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Tuesday 17 February, 2009

Takkt AG

TAKKT Group holds its ground in a difficult env...





High profitability shows small improvement

Stuttgart, 17  February 2009.  After achieving  good results  in  the
first nine months of 2008, also TAKKT felt the effects of the  global
financial and economic crisis in the final quarter. "The weak  fourth
quarter meant that our turnover figures ended the year under  budget.
Our improved earnings margins, however, prove how robustly-positioned
TAKKT is to hold  its ground even in  difficult phases," affirms  CEO
Georg Gayer.

Financial highlights in 2008

  * Organic turnover growth of 0.7 percent
  * EBITDA margin increases to 14.6 percent
  * Cash flow margin reaches new record of 10.7 percent


"Following our announcement of new record figures for the first  nine
months of 2008 in spite of the already discernible weakness of the US
economy, the financial and economic crisis  caught up with us in  the
fourth quarter," explains Georg Gayer, CEO of TAKKT AG. "In spite  of
our broad  diversification, we  cannot protect  our turnover  from  a
global recession. It is all the  more satisfying, then, that we  have
increased our profitability slightly despite the economic slump. This
is thanks not  least to our  focussing on our  core business that  we
pursued rigorously  in the  preceding years  and to  the strict  cost
management."

The TAKKT  Group  generated turnover    of EUR  932.1  (2007:  986.2)
million in the  financial year  2008. In comparison  to the  previous
year's figure this represents a decline of 5.5 percent, which is  due
to the sale of Conney Safety Products LLC (Conney) in 2007 as well as
the  weak  US  dollar  in   the  year  under  review.  Adjusted   for
disinvestment  and  exchange  rate  effects,  the  Group's   turnover
increased by 0.7 percent. This means that its growth forecast,  which
was reduced to around two percent in October 2008, was not  achieved.
The most  significant  reason for  this  weaker development  was  the
reluctance of customers to order all over the world, a trend that was
especially pronounced in November and December 2008.

The  EBITDA  (earnings   before  interest,   tax,  depreciation   and
amortisation) came to  EUR 136.0 (142.3)  million. The EBITDA  margin
increased to 14.6 (14.4) percent, keeping it at the upper end of  the
long-term target corridor of 12 to 15 percent which the Group has set
itself. Thus, even  under difficult overall  economic conditions  and
despite the substantial expense incurred for newly started companies,
TAKKT has again increased its profitability.

Earnings before tax amounted to EUR 113.9 (116.1) million, while  the
pre-tax margin increased to 12.2 (11.8) percent.

Cash flow margin improves again
The reduction in turnover caused the Group's cash flow to drop to EUR
100.0 (101.2) million. The cash flow margin, measured as a percentage
of Group turnover, nevertheless showed another year-on-year  increase
to reach a new record of 10.7 (10.3) percent.

"Our profitability  and  cash  flow  figures  demonstrate  the  TAKKT
Group's strengths. Thanks to their relatively high variable  element,
we are  able  to  adjust  our most  significant  cost  pools  to  the
respective business trend,"  explains CFO Dr  Florian Funck. "At  the
same time, our B2B  mail order business model  gives us an  important
competitive advantage  in  this difficult  economic  environment.  It
offers customers clear savings  potential in the procurement  process
costs area,  an  aspect which  may  become more  significant  in  the
current financial year."

Turnover throughout the Group declines in fourth quarter
In the first nine months of 2008, TAKKT was still able to profit from
its international  diversification  and  generated  organic  turnover
growth in its KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA  and K + K America divisions.  In
the fourth  quarter,  particularly  in  November  and  December,  the
difficult market conditions for the Group as a whole became apparent,
leading to a decline of 8.2 percent in turnover to EUR 228.9  (249.3)
million. Adjusted  for exchange  rates,  turnover decreased  by  11.5
percent.

As a  consequence of  this, EBITDA  likewise declined  in the  fourth
quarter, falling to EUR 32.6 (41.0) million. The margin reached  14.2
(16.4) percent. Earnings before tax  fell to EUR 26.6 (33.7)  million
and the pre-tax margin accordingly to 11.6 (13.5) percent.

Gayer assessed  the fourth-quarter  trend  as follows:  "Although  we
performed very well over  the year as a  whole, the sharpness of  the
recent downturn took us  by surprise. Because  the downward trend  of
the fourth quarter  2008 continued  during the first  weeks of  2009,
further measures to adjust our cost structures will be implemented."

Uneven development in the divisions in 2008
The divergent economic factors influencing the different regions  are
reflected in the varying trends shown  by the divisions. In the  year
under review, KAISER + KRAFT  EUROPA generated turnover of EUR  539.3
(519.8) million,  still  representing  growth  of  3.8  percent.  The
largest and most profitable division benefited over long periods from
a relatively robust economic situation and, on the earnings side too,
nearly maintained its previous year's level with an EBITDA margin  of
20.7 (20.9) percent.

