Leifheit AG: Above-average earnings growth in 2012
Leifheit AG / Key word(s): Final Results
P R E S S I N F O R M A T I O N
- Turnover growth in Brand Business
- Adjusted EBIT increases by 13.4 percent
- Planned dividend of EUR 1.50 per share
- Cautiously optimistic outlook
Nassau, 9 April 2013 - In financial year 2012, despite difficult framework conditions, the Leifheit Group, one of the leading European suppliers of branded household goods, had a slight increase in turnover of just under one percent to EUR 224.2 million (2011: EUR 222.1 million). The Group benefited from a one-time consolidation effect from taking over control of its Czech distribution company. Adjusted for this effect, turnover remained at the previous year's level.
Repeat in double-digit earnings growth
Consolidated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 14.2 million (2011: EUR 13.9 million). As in 2011, there were positive extraordinary effects on earnings in the reporting year: in financial year 2012, the net result includes a one-time effect of EUR 1.2 million from terminating the license agreement for Dr Oetker Bakeware; in 2011, taking over control of the Czech distribution company had an effect of EUR 2.5 million on earnings. Adjusted by this one-off effect, the EBIT in the reporting year was EUR 13.0 million (2011: EUR 11.4 million). This represents an increase of 13.4 percent. Thus the company achieved its forecast of above-average earnings growth of at least 10 percent for 2012.
The main reason for this positive development was the increased gross margin of 44.2 percent (2011: 43.0 percent), which is mainly attributable to innovation, product range revisions and the decision to discontinue low-margin business.
The tax rate rose from 1.4 percent to 23.1 percent due to lower additional deferred tax assets on losses carried forward. The net result for the financial year 2012 thus decreased to EUR 9.4 million (2011: EUR 12.1 million).
The Leifheit Group continues to enjoy a solid equity base: by 31 December 2012, the equity ratio rose to 50.6 percent (2011: 49.7 percent).
Increased dividend planned
Due to the positive development of earnings, the Board of management and the Supervisory Board of Leifheit AG have decided to propose to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 6 June 2013 an increased dividend of EUR 1.50 (previous year: EUR 1.30) per share for financial year 2012. This corresponds to a current dividend yield of approximately 4.4 percent.
Brand Business remains the main revenue driver
With a share of 79.3 percent (2011: 76.8 percent), Brand Business, which comprises the Leifheit and Soehnle brands, contributes to the vast majority of Group turnover. In financial year 2012, the company generated EUR 177.7 million in this segment, which is 4.2 percent more than in the previous year. Adjusted for the one-time consolidation effect mentioned above, growth was 2.5 percent.
Due to dependency on a few customers, turnover in Volume Business is characterised by high volatility. At EUR 46.5 million in 2012 (2011: 51.6 million), this figure was at the level of 2010. This was primarily because of the stagnant Project Business in the US, cyclical lack of turnover at the French subsidiaries Birambeau and Herby, and also the decision to discontinue low-margin turnover.
Germany also remained one of the largest sales markets for the Leifheit Group in 2012. Turnover for financial year 2012 was EUR 96.1 million (2011: EUR 96.6 million). The Central Europe region achieved revenues of EUR 97.1 million (2011: EUR 96.3 million), an increase of one percent. However, a turnover increase of 27.6 percent to EUR 18.8 million (2011: EUR 14.7 million) was achieved in Eastern Europe. Leifheit also achieved double-digit growth - at a lower level - in the Asian markets. Overall, turnover outside Europe were EUR 12.1 million (2011: EUR 14.5 million).
POS Excellence Initiative and e-commerce are the focal points of 2013
As part of their multi-year strategy, 'Leifheit GO!', Leifheit has also become ideally equipped to hold leading competitive positions in the future, through an umbrella brand strategy which was developed for the Leifheit brand, and through clever product innovations, distribution concepts and process optimisations. Here, the company aims to both grow in the saturated markets of Central Europe, and to strengthen distribution in growth regions.
In the developed markets, local retail will still be an important point of contact for the consumer in future. Furthermore online trading is also showing a clear positive development. Therefore the aim for all relevant distribution channels is to provide adequate support: Leifheit is developing intelligent solutions for local retail under the term of POS (point of sale) Excellence, which enables the company to respond the growing brand and quality orientation of consumers. For this purpose, the high-quality products from Leifheit and Soehnle will be displayed on the shelves with eye-catching POS tools, informative packaging and intelligent search logic.
At the same time, Leifheit will continue to drive forward the expansion of e-commerce. For the best possible support of this distribution channel, organisational measures and process optimisations were taken as part of a broader e-commerce project. Initial successes were already evident in financial year 2012: growing sales in the e-commerce distribution channel contributed to the positive turnover trend with an increase of 25 percent to EUR 13.8 million.
Moreover, Leifheit has defined clear-cut international focus markets. The company will continue to expand its distribution in new growth regions, such as Eastern Europe, Turkey and selected Asian countries, in order to compensate for cyclical declines in Southern Europe.
Economic conditions influence future growth
The Euro and debt crisis will also impact the business development of the Leifheit Group in the current financial year. Nevertheless, looking to the future, the company remains optimistic about continuing along this growth path with its 'Leifheit GO!' strategy.
Georg Thaller, Chairman of the Board of Management at Leifheit AG: 'After the satisfactory year 2012 we expect a positive development for the Leifheit Group in the current financial year as well. We expect high growth rates in Eastern Europe and Asia. Causing more difficulty however is the persistently low demand in the Southern European countries of Spain, Italy, and Greece as well as in the Netherlands. In addition, the unusually long winter in Germany is entailing considerable moderation in the demand for rotary dryers that are used outdoors.
Despite these difficult framework conditions, we expect a growth of turnover at the Group level in the financial year 2013 between two to four percent and an EBIT at the level of the previous year - respectively adjusted for the terminated business with the Dr Oetker Bakeware brand. At the same time, the Brand Business makes the biggest contribution to growth with rates of increase between three and five percent. The Volume Business is remaining stable at the level of the previous year.'
You can find further information in the annual financial report for 2012 and under http://www.leifheit.de/en/investor-relations/publications/financial-reports.html.
Founded in 1959, Leifheit AG is a leading European supplier of branded household products. The company stands for high-quality innovative products with a high utility value and pioneering design in the areas of cleaning, laundry care, kitchen and well-being. Leifheit and Soehnle are among the best known brands in Germany. Besides the Brand Business, Leifheit AG is active in service-oriented Volume Business through its French subsidiaries Birambeau and Herby. With its international subsidiaries, the Leifheit Group has around 1,000 employees.
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