· Outlook: Management Board confirms growth targets for 2007/08
· CO2-debate a potential catalyst for the lighting industry
· Growth strategy targets new markets, technologies and applications
· Shareholders’ Meeting approves dividend of EUR 0.50 per share
Dornbirn, Austria – Zumtobel, the Austrian-based lighting group, is aiming to continue its upward trend in the current 2007/08 financial year. At today’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Ludwig reaffirmed the Group’s targets of posting full-year growth of at least 5% and raising the EBIT margin from 9.1% in the past financial year to double figures in 2007/08. In the medium term, the company is planning to increase consolidated revenues to EUR 1.5 billion and attain an EBIT margin of 12% through organic growth. In addition, Zumtobel will also be examining acquisition targets with the potential to increase the value of the company and support the strategic growth initiatives of the Group.
Positive economic backdrop – energy efficiency drives growth
The company’s growth is supported by the prevailing buoyant economic backdrop, not least in the construction industry, which serves as a barometer for the professional lighting sector. According to the latest June figures from Euroconstruct, the building sector is set to continue its marked recovery in the core European markets, with a growth rate of 3% (previous year 2.8%) for commercial buildings. Further dynamic impetus for the lighting industry is provided by several non-cyclical trends, including the current debate over the need to cut CO2 emissions, as well as the growing recognition of the importance of light in promoting human well-being. “With intelligent light management, innovative luminaires and a well-planned lighting solution, today you can cut energy consumption by up to 80% compared to existing systems and improve the quality of the lighting at the same time,” said Andreas Ludwig. “Over half of the professional lighting systems currently installed in Europe still need optimising in respect of energy consumption. Given the greater public awareness of energy efficiency and the more stringent legal requirements, we see great potential here.”
Strategy and milestones 2007/08
In their presentations to the Shareholders’ Meeting, the Management Board explained the strategy of the Zumtobel Group, which is based on continuing its strategic growth initiatives. In regional terms, the focus of growth remains on Eastern Europe, a number of niche markets in Western Europe and the Asian and Indian markets. With regard to technology, the LED business continues to be a key growth driver for the lighting group. And in the field of new product applications, along with the Zumtobel Lighteriors collection of living room luminaires, the new LED Light-Engine application is another focus of attention. R&D capacities are being substantially expanded in order to promote innovation at the Group.
With a view to attaining a further increase in profitability, the Zumtobel Group invests continuously in the optimisation of its production facilities. The biggest operational challenge in the current financial year will be the relocation of the Spennymoor plant (UK) to a new process- and capacity-optimised facility. In addition, the use of existing capacities at the low-wage locations Curtici (Romania) and Guangzhou (China) will be optimised as a result of market growth and selected transfer projects.
Shareholders’ Meeting approves dividend payment
With 19.167.543 votes present, the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting unanimously approved the proposal of the Management Board and Supervisory Board to pay a dividend of EUR 0.50 per share for the 2006/07 financial year. The dividend will be paid on August 2, 2007. With the same number of votes present, the actions of the Management Board and Supervisory Board were unanimously ratified in each case. In its further resolutions, the Shareholders’ Meeting reappointed KPMG Austria as auditors for the consolidated accounts 2007/08 and fixed the remuneration of the Supervisory Board members for the current financial year.
Review of 2006/07
In the past financial year, net profit for the year at the Zumtobel Group more than doubled, rising from EUR 49.5 million in the previous year (PY) to EUR 103.6 million. EBIT (adjusted for exceptional items and non-recurring expenses) rose 13.3% to EUR 112.3 million, enabling the Zumtobel Group to attain the targeted improvement in EBIT margin, which reached 9.1% (PY adjusted EBIT margin: 8.5%).
Along with improvements in operational efficiency, the Group’s improved performance was largely driven by further revenue growth. Group revenues moved ahead 5.6% from EUR 1,168.0 million in the previous year (adjusted for the sale of the airfield lighting business) to EUR 1.234.0 million in the year under review. The financial year of the Zumtobel Group commences on 1 May and ends on 30 April. The figures for the first quarter of 2007/08 will be published on 18 September 2007.
You will find full details of the voting http://www.zumtobelgroup.com/com/en/ir_shareholder_meeting_f.htm/Investor relations/Shareholders’ meeting.