Interim report January–March 2019

Q1 January–March 2019

  • Net sales increased by 14 percent to SEK 1,544 (1,355) million
  • EBITDA increased to SEK 136 (77) million, driven by the introduction of IFRS 16
  • EBITA amounted to SEK 37 (51) million
  • Organic EBITA growth was 8 percent
  • Profit after tax amounted to SEK -1 (18) million
  • Earnings per ordinary share after deduction of preference share dividends amounted to SEK -0.21 (0.02)

Events after the reporting period

  • Volati has acquired all shares in Stenentreprenader i Hessleholm AB and Mundus Maskin AB after the end of reporting period. The acquisitions are add-on acquisitions for Volati’s Industry business area and the S:t Eriks and Tornum business units. The acquired companies had combined annual sales of SEK 125 million and an EBITDA of SEK 16 million in 2018.

COMMENTS FROM THE CEO

A good start to the year

Volati showed strong sales growth and good organic EBITA growth in the first quarter. Just as in previous years, the quarter was affected by seasonal variations, which were accentuated by our recent acquisitions.

This is an interim report that is difficult to analyse. The effects of seasonality and acquisitions mean that we report 8 percent organic EBITA growth, while EBITA falls from SEK 51 to SEK 37 million. I will explain how these are interconnected, but let me first of all say that I believe we had a good start to the year. We showed strong sales growth in the first quarter, driven by acquisitions and positive development in several business areas.  

The first quarter is traditionally the quarter with the lowest sales and earnings for Volati. Although our most recent acquisition S:t Eriks had a very good quarter, the seasonal variations were further intensified as S:t Eriks normally reports a negative Q1 operating profit. Calculation of organic EBITA growth also takes into account our ownership of S:t Eriks in the comparative period. This means that the company is contributing positively to organic growth.

EBITA amounted to SEK 37 (51) million. The decline is mainly related to the Industry business area. We have variations between quarters in our project sales of grain handling systems and in our business unit that rents out water damage restoration products. These variations are a normal part of our business and we note that project sales had a good order intake during the quarter and profit recognition will come later this year than in the previous year. 

Strong development for Trading

The Trading business area showed very strong development, both in terms of sales and earnings, reporting its best ever Q1. The business area was highly successful in exploiting the good market conditions that continued in the quarter – particularly within builders’ hardware, consumables and material for construction.

Challenges for Consumer  

As we explained in the year-end report, changes to the inspection rules mean that the inspection interval has been extended from 12 to 14 months, which has had an adverse effect on the customer base for the entire vehicle inspection sector. The effects of the change have come earlier than we initially expected. At the same time, we believe that this may mean a faster return to a normal situation for us. Given the conditions, Besikta had a quarter that was in line with expectations and worked hard on efficiency and pricing.

We continue to keep close track on other units in the business area. We are making progress in the work to reverse the trend, but profitability remains below our expectations.

Akademibokhandeln continues positive trend

Akademibokhandeln continues to develop positively after the measures we initiated in the previous year. Q4 2018 saw a trend break that has now been followed by a first quarter in which both sales and earnings have improved. The customer offering is strong and there has been high demand from customers. At the same time, the measures taken to streamline operations and reduce costs have continued to produce the desired results. 

Successful work on acquisitions

I see the development in Akademibokhandeln and S:t Eriks as testament to our ability not only to make major acquisitions, but, above all, to our capacity to integrate acquired companies and deliver on the investment hypotheses on which the acquisitions were based. Through our business area organisation, we work close to the business units, set a strategic direction together with the Board and management, and ensure that we have the right expertise in the management groups and that there is clear monitoring of agreed objectives and targets. Purely and simply, we work together towards the objective of generating long-term value growth.

Add-on acquisitions to existing business units are an important part of our strategy for long-term value growth creation. They both reinforce the existing business units’ market positions and add further value through synergies. We have greater capacity to generate and evaluate potential add-on acquisitions than before, as this is largely managed by the business area organisation. We have a clear ambition to take advantage of this in the future. After the end of the quarter, we completed two add-on acquisitions within the Industry business area – Stenentreprenader and Mundus Maskin. The companies will be part S:t Eriks and Tornum and complement their operations very well.

Improved financing structure

During the quarter, we entered into a new loan agreement with Nordea for a revolving credit facility and an overdraft facility. We used part of the amount to finance Akademibokhandeln’s early redemption of its outstanding bonds. This has given us an improved overall capital structure, strengthened our capacity for continued acquisitions and reduced our finance costs by about SEK 15 million per year. All our credit facilities are structured in such a way that they are not affected by the introduction of IFRS 16.

I am satisfied with the first quarter. We have laid the foundation for a good 2019 and I look forward to continuing to build Volati from a position of strength.

Mårten Andersson, President and CEO

Conference call

CEO Mårten Andersson and CFO Mattias Björk will present the interim report in a conference call on 24 April at 9.00. The presentation will be conducted in Swedish.

Phone number to access the conference call: +46 8 505 583 59. For a webcast of the conference call, go to www.volati.se.

This information is information that Volati AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation (MAR). The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out below, at 7.45 a.m. (CEST) on 24 April 2019.

For more information, please contact:

Mårten Andersson, CEO, +46 (0)72-735 42 84, marten.andersson@volati.se
Mattias Björk, CFO, +46 (0)70-610 80 89, mattias.bjork@volati.se

Volati AB (publ)

Corporate reg. no. 556555-4317
Engelbrektsplan 1, SE-114 34 Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 21 68 40
www.volati.se

About Volati

Volati is a Swedish industrial group, formed in 2003, organised in four business areas: Trading, Consumer, Akademibokhandeln and Industry. Volati mainly acquires reasonably valued companies with proven business models, leading market positions and strong cash flows and develops them with a focus on long-term value creation. The strategy is to build on the companies’ identity and entrepreneurial spirit, adding leadership, expertise, processes and financial resources. Volati has operations in 16 countries, over 2,000 employees and annual sales of approximately SEK 7 billion. Volati’s ordinary shares and preference shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Further information is available at  www.volati.se.

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