SIMONA 2014: significant growth in revenues and earnings
Financial Press Releases
Kirn. The SIMONA Group recorded substantial growth in revenues and earnings in the 2014 financial year.
Driven in particular by the acquisition of Laminations and Boltaron in the United States, sales revenue increased by 16.9 per cent to €336.6 million (prev. year: €287.9 million). At an organic level, revenue growth amounted to 3 per cent. The global plastics processing company is satisfied with its earnings performance, having managed to more than double its EBIT to €17.1 million (prev. year: €8.2 million). At 5.1 per cent, the EBIT margin is within the range targeted.
Despite the self-funding of acquisitions, the Group's financial base remains solid. SIMONA is cautiously optimistic when it comes to its outlook for 2015. The Ukraine crisis and persistently sluggish investment spending within target markets have had a dampening effect on business in Europe. The US has become the second-largest individual market for the Group.
The Group's positive performance is attributable first and foremost to the programme of strategic reengineering initiated in 2013. "We rigorously pursued the three core goals of our strategy during the financial year just ended: enhanced capabilities as an innovator, faster processes and more expansive growth beyond Europe," said Wolfgang Moyses, CEO of SIMONA AG. "This approach has paid off. The proportion of revenue generated from new products has risen. We have managed to streamline our processes in Europe and adapt our business models to changing market requirements. In acquiring Laminations and Boltaron, we have strengthened our position in the United States and have significantly increased the share of sales revenue achieved outside of Europe," Moyses explained.
The region comprising "Europe" (categorised according to place of registered office of revenue-generating business unit) saw sales revenue increase by 2.4 per cent to €258.5 million in total (previous year: €252.5 million). In Germany, more expansive investment spending within the market led to accelerated revenue growth of 6.2 per cent. In Eastern Europe, meanwhile, the Group was unable to achieve its growth targets as a result of the crisis in Ukraine. Fuelled by the recent acquisitions, the region comprising the "Americas" saw revenue increase significantly to €60.8 million (previous year: €18.3 million). The subsidiary Boltaron (Aviation and Specialty Products) exceeded its revenue forecast in the period under review. By contrast, business centred around Industrial Products was sluggish as a result of restructuring and the process of bringing together operations.
Finished and semi-finished parts accounted for sales revenue of €259.5 million (previous year: €211.7 million). SIMONA managed to strengthen its business in the area of PVC sheets, a product used mainly in structural engineering and the advertising sector.
Benefiting from more expansive investment activities by customers in Germany, the Group also recorded revenue growth within the area of extruded PE and PP sheets deployed in the field of chemical tank and equipment engineering.
On the back of a strong first half with double-digit growth, the product category of pipes and fittings was faced with a period of consolidation in the second six months. In this context, more subdued investment spending within the market, particularly as a result of the crisis in Eastern Europe, had a dampening effect on business. Thanks also to stronger project business, the product area comprising pipes and fittings nevertheless managed to generate slight revenue growth of 1.1 per cent, taking the total to €77.1 million (previous year: €76.2 million).
The SIMONA Group is satisfied with its earnings performance in 2014. EBIT more than doubled year on year, up from €8.2 million to €17.1 million. The Group also managed to meet its target of an EBIT margin in excess of 5 per cent. SIMONA put in place a number of targeted measures for a sustainable increase in profitability. The non-recurring costs associated with acquisitions as well as restructuring expenses in the US had a dilutive effect on earnings generated in that region.
Due to the acquisition of Laminations and Boltaron, the headcount within the SIMONA Group rose by 128 to 1,300. The reengineering project prompted a further reduction in staffing levels in Germany (-30).
Work on the production facility of a new Technology Centre was completed at the end of 2014. This investment is aimed at reducing product development time and extending the company's portfolio to include fully fluorinated plastics. A newly developed 3D filament made of the bioplastic PLA marks the successful entry into the burgeoning global market of rapid prototyping. The product area spanning pipes and fittings saw the market launch of the world's largest seamless bend in a diameter of up to 1,000 mm; this product is used mainly in the mining industry.
SIMONA is cautiously optimistic when it comes to its outlook for the 2015 financial year as a whole. In the first quarter, Group revenue rose by 13.1 per cent to €87.7 million. A large proportion of growth was attributable to the full first-time consolidation of Boltaron. Earnings were increased substantially. Underpinned in particular by an improved gross profit, EBIT rose to €6.4 million in the first quarter (Q1/2014: €1.7 million). The EBIT margin was 7.3 per cent (Q1/2014: 2.2 per cent). Foreign exchange gains (previous year: foreign exchange losses) and earnings contributed by Boltaron, which had not been included in the consolidated accounts for the first quarter of 2014, had a positive impact on overall earnings.
The dramatic increase in commodity prices and supply-side shortages, together with geopolitical risks, e.g. in Ukraine, and the as yet unresolved financial crisis in Europe have had a dampening effect on the company's outlook. The SIMONA Group is anticipating revenue of €340-350 million and EBIT of €15-20 million for the 2015 financial year.