Duisburg, 31 August 2012. Operationally, Haniel held its own in an increasingly difficult economic environment. Overall, revenue remained stable. While revenue increased at CWS-boco, TAKKT and Celesio, it declined at ELG. The Haniel Group's operating profit rose slightly, although its profit before taxes fell considerably. "The task is now to continue to systematically pursue the Group's ongoing strategic realignment while reducing its debt at the Holding Company level", explained Stephan Gemkow, who took over as Chairman of Haniel's Managing Board on 1 August 2012.
Revenue remains stead
The Haniel Group's revenue for the first half of 2012 remained stable as compared to the same period of the previous year at EUR 13.5 billion. Acquisitions by TAKKT in the first half of 2012 and by Celesio in the second half of 2011 contributed to this trend. Adjusted for business acquisitions and generally slight currency translation effects, the Haniel Group experienced a 3 per cent decrease in revenue. This decrease was attributable primarily to ELG's performance. Despite a slight increase in output tonnage, the price of nickel – a key factor driving the value of revenue – was down significantly year-on-year due to the weak economic environment. Adjusted for acquisitions and currency translation effects, TAKKT's revenue remained stable year-on-year. The positive business development in the Americas offset the decrease in revenue on the difficult European market. Celesio's business, particularly in the wholesale segment, was weaker due to cutbacks in the healthcare sectors of many European countries. However, thanks to the solid performance of the pharmacies, Celesio's revenue, adjusted for acquisitions and currency translation effects, only declined slightly. CWS-boco achieved a slight increase in currency-adjusted revenue by making improvements in customer and quality management.
Operating profit improved slightly
The Haniel Group's operating profit rose slightly as compared to the first half of 2011, from EUR 260 million to EUR 265 million. This increase was primarily attributable to Celesio's improved profit. The positive business development of the pharmacies offset the decline in wholesale earnings and non-recurring expenses in relation to the strategic realignment. ELG's earnings were considerably lower than in the first half of 2011. This was due to the revenue decline stemming from the drop in the price of nickel, and to slightly lower margins. TAKKT lifted its operating profit slightly, since higher revenue was generated on the American market in the first half of 2012. CWS-boco's performance also remained encouraging. Due to operational improvements, earnings were markedly higher than in the first half of 2011. Moreover, non-recurring expenses for the "Focus Future" repositioning project were lower than during the same period of the previous year.
Profit before taxes down significantly year-on-year due to non-recurring items
At EUR 3 million, profit before taxes was significantly below the level of EUR 259 million in the first half of the previous year. In addition to the operating profit, it comprises the result from financing activities and net investment income.
Overall, the result from financing activities worsened to EUR -236 million. During the first half of the previous year, this result was EUR -146 million. This was due to an increased interest expense for the repurchase of bonds, an increased interest rate for the bonds in issue as a result of the downgrade of Haniel's rating and a non-recurring interest expense incurred by Celesio in connection with the acquisition of the remaining shares in Panpharma, its Brazilian wholesale activities.
The METRO investment had a negative influence on Haniel's investment result. The earnings contribution was negative during the first half of 2012, amounting to EUR -41 million. The amount for the same period in 2011 was EUR 129 million. It must be borne in mind that in 2011, Haniel had generated non-recurring income of EUR 133 million from the sale of real estate held by Metro's founding shareholders.
Haniel's Managing Board expects the macroeconomic environment to remain fraught with uncertainties in the coming months. Economic setbacks and a continued deepening of the European sovereign debt crisis may have a negative impact on economic growth and the Haniel Group's success over the course of the year. "We will be operating in a more difficult economic environment in the second half of the year. However, we are confident that we will be able to successfully counteract these risks", said Stephan Gemkow.
H1 2012 key figures at a glance:
|EUR million (IFRS)||30 Jun. 2011||30 Jun. 2012|
|Profit before taxes||259||3|
|Haniel cash flow||303||235|
|Employees (average headcount)||7.852||7.667|
|Employees (average headcount)||1.050||1.093|
|Employees (average headcount)||1.984||2.118|
|Employees (average headcount)||46.517||45.481|
|Haniel investment result**||129||-41|
* Prior-year figures have been adjusted in accordance with IFRS 5.
** Including income from real estate sales.
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