R. Stahl AG: R. STAHL publishes the results for the first three quarters of 2015 - Sales increases by 5 %

DGAP-News: R. Stahl AG / Key word(s): 9-month figures/Quarter Results 2015-11-05 / 09:10 PRESSEINFORMATION / PRESS RELEASER. STAHL publishes the results for the first three quarters of 2015 - Sales increases by 5 %- Low oil price slows down order intake- Package of measures to reduce costs is being

DGAP-News: R. Stahl AG / Key word(s): 9-month figures/Quarter Results

2015-11-05 / 09:10


R. STAHL publishes the results for the first three quarters of 2015 -
Sales increases by 5 %

- Low oil price slows down order intake

- Package of measures to reduce costs is being implemented

- Growth in Asia

- Orientation towards profitability as of 2016

Waldenburg, 5 November 2015 - R. STAHL, leading supplier of products and systems for explosion protection, today publishes the results for the first three quarters in 2015:

- Order intake reached EUR 243.0 million (previous year: EUR 252.8 million) and thus was 3.9 % lower than in the previous year.

- Sales increased by 4.7 % to EUR 237.7 million (previous year: EUR 227.1 million).

- Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) declined by 35.8 % to
EUR 8.4 million (previous year: EUR 13.0 million); EBIT margin reached 3.5 % (previous year: 5.7 %).

- Towards the end of the fiscal year, R. STAHL anticipates order intake and sales amounting to EUR 300 million and EUR 310 million.

- The determined forecast corridor for EBIT is EUR 2 million to EUR 5 million;
one-off expenses for the adjustment of the personnel structure burden results.

In the third quarter, R. STAHL's market environment was increasingly strained due to the continuously low oil price. Numerous projects that had already been awarded, have been delayed or stopped altogether as the oil companies significantly cut their investment budgets. Chief Executive Officer Martin Schomaker commented: "This is the worst decline since the oil crisis 30 years ago. We do not expect the oil price to recover in the coming year and we will thus adjust the company to the altered market conditions to ensure our long-term competitiveness."

Strongest growth in sales in Asia/Pacific
During the first three quarters 2015, R. STAHL's sales increased by 4.7 % to
EUR 237.7 million, the development being different in the individual regions.

The strongest growth has been achieved by the company in the Asia/Pacific region, where sales increased by 32.2 % to EUR 54.6 million (previous year: EUR 41.3 million). In Australia, for example, R. STAHL supplied its solutions to an LNG plant located 220 km off the Australian west coast.

At EUR 39.2 million (previous year: EUR 36.0 million), business in the Americas exceeded previous year's value by 8.8 %, which can be especially attributed to the high order backlog from the previous year.

In Europe, sales amounted to EUR 95.1 million (previous year: EUR 99.8 million) and was thus 4.7 % below last year's value. While the order situation was especially weak in Northern Europe, R. STAHL recorded an increase in sales in Switzerland and France, due to a major order for an LNG plant in Russia.

In Germany, sales decreased by 2.2 % to EUR 48.9 million (previous year: EUR 50.0 million). All in all, R. STAHL generated 79.5 % of its sales outside of Germany.

Order intake continues to grow in Asia
In the Asia/Pacific region, we achieved order intake amounting to EUR 58.6 million (previous year: EUR 55.5 million) during the first nine months - an increase of 5.6 %. Numerous Asian buyer  markets, for example India, are less strongly affected by the low oil price as they are mainly working in oil refining (downstream) and not in primary oil production (upstream). In Abu Dhabi and in Australia, R. STAHL could convince its customers in major projects and won extensive follow-up orders.

In its domestic market, R. STAHL could increase order intake by 3.7 % and thus achieved EUR 52.8 million (previous year: EUR 50.9 million). Among others, the company for example won an order of one of Germany's major pharmaceutical companies.

Especially in Europe and the Americas, the low oil price led to a decline in demand. In the Americas, order intake amounted to EUR 35.1 million (previous year: EUR 44.7 million) and was thus 21.3 % below last year's value, due to the North American oil industry's cut in investments and the fragile economic situation in Brazil.

From its European customers, R. STAHL received orders amounting to EUR 96.5 million (previous year: EUR 101.7 million) and thus 5.1 % less than in the corresponding period in 2014. This amount includes follow-up orders for the LNG project in Russia.

Order backlog on 30 September 2015 at EUR 97.1 million (previous year: EUR 88.6 million) exceeded previous year's level by 9.5 %.

Weak demand reduces EBIT margin
The weak order situation, caused by the low oil price, hampers utilization of capacities. Especially at the headquarters in Waldenburg, the largest production site of R. STAHL Group, this led to a pressure on the margins. Due to the decline in order intake, this plant is currently not sufficiently utilized, a fact that leads to an increase of the relative fixed costs.

In regard to the material costs, the measures for optimization of production costs have yielded first results so that the cost-of-materials ratio based on the total operating performance declined to 34.1 % (previous year: 35.0 %).
In the course of the expansion programme, initiated in 2012, and against the background of the record order intake in 2014, R. STAHL's personnel costs increased. In the light of the sharp decline in demand of the oil and gas industry, the personnel capacity exceeds the requirement. Compared to the previous year, the personnel expenses ratio based on the total operating performance thus increased to 40.4 % (previous year: 38.7 %).
Depreciations rose by 4.9 % and amounted to EUR 9.9 million (previous year: EUR 9.4 million).

All in all, EBIT at EUR 8.4 million (previous year: EUR 13.0 million) was below last year's value by 35.8 %. The EBIT margin of the first three quarters of 2015 amounted to 3.5 % (previous year: 5.7 %). EBT reached EUR 6.3 million (previous year: EUR 10.4 million); EBT margin amounted to 2.6 % (previous year: 4.6 %).

