AURELIUS Equity Opportunities reports very good preliminary numbers for the 2019 financial year

12.03.2020

AURELIUS Equity Opportunities reports very good preliminary numbers for the 2019 financial year

  • EBITDA of the combined Group reaches EUR 271.4 million, second-highest result in the Group’s history 
  • Several successful exits and attractive new acquisitions in 2019
  • High cash and cash equivalents of EUR 435.7 million, new share buyback program launched 
  • Good start to 2020 with successful sale of the GHOTEL Group 
  • Outlook uncertain due to the current coronavirus crisis

Munich, March 12, 2020 – According to preliminary and not yet finally audited annual numbers, AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) generated total consolidated revenues of EUR 3,612.1 million in the 2019 financial year (2018: EUR 3,781.8 million). Annualized consolidated revenues from continued operations came to EUR 3,390.9 million, after EUR 3,333.0 million in the 2018 financial year.

EBITDA of the combined Group reaches EUR 271.4 million, second-highest result in the Group’s history

The EBITDA of the combined Group reached EUR 271.4 million, the second-highest result in the Group’s history, in the 2019 financial year, primarily due to the successful sales of the portfolio companies Solidus Solutions and Scandinavian Cosmetics. Total gains on exits came to EUR 139.5 million (2018: EUR 6.5 million). Gains on bargain purchases in the 2019 financial year amounted to EUR 65.3 million (2018: EUR 87.4 million). AURELIUS Equity Opportunities acquired a total of five companies in the 2019 financial year, including Rivus Fleet Solutions (formerly: BT Fleet Solutions), a commercial fleet operator in Great Britain, in late September and the Belgian construction materials retail chain BMC Benelux, which serves small and mid-sized construction firms under the two brand names MPRO and YouBuild, in early October. Both acquisitions were completed in 2019 and will therefore be fully included for the first time in the consolidated financial statements for the current year.

The acquisitions of the three other corporate groups had not yet been completed at the reporting date of December 31, 2019. The acquisition of Armstrong Ceiling Solutions, which provides mineral fiber tiles and ceiling grids, had been announced in August 2019. The acquisition of ZIM Flugsitz GmbH, a German manufacturer of economy and premium economy aircraft seats, was announced in December 2019 and completed on February 28, 2020. The acquisition of the Distrelec and Nedis operations (online distributor and wholesaler of electronic products) from the Swiss Dätwyler Group was also agreed in December. The acquisitions of Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and Distrelec and Nedis are expected to close in the current first quarter of 2020.

Restructuring and non-recurring expenses totaling EUR 102.3 million (2018: EUR 99.5 million) were incurred for the restructuring of portfolio companies. The Group’s operating EBITDA reached EUR 168.9 million (2018: EUR 103.0 million) thanks to the generally solid operating performance of the portfolio companies and the application of the new standard IFRS 16 (Leases), which is mandatory as of January 1, 2019.

High cash and cash equivalents of EUR 435.7 million, new share buyback program launched

At the reporting date of December 31, 2019, cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 435.7 million, much higher than the previous-year comparison figure (12/31/2018: EUR 290.8 million). AURELIUS launched a share buyback program for up to EUR 30 million in mid-February 2020 and has already bought back shares worth EUR 4.2 million.

Equity markets are currently gripped by high volatility and the AURELIUS share price has fallen considerably in the last few weeks. For this reason, the company believes that share buybacks are an especially sensible way to use financial resources at the present time. 

Good start to 2020 with successful sale of the GHOTEL Group

AURELIUS got off to a successful start to the new year by completing the sale of the GHOTEL Group in late February 2020. The sale will generate a positive earnings effect of nearly EUR 50 million in the 2020 financial year. Most of the current operating portfolio companies also started the new year well and are making progress towards the goal of further increasing revenues and earnings.

Uncertain outlook due to the current coronavirus crisis

The widening spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19 has had few if any effects on the AURELIUS portfolio so far. In a few isolated cases, supply bottlenecks have been encountered, especially for deliveries from Asia, and in one case there has been a temporary suspension of deliveries from a warehouse in Italy.

If increased supply bottlenecks and additional demand-side effects occur, the AURELIUS portfolio would not be immune from the consequences. AURELIUS therefore anticipates lower revenues and earnings for some portfolio companies, especially in the second quarter of 2020. AURELIUS will provide an updated outlook for the further course of the 2020 financial year when it publishes its Annual Report on March 31, 2020.

Key figures

 (in EUR millions)

1/1 – 12/31/2018

1/1 – 12/31/2019

Total consolidated revenues

3,781.8

3,612.1

Annualized consolidated revenues 1,2

3,333.0

3,390.9

EBITDA of the combined Group

97.4

271.4

of which gains on bargain purchases

87.4

65.3

of which restructuring and non-recurring expenses

-99.5

-102.3

of which gains on exits

6.5

139.5

Consolidated operating EBITDA

103.0

168.9

 

   

 

12/31/2018

12/31/2019

Cash and cash equivalents

290.8

435.7

Equity ratio 3 (in %)

25%

18%

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.
2 From continued operations.
3 Including non-controlling interests.