AURELIUS publishes 2019 Annual Report: preliminary numbers confirmed, outlook negatively impacted by corona/COVID-19 crisis

31.03.2020

AURELIUS publishes 2019 Annual Report: preliminary numbers confirmed, outlook negatively impacted by corona/COVID-19 crisis

  • 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
  • Net asset value is EUR 1,111.3 million
  • Liquidity cushion of EUR 435.7 million, share buyback has begun
  • Course of business in the current year now substantially impacted by the corona/COVID-19 crisis, after a good start to 2020

Munich, March 31, 2020 – AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) published its Annual Report for the 2019 financial year on today’s date. AURELIUS generated total consolidated revenues of EUR 3,612.1 million (2018: EUR 3,781.8 million) in the 2019 financial year. 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 (2018: EUR 97.4 million), the second-highest result in the Group’s history, in the 2019 financial year, primarily due to the successful sales of SOLIDUS and the Scandinavian Cosmetics Group. 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 the United Kingdom, 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 Armstrong Ceiling Solutions is expected to close on March 31, 2020. 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, which was agreed in December, was completed on March 16, 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.

Net asset value is EUR 1,111.3 million

The net asset value of the Group companies amounted to EUR 1,111.3 million at December 31, 2019 (see the table at the end of this press release). The NAV per share came to EUR 36.12 at the reporting date. The change from the previous year already reflects the deterioration of the global economy as a result of corona/COVID-19 crisis. Further effects are also to be expected in the current financial year. 

Liquidity cushion of EUR 435.7 million; share buyback has begun 

At December 31, 2019, the AURELIUS Group held cash and cash equivalents of EUR 435.7 million. With this cash cushion, AURELIUS is well equipped to deal with the ongoing corona/COVID-19 crisis. 

A new share buyback program has been underway since the middle of February 2020. Shares worth EUR 9.0 million have already been bought back under this program. At the annual general meeting to be held on June 18, 2020, the company’s Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose that the full distributable profit for the 2019 financial year be carried forward to new account. In the time until the annual general meeting, the personally liable partner will observe and assess the ongoing development of the corona/COVID-19 crisis and its effects on the AURELIUS Group and decide on whether to place a different profit utilization proposal from the proposal mentioned above on the agenda of the annual general meeting. The annual general meeting can then decide on this modified profit utilization proposal (as in the previous year). 

Course of business in the current year now substantially impacted by the corona/COVID-19 crisis, after a good start to 2020 

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. In early February 2020, AURELIUS also announced the acquisition of the Renewable Power Systems division and Protective Relays division, based in Kempen (Germany), from the U.S. company Woodward, Inc. The transaction is expected to close in the coming months.
However, the outlook for the rest of the year is very uncertain due to the ongoing corona/COVID-19 crisis. The new corona/COVID-19 poses special and hard-to-predict risks for the global economy, which are currently also affecting the AURELIUS. Therefore, the achievement of the targets set in the companies’ business plans and sales of portfolio companies are at risk. 

However, every crisis is also an opportunity. The current corona/COVID-19 crisis will give rise to many attractive transaction opportunities. Many company owners will adapt their strategies and sharpen their focus on their own core business, which will lead to exciting opportunities for AURELIUS by reason of its investment profile. 

On March 17, 2020, AURELIUS also announced far-reaching measures at both the holding company and the portfolio companies to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Given the extremely fluid state of developments at this time, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will continually re-assess the strategy and orientation of AURELIUS and its portfolio companies in close consultation with each other.

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

Operating EBITDA of the combined Group

103.0

168.9

Consolidated profit/loss 1,4

-39.5

18.3

Group earnings per share (basic, in EUR) 1

-1.43

0.66

Cash flow from operating activities 1

-50.0

-76.1

Cash flow from investing activities 1

-148.1

204.6

Free cash flow 1

-198.1

128.5

 

12/31/2018

12/31/2019

Assets 3

2,166.3

2,541.5

  of which cash and cash equivalents

290.8

435.7

Liabilities 3

1,627.3

2,113.3

  of which financial liabilities

480.6

468.9

Equity 3,4

539.0

428.2

Equity ratio 3,4 (in %)

24.9

16.8

Number of employees at the reporting date

15,131

13,486

1 The prior-year consolidated statement of comprehensive income and consolidated statement of cash flows have been adjusted for comparison purposes in accordance with IFRS 3.45 ff. and IFRS 5.
2 From continued operations.
3 The consolidated statement of financial position has been adjusted for comparison purposes in accordance with IFRS 3.45 ff.
4 Including non-controlling interests.

Net Asset Value of the AURELIUS Portfolio (in EUR millions)

 

NAV at 12/31/2019

Industrial Production

264.5

Retail & Consumer Products

390.7

Services & Solutions

101.8

NAV of the portfolio companies

757.0

Other

354.3

Total

1,111.3

NAV per share

36.12