SIMONA 2020: Solid earnings despite significant decline in revenue
Financial Press Releases Company
Kirn. Revenue generated by the SIMONA Group declined by 9.9% to €389.8 million in 2020 (previous year: €432.5 million). The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt by all sales regions around the globe. Despite this, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose from €29.4 million to €33.6 million. This was attributable primarily to satisfactory levels of capacity utilisation, improved profitability within the European semi-finished products business and low raw material prices. The EBIT margin rose from 6.8% to 8.6%. Buoyed by a surge in revenue, EBIT in the first quarter of 2021 increased to €10.9 million (previous year: €9.6 million).
The most pronounced downturn in revenue was seen within the region encompassing the Americas, where business centred around aircraft interiors slumped in response to the virtual standstill in global air traffic. Thanks to stable industrial and caravan business, the overall decline in this sales region was limited to 21.2%, with revenue totalling €103.9 million (previous year: EUR 131.9 million). In the Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, the decline in revenue was less severe. There, the chemical and semiconductor industries, which are of particular importance to SIMONA, recovered at a faster rate than in other regions of the world. Revenue from sales in the Asia-Pacific region was down 5.5% on the previous year (€30.9 million) at €29.2 million. Europe also saw a modest decline in revenue. Underpinned by broad diversification and an exceptional boost from transparent PETG sheets used in hygiene protection as well as continued stability within the construction industry, revenue stood at €256.7 million (previous year: €269.7 million). This corresponds to a reduction of 4.8%.
The decline in revenue was more pronounced in the area of semi-finished products than in that of pipes and fittings, mainly due to the slump in the aviation business. Revenue from semi-finished products totalled €306.5 million, which was 10.9% less than in the previous year (€344.1 million). In the product area encompassing pipes and fittings, revenue amounted to €83.3 million (previous year: €88.4 million). The decline of 5.7% is mainly attributable to a reduction in project business.
Despite the significant decline in revenue, operating profit was up in the reporting period. The SIMONA Group recorded EBIT of €33.6 million (previous. year: €29.4 million). The EBIT margin increased from 6.8% to 8.6%. Net cash from operating activities grew from €51.6 million a year ago to €56.4 million. The strategic measures introduced in an effort to enhance efficiency and competitiveness within the European semi-finished products business led to improved profitability in this area.
The year-on-year increase was also driven by lower raw material costs and satisfactory levels of capacity utilisation. All three regions – Europe, the Americas and Asia – made a positive contribution to earnings, despite the significant impact of the pandemic in some markets.
A dividend of €12 – up by €2 – will be proposed to shareholders at the virtual Annual General Meeting on 2 June 2021.
The number of employees within the SIMONA Group increased slightly from 1,421 to 1,433. The higher headcount of 42 attributable to the acquisition of SIMONA Stadpipe, a Norwegian company operating within the aquaculture market, was offset by the non-filling of vacant positions in response to less favourable market conditions and staff downsizing in the aviation business. SIMONA maintained its vocational trainee ratio at a high level.
The SIMONA Group is determined to return to growth in 2021. This was achieved in the first quarter. Group revenue generated in the first three months rose by 13.6% to €121.5 million (previous year: €107.7 million). Europe and Asia, in particular, produced significant growth. EBIT rose from €9.6 million to €10.9 million, while the EBIT margin was up slightly at 9.0%. On the back of its strong performance in the first quarter, SIMONA has revised upward its Group revenue forecast for the year as a whole to EUR 420 - 435 million. The guidance figure for earnings remains unchanged, with a projected EBIT margin of 6 - 8 %. The Group's ability to meet its targets will depend heavily on progress made with regard to global vaccination campaigns as well as the impact of the considerable distortions seen in the commodities market, which have led to significant price hikes and supply-side shortages.
"SIMONA's performance in 2020 was better than originally anticipated earlier in the year. We were able to contain the decline in revenue at just under 10% thanks to diversification and global efforts. This provided the basis for satisfactory levels of capacity utilisation and profitable operations. Supported by visible improvements in efficiency within our European semi-finished products business, a high degree of cost discipline and low raw material prices, we thus managed to increase our EBIT margin significantly. Operating within a challenging environment, we also succeeded in introducing a new applicationand process-oriented organisational structure in Europe. Last but not least, we were able to conclude two acquisitions in the form of SIMONA Stadpipe and SIMONA PLASTECH, giving us access to the burgeoning global aquaculture market and allowing us to vastly expand our range of sheets for the advertising and construction industries," said Matthias Schönberg, CEO of SIMONA. "We are off to a good start in 2021. Industry is proving to be robust worldwide, and we see considerable forward momentum in Asia and the USA. Our growth trajectory is underpinned by a Group revenue forecast of €420 - 435 million. The extremely tense situation within the commodities market, however, gives cause for concern. This situation is unlikely to ease in the coming months, and we are taking active steps in collaboration with our business partners to minimise the impact on our customers and SIMONA's earnings," Schönberg added.