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Thursday 29 October, 2009

Takkt AG

TAKKT Group turnover still under pressure





Measures to adjust structures and capacities weigh on profits 2009 as
expected

Stuttgart, Germany, 29 October 2009. Turnover within the TAKKT Group
continued to feel the negative effects of the global economic crisis
in the third quarter of the year as the Group recorded a 22.5 percent
decline in turnover in this period. In spite of this massive slump in
turnover, TAKKT managed to keep its operational profitability in
double digits, with an EBITDA margin of 10.1 percent. Based on the
business development in the third quarter, the Management Board has
further specified its forecast for 2009.

Significant events in 2009

* Currency and acquisition-adjusted decline in turnover of 28.4
  percent
* Gross profit margin above previous year's level at 41.9 percent
* Acquisition of the leading US mail order group for restaurant
  equipment
* TAKKT wins first place in the German Investor Relations Award
* FOCUS and GROWTH programmes launched

FOCUS and GROWTH deliver first results
TAKKT introduced the FOCUS and GROWTH programmes in 2009 in response
to the ongoing crisis in demand. FOCUS reviews the existing and
potential value contribution of all the Group's activities, processes
and structures, and adequately adjusts its cost structures and
capacities to the demand situation, while GROWTH pools and
prioritises all the Group's clearly identified growth initiatives and
accelerates their implementation. Beside the measures announced at
half-year, further FOCUS measures have been determined in the third
quarter. Mainly at KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA, the personnel capacities at
the production site in Haan near Duesseldorf will be adjusted to the
economic situation and the Haan warehouse will be closed on 31
December 2009. "All FOCUS measures determined so far are being
implemented according to plan and shall be concluded until the end of
the year," said CEO Dr Felix A. Zimmermann.

All FOCUS measures are connected with one-time extraordinary expenses
of slightly more than EUR 5 million (at the EBITDA level) in 2009, of
which just under EUR 3 million are already included in the profit for
the first nine months of 2009. The Management Board is reckoning with
a positive earnings effect of more than EUR 3 million per annum from
all the FOCUS measures as of 2010.

Changes to the corporate structure in 2010
For reasons that include the closing down of Topdeq in the USA, the
corporate structure of the TAKKT Group is set to change on 01 January
2010. From then on, the TAKKT Group will consist of two business
divisions: TAKKT EUROPE and TAKKT AMERICA. TAKKT EUROPE will comprise
the two following groups: the Business Equipment Group (BEG),
consisting of the companies of the former KAISER + KRAFT EUROPA
division, and the Office Equipment Group (OEG), made up of the Topdeq
companies. TAKKT AMERICA will continue to consist of the Plant
Equipment Group (PEG), the Office Equipment Group (OEG) and the
Specialties Group (SPG).

The structural changes will result in the downsizing of the
Management Board from four to three members. As the CEO, Dr Felix A.
Zimmermann will remain in charge of the TAKKT AMERICA division, while
Franz Vogel will assume responsibility for TAKKT EUROPE within the
Management Board, and Dr Florian Funck will continue to be CFO.
Didier Nulens is retiring from the TAKKT AG Management Board as of 31
December 2009 and will henceforth focus on managing the Topdeq
activities respectively the Office Equipment Group within TAKKT
EUROPE.

Additional GROWTH measure: expansion into Russia
The new e-commerce company Certeo, which was announced as part of the
GROWTH programme, went into operation as planned in October 2009, and
the expansion into the service sector progressed to the next level
when Hubert was launched in France. The Management Board has also
decided to expand the successful TAKKT business model into Russia,
introducing the KAISER + KRAFT brand there in early 2010. More GROWTH
initiatives are in the pipeline for 2010 and their implementation is
currently being worked on intensively.

Strong buying resistance continues to affect TAKKT Group
The TAKKT Group generated turnover  of EUR 544.9 (2008: 703.2)
million in the first nine months of 2009, which represents a
year-on-year downturn of 22.5 percent. Adjusted for acquisition and
currency effects, consolidated turnover was down by 28.4 percent. CFO
Dr Florian Funck commented on the development of turnover as follows:
"The decline in turnover slowed down in the third quarter. Therefore,
the trough of the crisis seems to be behind TAKKT. However, it is
still too soon to talk of a substantial upturn in demand."

The TAKKT Group's gross profit margin rose to 41.9 (41.7) percent.
Adjusted for acquisition effects, it increased to 42.3 percent thanks
to improvements in purchasing prices. As expected, EBITDA (earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) fell on the back
of the sharp downturn in business in the first nine months, from EUR
108.2 to 55.2 million, equating to an EBITDA margin of 10.1 (15.4)
percent. The drop in profits reduced cash flow from EUR 78.0 to 40.7
million, for a cash flow margin of 7.5 (11.1) percent.

"The unusually severe economic downturn meant that it was not
possible to maintain operational profitability at a steady level, in
spite of comprehensive measures implemented to adjust capacities and
cost structures to the economic situation," Funck commented. Adjusted
for extraordinary expenses relating to the FOCUS programme, TAKKT had
an EBITDA margin of 10.7 percent.

