VTG achieves annual forecast and reports 2009 results just below results of the previous year
- Revenue decreases by 4.5 percent
- EBITDA decreases by 3.8 percent
- Cautious business strategy and strict cost management lead to success
- In 2010, revenue and EBITDA expected to be around the level of 2009
- Dividend payment of EUR 0.30 planned
Hamburg, February 24, 2010. VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999), one of the leading private wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe presented it’s preliminary, unaudited figures for 2009. Group revenue decreased by 4.5 percent to EUR 581.5 million compared to the previous year. The operating result (EBITDA) decreased by 3.8 percent to EUR 149.4 million compared to the adjusted figure of the previous year. The company achieved the full year forecast and underlined it’s stability.
"2009 was a difficult, but rewarding year", comments Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. "We have proven that our stable business model, combined with strict cost management and a committed workforce, are capable of standing up to the enormous challenges presented by the current economic climate." VTG's major division, Wagon Hire, supplies its customers with a unique mobile transport infrastructure. Companies from almost all industries integrate VTG's high-quality wagons into their transport chains permanently over many years in order to secure their production processes. "Production processes are planned and secured on a long-term basis. This is why our customers do not easily return wagons in difficult economic times, but make sure they still have them available for the upswing", adds Fischer.
Divisions with varying developments
VTG customers were hit hard at all three divisions by the economic crisis. This has had varying impacts on business development. The Wagon Hire Division experienced a moderate drop in revenue, which was slowing down already in the second half of the year. In total revenue at the division decreased slightly in 2009 by 1.7 percent to EUR 289.0 million. The utilization rate for the some 50,000 wagons decreased in comparison to the excellent previous year by 3.7 percentage points to 87.4 percent. The Rail Logistics Division managed to increase its revenue year-on-year by 1.0 percent to EUR 179.4 million, despite the increasing pressure from competition. The purchase of customer contracts from LOG-O-RAIL, and the takeover of Bräunert Eisenbahnverkehr GmbH & Co. KG, strengthened the division and its business at the end of the year. The Tank Container Logistics Division was heavily hit by the drop in demand from the chemicals industry, but was able to counter this negative trend by hiring out tank containers. The division showed some recovery by the second quarter. Revenue for the year decreased correspondingly by 17.4 percent to EUR 113.1 million compared to the previous year.
Staying on track during difficult economic times
Stability and safety remain top priorities for VTG. For this reason, the company reduced the speed of investment initially planned for 2009. This diligent action, strict cost management and the optimization of processes at the various divisions paid off for the Group in the form of stable business results.
On 31st December, 2009 VTG employed 963 employees worldwide, 41 fewer than in 2008. The smaller workforce was the consequence of the strategic focus on one workshop in France, which has been strengthened with further investments. This step went hand-in-hand with the closure of a smaller workshop in France.
2010 revenue and EBITDA expected to be around the level of 2009
VTG will continue to demonstrate stability in 2010. If the current forecast for moderate economic growth continues, then the Wagon Hire Division will again succeed in increasing the fleet’s utilization rate in 2010 to above the one of the end of 2009. This means that not only will the positive trend in the slowdown in returning wagons continue in 2010, but that, in the course of the year, another increase in wagon hire will take place. Under the premise of a slow improvement of the economic prospects, the Rail Logistics Division will continue its course of growth in 2010, and the Tank Container Logistics Division will also continue on the path of commercial recovery. In total the Group expects sales and operating profit in 2010 to be around the level of 2009.
Like in 2009, the Executive Board at VTG will again suggest a dividend payment of EUR 0.30 per share for the 2009 financial year at the 2010 Annual Shareholders Meeting. In doing so, VTG will continue to pursue its aim of making long-term and established dividend payments.
VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe’s leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies. The company has the largest private wagon fleet in Europe. Globally, the fleet consists of some 50,000 wagons, with a focus on tank cars and state-of-the-art high capacity freight cars and flat cars. In addition to the hiring of wagons, the Group offers global tank container transports and comprehensive multi-modal logistics services, mainly around rail transport.
With the combination of its three interlinked divisions Wagon Hire, 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 and paper industries.
In the financial year 2008, VTG generated revenue of EUR 608.7 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 156.4 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, Asia and North America. As at 31 December 2008, VTG had 1,004 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007, VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and, since September 2008, also on the SDAX (WKN: VTG999).
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