Schaltbau Holding AG: Schaltbau reports almost break-even operating EBIT and clearly positive operating cash flow in third quarter

(PresseBox) ( Munich (Germany), )
  • Nine-month period: operating EBIT still held down by negative first-quarter result; operating cash flow close to break-even point
  • Improved order situation provides good basis for profitable operating performance in final quarter and beyond
  • Operating forecast for full fiscal year 2017 confirmed
  • Revaluation of Schaltbau Sepsa leads to non-cash one-off effect
The Schaltbau Group, an internationally leading supplier of trendsetting transportation technology, recorded sales of EUR 128.2 million in the third quarter 2017, an improvement of 8.3 per cent year-on-year. Group sales for the nine-month period totalled EUR 363.0 million (January – September 2016: EUR 362.2 million). The figures for the current reporting year still include the sales contribution of the wholly owned Schaltbau Group subsidiary Albatros S.L.U. (Schaltbau Sepsa), which generates annual sales of EUR 35-40 million. However, this company was put up for sale on 15 November.

At negative EUR 0.7 million, operating EBIT – not including a non-operating one-off loss of EUR 12.0 million resulting from the revaluation of Schaltbau Sepsa – was almost recouped in the third quarter (July – September 2016: EUR 2.5 million). Nine-month EBIT deteriorated to a loss of EUR 17.4 million (30 September 2016: profit of EUR 12.1 million) on the back of the weak first-quarter performance and partially due to the one-time effect of the revaluation of Schaltbau Sepsa. The Group recorded a net loss of EUR 33.1 million for the nine-month period (January – September 2016: net profit of EUR 8.8 million), corresponding to negative earnings per share of EUR 5.37 (January – September 2016: positive earnings per share of EUR 0.87).

The positive sales performance of the Schaltbau Group during the current fiscal year has been driven primarily by the Mobile Transportation Technology segment, which recorded a 24.5 per cent increase in nine-month sales to EUR 190.6 million. The figure includes sales contributions from Schaltbau Sepsa companies, which had not been fully consolidated in the previous fiscal year. The negative EBIT margin of 2.2 per cent reported by the Mobile Transportation Technology segment – not including the one-time effect of the revaluation of Schaltbau Sepsa – mainly reflects the negative operating contribution made by foreign subsidiaries.

Sales for the Stationary Transportation Technology segment fell again in the third quarter 2017, due to business developments in both the Rail Infrastructure and Brake Systems business fields. Nine-month segment sales fell by 23.4 per cent to EUR 77.5 million, resulting in a negative EBIT margin of 10.3 per cent.

At EUR 95.8 million, sales in the Components segment were 12.1 per cent lower than in the first nine months of the previous year, reflecting various factors, including project delays in Italy and changed demand patterns on the rolling stock market in China. Segment sales rose sharply again, however, in the third quarter. The nine-month EBIT margin of 16.6 per cent was in line with the previous year’s excellent performance (16.5 per cent).

At EUR 6.8 million, operating cash flow was highly positive in the third quarter 2017 and almost break-even for the nine-month period (negative EUR 1.0 million). The management team dealt with challenges arising in connection with liquidity primarily by optimising working capital levels.

For the final quarter of the current fiscal year, the Schaltbau Group forecasts highly positive sales and earnings effects, driven partially by the completion of major projects, and therefore confirms its operating guidance for the full fiscal year 2017. Accordingly, based on the current structure, Group sales for 2017 are forecast to come in at the lower end of the guidance range between EUR 520 million and EUR 540 million. Furthermore, the Schaltbau Group forecasts an operating profit of at least EUR 2 million for the full year. The guidance for operating performance does not include the non-operating one-time losses stemming from the revaluation of Schaltbau Sepsa totalling around EUR 28 million, of which EUR 12 million was recognised in the third quarter.

“The recently emerging positive developments in some parts of our business make my colleagues and myself highly optimistic about the sustainable operating potential of the Schaltbau Group. However, in view of the restructuring measures required by the Group, we are still faced with considerable challenges that need to be tackled,” stated Dr Bertram Stausberg, Spokesperson of the Executive Board of Schaltbau Holding AG.

In the Mobile Transportation Technology segment, these challenges include the inadequate productivity in processing orders within Germany. By contrast, the segment’s order situation remains positive. In the Stationary Transportation Technology segment, the order situation has recently become somewhat more stable, albeit below the level seen one year earlier. In the Components segment, sales are brisk and business performance has exceeded expectations.

“Based on the detailed analysis of the Schaltbau Group’s activities that we have performed in recent weeks, we will compile a roadmap for repositioning and strengthening our business. The sale of Sepsa is a key component in this strategy. During the next few months, in our capacity as Executive Board, we will successively work through the measures required to restructure operations and achieve financial security. With this strategy, we are confident of being able to get the Group back on track for success,” said Dr Stausberg in conclusion.

This corporate news contains statements regarding future developments based on information currently available to us. As a result of risks and uncertainties, actual outcomes could differ from the forward-looking statements made.

Schaltbau Holding AG does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
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