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VTG sales for financial year 2008 higher than anticipated

  23.02.2009    

VTG Aktiengesellschaft, Europe’s leading private wagon hire and rail logistics company (Securities Identification Code: VTG999), today announced its preliminary, unaudited figures for the financial year 2008. According to these figures, group revenue has gone up compared with the previous year by 12.4 per cent, or EUR 67.4 million, to EUR 608.7 million, exceeding prior forecast (of between EUR 585.0 and EUR 595.0 million). In the case of operating profit (EBITDA), the figure achieved, EUR 156.4 million, surpassed the forecast (between EUR 152.0 and EUR 156.0 million) by 14.2 per cent versus the previous year, equalling EUR 19.4 million.
“Our growth was even stronger in 2008 than anticipated”, says Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG Aktiengesellschaft. “These good results and a solid business model are a very good basis for further growth in what is overall a difficult economic environment”, he continues. VTG plays a key role in rail freight transports of products for meeting the basic supply requirements of industry and thus forms part of the industrial infrastructure. This element of VTG’s largest division, Wagon Hire, sets the company quite apart from many other companies in the logistics sector in that the latter are more susceptible to the economic climate.
All divisions showing very good growth
In all three divisions, VTG reported similar rises in sales. Thus the company increased sales in its largest division, Wagon Hire, by 13.0 per cent in the financial year 2008, to EUR 294.1 million. As at 31st December 2008, the level of capacity utilization achieved for the wagon fleet was high, at 91.1 per cent. The drop of 2.8 per cent on the previous year was primarily due to returns of rail freight cars, which are also used for transporting automotive parts. These wagons constitute a small part of the entire fleet and come from a joint venture in which VTG has just a 50 per cent share. Due to the fleet increasing from 47,800 to a total of some 49,600 freight cars, this drop had little impact on the results of the Wagon Hire Division.
In the Rail Logistics Division sales increased by 15.5 per cent compared to the previous year, to total of EUR 177.7 million. In the third division, Tank Container Logistics, sales increased by 7.6 per cent to EUR 136.8 million.
VTG continues on its path of growth
In the financial year 2008, VTG has continued to pursue its disciplined strategy of international growth and consolidation of its leading market position in Europe. This strategy included not only the successful entry into the North American market and entry into the joint venture with Cosco Logistics in China, but also the takeover of the German wagon manufacturer Graaff.
As at 31st December 2008, VTG employed a staff of 1,004 worldwide, 190 more than at the end of 2007. The increased number of staff is largely due to the acquisition of the wagon manufacturer Graaff.
Sales and EBITDA for 2009 expected to equal 2008 level
Being part of the industrial infrastructure, VTG is less susceptible than other companies to fluctuations in the economic climate. With some 1,000 customers from different industries, VTG has a broad range of customers, making it less dependent on the economic fortunes of individual companies or sectors. Furthermore, long-term secured lines of credit enable VTG to make investments and grasp opportunities for growth. Building on these secure elements of its business model, the company expects sales and EBITDA operating profit in 2009 to be slightly below the levels achieved in 2008, despite the difficult economic climate. This means in more detail that if the economic climate doesn’t improve in the second half of 2009, the company could end the year at a level of only up to 5 per cent under the very good sales and EBITDA of 2008; in for example the division Wagon Hire this would equal a wagon capacity utilization rate of approx. 86 per cent.


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