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Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, the first multi-channel provider for mail communication, returned to profitability in the first quarter of 2012. With revenue remaining at the same level, the FP Group generated profit of EUR 0.7 million as against EUR -0.9 million in the prior-year period, which saw expenses for the necessary restructuring of production. The FP Group completed the restructuring in the first quarter of 2012. In addition, lower amortisation and depreciation contributed to the improved result in the first quarter of 2012.
The FP Group’s revenue amounted to EUR 41.8 million in the first three months of the current year, thus exactly on a par with the previous year. While revenue with Mail Services (consolidation services) and Software Solutions totalled EUR 1.4 million, product revenue fell short of the previous year’s level. The main reason for this is the ramp up of the new factory in Wittenberge. In addition, customers held off on buying traditional franking machines in the run up to the market launch of the new PostBase franking system in March 2012. Due to the successes in the services business, the share of recurring, long-term revenue in total revenue rose again in the first quarter of 2012 to 81% compared with 77% in the corresponding prior-year period.
In the first quarter of the current year, the company completed the establishment of production in Wittenberge and the discontinuation of production in Birkenwerder as at 31 March 2012. Alongside the parallel operation of both sites, the company also had to master a number of challenges in the supply and process chain in this period. Operationally, the FP Group generated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, net financial income, depreciation and amortisation) of EUR 4.1 million after EUR 3.7 million in the same period last year. Due to the decline in amortisation and depreciation, the company improved EBIT in the past quarter of 2012 to EUR 1.8 million as against EUR 0.1 million a year previously.
As a result, free cash flow, the sum of cash inflows from operating activities and cash outflows from investing activities, amounted to EUR 0.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with EUR 1.5 million in the same period in the previous year. The FP Group is pursuing a focused investment strategy and concentrating particularly on investments that will facilitate the company’s ongoing development into a complete service provider for mail communication. In the first quarter of 2012, investments came to EUR 3.3 million after EUR 3.4 million in the same period for the previous year. Moreover, first severance payments in the amount of approx. EUR 1.6 million has been made.
Outlook for 2012: Increase in revenue and profit
Despite a challenging environment, the FP Group anticipates an increase in revenue and profit for full-year 2012 and is therefore confirming the outlook presented in April 2012. Accordingly, the company expects revenue of at least EUR 161 million, EBITDA of at least EUR 25 million and EBIT of EUR 12 million. The start of production at the new flexible production site in Wittenberge in the coming quarters will lead to profit improvements, as will the sales launch of the new PostBase. From the second quarter of 2012, the new production alone will lead to annual savings of around EUR 3 million. “With our new production and the market launch of PostBase, we are laying the foundation for long-term strengthening of the earnings power of the FP Group far beyond 2012”, commented Hans Szymanski, Chairman of the Management Board. By 2014, with revenue at EUR 175 million, the company anticipates an increase of EBITDA to EUR 30 million, EBIT to around EUR 16 million and consolidated net profit to around EUR 8 million.