S&T AG: sustaining strong growth

06.05.2015 | Austria
  •  Sales rise a strong 17% to EUR 92.8 million (PY: EUR 79.2 million)
  • EBITDA increases by 22% to EUR 5,8 million (PY: EUR 4,8 million)
  • Technology products catapult gross margin to 36.1% (PY: 32.5%)

S&T AG (www.snt.at) further accelerated its growth in the first three months of financial year 2015. Sales came to EUR 92.8 million, as opposed to EUR 79.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, corresponding to a rise of 17%. This growth stemmed from the entry undertaken in 2014 in the Appliances Smart Energy segment and from the strong improvement in business registered by the Appliances Security segment.

The improvement in the company's product mix comprised the addition of high-technology innovations. This, in turn, caused the gross margin to develop gratifyingly well. It increased from the first quarter of 2014's 32.5% to the first quarter of 2015's 36.1%. The greater value added manifested itself in the 22% rise in EBITDA, which came to EUR 5.8 million (PY: EUR 4.8 million) and in consolidated income, which amounted to EUR 2.7 million (PY: EUR 2.4 million).

The turnaround of the “Services Germany, Austria and Switzerland” segment proceeded accorded to plans. The segment's sales declined from the first quarter of 2014's EUR 23.4 million to the first quarter of 2015's EUR 19.8 million. The segment's gross margin rose to 23.3% (PY.: 19.8%). Its earnings for the period substantially improved to EUR 0.2 million (PY: EUR -0.1 million). The “Services EE” segment was able to increase its sales by some 5% to EUR 45.5 million (PY: EUR 43.5 million). As had often been the case in the past, it was the “Appliances Security” segment that drove corporate growth in the first quarter of 2015. Its sales rose to EUR 16.9 million (PY: EUR 12.0 million), with its earnings for the quarter's keeping pace, rising by 40% to EUR 2.8 million (PY: EUR 2.0 million). New products and newly-entered business fields will further this trend.

The “Appliances Smart Energy” segment was constituted in financial year 2014. It supplied EUR 10.7 million (PY: EUR 0,3 million) to corporate sales in the first quarter of 2015. The start-up costs incurred and the investments recognized in profit and losses in new products caused the segment to register an initial loss of EUR 0.8 million. The “Patagonia” family of smart grid products is set to be introduced in the third quarter of this financial year. Its USPs (unique selling points) are its improvements of security functions. Management assumes that the sustaining of investments in promising products and technologies will cause the “Appliances Smart Energy” segment to start operating in the black in 2016.

Seasonal effects manifested themselves in the company's assets and liquidity in the first quarter of 2015. Equity increased to EUR 95.1 million (31.12.2014: EUR 89.7 million), causing the equity rate as of 31.3.2015 to climb to 37.6% (31.12.2014: 32.8%). Liquid funds as of 31.3.2015 declined to EUR 26.8 million (31.12.2014: EUR 39.5 million). This was primarily due to the negative operative cash flow prevailing as of the beginning of the year. This cash flow came to EUR -17.0 million (PY. EUR 0 million). Another cause was the making of further investments. Short and long-term liabilities to banks increased to EUR 47.1 million as of 31.3.2015 (31.12.2014: EUR 41.0 million). The company's number of employees came to 2,293 people, as compared to 2,219 employees as of 31.12.2014.

The growth being turned in by the “Appliances Smart Energy” segment is causing the management to forecast for the current financial year the S&T Group's achieving a strong, 20% rise in sales, which are expected to come to EUR 465 million. Despite the start-up costs being incurred by the “Appliances Smart Energy” segment, consolidated income is predicted to increase to EUR 15 million.

Planned for 2016 are a double digit rise in sales and profits exceeding that. S&T's record amount of orders on hand of EUR 165 million and of projects in the pipeline worth EUR 663 million underpin these ambitious goals for growth!

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