April 3, 2020

Press release

Group Results 2019

  • Consolidated revenues rise by 7.6% to € 978.1 million, EBIT increases to € 51.9 million
  • Business volume expanded significantly in Central and Eastern Europe in particular and in North America
  • Incoming orders on par with previous year's record level at € 1,073.0 million
  • Reduced dividend proposal of € 0.80 per share anticipates economic uncertainties
Revenuesin € million909.4978.1
EBITin € million48.851.9
Net profit for the periodin € million34.734.6
Cash flow from operating acitvitiesin € million-13.6-26.6
Equity in % if total assets 30.3%25.9%
Earnings per share3.73.7
Dividende (proposal to Annual General Meeting)€/share1.250.80
Employees as of Dec 31 3,6213,828
Order backlog as of Dec 31in € million1,052.31,149.5

In the past 2019 financial year, the Rosenbauer Group has grown as planned and increased its revenues by 7.6% to € 978.1 million (2018: € 909.4 million). The last three months of the year also topped the previous year's figure (Q4 2018: € 345.9 million) with revenues of € 363.6 million and constituted the all-time strongest quarter. Expenses for staff and materials rose with the increased operating performance and EBIT reached € 51.9 million (2018: € 48.8 million). At 5.3%, the EBIT margin was down slightly on the previous year, with delayed deliveries and exchange rate differences in particular impacting profitability.

Revenues and results of operations
The global firefighting industry held its ground despite the weakening global economy in 2019, performing robustly. The strongest sales regions were Europe, North America and Asia, the biggest single markets the US, China and Germany. The markets showed signs of weakening slightly in countries highly dependent on the price of oil. In 2019, some procurement volumes were down on the previous year's level. 

Against this backdrop, the Rosenbauer Group continued its growth trajectory as planned and significantly increased revenues year-on-year. Central and Eastern Europe in particular as well as North America reported more deliveries; growth here amounted to 24% and 16% respectively. By contrast, business in Asia declined, with the biggest single market of China stagnating as expected.

EBIT was well above the previous year's level at € 51.9 million in 2019 (2018: € 48.8 million). The bulk of this, namely € 36.8 million, was generated in the fourth quarter. The significant increase in earnings is mainly due to a strong production output resulting from the very good order situation, and a favorable product mix. A new logistics center was put into operation in Asten in March 2019 to relieve the burden on Plant I at the Leonding location and activate additional capacity.

Due to increased financing requirements as well as the first-time application of the IFRS 16 standard, the financial result deteriorated compared with the same period last year to € -6.7 million (2018: € -4.6 million). Earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to € 45.5 million (2018: € 43.8 million).

At € 1,073.0 million, incoming orders again reached the previous year's record level in 2019 (2018: € 1,107.7 million). Orders increased in the NISA area (Northern Europe, Iberia, South America, Africa) and the APAC area (Asia, Pacific, Australia, China). For instance, a total of 14 aerial devices were sold to Australia, namely the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Tasmania Fire Service and the Australian Capital Territory. As of December 31, 2019, the order backlog amounted to € 1,149.5 million, up 9% on the previous year's figure (2018: € 1,052.3 million).

Financial position and net assets
The Rosenbauer Group's total assets increased significantly to € 977.5 million in 2019 (2018: € 782.3 million). This was due to the very good order situation and the massive delivery volume at the end of the year, as reflected in increased inventories and receivables. The first-time application of IFRS 16 and the separate disclosure of right-of-use assets increased total assets by € 37.7 million.

Equity amounted to € 253.4 million as of the end of the year (2018: € 237.1 million). Given the increase in total assets, the equity ratio fell to 25.9% (2018: 30.3%).

The financial structure of the Rosenbauer Group remains solid. With the successful issuance of a bonded loan in June 2019 the Group could optimize the maturity profile of its liabilities entailing a reallocation from short-term to long-term. As interim financing requirements grew in total, current interest-bearing liabilities decreased from € 165.4 million to € 140.1 million, non-current interest-bearing liabilities increased from € 92.2 million to 216.1 million.

The high trade working capital due to contract manufacturing increased to € 467.1 million as of the end of the year (2018: € 397.4 million). Due to strong customer business, net debt rose to € 342.5 million (2018: € 231.5 million). The gearing ratio climbed to 135.1% (2018: 97.6%).

Net cash flow from operating activities was negative at € -26.6 million in 2019 (2018: € -13.6 million). This was primarily due to the significant increase in inventories and customer receivables.

The Rosenbauer Group follows a growth-oriented and sustainable dividend policy that is consistent with the company's performance. In view of the current economic uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of € 0.80 (2018: € 1.25) per share at the Annual General Meeting. Accordingly, the distribution volume for 6.8 million no-par-value shares will be € 5.4 million (2018: € 8.5 million). Based on the closing price of € 40.2, this corresponds to a dividend yield of 2.0% (2018: 3.8%). The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board reserve the right to reevaluate the appropriation of profits and dividend distribution.

The global firefighting industry started 2020 with stable demand. The firefighting markets in North America and Asia in particular as well in the Middle East showed signs of stronger demand than in the reporting year, and the European firefighting market was set to reach the high level of 2019 again. 

The stronger, more global spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19 has considerably increased the risks to industry demand, supply chains and production capacity. A serious estimate of the extent of these uncertainties is not yet possible. Accordingly, it is too early for a revenues and earnings forecast for the Rosenbauer Group in the 2020 financial year.

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