Stuttgart, Germany, July 26, 2018. As expected, the business development in the second quarter of 2018 noticeably improved. In organic terms, i.e., adjusted for acquisition and currency effects, sales growth amounted to 4.7 percent. Both TAKKT EUROPE and TAKKT AMERICA achieved good organic growth. After four quarters of declining development, business in the US was again able to achieve solid growth, while growth in Europe was even stronger. In spite of negative currency effects, sales in the reporting currency of euros grew by 5.4 percent to EUR 291.2 (276.2) million because of the acquisition of Mydisplays, OfficeFurnitureOnline und Runelandhs. The EBITDA margin fell from 13.4 to 12.2 percent due mainly to a lower gross profit margin primarily resulting from increased freight costs. "We are satisfied with the sales development in the second quarter. In addition to that, we made great progress with our digital agenda and, for the first time, generated over half of our order intake through e-commerce," said Felix Zimmermann, CEO of TAKKT.
In the first half of the year, sales increased 0.4 percent to EUR 567.2 (565.0) million. The aforementioned acquisitions contributed to growth with a total of 4.5 percentage points, while negative currency effects caused a decrease of 5.9 percentage points. Organic sales growth was 1.8 percent. In the first half of 2018, the EBITDA margin of 12.2 (14.5) percent was considerably below the level of the previous year due to restrained growth, increased freight costs and planned higher expenditures for the implementation of the digital agenda.
For the second half of the year, TAKKT assumes a continuation of the improved growth from the second quarter and confirms the forecast of organic growth between two and four percent for 2018. At the same time, the TAKKT Management expects an increase in profitability for the second half of the year. CFO Claude Tomaszewski explains: "From today's perspective, we expect a good growth dynamic in the second half of the year. In order to increase profitability, we also review our costs and will to some extent adjust our prices as a result of the increased freight costs." The Group anticipates an EBITDA margin at the lower end of the corridor of the 13 to 14 percent projected at the beginning of the year. Depending on the further course of the trade conflicts that are increasing worldwide, an EBITDA margin of slightly under 13.0 percent cannot be entirely excluded.