AURELIUS publishes provisional figures for 2016

AURELIUS publishes provisional figures for 2016

  • Further robust growth of total consolidated revenues to EUR 2.9 billion
  • Satisfactory operating performance despite the acquisition of unprofitable and sale of profitable Group entities
  • Fiscal year 2016 characterized by eight company acquisitions and seven sales
  • Dividend proposal of EUR 2.00 per share, increase possible in the event of additional successful sales before the annual general meeting
  • Solid financial resources permit considerable expansion of the share buyback program

Munich, March 6, 2017 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) generated total consolidated revenues of EUR 2,892.3 million based on the initial provisional annual figures in fiscal 2016, which corresponds to an increase of 44 percent compared to the prior year (2015: EUR 2,013.3 million). The annualized consolidated revenues increased to EUR 3,066.3 million.

Satisfactory operating performance despite the sale of profitable Group entities

Overall, AURELIUS Equity Opportunities achieved EBITDA for the combined group of EUR from 148.4 million (2015: EUR 266.1 million). The decrease can be largely attributed to the lower income from the reversal of negative goodwill from capital consolidation ("bargain purchase") compared to the prior year. Operating EBITDA reached EUR 114.0 million (2015: EUR 123.2 million) despite the acquisition of yet unprofitable and the sale of profitable Group entities and reflects the good operating performance of the Group entities.

Fiscal year 2016 characterized by eight company acquisitions and seven sales

AURELIUS Equity Opportunities acquired a total of eight Group entities in the 2016 fiscal year. Reuss-Seiffert & Hammerl, a manufacturer of consumables for the concrete construction industry, and Conaxess Trade, an exclusive distributor for consumer goods, were acquired effective January 1, 2016. The purchases of Calumet Photographic, a multi-channel retailer for all things related to photography, as well as Working Links, the leading provider of professional and social rehabilitation services in the UK, were carried out in June 2016. Four of the eight acquisitions were effected as part of the strategic add-on acquisitions to strengthen existing subsidiaries: The cloud business CMC (Colt Managed Cloud) of Colt Group S.A., the commercial activities of the Abelan Group, the British Hospital Group, and the BSB Group. Income from the reversal of negative goodwill from capital consolidation from the eight business acquisitions amounted to a total of EUR 69.7 million (2015: EUR 176.8 million).

"With four transactions completed by our subsidiary in the United Kingdom in 2016 alone, we have meanwhile also established ourselves there as a valuable partner in complex pan-European corporate spin-offs", says Dr. Dirk Markus, Chairman of the Executive Board of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities. "The investments, which are broadly positioned regionally, as well as the presence in various markets provide for good diversification and limit the risk for the combined group."

With a total of seven company sales, including fidelis HR, a provider for the outsourcing of human resource services, the Tavex Group, the Berentzen Group AG, and Dutch brightONE IT Services BV, income was generated in the 2016 fiscal year from sales in excess of the carrying amount of EUR 43.9 million (2015: EUR 29.4 million) as well as cash allocations in an amount considerably more than EUR 100 million.

Dividend proposal of EUR 2.00 per share, increase possible in the event of additional successful sales before the annual general meeting

The Executive Board will recommend to the Supervisory Board that the base dividend be raised once again to EUR 1.00 per share (prior year: EUR 0.90 per share) for the annual general meeting to be held on June 21, 2017, as well as the payment of a special dividend from the sales proceeds since the last annual general meeting in the amount of EUR 1.00 per share (prior year: EUR 1.55 per share). The amount of the special dividend would be increased correspondingly in the event of additional successful company sales before the 2017 annual general meeting.

Solid financial resources also permit considerable expansion of the share buyback program

At  year-end 2016, AURELIUS Equity Opportunities had cash and cash equivalents in the amount of EUR 416.4 million (December 31, 2015: EUR 550.2 million) at its disposal. The consolidated equity ratio was 27 percent as of the reporting date December 31, 2016 (December 31, 2015: 33%).

"Thanks to our solid financial resources, we are very well-equipped for additional transactions in the current fiscal year. We once again expect at least six company acquisitions in 2017", says Dr. Dirk Markus. "We also set up two share buyback programs in the past year and at the beginning of 2017 with which we will repurchase AURELIUS shares worth up to EUR 52 million. A large portion of our profits will thereby remain in the Company and dividends will be distributed to fewer shares."

With the acquisition of the European business of Office Depot as of January 1, 2017, the first acquisition in fiscal year 2017 and at the same time the largest takeover in the Company's history has already been completed. The annualized revenues of the AURELIUS Group therefore rose to a new magnitude and increased to around 4.5 billion euros. Office Depot Europe operates in 14 European countries with its three main activities and brands "Viking", Contract, and Retail.

In March 2017 AURELIUS acquired Wex Photographic, a leading photographic retailer in the UK. Servicing half a million customers across the UK, Wex is the country’s largest online specialist photographic retailer, with an annual turnover of EUR 84 million. Following the deal, Wex will be merged with Calumet Photographic, a multi-channel photographic retailer acquired by AURELIUS in June 2016, to create a leading omni-channel offering servicing the enthusiast and professional photographer market across the UK and Europe.

Key figures 1

(in € millions)

1/1-12/31/2016

1/1-12/31/2015

Total consolidated revenues

2,892.3

2,013.3

Consolidated revenues, annualized

3,066.3

2,960.4

EBITDA, Group total

148.4

266.1

- of which bargain purchase

69.7

176.8

- of which restructuring and non-recurring expenses

79.2

63.3

- of which sale of subsidiaries in excess of their carrying amount

43.9

29.4

Operating EBITDA of the combined group

114.0

123.1

 

12/31/2016

12/31/20152

Cash and cash equivalents

416.4

550.2

Equity ratio

27%

33%

1) The prior-year consolidated statement of comprehensive income was adjusted for comparison purposes according to the provisions set forth under IFRS 5 and IFRS 3.45 ff. The prior-year consolidated statement of financial position was adjusted according to IFRS 3.45 ff.