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VTG continues to grow: utilization and results increase

  13.11.2014    

VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of the leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe, continued its course for growth in the third quarter of 2014. Compared with the same period of the previous year, Group revenues increased by 1.9 percent to EUR 610.6 million (previous year: EUR 599.1 million). Operating profit (EBITDA) rose by 3.6 percent to EUR 140.0 million (previous year: EUR 135.1 million) and wagon fleet utilization increased to 90.6 percent (previous year: 89.4 percent).
“Our third quarter results yet again show that we are on the right track with our growth and investment strategy”, says Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. He adds, “I am especially pleased that we have achieved a positive development in the Rail Logistics Division and that we have been able to significantly increase the result in comparison to the previous quarter. A clear upward development can also be seen in Tank Container Logistics”.
Developments were also favorable in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) which increased by 7.9 percent to EUR 60.9 million (previous year: EUR 56.5 million). The consolidated earnings even improved by 13.4 percent to EUR 13.5 million (previous year: 11.9 million). At EUR 0.65, the earnings per share also surpassed the previous year’s value (EUR 0.50). A key reason for this increase is the development in the core Railcar Division business. Operative cash flow increased by 11.2 percent to EUR 129.8 million (previous year: 116.6 million).
 
Fleet continues to grow, utilization increases
At the end of the third quarter in 2014, Railcar Division revenues increased by 2.9 percent to EUR 260.4 million (previous year: EUR 253.1 million). The newbuild wagons delivered in the current financial year certainly contributed to this development. The EBITDA rose by 4.5 percent to EUR 140.4 million (previous year: EUR 134.3 million). The fleet has continued to grow, from 52,700 wagons at the end of 2013 to the current figure of around 53,000 wagons. The utilization rate stands at 90.6 percent, representing a steadily increasing trend in the last year (Q3/2013: 89.4 percent). The delivery of 350 bulk freight wagons to Russian customers in the first three quarters has also further strengthened the Russian VTG fleet.
At the end of September, VTG announced the acquisition of wagon hire company AAE – Ahaus Alstätter Eisenbahn Holding AG. Subject to clearance by the antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015. This allows VTG to strengthen its position as a leading private wagon hire company in Europe. Furthermore, the acquisition has closed a gap in VTG’s product portfolio, as AAE’s main focus is on combined transport. The merger will considerably increase both revenues and EBITDA.
 
Positive development in the logistics sections

Rail Logistics revenues increased by 4.3 percent in the first nine months of 2014 to EUR 237.5 million (previous year: EUR 227.8 million). EBITDA totaled EUR 0.6 million and was therefore EUR 2.8 million below the previous year (EUR 3.4 million).  In comparison to the second quarter of 2014, there is a slight upwards development. The reasons behind this can principally be found in the market. New Rail Logistics business could be secured in southeast Europe in the field of industrial goods. Fleet optimization also allowed business to stabilize in the agricultural goods segment.
Tank Container Logistics generated a turnover of EUR 112.7 million which was 4.6 percent below the previous year (EUR 118.2 million). EBITDA achieved a 16.1 percent increase to EUR 9.1 million in comparison to the previous year (EUR 7.8 million). In comparison to the second quarter of 2014, Tank Container Logistics achieved 3.8 percent more turnover and 18.3 percent more EBITDA. European transportation remained fairly resilient, considering the generally weak market environment, whereas a slight sales growth was achieved in North America.
 
Executive Board re-affirms forecast for 2014
The VTG AG Executive Board has re-affirmed its Group forecast for 2014 and expects to achieve Group revenues of EUR 800 – 900 million and EBITDA of EUR 188 – 200 million. The Board anticipates both values to reach the lower half of the target ranges. The earnings forecast does not yet include any extraordinary expenses which could already incur in this fiscal year in connection with the acquisition of the Swiss AAE Group.



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