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Interim Financial Report of Zumtobel Group: Lighting group posts further profitable growth in first half-year
07.12.2007
  • Revenues rise 6.5% to EUR 666.1 million
  • EBIT margin advances 80 basis points to 11.4%
  • LED revenues over 80% up; energy efficiency proves a growth driver
  • Executive Board reaffirms full-year targets: revenues up 6%, double-digit EBIT margin

Dornbirn, Austria – The Zumtobel Group based in Dornbirn, Austria, posted further growth in both revenues and profitability in the first half of the 2007/08 financial year (May to October). Group revenues for the reporting period totalled EUR 666.1 million (PY: EUR 625.6 million), which equates to growth of 6.5%. At 6.8%, second-quarter growth outpaced Q1 when revenues were 6.1% up. Adjusted EBIT rose 13.9% to EUR 75.7 million (PY: EUR 66.5 million). The EBIT margin improved by 80 basis points to 11.4% of revenues (PY: 10.6%). In Q2, the Group was even able to return an EBIT margin of 12.4%, based on revenues of EUR 343 million.

In the opinion of CEO Andreas Ludwig, the Zumtobel Group is on the right road: "The first two quarters are traditionally the strongest months for us in terms of revenues. It is very satisfying to have reached our growth targets for the first half of 2007/08 in terms of both revenues and earnings. And when we look ahead to the second half year – traditionally the two weaker quarters on account of seasonal factors – we are optimistic about being able to post an improvement of the same order as in the first six months. That means we can reaffirm our full-year targets of an increase in revenues of over 6% and a double-digit EBIT margin." 

Strong growth in Europe
The first half-year was marked by strong growth in the company's core European markets (81% of revenues) where sales reached EUR 542.1 million (+9.7%; PY: EUR 494.2 million). In the German-speaking markets, Germany in particular returned an above-average performance in Q2. Following the new set-up of sales operations in Northern Europe, the anticipated turnaround materialised and revenues showed first-half growth of 6.5%. The strong growth in Western Europe (+11.4%) was largely due to the recovery staged by the Thorn brand in the UK and Ireland. Double-digit growth was also recorded in France, notably as a result of public-sector road lighting projects.

Turning to the growth markets, in Eastern Europe revenues moved ahead 6.7%. Owing to the customary volatility of project-sector business, Q2 in particular brought a 12% surge in growth – with projects such as the lighting for the MSU Museum Zagreb, two major office projects in Budapest and the Tomas Bata University in Zlin (CZ) all falling within the reporting period. The Asian markets too proved volatile. Sales failed to match up to expectations, falling 9.3%, although the project pipeline for the second half-year points to a marked recovery. Only recently, for example, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing was opened, featuring a lighting solution by Zumtobel. And in the shape of the Terracotta Museum in Xian, Shaanxi province (Zumtobel), the International Commerce Center in Hong Kong or the Marvel Building in Singapore (both Thorn), other prestigious projects are currently delivered.

A breakdown by division reveals that both the luminaire division (Zumtobel / Thorn) and the components division (TridonicAtco) again contributed to revenue growth. In Q2 the luminaire division was again able to step up the pace of growth (+6.3%) while, as expected, as the upward impact on prices of the rising cost of copper gradually came to an end, growth at TridonicAtco faded to 7.9%. The LED business continued to show dynamic growth, with first-half revenues rising 82.9% to
EUR 17.5 million (PY: EUR 9.6 million).

Rise in first-half net profit / balance sheet structure improved
First-half net profit totalled EUR 55.1 million, which equates to a 13.2% drop compared to the previous year (EUR 63.4 million) when net profit was boosted by non-recurring income from deferred taxes and the sale of the Group's airfield lighting business. Compared to the adjusted figure for the previous year, first-half profit shows an increase of approximately 30%. Despite payment of a dividend, the Group's equity ratio again increased to 41%, while the debt-to-equity ratio was further reduced to 38.5%. The size of the workforce remained virtually unchanged, with 7,353.9 FTE (full-time equivalent) employees by 31 October 07 compared to 7,358 in the previous year.

Energy efficiency proves a growth driver
Along with the positive development of the building sector, the current debate on energy efficiency is proving an increasingly effective growth driver for the Zumtobel Group. The greatest potential for savings in the lighting sector is to be found in professional commercial, industrial and outdoor lighting. The products, lighting solutions and services of the Zumtobel Group's three brands help to realise this potential by applying innovative technologies such as LEDs and intelligent lighting management systems. Along with saving energy, another key factor is the quality of the lighting provided. The Group's aim in this respect is to strike a balance between the efficient use of resources and the optimum lighting quality and thereby arrive at truly sustainable lighting solutions. In the Zumtobel Group Award, the company has created a public platform on which to highlight its commitment to sustainability. The award, which carries a total purse of EUR 140,000, was presented for the first time in September 2007 at a high-profile event attended by customers and partners.

