Interim Report January - June 2002

27 August 2002


  April-June Jan-Jun Jan-Dec Jul-Jun
Key figures 2002 2001 2002 2001 2001 2001/02
Net sales, SEK m 2 547 2 096 4 951 3 539 8 283 9 695
Operating income before depreciation, SEK m (EBITDA) 288 211 526 337 821 1 009
Operating income before goodwill amortisation, SEK m (EBITA) 222 156 395 241 588 742
Operating income, SEK m (EBIT) 206 143 363 222 537 678
Operating margin, % 8.1 6.8 7.3 6.3 6.5 7.0
Income after financial items, SEK m 167 105 288 177 414 525
Earnings per share after full dilution, SEK 2.15 1.48 3.71 2.50 5.15 6.35
Return on capital employed, %         15.5 16.8
Return on shareholders' equity, %         16.2 16.6
 
Magnet has been consolidated with effect from May 2001.
  • Net sales up 40 per cent to SEK 4,951 million (3,539).
  • Operating margin increased to 7.3 per cent (6.3).
  • Income after financial items up 63 per cent to SEK 288 million (177).
  • Earnings per share after full dilution up 48 per cent to SEK 3.71 (2.50).
  • Continued profit improvement in Nordic and UK operations.
  • The improvement in the Group's operating margin is primarily explained by lower purchasing costs and a more favourable product mix.
  • The Nobia share was listed on Stockholmsbörsen's O-list on 19 June 2002.
  • A new share issue in conjunction with the listing injected SEK 520 million.
  • The main part of the joinery operations in the UK Business Unit Magnet was disposed of after the reporting period.
 
If you have any questions about this report, please contact:
Fredrik Cappelen, President and CEO, Lennart Rappe, Executive Vice President and CFO,
Katarina Sivander, Communications Manager, tel. +46 8 440 16 00
 
Financial information is also available on Nobia's website: www.nobia.se
 
The Nobia Group, January - June 2002
 
THE GROUP
The Group's operating income increased by 64 per cent compared to the first half last year, while sales were up 40 per cent. The Nordic and UK operations reported improved margins and organic growth. Ongoing projects aimed at better coordination within the areas of purchasing, production and IT as well as the application of best practice, i.e. internal comparisons, have continued to have a positive effect on income and margins during the period in all operations.
 
The Continental European operation maintained a positive result despite a weak market, primarily thanks to lower purchase prices and a focus on more profitable product and customer segments.
 
In line with Nobia's strategy to focus on kitchen, bathroom and storage interiors, an agreement was entered into in July to sell the joinery operations of the British facilities at Flint and Penrith. The sale is not expected to give rise to any capital gain for the Group. It is expected that the Group's net debt will thereby be reduced by approximately SEK 120 million. The transactions will be reported in the accounts for the third quarter.
 
Nobia was listed on Stockholmsbörsen's O-list on 19 June 2002. The offering was made up of 19,933,297 shares, consisting of a new issue of 7,000,000 shares plus the sale of 12,933,297 shares from existing shareholders. In the offering procedure the price was set at SEK 78 per share. Following listing new shareholders owned approximately 34.6 per cent of the shares.
 
According to VPC's official register of directly registered and nominee shareholders, as of 28 June 2002 Industri Kapital was the biggest shareholder with 38.4 per cent of the shares. The second biggest shareholder was Skanska with 12.5 per cent, followed by Norsk Kjøkken Invest with 6.6 per cent. These were followed by seven institutional investors with shareholdings of between 4.4 and 2.0 per cent. These ten biggest shareholders together held 79.0 per cent of the shares. The proportion of foreign shareholders was 33.4 per cent.
 
Net sales and income
Net sales
for the period January-June increased by 40 per cent
to SEK 4,951 million
 
(3,539). Magnet, which was acquired in 2001 and has been consolidated with effect from May 2001, contributed SEK 2,071 million in the current year and SEK 587 million in the May-June period last year. Following adjustment for currency effects, sales for comparable units 1) fell by 2 per cent. Sales during the period were adversely affected by reduced sales in the Continental European operation.
 
Operating income increased by 64 per cent to SEK 363 million (222). The operating margin amounted to 7.3 per cent (6.3). Excluding goodwill amortisation, the operating margin was 8.0 per cent (6.8). The improvement in margin is explained by higher gross profit margins as a result of synergy gains in relation to input materials in particular and increased focus on more profitable markets and customer segments.
 
The operating income for the same period last year included items affecting comparability amounting to SEK 22 million. Magnet contributed SEK 192 million this year and SEK 40 million in the May-June period last year.
 
The acquisition of Magnet brought about increased amortisation of goodwill. The increase compared to the same period last year was SEK 13 million. For comparable units the operating income before goodwill amortisation amounted to SEK 203 million (179), i.e. a 13 per cent improvement in income.
 