Syndicated loan agreement concluded
Bilateral loan agreements amounting to EUR 45 million expired on 30 September 2015; they were replaced by a syndicated loan agreement with banking partners Deutsche Bank, HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt, Baden-W├╝rttembergische Bank and Commerzbank. The total volume of the syndicated loan agreement thus amounts to EUR 95 million with an enhancement option of EUR 25 million.

As at 30 September 2015, R. STAHL's equity has increased to EUR 102.6 million (31 December 2014: EUR 74.9 million), mainly due to the sale of 644,000 own shares, respectively 10 % of the capital stock, to RAG-Stiftung Beteiligungsgesellschaft in January 2015. All in all, this transaction resulted in a positive equity effect of EUR 24.0 million. The decline of the cash value of the pension obligations, amounting to EUR 4.6 million, also increased equity. Equity ratio reached a total of 35.8 % (31 December 2014: 27.3 %).

At EUR 112.7 million, R. STAHL's long-term liabilities remained stable (31 December 2014: EUR 111.4 million). As at 30 September 2015, the short-term liabilities amounted to EUR 71.0 million (31 December 2014: EUR 87.6 million) and were thus 19.0 % below last year's level. The company had used the cash inflow from the sale of own shares in the first quarter to pay back short-term interest-bearing financial debts.

Forecast: Efficient future ahead
For the current and the following fiscal year, we expect a sideways trend of the oil price and concentrate on leading the company to a profitable future. We defined packages of measures to increase our market penetration and to increase our profitability.

In regard to the market, our strategy is based on three pillars: First, we put our focus on the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with targeted marketing measures to reduce our dependency on the oil and gas industry. With new products, especially in the field energy distribution, we offer innovative solutions to our customers in these two industry sectors. In special shipbuilding, we generate additional business as well, for example with the integrated lighting solution for offshore heliports.
However, the energy sector will remain an important customer industry for R. STAHL and thus forms the second pillar of our strategy for market penetration. We will use the crisis to offer advisory service to our customers in this industry sector in regard to new technologies and to show them long-term savings potential with our system solutions, especially in automation. We will thus strengthen our position with the customer and will create opportunities for additional orders.
The third pillar of our strategy concerns the growth in Asia. Here, we strongly extended our business in the past years and we still see a lot of potential in this market. That is why we push our local sales activities and expand our installed basis in Asia.

In regard to costs, the company also prepared a package consisting of three individual measures to increase profitability. First, 225 jobs will be cut worldwide. About 120 of them will be cut at German locations; almost half of the jobs concern temporary workers. Second, already initiated programmes to reduce material and production costs will be continued. For example, the company will vacate the premises it has rented in Neu-Kupfer by the end of the year and concentrate activities in Waldenburg. Thus, rental expenses for Neu-Kupfer will be reduced as of 2016. Third, R. STAHL will streamline its product portfolio: it will be tightened and products that are less in demand will be removed. This optimization will affect net income as of 2017.

The Executive Board expects cost savings amounting to about EUR 20 million in fiscal year 2016 from the package of measures. They are offset against one-off expenses from the implementation amounting to about EUR 8 million in 2015.

For fiscal year 2015, we anticipate a forecast corridor for order intake and sales of EUR 300 million to EUR 310 million and we expect an EBIT amounting to EUR 2 million up to EUR 5 million. In this amount, the one-off expenses from the cost adjustment programme amounting to EUR 8 million are already included.

With the restructuring measures we will significantly improve our cost base and expect cost savings amounting to about EUR 20 million. With a smaller sales volume of EUR 280 million up to EUR 290 million, we anticipate improvements in profitability and thus a significant increase of the EBIT margin to 5 % up to 7% in fiscal year 2016. For the following years, we are also well positioned after the realization of our optimization programmes and we anticipate profitable growth.

Conference call
R. STAHL AG invites all interested analysts, investors and journalists to take part in our conference call on occasion of the publication of the quarterly figures on 5 November 2015 at 10 a.m. Please dial the following phone number: +49 69 247501895.

The conference call will be supplemented by a presentation via the Internet. Please log in eventmanager.meetyoo.de as a participant and enter your first name and your surname, as well as participant PIN 24958070.

A recording of the conference will subsequently be provided on the company website at www.stahl.de/investor-relations/praesentationenmitschnitte.html.


The major key figures of R. STAHL Group pursuant to IFRS

 Q1-3 2015
in EUR million
Q1-3 2014
in EUR million
in %
Total sales237.7227.1+ 4.7
Germany48.950.0- 2.2
Europe, excl. Germany95.199.8- 4.7
Americas39.236.0+ 8.8
Asia / Pacific54.641.3+ 32.2
Order intake243.0252.8- 3.9
Order backlog97.188.6+ 9.5
EBITDA18.222.4- 18.7
EBITDA margin (in %)7.79.9 
EBIT8.413.0- 35.8
EBIT margin (in %)3.55.7 
EBT (earnings before taxes)6.310.4- 40.0
EBT margin (in %)2.64.6 
Period surplus3.97.2- 45.2
Net earnings per share (in EUR)0.611.23- 50.4
Operating cash flow10.8- 7,1 
Employees as at 2015-09-20 (excl. trainees)1,9461,939+ 0.4
Liquid funds18.715.8+ 18.0
Equity ratio (in %)35.827.3 

The full report on the first three quarters in 2015 is available for download on the company website www.stahl.de.


About R. STAHL - www.stahl.de
R. STAHL is the world's leading supplier 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 growth 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).

Am Bahnhof 30, 74638 Waldenburg (W├╝rtt.)

Bernd Marx (CFO)
Phone: +49 7942 943 1271

Nathalie Kamm (Investor Relations)
Phone: +49 7942 943 1395

E-mail: [email protected]

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408967  2015-11-05