahl.com/investor-relations/presentationsrecordings.html
Key figures of R. STAHL Group
according to IFRS
| ||Q1 2015 in EUR million||Q1 2014 in EUR million||Change in %|
|Europe excluding Germany||34.5||32.2||+ 7.3|
|Asia Pacific||17.8||9.3||+ 91.5|
|Order intake||88.4||88.4||- 0.1|
|Order backlog||99.7||84.8||+ 17.6|
|EBITDA-margin (%)||9.0||7.2|| |
|EBIT-margin (%)||5.0||2.7|| |
|EBT-margin (%)||4.3||1.4|| |
|Net Earnings||2.4||0.7||+ 254.7|
|Earnings per share (EUR)||0.41||0.11||+ 272.7|
|Cash flow from operations||- 0.6||- 1.9|| |
|Employees as of 31.03. (excl. apprentices)||1,962||1,871||+ 4.9|
| || || || |
| ||31.03.2015||31.12.2014|| |
| || || || |
|Cash and equivalents||16.5||15.8||+ 4.6|
|Equity ratio (%)||32.7||27.3|| |
The full report for Q3 2015 is available for download at the company's website.
Financial calendar 2015
22 May Annual General Meeting in Neuenstein
6 August H1 report
5 November Q3 report
About R. STAHL
R. STAHL is one of the world's leading suppliers of electrical and electronic products and systems for explosion protection. These products and systems prevent explosions in hazardous areas and contribute to the safety of people, machines and the environment. The portfolio ranges from products used in switching/distributing, installing, operating/monitoring, lighting and signalling/alarming, up to automation. Typical customers operate in industries, such as the oil & gas industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and the food industry. In 2014, global sales amounting to EUR 308.5 million were generated with about 1,942 employees. The shares of R. STAHL AG are traded on the Regulated Market/Prime Standard of Deutsche Boerse (ISIN DE000A1PHBB5).
R. STAHL AG
Am Bahnhof 30, 74638 Waldenburg (Württ.)
Bernd Marx (CFO)
Phone: +49 7942 943 1271
Nathalie Dirian (Investor Relations)
Phone: +49 7942 943 1395
Frank Schwarz (Investor Relations)
Phone: +49 611 5802 9290
E-mail: [email protected]