Net financial items totalled SEK -75 million (-45). The increased indebtedness in connection with the acquisition of Magnet has increased the Group's interest expenses compared with the same period last year. The new issue funds obtained in connection with the listing on Stockholmsbörsen have been used to repay debt. In conjunction with this Nobia has incurred early redemption penalties of SEK 6 million. These costs have been added to the financial expenses for the period, thereby reducing net financial items. The repayment of loans, particularly a vendor's loan from Enodis plc and a subordinated loan from ICG, has reduced the Group's average interest rate.
 
Income after net financial items increased by 63 per cent to SEK 288 million (177).
 
Tax expenses for the period amounted to SEK -100 million (-57), which represents a tax rate of 34.7 per cent. Excluding non-deductible consolidated goodwill amortisations, the tax rate was 31.2 per cent.
 
Income after tax amounted to SEK 188 million (120), which translates the earnings per share to SEK 3.71 (2.50) after full dilution.
 
Second quarter 2002
Earnings per share after full dilution increased by 45 per cent compared to the same quarter last year and amounted to SEK 2.15 (1.48). Operating income amounted to SEK 206 million compared to SEK 143 million in the same quarter last year. The UK operation was included for May-June in last year's corresponding quarter.
 
The operating margin was 8.1 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent in the same quarter last year. The operating margin increased in the Nordic and UK operations but fell in the Continental European operation.
 
Investments and cash flow
Cash flow
from current activities before investments amounted to SEK 81 million (174). The Group's cash flow is seasonally weaker in the first half of the year due to an increased requirement for working capital. The working capital increased by SEK 293 million (50), primarily as a result of a temporary accrual of accounts receivable which took place mainly at the end of the reporting period, as well as payment of bonuses to customers in respect of full-year sales achieved last year.
 
Investments in fixed assets amounted to SEK 115 million (72) and consisted mainly of investments in stores, IT systems, production equipment and buildings.
 
Financial situation
The Group's capital employed
amounted to SEK 4,082 million compared to SEK 4,237 million at the end of the previous year. Currency effects as a result of a stronger Swedish krona during the period reduced the capital by SEK 243 million.
 
The Group's restructuring reserves amounted to SEK 200 million at the end of the period. SEK 31 million was utilised during the period, of which SEK 15 million was used in the Continental European business and SEK 16 million in the UK operation. Currency effects reduced the reserves by SEK 14 million.
 
Net debt amounted to SEK 1,469 million compared to SEK 2,078 at the start of the year. The change was mainly attributable to the net effect of the cash flow from operations which amounted to SEK -11 million, as well as a reduction of SEK 100 million as a result of the strengthening of the Swedish krona. In addition, SEK 520 million was injected by the new share issue effected in conjunction with the listing on Stockholmsbörsen. All the funds generated by the issue have been used to repay debt. In total, loans amounting to SEK 620 million were repaid during the period.
 
The effect of translation differences on shareholders' equity was SEK -135 million, resulting from the strengthening of the Swedish krona. Following the new share issue of SEK 520 million (net after issuance costs), shareholders' equity amounted to SEK 2,349 million compared to SEK 1,776 million at the end of the previous year.
 
The equity/assets ratio at the end of the period was 38.3 per cent compared with 27.8 at the start of the year. The net debt/equity ratio was 62 per cent at the end of the period compared to 117 per cent at the start of the year.
 
At the end of the period the Group had available credit in the amount of SEK 715 million, excluding liquid funds.
 
BUSINESS REGIONS
 
The Nordic operation
Demand in the Nordic market is estimated to have increased in the first half compared to the same period last year.
 
Net sales amounted to SEK 1,843 million (1,692), an increase of around 9 per cent. Excluding currency effects the increase was 6 per cent. Sales increased in every country except Finland, where the level of new building activity was lower than in the same period last year. The increased sales in other countries were generated by both the new building and renovation segments. In Norway, however, the increase in sales was primarily concentrated on the new building segment. Sales of flat-pack kitchens continued to develop positively throughout Scandinavia.
 
Operating income increased by 34 per cent to SEK 231 million (173). The operating margin in the Nordic operation was 12.5 per cent (10.2). The improvement in margin is explained primarily by higher gross profit margins as a result of increased synergy gains in relation to input materials in particular, higher productivity, as well as increased focus on more profitable product and customer segments.
 
In Norema in Norway the standardised carcass platform K-20 was introduced and the conversion to an assembly plant was carried out according to plan during the holiday break. Norema is now supplied with components from Marbodal and Invita.
 
Second quarter 2002
Operating income amounted to SEK 149 million compared to SEK 106 million in the same quarter last year. The operating margin increased to 14.8 per cent compared to 12.1 per cent in the same quarter last year. The increase in the operating margin is primarily a result of a higher gross profit margin.
 
