Revenue climbs to € 30.2 million in fourth quarter and to € 112.4 million for 2014 financial year / Earnings reach 7 percent EBIT in fourth quarter and 6.1 percent for full year / Distribution of a dividend of 33 cents per share / Outlook “on track”
Successful development continues in all markets
The technotrans Group achieved substantial growth in the 2014 financial year. Henry Brickenkamp, Chief Executive Officer of technotrans AG, summed up: “Our expectations of more dynamic progress for business development have been fulfilled”.
The technotrans Group generated revenue of € 112.4 million, which represents an increase of 6.8 percent compared with the previous year (€ 105.2 million). Thanks to a very strong fourth quarter of 2014, expectations for the full year in the order of € 110 million were slightly exceeded. Revenue growth for 2014 overall was organic in origin. It was achieved on the one hand from a 25.4 percent increase in the newly accessed markets and on the other hand from a return to growth for print business (+1.7 percent) after a lengthy barren period.
The operating result for the overall group rose by 47.6 percent compared with 2013 and at EBIT level reached € 6.8 million, this was equivalent to an EBIT margin of 6.1 percent, as against 4.4 percent in the previous year. Dirk Engel, Chief Financial Officer of technotrans AG, added: “Thanks to this achievement we slightly exceeded our goal of an EBIT margin of between 4 and 6 percent for the 2014 financial year.”
The net income for the 2014 financial year is € 4.4 million, equivalent to a rate of return of 3.9 percent (previous year: 2.8 percent). Earnings per share outstanding rose from € 0.47 to € 0.67. At the Shareholders’ Meeting in May 2015 the Board of Management and Supervisory Board will propose the distribution of a dividend of € 0.33 per share outstanding.
The number of employees in the technotrans Group increased just slightly to 781 in the course of 2014.
Progress with Technology expansion
In the Technology segment, revenue climbed to € 73.8 million in the 2014 financial year. The increase of € 7.8 million or 11.8 percent compared with the prior-year period is mainly attributable to the successful organic expansion of business activities in the non-print area. Here, the segment profited especially from the positive business performance in the laser industry and from substantial revenue growth for the proprietary technologies for temperature control, filtration, cooling lubricant preparation and also spray lubrication. Although the market environment revealed no signs of a recovery in demand for printing presses, technotrans also enjoyed a welcome rise in printing industry revenue in the second half of 2014. The revenue performance was impacted positively by the increased market shares for offset printing and the arrival of new production models for digital and flexographic printing. This took the revenue share of the Technology segment up to around 66 percent (previous year: 63 percent) of the total for the technotrans Group.
The financial performance in the Technology segment improved as expected in the course of the financial year, hand in hand with rising revenue. 2014 also saw the Technology segment achieve positive profit contributions from the improved margin, thanks to synergy benefits from the integration of the new business areas. Overall, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the Technology segment thus rose year on year from € -1.8 million to € +0.4 million.
The Services segment was unable to match the previous year’s revenue performance (€ 39.2 million) in the period under review and saw revenue fall by 1.5 percent to € 38.6 million. The downturn in business stems mainly from a reluctance to invest that is affecting Technical Documentation service business.
The financial performance in the Services segment was largely unaffected by the slight downturn in revenue in 2014 and the result for the segment (EBIT) remained flat at € 6.4 million (previous year: € 6.4 million). This represents a virtually unchanged EBIT margin of 16.6 percent. The overall financial performance in the Services segment again proved to be very stable.
Equity increased, financial position improved
technotrans is able to present a strong balance sheet at the reporting date. The equity ratio rose to 63.7 percent (previous year: 59.9 percent) and the group’s net liquidity improved from € 0.9 million to € 4.8 million.
Overall, the net cash from operating activities amounted to € 7.1 million (previous year: € 2.7 million). This operating cash flow was sufficient to finance initially the cash outflow from investing activities of € 1.4 million (previous year: € 2.3 million) and the final conditional purchase price component for the acquisition of Termotek GmbH amounting to € 0.9 million.
The net cash employed for financing activities in the 2014 financial year came to € -4.6 million (previous year: € +1.6 million). On balance, the receipts and payments in connection with the financing of loans produced a cash outflow of € 3.3 million (previous year: € 2.4 million cash inflow). € 1.3 million (previous year: € 0.8 million) was paid out in the form of a dividend distribution to technotrans shareholders in the year under review. As expected the free cash flow developed positively, climbing to € 4.8 million at the end of the year under review (previous year: € -3.4 million).
Cash and cash equivalents amounting to € 17.2 million provide a secure basis for the planned real investments and growth over the medium term.
Outlook for 2015
The economic environment for 2015 is broadly stable. Early indicators point towards growing confidence among businesses. The USA’s very dynamic economy, but also growth prospects in other emerging regions of the world, are a cause for confidence. Experts on the economy forecast Germany to enjoy stronger growth once more in 2015. Based on its current plans for 2015 technotrans, too, anticipates that the business situation will be overall positive.
“Our aim is again to outpace the growth of the market as a whole in 2015,” declared Brickenkamp. Overall, the Board of Management expects the technotrans Group to achieve revenue of € 116 – 120 million, assuming steady development in the world economy.
In the Technology segment, there should be a further rise in revenue as a whole in 2015. “We are assuming that demand for offset presses worldwide in the 2015 financial year will remain roughly on a par with 2014.” On the other hand technotrans expects there to be robust demand for digital and flexographic printing presses. The laser and mechanical engineering markets, stamping and forming technology, energy storage technology as well as medical and scanner technology will remain the segment’s growth drivers. technotrans has successfully stepped up its activities in these growth areas in recent years. In the Services segment, the company expects revenue to grow slightly once more in 2015 thanks to increased use of the worldwide service network by the group’s new companies.
The EBIT margin for the technotrans Group in 2015 should be in the range of 6.8 to 7.3 percent. In the 2015 financial year technotrans will devote increased attention to growing the existing portfolio organically and expanding it through acquisitions.
“We have chosen ‘on track’ as the motto for this year’s Annual Report. We believe it accurately reflects the current position of our company technotrans. We have prepared the way for sustained growth and are making good progress with developing new, attractive growth areas for the future,” summarised Brickenkamp.