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Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, a manufacturer of franking machines and a solution provider for Digital Mailrooms, significantly increased both revenue and earnings in the traditionally strong first quarter. Revenue for the first three months of 2015 rose to EUR 49.5 million, against EUR 44.4 million for the same period in 2014. This growth is mainly attributable to higher revenue from the Mail Services and Software segments, a growing leasing business and a positive currency effect of EUR 2.5 million attributable to the weaker euro.
Since personnel and material expenses only increased at a disproportionately low rate, EBITDA improved to EUR 8.1 million in the first quarter 2015, against EUR 6.7 million for the same period in 2014. This figure includes a positive currency effect of EUR 1.1 million. The EBITDA margin rose to 16.3 percent. Despite continued high depreciation, EBIT also increased to EUR 4.0 million in the first three months of 2015 compared with EUR 3.7 million for the same period in 2014. The increase in consolidated net income to EUR 3.5 million compared with EUR 1.9 million for the same quarter in 2014 was primarily due to the considerably improved other financial result. Due to positive exchange rate effects on the revaluation of balance sheet items on the reporting date, the FP Group was able to increase the other financial result from EUR -0.1 million to EUR 1.8 million. This resulted in earnings per share nearly doubling to EUR 0.21 compared with EUR 0.11 in the first quarter of 2014.
Free cash flow – the balance of cash inflows from operating activities and cash outflows from investing activities – also improved significantly to EUR 2.6 million in the first three months of 2015, after EUR 1.6 million in the same period in the previous year.
Outlook for 2015: FP Group confirms forecasts
Given the strong first quarter, the FP Group confirmed its forecast for 2015 as a whole. The Company expects revenue to grow, with a figure of between EUR 173 million and EUR 177 million forecast. It anticipates an increase in EBITDA to between EUR 24 million and EUR 25 million, and an EBIT below last year's level as a consequence of the increased depreciation due to higher investment. The Group also expects free cash flow to be much more positive. This forecast does not yet include any one-time expenses for the realignment of customer service in Germany.
FP 2020 strategy: FP Group on course for growth
In addition to its quarterly figures, the FP Group also presented its FP 2020 strategy at today's Investors’ Day. The Management Board is aiming to transform the company into an integrated provider of solutions for the Digital Mailroom in the next five years. The FP 2020 strategy placing emphasis on "Focus – Build – Grow" will boost the company's growth potential significantly. By 2020, revenue is expected to rise to between EUR 225 million and EUR 250 million with an EBITDA margin of around 15 percent.
FP CEO and CFO Hans Szymanski explains: "We will secure our traditional franking machine business and invest in future-oriented solutions for digital communications. A unique combination of analogue and digital services will generate significant efficiency gains for our customers. It will create a good foundation for continuing our company's profitable growth. And this, in turn, is the decisive prerequisite for creating attractive dividends for our shareholders." In early March the Management Board and Supervisory Board had already proposed doubling the dividend to EUR 0.16 per share for the 2014 financial year.
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