The Continental European operation
The downturn in the German kitchen interiors market is estimated to have slowed down in the second quarter 2002. Demand was lower than in the same period last year. In the important export markets of the Netherlands and the USA demand is also estimated to have fallen compared with the same period last year.
 
Net sales amounted to SEK 1,054 million (1,268). Currency effects had a positive effect on sales of 1 per cent. Adjusted for the closure of Star Beka and currency effects, the reduction in sales amounted to approx. SEK 170 million or 13 per cent. Increased exports to Asia only partly compensated for a weak project market in the USA.
 
The review of sales channels with a view to improving profitability and positioning has resulted in improvements in gross margins, but had a negative effect on sales.
 
Operating income amounted to SEK 16 million (38). The operating margin was 1.5 per cent (3.0). The effects of lower sales were counteracted primarily by increased synergy gains in relation to input materials as well as increased focus on more profitable product and customer segments. Sales and administration costs were reduced compared to the same period last year.
 
Poggenpohl continued to work on introducing its new uniform studio concept among its retailers. Due to the weak market situation in Germany there was a delay in deliveries of the Designo product range, which Pronorm supplies to the MHK purchasing organisation.
 
Second quarter 2002
Operating income amounted to SEK 14 million compared to SEK 32 million in the same quarter last year. The operating margin was 2.6 per cent compared to 5.0 per cent in the same quarter last year. The effect of lower sales was counteracted by a higher gross profit margin.
 
UK operation
Demand in the UK is estimated to have increased somewhat compared to the same period last year.
 
Net sales during the period amounted to SEK 2,071 million. Excluding currency effects, this is approximately 2 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Magnet was acquired with effect from May 2001, so the comparison figures for the first half 2001 included in the consolidated accounts are for the May-June period only.
 
Compared to the first half last year, sales of kitchen, wardrobe and bedroom interiors increased while sales of bathroom interiors reduced. Sales of joinery products increased somewhat. Deliveries of unassembled kitchens under an agreement with the DIY chain Homebase were started during the period.
 
Operating income amounted to SEK 192 million. The operating margin was 9.3 per cent, which is a substantial improvement on last year when 6.8 per cent was reported for the May-June period. The result for the current period includes profit on the sale of a lease contract of SEK 15 million. The operating margin has been improved compared to last year through increased purchasing co-ordination, reduced costs and higher average order values.
 
Second quarter 2002
Operating income amounted to SEK 82 million compared to SEK 40 million in the same quarter last year. The operating margin was 8.2 per cent compared to 6.8 per cent in the same quarter last year. The UK operation was only included for May-June in last year's corresponding quarter.
 
The parent company
The parent company is involved with group-wide activities and owns the subsidiaries. The parent company had an income after financial items of SEK 7.3 million (-20.1).
 
Employees
The number of employees at the end of the period was 6,219 compared to approximately 6,100 at the start of the year. The number of employees increased in the Nordic and UK operations and decreased in the Continental European operation
 
Accounting principles
Nobia complies with the recommendations of the Swedish Financial Accounting Standards Council. For definitions of key figures and ratios, please see Nobia's annual report 2001.
 
Stockholm, 27 August 2002
 
Fredrik Cappelen
President and CEO
 
Nobia AB corporate registration no. 556528-2752
 
Interim report for the period January-September 2002 will be published 23 October 2002.
 
Nobia is Europe's leading kitchen interiors company. The Group operates in a number of European markets under strong brand names. Nobia's own specialist kitchen stores and franchise stores are responsible for most of the Group's sales. Nobia is spearheading the consolidation of the European kitchen market and creating profitable growth by making efficiency improvements and acquisitions, taking an industrial approach. The Group has sales of approx. SEK 10 billion annually and around 6,000 employees. Nobia is listed on Stockholmsbörsen's O-list.
 
Goldreif - HTH -Invita - Magnet - Marbodal - Myresjökök -Norema - Novart - Optifit - Poggenpohl - Pronorm - Sigdal
 
Nobia AB, Box 70376, 107 24 Stockholm, Tel.: +46 (0)8-440 16 00, Fax: +46 (0)8-440 16 20 Including the effect of the closedown of Star Beka.

About Us

Nobia develops and sells kitchen solutions through a number of strong brands in Europe, including Magnet in the UK; HTH, Norema, Sigdal, Invita and Marbodal in Scandinavia; Petra and A la Carte in Finland; as well as ewe, Intuo and FM in Austria and Bribus in the Netherlands. Nobia generates profitability by combining economies of scale with attractive kitchen offerings. The Group has approximately 6,100 employees and had net sales of about SEK 13 billion. The share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm under the ticker NOBI. Website: www.nobia.com