Takkt AG (DE) – TAKKT AGM decides to maintain constant ordinary dividend
TAKKT AGM decides to maintain constant ordinary dividend
Profitable growth for 2010 on the agenda
Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart, Germany, 04 May 2010. At today’s Annual General Meeting of TAKKT AG, the shareholders approved the payment of an ordinary dividend of EUR 0.32 per share. The ordinary dividend thus remains unchanged compared to the previous year. Despite a 21.5 percent decline in turnover, TAKKT generated a positive operational result (EBITDA) of EUR 68.7 (2008: 133.1) million and a free cash flow totalling EUR 66.4 (69.0) million. For 2010, the Management Board expects to see a return to growth in both turnover and earnings.
With the EUR 0.32 dividend payment per share approved by its shareholders today, TAKKT Group is continuing to pursue its sustainable dividend policy, despite the challenges posed by the 2009 financial year. This means the Group will pay out approximately EUR 21 million in total. The payout ratio amounts to around 77 percent of the equity share of Group profits. “Also this year, we remain true to our principles of distributing at least 30 percent of profits as an ordinary dividend – but no less than in the previous year,” said CEO Dr Felix A. Zimmermann. With this dividend policy, TAKKT ensures that its shareholders participate directly in the company’s success whilst retaining financial scope for further internal and external growth.
The Annual General Meeting elected Prof Dr Jürgen Kluge and Stefan Meister to the Supervisory Board by a large majority. They succeed Dr Eckhard Cordes and Michael Klein, who resigned from the Supervisory Board as of 31 December 2009 and 04 May 2010 respectively. Prof Dr Jürgen Kluge is CEO of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, Duisburg, and Stefan Meister is a member of the Management Board at the same company. In future, Michael Klein will support TAKKT AG in a newly established Advisory Board. The Advisory Board’s role is to advise the Management Board on strategic issues such as the further development of the business model, the expansion in Asia or the future of e-commerce.
The shareholders approved all other items on the agenda – including the discharge of the Management and Supervisory Boards for the 2009 financial year – by a large majority.
Clear positive results achieved again
TAKKT Group’s turnover fell by 21.5 percent to EUR 731.5 (932.1) million in the 2009 financial year. The operational result (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – EBITDA) was EUR 68.7 (133.1) million, which corresponds to an EBITDA margin of 9.4 (14.3) percent. Excluding one-off expenditure for the FOCUS programme, the EBITDA margin was 10.1 percent. The Group generated free cash flow of EUR 66.4 (69.0) million, which is available for acquisitions, loan repayments and payments to shareholders. All of the divisions had to overcome declines, caused primarily by the global economic and financial crisis. For this reason, the Management Board is satisfied with the results for 2009, despite the downturns: “Our business model once again proved to be flexible and strong in terms of profit and cash flow generation,” said Zimmermann.
Back on track for growth
In 2010, the Management Board expects to see an upward trend which will become even more noticeable in 2011. Zimmermann believes that TAKKT is well positioned for the future: “We are convinced in the medium to long term that we will return to our historic course of turnover growth averaging ten percent a year. Organic and acquisitional growth should each account for around half of this figure.” The current improvement in the economic climate makes it increasingly probable, that TAKKT Group’s organic turnover growth will reach the upper limit, as advised beginning of 2010, of two percent or even exceed this.
The results for the first quarter of 2010, published on 29 April, already indicate that business is recovering. “As anticipated, TAKKT experienced declining turnover in January and February. However, turnover was already up on the year in March,” comments Zimmermann.
Apart from the revival of the Group’s core business, growth will largely be driven by geographic expansion and the extension of TAKKT’s online business in the next few years. Having extended its operations to the Russian market at the beginning of the year, TAKKT plans to roll out gaerner to Italy and Hubert to Switzerland in 2010. In Germany, the online platform Certeo was launched in the second half of 2009. There are already plans to extend it to other European countries. Additionally, Topdeq will enter the Spanish market with an online-only presence.
At product level, the range of private-brand articles will be extended due to positive experience throughout the Group. The BEG has been offering transport equipment at attractive prices with its new private-brand Quipo since March 2010, while Topdeq launched its own range of high-quality office furniture under the name of siqnatop in January 2010.
Focusing on corporate responsibility
Despite dealing with the consequences of the current economic crisis, TAKKT does not want to lose sight of issues regarding sustainable and responsible corporate management. TAKKT’s corporate responsibility activities concentrate on three dimensions – staff, society and environment. Since the start of this year, TAKKT has been involved in the “Waldfonds” project run by the environmental protection organisation Naturefund, for example. “We are supporting this charity because – as a global company – we want to help protect nature’s diversity and conserve it for future generations,” emphasises Zimmermann.
Short profile of TAKKT AG
TAKKT is the leading B2B direct marketing 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 some 160,000 items for the areas of business and warehouse equipment, classical and design-oriented office furniture and accessories, and supplies for retailers, the food service industry and the hotel market.
TAKKT Group employs some 1,800 staff, has around three million customers worldwide and distributes around 55 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.
Dr Felix A. Zimmermann, CEO
Tel. +49 711 3465-8201
Dr Florian Funck, CFO
Tel. +49 711 3465-8207