Interim report January–June 2017

Q2 April–June 2017.

  • Net sales decreased 5.9% to SEK 871.5m (926.5)
  • EBITA declined 15.5% to SEK 99.2m (117.4)
  • Organic EBITA posted negative growth of 21.5%
  • Net profit after tax decreased 20.8% to SEK 68.4m (86.4)
  • Earnings per common share after deduction of preference share dividends amounted to SEK 0.64 (1.15)
  • The agreement covering the acquisition of Akademibokhandeln Holding AB was signed on 17 May and ownership of the shares was transferred on 3 July. For 2016, Akademibokhandeln had annual sales of around SEK 1.8 billion and an EBITDA of SEK 125m.

H1 January–June 2017.

  • Net sales increased 1.7% to SEK 1,615.1m (1,587.8)
  • EBITA declined 10.6% to SEK 139.2m (155.8)
  • Organic EBITA posted negative growth of 12.3%
  • Net profit after tax decreased 7.4% to SEK 96.0m (103.8)
  • Earnings per common share after deduction of preference share dividends amounted to SEK 0.79 (1.22)

Events after the reporting period.

  • On 5 July, Tornum acquired all of the shares in Silokonsult Göran Persson AB, which reported sales of SEK 60m in the last financial year.

Comments from the CEO

A weak quarter in terms of earnings but two successfully completed acquisitions

In terms of earnings, the second quarter was weak. EBITA was SEK 99.2m for the quarter, down 15.5% year-on-year, mainly due to the effect of short-term  variations in the Industry Business Area. Due to our strong position in the Swedish acquisitions market, we successfully completed two acquisitions during the quarter: Akademibokhandeln and Tornum’s add-on  acquisition of Silokonsult. With Akademibokhandeln comprising a new business area from the third quarter, Volati’s net annual sales will grow to around SEK 5 billion based on the figures for 2016.

Second quarter downturn in earnings

The second quarter year-on-year decline in earnings pertained mainly to the business unit Corroventa which, in addition to manufacturing and sales, runs Europe’s largest plant hire operations for dehumidifiers. As previously notified, rental demand for Corroventa’s plant is dictated by European weather conditions which, through regular floods, generate extremely healthy volumes and profitability. This was the case in summer 2016, when Corroventa posted exceptionally strong sales and rentals. However, no major floods have occurred in Corroventa’s markets to date this year. If these conditions continue through the current quarter, Corroventa expects to report weaker year-on-year figures for the third quarter. The difficulty in predicting the timing and the markets in which floods will occur comprises a key prerequisite for Corroventa’s successful and profitable plant hire operations, since the company’s customers prefer to hire rather than buy equipment. This leads naturally to fluctuations in the business unit’s earnings from year to year, but we are confident that, over time, demand for      Corroventa’s leading dehumidifier products will remain very healthy.

Long-term approach to control and evaluation 

Using a greater perspective, we can see that quarterly variations are, and have always been, part of Volati’s reality. This is natural with business units operating in various sectors and markets, some with relatively significant seasonal variations, and Volati will always have companies that deliver better or worse due to exceptional items, such as the weather or changes in accounting periods between quarters. For example, the negative impact on Tornum’s earnings in the second quarter was due to the majority of its project deliveries this year being scheduled for the second half of the year.

The inevitable short-term fluctuations mean that, from the start, we have applied a long-term approach to the control and evaluation of our operations’ development, and we believe that the development of Volati’s operations, sales and earnings is best assessed over longer periods of time. Over the last twelve months, organic EBITA growth was 3% and, measured from 2013, it has averaged 9% per year.

Other business units

In Q2, we had operations that have performed above expectations, some that performed extremely well and others that, we believe, can improve. The business units Besikta, Ettikettoprintcom and Miljöcenter continued to perform strongly in Q2. At the same time, some business units require a little extra effort and support to improve their profitability. This primarily applies to me&i and NaturaMed Pharma, both part of the Consumer Business Area,  which underperformed our expectations.

The building materials sector-related operations in the Trading Business Area were negatively affected by a slight slowdown in growth in H1, since these operations have high exposure to the renovation and DIY market, which posted a slightly weaker trend. Furthermore, we have added resources to the Kellfri business unit to generate long-term growth.

Continued acquisitions at reasonable valuations

Through the acquisition of Akademibokhandeln, including Bokus, and the smaller add-on acquisition of Silokonsult for Tornum, we have once again proven that we hold a very strong position in the Swedish acquisitions market that furnishes us with opportunities to acquire good companies at reasonable valuations. Akademibokhandeln provides us with a new business area and, in 2016, the operations posted sales of SEK 1.8 billion and an EBITDA of SEK 125m. These operations will be included in the accounts from the third quarter and will positively impact the Group’s earnings this year. Akademibokhandeln is a well-run and profitable group with strong cash flow. It leverages its multi-channel presence to offer books in the manner we wish to buy or experience them. It is extremely invigorating to be working together with their management to develop Akademibok­handeln as part of Volati.

Confident of achieving the long-term targets

Volati continues to be built — methodically and for the long term. This is being achieved, in part, by creating the prerequisites for our companies to progressively improve and, in part, through additional acquisitions. Our strong financial position means we continue to have a high capacity for acquisitions and we are evaluating, as always, a number of interesting companies with stable operations and healthy cash flows, in particular add-on acquisitions to our existing business units.

Altogether, Volati’s operations are developing positively and we are confident that our business model can continue to deliver long-term value creation — just as we have consistently managed to do since we started thirteen years ago. We are also confident of achieving our financial targets of organic EBITA growth of 5% and an adjusted EBITA of SEK 700m by 2019.

Mårten Andersson, CEO

Mårten Andersson, CEO Volati AB, +46 72-735 42 84, marten.andersson@volati.se

Volati AB (publ) 

Engelbrektsplan 1, 114 34 Stockholm, Sweden, Phone: +46 8-21 68 40  

About Volat

Volati is a Swedish industrial group formed in 2003, which after the acquisition of Akademibokhandeln comprises some 40 operating companies divided into thirteen business units organised in four business areas: Trading, Consumer, Industry and Akademibokhandeln. Volati acquires mainly companies with proven business models, leading market positions and strong cashflow at reasonable valuations and develops these with an emphasis on long-term value creation. Volati’s strategy is to build on the identity and entrepreneurial spirit of the companies, adding, leadership, expertise, processes and financial resources. Volati has operations in 16 countries, with a total of about 1,700 employees and annual sales of approximately SEK 5bn. Volati’s ordinary shares and preference shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Further information is available at www.volati.se.

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