Vossloh with a very good start in the 2021 fiscal year, sales and operating profitability well above the previous year
Vossloh has made an excellent start to the 2021 fiscal year. Despite continuing challenges due to COVID-19, group sales went up by 13.2 percent to €207.1 million in the first three months of the fiscal year (previous year: €182.9 million). This was mainly due to higher sales in the rail fastening systems business in China, largely as a result of deliveries being shifted to 2021 due to the pandemic. As in the previous year, orders received developed positively in the first three months of 2021 and came to €260.0 million (previous year: €291.9 million). The ratio of new orders to sales (book-to-bill) remained again high at an encouraging 1.26. EBIT came to €12.1 million, a significant improvement after comparable €0.9 million in the first quarter of 2020. The EBIT figure reported in the previous year of €16.5 million included a positive effect totalling €15.6 million related to the transitional consolidation of a Chinese joint venture. The operating EBIT margin increased from 0.5 percent in the previous year to 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Accordingly, operating EBITDA also went up significantly from €13.2 million to €25.6 million year on year, while the operating EBITDA margin climbed from 7.2 percent to 12.4 percent.
The Group’s financial position also improved significantly. The equity ratio went up to 43.9 percent (previous year: 28.6 percent). Net financial debt (excluding lease liabilities) fell considerably to €202.1 million (March 31, 2020: €386.4 million). In addition to the positive free cash flow in the core business over the past twelve months, this was largely driven by the successful placement of the hybrid note in the amount of roughly €150 million in February. The hybrid note was presented within equity in accordance with IFRS accounting standards.
“We have made an excellent start to the 2021 fiscal year. After a lengthy period of restructuring and realignment, Vossloh’s earnings potential is becoming clearly visible in view of our best operating result in a first quarter in ten years,” Oliver Schuster, Chief Executive Officer of Vossloh AG, explained. “We are perfectly positioned and well on the way to achieve our ambitious goals. Our integrated range of products and services and our financial flexibility have put us on track for long-term profitable growth.”
Core Components division
In the Core Components division, Vossloh increased its sales in the first quarter of 2021 by more than 35 percent to €105.1 million (previous year: €77.7 million). This outstanding performance is largely due to the Fastening Systems business unit’s improved business in China, mainly as a result of deliveries being shifted to 2021 due to the pandemic. The sales of the business unit went up by almost 50 percent in the reporting period to €65.5 million (previous year: €43.9 million). The revenues of the Tie Technologies business unit increased to €40.6 million (previous year: €36.5 million), mainly due to higher volumes of concrete ties being delivered in Australia. Orders received in the division amounted to €99.5 million in the first three months of 2021 (previous year: €107.9 million). The order backlog fell to €237.5 million on March 31, 2021. The decrease compared to the previous year’s figure (March 31, 2020: €302.8 million) was largely due to the planned execution of the high order backlog in Australia and China. The Core Components division achieved an EBIT of €14.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 (previous year on a comparable basis: €3.8 million). This caused the EBIT margin to improve from a comparable figure of 4.9 percent in the previous year to 14.0 percent. This significant rise is primarily due to increased deliveries for high-margin rail fastening systems projects.
Customized Modules division
The Customized Modules division generated €87.3 million in sales in the first quarter of 2021, on a par with the previous year (€87.6 million). Lower revenues particularly in Italy and France were balanced out by improved sales figures in Australia and India. Orders received amounted to a total of €127.0 million in the first three months of 2021 (previous year: €147.7 million). The book-to-bill ratio accordingly was at 1.45. The order backlog came to €380.0 million at the end of the first quarter of 2021, a significant rise compared to the previous year (€333.2 million). EBIT saw a sharp increase to €4.0 million (previous year: €1.8 million). Consequently, the EBIT margin rose to 4.6 percent (previous year: 2.1 percent). The improvement in earnings and profitability was largely driven by operational efficiency gains.
Lifecycle Solutions division
The Lifecycle Solutions division generated sales of €19.7 million in the first quarter of 2021, in line with the previous year’s performance (€20.2 million). Rail and turnout grinding sales fell year on year as expected. This decline was compensated for by higher revenues from machinery sales and stationary welding. Both orders received with €38.9 million (previous year: €38.4 million) and order backlog with €28.8 million (previous year: €28.6 million) were on a par with last year. EBIT was negative at €(2.4) million (previous year: €(1.8) million). EBIT is typically negative in this period due to seasonal reasons. The decline in EBIT was largely due to lower earnings contributions from rail and turnout grinding as well as logistics. Vossloh expects the situation to improve over the course of the year, with profitability at a higher level than the previous year.
In the first quarter of 2021, the average number of employees in the Vossloh Group was 3,608 (previous year: 3,472). The increase in the workforce was largely due to the full consolidation of an Indian company in the Customized Modules division.
Based on current knowledge, Vossloh still assumes that it will be able to generate sales between €850 million and €925 million in 2021. Vossloh is expecting an EBITDA margin of between 13 and 14 percent. The EBIT margin is expected to be between 7 and 8 percent. Excluding the one-time effect of €15.6 million from the transitional consolidation of the joint venture in China in the 2020 fiscal year, the EBITDA margin and EBIT margin in the past fiscal year were 12.4 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. Vossloh thus expects its operating profitability to improve significantly, with contributions coming from all divisions. The outlook assumes that there will not be any significant additional impact related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Orders received||€ million||260.0||291.9|
|Order backlog as of 3/31||€ million||644.8||663.3|
|Sales revenues||€ million||207.1||182.9|
|Net income||€ million||6.1||(2.6)|
|Earnings per share||€||0.16||(0.15)|
|Value added||€ million||(3.4)||1.6|
|Net financial debt (excl. leasing) as of 3/31||€ million||202.1||386.4|
|Equity ratio as of 3/31||%||43.9||28.6|
1 The previous year figures are presented on a comparable basis, and therefore exclude the positive book effect totaling €15.6 million recognized in profit or loss related to the transitional consolidation of a Chinese joint venture.
Werdohl, April 29, 2021
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Vossloh is a globally active technology Group dedicated for over 135 years to quality, safety, reliability, innovation and a focus on the customer. Vossloh’s comprehensive range of track-related products and services make the company a leader in the global market in this area. Vossloh provides a uniquely wide range of services: rail fastening systems, concrete ties, switch systems and crossings as well as innovative and increasingly digital-based services for the entire lifecycle of rails and switches. Vossloh uses its extensive understanding of rail infrastructure to meet the key customer need of track network availability.
Vossloh products are in use in more than 85 countries. With close to 80 Group companies in around 30 countries and over 35 production sites, Vossloh is a global company with a local presence. Vossloh is committed to sustainable governance and climate protection and makes an important contribution to sustainable passenger and freight mobility with its products and services.
The Group activities are organized into the three divisions of Core Components, Customized Modules and Lifecycle Solutions. In the 2020 fiscal year, Vossloh achieved sales of about €870 million with approximately 3,500 employees.