FP GROUP GROWS EARNINGS DESPITE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

Birkenwerder/Berlin, 2014-11-21

 Despite the economic downturn in important markets during the year to date, the business of Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, the multi-channel provider for mail communication, has remained stable. In the first nine months of 2014, revenue were EUR 126.4 million (previous year: EUR 126.9 million); adjusted for negative currency effects of EUR 0.7 million, revenue rose to EUR 127.1 million. Quarter on quarter, revenue rose to EUR 41.8 million, compared with EUR 41.4 million for the third quarter of 2013.

With stable revenue, FP Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the first nine months of 2014 rose to EUR 17.3 million (previous year: EUR 16.9 million); adjusted for negative currency effects of EUR 0.4 million, EBITDA rose to EUR 17.7 million. In the third quarter of 2014, EBITDA was EUR 5.5 million, compared with EUR 5.4 million for the same period in 2013. Due to scheduled increased depreciation and amortisation, EBIT fell EUR 0.1 million to EUR 2.2 million, but consolidated net income rose significantly by EUR 0.8 million to EUR 1.6 million, thanks to improved financial and net tax results. After nine months, consolidated net income totalled EUR 4.5 million compared with EUR 4.0 million in the corresponding prior-year period.

While foreign business grew in the UK and US, the current political crisis impacted business in Russia and the phasing out of the decertification affected business in Austria more than expected. In addition, the franking machine business in Germany suffered particularly from the economic slowdown. It also emerged that establishing a dealership sales channel requires more time, training and intensive support before it can achieve the expected sales. Hans Szymanski, FP Group CEO, explains: “The future in the German market and elsewhere lies in efficiently addressing a large number of customers, not only through the classic sales channels but also through new ones. We are therefore expanding the telesales team and indirect distribution channel, and at the same time cutting back on direct selling.” These measures will have a positive effect, starting from the current year. Overall, the franking machine business is lagging behind expectations in the current year, and is not generating the full contribution to revenue expected at the start of the year in order to reach the ambitious goals for full-year 2014.

FP expects EBITDA in 2014 of EUR 23-24 million

Despite this deviation and the unexpected economic slump, the FP Group expects to achieve over 95% of the goal for revenue set at the start of 2014 and over 90% of the goal for EBITDA. For full-year 2014 the Group expects revenue of at least EUR 169 million and EBITDA of EUR 23-14 million. Given the deviations due to revenue and currency effects, FP expects EBIT of EUR 10-11 million.

The FP Group is accordingly maintaining its goal of boosting profitability in 2014. The extensive restructuring measures of recent years are bearing fruit, and the cost optimisation measures initiated under the “Aufbruch 2015” project are also working as planned. Even though free cash flow in the current financial year is likely to reach a one-time low of EUR -3 to -4 million, due to scheduled higher investment in leasing markets such as the US and the development of new franking machines, the growing earnings power accompanied by solid financing is a good basis for the goal of an attractive target dividend for the current financial year.

FP's CEO Szymanski, says: “We want our shareholders to continue to share regularly in the growing earnings power of their company." He expects renewed growth in profitability in 2015: “The further development of revenue, including in Germany, will already make itself felt in 2015. If the strong demand in key foreign markets holds up, I’m optimistic about the coming financial year.”

Quarterly figures at a glance:

in Mio. €

Q3 2014Q3 2013Change
Revenue41,841,4+1,1%
EBITDA5,55,4+1,6%
EBIT2,22,3-7,2%
Free Cashflow-2,92,4n/a
Consolidated net income1,60,8+92,3%

Earnings per share

(EUR)

0,100,06+70,7%

Nine-month figures at a glance:

in Mio. €

9M 20149M 2013Change
Revenue126,4126,9-0,3%
EBITDA17,316,9+2,2%
EBIT7,98,2-4,5%
Free Cashflow-4,02,6n/a
Consolidated net income4,54,0+10,9%

Earnings per share

(EUR)

0,280,26+5,8%