26. Mar 2012

WashTec AG: WashTec is expecting considerable earnings growth in 2012 after a disappointing 2011

WashTec AG / Key word(s): Final Results

26.03.2012 / 11:24

Press Release

WashTec is expecting considerable earnings growth in 2012 after a disappointing 2011

- Revenue increase of 9.3% to EUR 293.3m in fiscal year 2011

- EBIT declined to EUR -10.2m due to non-recurring charges in the amount of EUR 28.0m

- Net finance debt reduced to EUR 24.4m despite charges, equity ratio remains good at 38.6%

- Strategic realignment of the Group, review of the options for the North American business

- Slight revenue growth and significant earnings improvement anticipated for 2012

Augsburg, March 26, 2012 - Consolidated revenues of the WashTec Group - the leading supplier of innovative solutions for the carwash business worldwide - rose in fiscal year 2011 by 9.3% to EUR 293.3m (prior year: EUR 268.4m). After adjusting for acquisitions, the Group generated a 2.6% increase in revenues. Group earnings were burdened significantly by the very disappointing development in the North American business and the ensuing costs that were triggered thereby. Given the non-recurring charges totaling EUR 28.0m incurred for restructuring expenses, other provisions and, write-downs on goodwill and other intangible assets, EBIT fell to EUR -10.2m (prior year: EUR 20.3m), thereby landing the Group in the red. After adjusting for these non-recurring effects, an EBIT of EUR 17.8m was achieved.

'As a consequence of the massive problems encountered in our North American business, fiscal year 2011 proved to be a great disappointment for WashTec. We reacted immediately and have already been able to make great progress in terms of strategic realignment and re-dimensioning of our activities there. Although 2012 will also not be an easy year, we do expect significant improvement with regard to the adjusted Group earnings', commented management board speaker, Thorsten Krüger, on fiscal year 2011.

Consolidated net income declined to EUR -14.5m (prior year: EUR 10.8m). Earnings per share equaled EUR -1.04 after having been at EUR 0.77 the year before. For this reason, the management board and the supervisory board are planning to recommend to the annual general meeting of shareholders, which is scheduled for May 10, 2012, that no dividend should be paid for fiscal year 2011. Nevertheless, WashTec continues to view its shares as valued-oriented with an attractive return policy and remains committed to its goal, as communicated last year, of sustainably distributing to its shareholders roughly 40% of the net income in the form of dividends and/or in the form of share buy-backs, provided that a conservative gearing ratio of less than 1 can be maintained.

Balance sheet quality remains good despite non-recurring charges
Since the non-recurring charges for the North American business did not impact the Company's cash position, WashTec is reporting appreciable net cash flow of EUR 17.2m in 2011 as well (prior year: EUR 29.1m). Due to the expansion of business activity, net current assets rose from EUR 68.2m to EUR 75.5m. Thanks to positive cash flow, the Group was able to once again reduce net finance debt (net bank debt plus long-term and short-term finance leasing debt) by EUR 2.2m to EUR 24.4m. In contrast, the equity ratio declined from 43.5% to 38.6%, and the gearing ratio climbed accordingly from 0.28 to 0.32. Thus, WashTec still enjoys a good balance sheet structure. The syndicated loan facility, which was extended in 2011 through the end of 2014, will ensure that the Group's mid-term financing needs are covered.

Strategic realignment by focusing on innovation, sales, service and internationality

In order to return as quickly as possible to a path of profitable growth following the year of restructuring in 2012, management has begun conducting a fundamental strategic realignment. Under the initiative, WashTec's development work will focus more on creating added value for the Group's customers and those customer's own wash clientele. WashTec's experience from the diversification measures pushed in recent years shows that these areas offer additional potential. This step is accompanied by the continued professionalization of sales and a conversion of service to purely scheduled maintenance. Moreover, the cost structures should be further improved through the intelligent utilization of WashTec's global supply chain and a further modularization in the field of production. Moreover, the Company will continue its expansion specifically in the strong-growth, emerging countries of Eastern Europe and Asia in order to realize the mid-term to long-term potential of these regions.

