VTG boosts revenue in 2017 – Dividend to increase by 20 %
Hamburg, 22. February 2018
VTG Aktiengesellschaft (WKN: VTG999), one of the leading railcar leasing and rail logistics companies in Europe, brought the 2017 financial year to a successful conclusion. Published today, the as yet unaudited figures show that revenue rose by 2.8 percent to EUR 1,014.4 million in the period under review (2016: EUR 986.9 million). All three VTG divisions contributed to this positive development, with both Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics significantly expanding their transport volume. Fleet capacity utilization at the Railcar Division improved continually in the course of the year, ending at 92.2 percent – the highest level since the end of 2008. Due to a one-time charge, the operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 343.4 million was slightly down on the previous year's figure (2016: EUR 345.3 million), which had also included positive one-time income of EUR 6 million. Adjusted for these two one-time effects, EBITDA was up 2.4 percent year on year in the 2017 financial year.
"We are very satisfied with the way business developed overall in 2017. The positive economic climate and investments to expand our business are now bearing fruit," says Dr. Heiko Fischer, Chairman of the Executive Board of VTG AG. "The fourth quarter of 2017 was the strongest in the entire financial year, which lays a solid foundation for the future. In 2018, we expect to see further positive development in revenue and EBITDA. Another focus of our activities will be the Nacco transaction, which we hope to close in the second half of the year."
Railcar: Revenue increase – EBITDA up year on year (excluding one-time effects)
Revenue at the Railcar Division was up 0.7 percent to EUR 520.7 million in the 2017 financial year (2016: EUR 517.2 million). EBITDA rose steadily throughout the year, ending the period under review roughly unchanged from the previous year at EUR 343.6 million (2016: EUR 344.3 million). It should nevertheless be noted that one-time income of EUR 6 million arising from a compensation payment was received in 2016. Adjusted for this effect, EBITDA was 1.6 percent higher.
Rail Logistics: Further substantial gains in revenue and EBITDA
Tank Container Logistics: Slight increase in EBITDA
In the 2017 financial year, Rail Logistics saw its revenues grow by 7.7 percent to EUR 336.4 million (2016: EUR 312.3 million). The drivers of this increase were Project Logistics activities and healthy agricultural transportation business. The division's EBITDA thus jumped sharply by 42.9 percent to EUR 8.3 million, up from EUR 5.8 million in the previous year.
Revenue at Tank Container Logistics remained stable at EUR 157.3 million (2016: EUR 157.4 million). While the transportation volume increased further, lower freight rates prompted a contrary effect in revenue development. At EUR 11.3 million, EBITDA was slightly higher than in the previous year (2016: EUR 11.2 million).
Further gains in revenue and EBITDA expected – Board to propose dividend increase
The Executive Board of VTG anticipates positive development in revenue and EBITDA in 2018. Following on from the mild increase in revenue in the period under review, this positive trend should continue through the 2018 financial year. Group revenue should thus be slightly higher than in 2017. Group EBITDA is expected to be in the range from EUR 340 million to EUR 370 million in the 2018 financial year. Both of the above statements relate to business development excluding the effects of the planned Nacco Group takeover. This is because, at the present time, it is not possible to make any reliable estimates about either the timing of closure or the transaction's possible impact on earnings in the current financial year. On July 1, 2017, VTG announced its intention to purchase all shares in the Nacco Group from America's CIT Group. However, closure of this acquisition remains subject to approval by the antitrust authorities in Germany and Austria.
At this year's Annual General Meeting, the Executive Board will propose that the dividend for the financial year just ended be increased by 20 percent to EUR 0.90 per share (2016: EUR 0.75 per share).