Investment abstinence weighs heavily on turnover of KAISER  + KRAFT
EUROPA
The turnover of the largest and most profitable division, KAISER +
KRAFT EUROPA, fell by 32.4 percent to EUR 276.0 (408.1) million up to
the end of the third quarter, primarily as a result of lower order
numbers and lower average order values. Turnover developed negatively
across the board, with the companies in Eastern Europe continuing to
suffer the most. EBITDA was down from EUR 85.2 to 40.3 million and
the EBITDA margin fell to 14.6 (20.9) percent.

Topdeq experiences sharp slump in turnover
Topdeq, the specialist for design-oriented office equipment, suffered
a fall in turnover of 30.8 percent down to EUR 43.3 (62.6) million in
the first nine months of 2009. This downward trend was most
pronounced in the US market. Adjusted for the positive currency
effects of the Swiss franc and the US dollar, the organic drop in
turnover was 32.3 percent. EBITDA fell to EUR -1.5 (5.5) million,
resulting in an EBITDA margin of -3.5 (8.8) percent.

Turnover decline varies in severity within K + K America
So far this year, the K + K America division has continued to fare
the best. Its turnover fell by 13.0 percent to USD 308.2 (354.3)
million, but the initial consolidation of Central Restaurant Products
(Central) had a positive effect. Even when adjusted for the effects
of this acquisition, the division still developed slightly better
than the rest of the Group with a minus of 22.4 percent. When
translated into the reporting currency of euro, turnover fell by 3.0
percent to EUR 226.0 (233.1) million. But business has not developed
in the same way throughout the division, and the Plant Equipment
Group, which focuses on clients from the manufacturing industries,
has had to absorb losses similar to those incurred by the European
companies. In contrast, the Office Equipment Group and the
Specialties Group have benefited relatively from improvement in the
buying behaviour of its corporate customers in the services sector
and of public authorities and government bodies.

EBITDA fell from EUR 25.0 to 21.9 million and the EBITDA margin was
9.7 (10.7) percent. Central's higher operational profitability had a
slightly positive effect on the division's margin. Disregarding
Central, K + K America had an EBITDA margin of 9.3 percent.

2009 turnover likely to be at lower end of target corridor -
operational profitability will be above 9.0 percent
After the first three quarters of the current financial year, the
Management Board is expecting the organic drop in turnover to be at
the lower end of the target corridor of minus 20 to 25 percent.
However, an organic turnover decline of slightly more than 25 percent
can not be ruled out. Nevertheless, with organic turnover decline of
more than 25 percent, the EBITDA margin before special effects
relating to FOCUS measures will be at 9.0 percent plus x.

Conference call
We invite you to directly address the Management Board with your
questions. We will be hosting a conference call for this purpose at
15:00 (CET) on 29 October 2009, during which we will be open to
questions. To take part, please dial the following number: +49 711
9659-9628 (access code: 779134#).


IFRS figures for the TAKKT Group at the end of Q3 2009
in EUR million


                                    Change                     Change
                    Q3 2009 Q3 2008   in % Q1-3 2009 Q1-3 2008   in %
TAKKT Group           186.6   230.0  -18.9     544.9     703.2  -22.5
turnover
Organic growth                       -26.3                      -28.4
   KAISER + KRAFT      86.4   124.9  -30.8     276.0     408.1  -32.4
   EUROPA
   Topdeq              13.9    20.2  -31.2      43.3      62.6  -30.8
   K + K America       86.4    85.2    1.4     226.0     233.1   -3.0
   (ยค)
   K + K America      122.4   128.1   -4.4     308.2     354.3  -13.0
   ($)
EBITDA                 15.7    31.9  -50.8      55.2     108.2  -49.0
EBITDA margin           8.4    13.9             10.1      15.4
EBIT                   10.5    27.9  -62.4      41.0      96.7  -57.6
EBIT margin             5.6    12.1              7.5      13.8
Profit before tax       8.4    26.2  -67.9      35.9      92.1  -61.0
Profit before tax       4.5    11.4              6.6      13.1
margin
Cash flow              11.1    22.7  -51.1      40.7      78.0  -47.8
Cash flow margin        5.9     9.9              7.5      11.1



In order to make a valid comparison with the prior year, the  figures
for 2008  were amended  in  accordance with  the new  IFRS  standards
regarding catalogue accounting introduced on 01 January 2009.

Short profile of TAKKT AG
TAKKT is the leading B2B mail order specialist for business 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 160,000 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 60 million catalogues and
mailings per year.

TAKKT AG is listed on the SDAX and was admitted to Deutsche Boerse's
Prime Standard on 01 January 2003.


Contact:
Dr Felix A. Zimmermann, CEO
Tel. +49 711 3465-8201

Dr Florian Funck, CFO
Tel. +49 711 3465-8207

Email: [email protected]


This announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is 
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