Outlook 2012: Slight revenue increase and significant earnings growth despite difficult environment

Particularly in the first half of fiscal year 2012, the hallmark of the Company's work will be on realigning itself and, above all, on re-dimensioning its North American activities. Thanks to a comprehensive emergency program, significant cost reductions were already implemented in 2011 in the North American business. There will also be a narrowing and focusing of those activities. According to the information available today, the implemented program will not suffice in the current market situation, however, in order to bring the US business activities over the mid-term to an earnings margin that is comparable to the earnings margin reported by the rest of the Group. For this reason, the possibilities of strategic alliances are currently under review.

There are currently no plans to further expand the Company by making additional acquisitions. Instead, the focus will remain on efficiency measures and innovations in existing core business fields and on investments in areas and regions representing the best growth opportunities in the coming years, which applies above all, to Eastern Europe and Asia (specifically China). The overall conditions for this industry, however, are still marked by great uncertainty. For the full year forecast, the Company is assuming that the North American business will be continued and that the restructuring program will be implemented. On this basis, WashTec is seeking modest revenue growth of 1 - 2% for the Group in 2012, with a significant increase in adjusted earnings. Further non-recurring charges caused by possible strategic alliances in North America cannot be currently ruled out. By implementing the approved strategy, the Company is again striving for sustained annual revenue and earnings growth of 4 - 7% in its mid-term and long term planning.

'In view of the measures already implemented, a variety of planned innovations and the growth opportunities in the emerging markets, above all China and Eastern Europe, we are confident that we will come out of the crisis not only stronger but also in a position to once again steer a profitable course of growth in the mid-term and long term', announced Chief Financial Officer, Houman Khorram, concerning the outlook of WashTec.

About WashTec:
The WashTec Group, with its headquarters in Augsburg, Germany, is the leading supplier of innovative solutions for the carwash business worldwide. WashTec employs more than 1,600 people around the world and has subsidiaries in the European core markets, the US and Canada, as well as in China and Australia. Furthermore, WashTec is represented in around 60 countries by independent sales partners.

Further information on the Company and the full 2011 annual report can be found online at www.washtec.de.
Key Financial Figures of the Group:

EURm, IFRS 2011 2010 Change
Revenues 293.3 268.4 9.3%
EBITDA 19.3 29.9 -35.5%
EBITDA (adjusted) 28.2 29.9 -5.7%
EBIT -10.2 20.3 -
EBIT (adjusted) 17.8 20.3 -12.3%
EBIT margin (adjusted) 6.1% 7.6% -
EBT -11.8 18.6 -
Net income -14.5 10.8 -
Earnings per share* (in EUR) -1.04 0.77 -
Dividends per share 0.00** 0.31 -
Net cash flow 17.2 29.1 -40.9%
ROCE*** 16.4 19.9  


EURm, IFRS Dec 31, 2011 Dec 31, 2010 Change
Balance sheet total 195.0 217.1 -10.2%
Equity 75.2 94.4 -20.3%
Equity ratio 38.6% 43.5% -
Net finance debt (as of Dec 31) 24.4 26.6 -8.3%
Gearing**** 0.32 0.28 14.3%
Net current assets***** 75.5 68.2 10.7%
Employees 1,651 1,639 0.7%


*: Base: 13,976,970 shares
**: Planned recommendation to the annual general meeting of shareholders
*** 'Return on Capital Employed' = adjusted EBIT/ (total assets - total liabilities - cash and cash equivalents) based on equal dividend payments
****: Net finance debt divided by equity
****: Trade receivables + inventories - trade payables

WashTec AG
Argonstrasse 7
86153 Augsburg

Tel.: +49 (0)821 - 55 84 - 0
Fax: +49 (0)821 - 55 84 - 1135

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161871  26.03.2012