AURELIUS Equity Opportunities publishes its Annual Report 2020: Very good annual results and positive outlook confirmed

31.03.2021

AURELIUS Equity Opportunities publishes its Annual Report 2020: Very good annual results and positive outlook confirmed

  • EBITDA of the combined Group reaches EUR 431.1 million, well above the previous-year figure
  • Operating EBITDA reaches EUR 167.6 million, at the level of the previous year despite the coronavirus pandemic (2019: EUR 168.9 million)
  • Strong operating performance also reflected in the higher NAV of EUR 1,002.5 million (+5% over 09/30/2020: EUR 950.7 million)
  • Solid cash position of EUR 422.9 million allows for dividend proposal of EUR 1.00 per share for the 2020 financial year and higher dividends in the following years
  • Positive outlook for the 2021 financial year confirmed

Munich, March 31, 2021 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) published its Annual Report for the 2020 financial year on today’s date. AURELIUS generated total consolidated revenues of EUR 3,230.1 million in financial year 2020 (2019: EUR 3,612.1 million), in line with expectations. Annualized consolidated revenues from continued operations came to EUR 3,415.8 million, after EUR 3,131.6 million in the previous year.

EBITDA of the combined Group reaches EUR 431.1 million, well above the previous-year figure

In a challenging environment, the EBITDA of the combined Group rose considerably from EUR 271.4 million in 2019 to EUR 431.1 million. The main driver of this positive development was the sale of Group companies, especially the successful exit of the GHOTEL Group in February 2020. Total gains on exits were EUR 78.7 million (2019: EUR 139.5 million). In addition, AURELIUS Equity Opportunities acquired a total of six corporate groups, generating bargain purchase gains of EUR 292.2 million in financial year 2020 (2019: EUR 65.3 million).

The AURELIUS portfolio was strengthened by the following acquisitions in 2020: ConverterTec (formerly: Woodward Renewable Power Systems; manufacturer of converters for the wind power industry) / SEG Electronics (formerly: Woodward Renewable Power Systems; developer and producer of protective relays), Distrelec (online distributor) / Nedis (wholesaler of electronics products), GKN Wheels & Structures (manufacturer of off-highway wheels), Pullman Fleet Solutions (commercial fleet operator), Zentia (formerly: Armstrong Ceiling Solutions; producer of mineral fiber ceiling tiles and grid systems), and ZIM Flugsitz (manufacturer of economy and premium economy aircraft seats).

Operating EBITDA reaches EUR 167.6 million, at the level of the previous year despite the coronavirus pandemic (2019: EUR 168.9 million)

The operating EBITDA of EUR 167.6 million (2019: EUR 168.9 million) clearly shows how well AURELIUS made it through the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The extreme closeness of the operational experts of AURELIUS to the Group companies made it possible to react quickly and comprehensively to the coronavirus crisis as soon as it began in the spring of 2020. Thanks to extensive action plans and the operational support afforded by AURELIUS, we managed to guide most of the portfolio companies thr0ugh the crisis very well. The restructuring and non-recurring expenses incurred for the restructuring of Group companies amounted to EUR 107.4 million, which was only insignificantly higher than the previous-year figure of EUR 102.3 million, affirming the healthy and stable positioning of the portfolio companies.

Strong operating performance is also reflected in the higher NAV of EUR 1,002.5 million (+5% over 09/30/2020: EUR 950.7 million)

The net asset value of Group companies reached EUR 1,002.5 million at December 31, 2020, reflecting an increase of 5% since the last publication on September 30, 2020 (EUR 950.7 million). The NAV per share came to EUR 33.67*. The increase in the fourth quarter of 2020 clearly shows that the positive operating outlook is also reflected in the business plans of the Group companies.

Solid cash position of EUR 422.9 million allows for dividend proposal of EUR 1.00 per share for the 2020 financial year and higher dividends in the following years

With cash holdings of EUR 422.9 million (December 31, 2019: EUR 435.7 million), the Group enjoys a very solid cash position despite the redemption of the convertible bond with a volume of EUR 103.1 million in December 2020. Thus, AURELIUS is ideally equipped to seize emerging opportunities to acquire attractive new Group companies in today’s highly dynamic market environment. In addition, the Managing Directors of AURELIUS Management SE, the personally liable partner of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA, resolved already on March 24, 2021 to propose paying a dividend of EUR 1.00 per qualifying share from the distributable profit for the 2020 financial year to the company’s annual general meeting to be held on May 18, 2021. This corresponds to a total dividend payout of EUR 28.7 million. In the interest of a sustainable dividend policy that shareholders can plan for, the company also intends to increase the dividend for the 2021 financial year to EUR 1.25 and for the 2022 financial year to EUR 1.50 per qualifying share, subject to the company’s financial performance.

Positive outlook for the 2021 financial year confirmed

AURELIUS also remains optimistic about the Group’s business performance in the 2021 financial year and has reaffirmed its growth targets.

“We as the AURELIUS team are proud of having achieved such a good result for the company and its shareholders under the extraordinarily difficult conditions of 2020. We have again proved that the combination of operational management strength and feel for the right opportunities in the market makes AURELIUS a sustainably successful investor and partner for its Group companies,” said Matthias Täubl, CEO of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities. “Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, the year 2021 will present numerous opportunities to further strengthen our portfolio in a targeted manner. We have already effected the first acquisitions and still see considerable potential for additional, targeted acquisitions in the form of platform investments and add-on acquisitions. We are ideally prepared to do this both operationally and financially.”

“We are also pleased that our shareholders will be able to share in the company’s profit. Having delivered reliable performance and continuity to our shareholders for many years, we can already say today that we would like to increase the dividend for the following years by at least EUR 0.25 per share per year,” Matthias Täubl said.

The complete Annual Report 2020 is available for download on the company’s website at http://www.aureliusinvest.de.

Key figures

 (in EUR millions)

1/1 – 12/31/2019

1/1 – 12/31/2020

Total consolidated revenues

3,612.1

3,230.1

Consolidated revenues (annualized) 1,2

3,131.6

3,415.8

EBITDA of the combined Group

271.4

431.1

thereof gains on bargain purchases

65.3

292.2

thereof restructuring and non-recurring expenses

-102.3

-107.4

thereof gains on exits

139.5

78.7

Operating EBITDA of the Group

168.9

167.6

Consolidated profit 1

18.3

121.6

Group earnings per share (diluted, in EUR) 1,2

-3.43

1.31

Cash flow from operating activities ¹

-76.2

227.5

Cash flow from investing activities ¹

204.6

-33.1

Free cash flow ¹

128.4

194.4

 

12/31/2019

12/31/2020

Assets

2,541.5

2,307.9

  thereof cash and cash equivalents

435.7

422.9

Liabilities

2,113.4

1,815.9

  thereof financial liabilities

468.9

386.7

Equity ³

428.1

492.0

Equity ratio ³ (in %)

16.8

21.3

Number of employees at the reporting date

13,486

12,059

1) The previous-year consolidated statement of comprehensive income and consolidated statement of cash flows have been adjusted for comparison purposes in accordance with IFRS 5.
2) From continued operations.
3) Including non-controlling interests.

Net asset value of the AURELIUS portfolio (in EUR millions)

 

NAV at 12/31/2020

Industrial Production

343.3

Retail & Consumer Products

345.0

Services & Solutions

81.7

NAV of the portfolio companies

770.0

Other

232.5

Total

1,002.5

NAV per share

33.67*

*The retirement of 1,000,000 shares - that was resolved on March 9, 2021 and has already been conducted - has already been factored into the calculation of the NAV per share. Entry in the Commercial Register is still pending.