Milestones in the reporting period
In the course of the reporting period, the Zumtobel Group was able to conclude the restructuring of its luminaire activities in Australia with the merger of two production plants. Construction of the new plant in Spennymoor, UK – the most important measure in the current financial year – is making progress: the foundation stone was laid in September and the shell of the building is currently taking shape. The transfer of operations to the new factory is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008. With a view to expanding its sales structures, in May 2007 the Group increased its holding in Thorn India Pvt. Ltd.; while in October the Group's former sales partner in Hungary was acquired and integrated into the Zumtobel organisation. With effect from 4 December 2007, in a joint venture with its long-standing sales partner, the German outdoor lighting company Bega, Zumtobel acquired the Danish lighting sales organisation Light Makers. The company was previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of luminaire manufacturer Louis Poulsen which, along with its own portfolio, offered Zumtobel and Bega luminaires exclusively via Light Makers for sale in the project business sector.

Outlook remains positive
Despite turbulent times in the capital market, the Executive Board remains optimistic regarding the remainder of the 2007/08 financial year and is anticipating revenue growth of at least 6% and a double-digit EBIT margin. The latest forecasts from Euroconstruct for the commercial construction sector in 2007 and 2008 confirm the Board's view that the business environment in Europe will remain favourable. For the 2008/09 financial year it remains to be seen if the turbulence in the capital market will have a longer-term impact on the development of the economy and commercial building activities.

 

in EUR million

 2nd Quarter 2007/08

 2nd Quarter 2006/07*

Change in % 

Revenues

 343.0

 321.1

 6.8

Adjusted EBIT

 42.5

 36.3

 16.9

as a % of revenues

 12.4

 11.3

 
Reported EBIT

 42.0

 35.0

 20.1

Profit before tax

 34.4

 32.0

 7.4

Net profit for the period

29.9

35.8

(16.4)

Earnings per share (in EUR)

0.67

0.80

(16.3)

 

in EUR million

 1st Half-Year 2007/08

 1st Half-Year 2006/07*

Change in % 

Revenues

 666.1

 625.6

 6.5

Adjusted EBIT

 75.7

66.5

 13.9

as a % of revenues

 11.4

 10.6

 
Reported EBIT

 74.7

 65.3

 14.3

Profit before tax

 62.4

 51.2

 21.9

Net profit for the period

55.1

63.4

(13.2)

Cash flow from operating results    

95.2

93.9

1.5

Earnings per share (in EUR)

1.23

1.44

(14.5)



in EUR million

 31 October 2007

31 October 2006* 

30 April 2007 

Total assets

 1160.8

 1121.0

 1145.4

Equity  475.5  433.6  441.6
Equity ration in %

41.0

38.7

 38.6

Net debt  183.3  242.3  185.7



Pressekontakt
Astrid Kühn-Ulrich
Head of Corporate Communications
Tel. +43 (5572) 509 1570
astrid.kuehn@zumtobel.com
 
Verena Stättner
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +43 (5572) 509-575
verena.staettner@zumtobel.com
 
Investor Relations
Christian Hogenmüller
Head of Investor Relations
Tel.: +43 (5572) 509-506
christian.hogenmueller@zumtobel.com

___________________________________________________________
Die Zumtobel Gruppe – Globaler Marktführer in der Lichtindustrie

Die Zumtobel Gruppe mit Konzernsitz in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg (Österreich), zählt zu den wenigen Global Playern der Lichtindustrie. Die Unternehmensgruppe, die aus der 1950 gegründeten „Elektrogeräte und Kunstharzpresswerk W. Zumtobel KG“ hervorging, beschäftigt heute knapp 7.500 Mitarbeiter und erreichte im Geschäftsjahr 2006/07 einen Konzernumsatz von 1.234,0 Millionen Euro. Die Unternehmensgruppe unter Führung des Vorstands Andreas J. Ludwig (CEO) und Thomas Spitzenpfeil (CFO) gliedert sich heute in zwei Teilkonzerne: Die Zumtobel Lighting Division für das Leuchtengeschäft umfasst die beiden Marken Thorn und Zumtobel. Ergänzend dazu gibt es die TridonicAtco Division für Lichtkomponenten sowie die beiden LED Start-up-Unternehmen Ledon und Lexedis. Das Geschäftsjahr der Zumtobel Gruppe läuft vom 1. Mai bis 30. April.



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