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Logistics divisions significantly strengthened
VTG, one of Europe’s leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies, considerably increased its result in 2015. Based on preliminary, unaudited figures, revenue rose by 25.6% to €1,027.5 billion and operating profit (EBITDA) rose by 76.2% to €336.5 million. In addition to the successful development of all divisions, the acquisition of AAE clearly had a positive impact on VTG revenue and earnings.
The substantial headway made in integrating AAE played a considerable role in the Company’s progress. Furthermore, refinancing measures represented an important component in achieving profitability objectives.
Revenue in the Railcar Division increased in 2015 by 55.5% to €537.2 million. EBITDA also rose significantly by 72.5% to €335.4 million. At 90.6%, the fleet utilisation rate was slightly below the level of the previous year (91.0%). Over the course of the integration with AAE, the Railcar Division pooled together the activities of numerous national subsidiaries into VTG Rail Europe GmbH. The primary objective here was to operate more centrally in regard to procurement, operational management and administration in the future. At the same time, focusing on four strategic fleet segments enables the Company to be more sales-oriented in the market and more effectively aligned to customer requirements.
The Rail Logistics Division has successfully been pursuing the repositioning path which was set in 2015. Revenue has developed positively as a result, increasing by 0.6% to €324.0 million, despite the continuing tension in Russia and Ukraine and being subject to consistently high competitive pressure. EBITDA rose significantly to €3.4 million, following the slight loss of €0.2 million reported for the previous year. This result demonstrates that the division is once again making a positive contribution to the Group’s consolidated earnings. At the end of the year, the remaining 30.0% from the joint venture with Kuehne + Nagel were acquired. VTG has therefore become the sole shareholder of the largest private rail logistics company in Europe, VTG Rail Logistics, whose restructure is swiftly being pursued.
The Tank Container Logistics Division recorded a considerable upward trend over the last year. This was primarily attributable to the rise in the US dollar exchange rate and growth in overseas transport volumes, in addition to one-time earnings. Revenue consequently rose by 10.2% to €166.3 million. EBITDA improved by 6.5% to €13.6 million.
Looking ahead, for 2016, the VTG AG Executive Board has committed itself to consistently following the route it has already embarked upon. Overall, it anticipates that the business will continue to develop positively. Revenue is expected to reach between €1.03 billion and €1.07 billion and EBITDA between €345.0 million and €355.0 million.
The growth and profitability objectives specified in 2015 demonstrate VTG’s intention to strengthen its market position in the years ahead. Under the heading VTG 4.0, the Company has been actively involved with innovation, digitalisation, the simplification of processes and structures and additional selective growth. Due to the current low level of interest rates and improved creditworthiness, significantly better conditions could be concluded as part of the refinancing measures in 2015. The Group’s average interest rate has fallen significantly which will consequently lead to noticeable relief in the financial result and increased profitability for the years ahead. By 2018, the Board is striving to generate an overall increase in earnings per share (EPS) to €2.50.