The Topdeq Group, which aims at both the European and US markets with
its assortment of high-quality  office equipment, had been  suffering
from the economic uncertainty already since the start of the year. In
the year under review turnover decreased  by 9.3 percent to EUR  82.7
(91.2) million. Adjusted  for exchange  rates, turnover  fell by  8.8
percent. Nevertheless, the EBITDA margin remained stable at 7.6 (7.6)
percent.

K + K America's turnover fell to USD 454.9 (513.0) million mainly due
to the disposal of Conney in  the previous year. The weakness of  the
US dollar  meant  that  this  decrease was  more  pronounced  in  the
reporting currency of euro, namely  from EUR 375.6 to 310.9  million.
Adjusted for Conney, turnover as measured in US dollars fell by  only
1.5 percent despite the difficult market conditions in North America.
The EBITDA margin declined from 9.6 to 8.6 percent.

Chairman of the TAKKT AG Management Board retires
At the end of January, Georg Gayer  (born in 1946), CEO of TAKKT  AG,
announced his retirement as  CEO and member  of the Management  Board
with effect from 31 May 2009.

This step is due only to personal reasons and is a regular option  of
Gayer's employment contract,  which was prolonged  early 2008.  Gayer
will continue to work for TAKKT AG as a consultant.

Already in  2008  the  Supervisory  Board  laid  the  basis  for  the
long-term management structure of  TAKKT through personnel  decisions
made  and  the   prolongation  of  employment   contracts  with   the
management. The Supervisory  Board will  decide at  its next  regular
meeting on 20 March 2009 about Gayer's successor.

Telephone conference
We are  inviting  you  to  pose  questions  to  the  members  of  our
Management Board in person. At 3pm (CET) on 17 February 2009, we will
be staging  a  telephone  conference  in which  you  are  welcome  to
participate. Please  dial  in  using the  number  +49  711  9659-9628
(Access-Code 779134#).

Press conference on annual financial statements
More details about the  annual financial statements  for 2008 and  an
outlook for the current financial year will be provided at the  press
conference in Stuttgart on 25 March 2009.

Preliminary IFRS figures of  the TAKKT Group  for the financial  year
2008
(EUR millions)


+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
|                 |    Q4 |    Q4 | Change |  Q1-4 |  Q1-4 | Change |
|                 |  2008 |  2007 |   in % |  2008 |  2007 |   in % |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| TAKKT Group     | 228.9 | 249.3 |   -8.2 | 932.1 | 986.2 |   -5.5 |
| turnover        |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| Organic growth  |       |       |  -11.5 |       |       |    0.7 |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
|    | KAISER +   |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|    | KRAFT      | 131.2 | 145.1 |   -9.6 | 539.3 | 519.8 |    3.8 |
|    | EUROPA     |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|----+------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
|    | Topdeq     |  20.1 |  25.1 |  -19.9 |  82.7 |  91.2 |   -9.3 |
|    |            |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|----+------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
|    | K + K      |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|    | America    |  77.8 |  79.2 |   -1.8 | 310.9 | 375.6 |  -17.2 |
|    | (ยค)        |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|    |            |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|----+------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
|    | K + K      |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|    | America    | 100.6 | 114.8 |  -12.4 | 454.9 | 513.0 |  -11.3 |
|    | ($)        |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| EBITDA          |  32.6 |  41.0 |  -20.5 | 136.0 | 142.3 |   -4.4 |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| EBITDA margin   |  14.2 |  16.4 |        |  14.6 |  14.4 |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| EBIT            |  28.3 |  35.2 |  -19.6 | 120.2 | 125.0 |   -3.8 |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| EBIT margin     |  12.4 |  14.1 |        |  12.9 |  12.7 |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| Earnings before |  26.6 |  33.7 |  -21.1 | 113.9 | 116.1 |   -1.9 |
| tax             |       |       |        |       |       |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| EBT margin      |  11.6 |  13.5 |        |  12.2 |  11.8 |        |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| Cash flow       |  25.4 |  31.8 |  -20.1 | 100.0 | 101.2 |   -1.2 |
|-----------------+-------+-------+--------+-------+-------+--------|
| Cash flow       |  11.1 |  12.8 |        |  10.7 |  10.3 |        |
| margin          |       |       |        |       |       |        |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+



Short profile of TAKKT AG
TAKKT is the leading B2B mail order company for office, business  and
warehouse equipment  in  Europe  and  North  America.  The  Group  is
represented with its brands  in more than  25 countries. The  product
range of the TAKKT subsidiaries comprises over 130,000 items from the
areas business and warehouse equipment, classical and design-oriented
office furniture and  accessories, as well  as sales promotion  items
for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.

The TAKKT Group  employs some  2,000 staff, has  3 million  customers
worldwide  and  distributes  more  than  70  million  catalogues  and
mailings per year.

TAKKT AG is listed on the SDAX and was admitted to Deutsche  Boerse's
Prime Standard on 1 January 2003.


Contacts:

Georg Gayer, CEO          Tel. +49 711 34658-201
Dr Florian Funck, CFO     Tel. +49 711 34658-207


Email: [email protected]


This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is 
solely responsible for the content of this announcement.




                     

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