Leifheit AG: 2009 net income ahead of budget
• EBIT increased again to € 8.1 million (previous year: € 5.2 million)
• The result for the period increased to € 3.1 million (previous year: € 0.4 million)
• Turnover stable at € 273 million (previous year: € 280 million)
• Stable dividend: € 0.60 per share (previous year: € 0.60 per share)
Frankfurt am Main / Nassau, 14 April 2010 – Leifheit AG presents its 2009 annual financial statements. Thanks to increased efficiency and the expansion of marketing and communication activities in its Golden Jubilee year, the company came through the year of crisis successfully. EBIT increased sharply to € 8.1 million (previous year: € 5.2 million).
Increase in earnings outstrips budget
Leifheit emerged largely unscathed by the the global decline in consumption, stabilising its turnover worldwide in the 2009 financial year at € 273 million, some 3 % down on the previous year’s level (€ 280 million). In Germany, turnover increased significantly to € 116 million (previous year: € 111 million).
Through stringent cost management in all divisions and numerous process optimisations, Leifheit boosted EBIT to € 8.1 million (previous year: € 5.2 million). As a result, the company outperformed its own budget for 2009.
Gross margin was increased from the previous year to 44.1% (previous year: 41.4 %), EBT increased to € 5.5 million (previous year: € 2.6 million). After tax, this leads to a significantly improved result for the period of € 3.1 million (previous year: € 0.4 million).
The Board of Management and Supervisory Board are accordingly proposing an unchanged dividend of € 0.60 per share to the Annual General Meeting, which will take place on 9 June 2010.
Household Products: decrease in eastern Europe, strong in Germany
The Leifheit, Dr. Oetker Bakeware, Soehnle, Birambeau and Herby brands maintained turnover at € 204 million (previous year: € 204 million). This included for the first time the full-year turnover of the French laundry drier manufacturer Herby and the new pressurized steam iron systems segment, but no longer includes the ladders segment, which has been sold.
Trends in business varied between regions. While turnover in central Europe was held stable, the double-digit growth in turnover in eastern Europe in recent years turned as a result of the crisis to a 25 % decrease. In Germany, Leifheit boosted its turnover of household products by 8 % to € 84 million (previous year: € 78 million), at least partly offsetting the decreases in eastern Europe and Spain in the second half year. The main drivers here were strong business in the fourth quarter and the particular success of the laundry care segment. The domestic share of the Household Products division accordingly rose to 41 % (previous year: 38 %).
Bathroom Furnishings: measures take effect in the second half
Under difficult economic conditions, the division’s Spirella, Kleine Wolke and Meusch brands saw turnover fall to € 69 million, 9 % down on the previous year (€ 76 million).
After significant decreases in the first half year, particularly in the key export markets (eastern Europe, Russia, France), turnover of the Spirella and Kleine Wolke brands rose steadily again in the second half year throughout Europe, thanks to innovative marketing concepts.
Market shares were also increased in 2009 in important markets, with growth rates of 9 % in Switzerland and 3 % in Austria. In Germany, Spirella boosted turnover by 3 % to € 10 million. Even so, because of shortfalls and postponements in the special offer business, the division’s overall turnover in Germany was € 32 million, 3 % down on the previous year (€ 33 million). Overall, the Bathroom Furnishings division’s foreign share fell to 54 % (previous year: 57 %).
Outlook for 2010: growth in earnings through focus and brand strengthening
In the first quarter of the 2010 financial year, the Leifheit Group reported turnover of € 75 million, up on the previous year’s € 70 million.
After the comprehensive reorganisation phase, the Leifheit Board of Management has initiated the next stage in strategy development, which focuses on the following key factors for sustainable growth and enhanced earning power:
The Leifheit Group focuses exclusively on the four core categories cleaning, laundry care, kitchen and scales. A growth strategy has been adopted for this which includes further acquisitions to accompany organic growth. Leifheit will use improved communication and innovative products in its core business areas to further expand the high organic growth potential of the Group’s brands.
Another part of the focusing is an ongoing review of the sustainable profitability of individual products, product groups and regional market priorities. Leifheit has implemented an ongoing evaluation process for this. If the target profitability ratios prove unattainable on a sustainable basis, the appropriate measures will be taken, which may extend to restructuring of the product range in the broadest sense.
Expansion will continue to focus on utilising the potential of the foreign markets. Leifheit will particularly increase its marketing activities in the key European countries, to achieve TOP market positions in the medium term.
Finally, Leifheit has included new products made from sustainable raw materials in its product range. This reflects the company’s conviction that more and more consumers are including demonstrable sustainability criteria in their purchasing decision.
Georg Thaller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Leifheit AG: “Leifheit has done well in the crisis so far. We have used the past two years to strengthen our efficiency and innovative strength, to create a stable foundation for sustainable growth in earnings; now, we are moving on to the next phase of our corporate development. The focus here is on qualitative growth in earnings. We will achieve this by consistently focusing on our core business and intelligently utilising the high brand potential of our products.”
Additional information is available in the annual financial report for 2009, and at www.leifheit.de/de/investor-relations/publikationen/finanzberichte.html. The English version will be available end of April.