Valora Holding AG

EANS-Adhoc: Valora Holding AG
Valora's successful acquisitions strengthen the Group's market position and enhance its retail expertise - Board recommends raising dividend to CHF 12.50 per share (with document)

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/annual report
26.03.2013


Valora's successful acquisitions strengthen the Group's market position and
enhance its retail expertise - Board recommends raising dividend to CHF 12.50
per share

- Valora Group increases external sales by 13% in local-currency and achieves
operating profit in line with expectations
- Valora Retail significantly expands its operations in Germany, acquires new
format in attractive immediate-consumption market and is optimising its outlet
network
- Valora Services initiates sustainable repositioning of its business
- Valora Trade focusing on high-margin niche markets and increased cost
efficiency
- Board to recommend that 2013 General Meeting raises dividend to CHF 12.50 per
share and elects Ernst Peter Ditsch as a new Board member

Valora Group increases external sales by 13% in local-currency and achieves
operating profit in line with expectations

In the face of challenging market conditions, Valora increased its external
sales by CHF 358 million, or +12.1%, in 2012, to reach CHF 3 320 million. In
local-currency, external sales were 13% higher than in 2011. This positive
development is principally attributable to the two acquisitions Valora carried
out during 2012 - Convenience Concept and Ditsch/Brezelkönig - which enabled the
Group to complete its Valora 4 Growth strategy ahead of schedule. Reported net
revenues for 2012 were CHF 2 848 million, a +1.1% increase on 2011. Both the
Retail and Trade divisions expanded their sales during 2012. This growth offset
the effects of the continuing contraction of the entire press market, as
evidenced by the -9.9% year-on-year decline in press sales in Switzerland.
Convenience Concept, consolidated since April 1, 2012, and Ditsch/Brezelkönig,
consolidated since October 1, 2012, made their first contributions to Group
results.

Valora achieved a +3.6% increase in its EBITDA, raising it to CHF 121.2 million.
Reported Group operating profit, or EBIT, came in at CHF 65.8 million, in line
with earlier guidance. This includes the book-value gain on the disposal of
Valora Services Austria and the book-value loss on the sale of the Muttenz
facility. The Group's EBIT margin, at 2.3%, was slightly lower than in 2011.
Balance-sheet debt at December 31, 2012 resulted in a leverage ratio (net
debt/EBITDA) of 2.4x. Net profit for 2012 was CHF 45.7 million, CHF 11.6 million
less than a year earlier. One of the reasons for this decline was the increased
interest expense resulting from the larger debt burden assumed to finance the
two major acquisitions Valora made in 2012. Equity cover was increased during
the second six months of 2012, with shareholders' equity representing 35.9% of
year-end total assets, and remains within the Group's strategic target range.

Valora Retail significantly expands its operations in Germany and is optimising
its outlet network

Valora Retail increased its external sales by +21.5%, or CHF 379 million, during
2012, to reach CHF 2 139 million - thus surpassing the CHF 2 billion mark for
the first time. The division's 2012 operating profit (EBIT) was CHF 25.3
million, which includes a one-off charge of CHF 14.2 million for the book-value
loss on the sale of the Muttenz facility. This equates to an EBIT margin of
1.5%. After adjusting for the one-off effect of the Muttenz sale, Valora Retail
generated EBIT of CHF 39.5 million (CHF 41.8 million in 2011), so that its EBIT
margin declined from 2.6% in 2011 to 2.4% in 2012. Thanks to the acquisition of
Convenience Concept, whose more than 1 200 outlets make it the largest
integrated kiosk network in German-speaking Europe, Valora Retail Germany
increased its net revenues by +17.5%. Having established a market presence in
Austria during 2012, Valora Retail now operates a network of more than 3 000 POS
in four national markets and holds a leading position in small-outlet retail in
Europe's German-speaking region. The Retail division's key priority is
optimising its outlet network in Switzerland and Germany, with a particular
focus on reconfiguring the range of products on offer and enhancing shop
layouts. In Switzerland, Valora Retail made substantial progress in extending
its agency business model. More than 300 kiosks, some 30% of the Swiss kiosk
network, were operating as agent-managed outlets by year-end 2012, a proportion
which Valora intends to increase further in the years ahead in Switzerland.

Ditsch/Brezelkönig acquisition provides Valora Retail with a new format in the
attractive immediate-consumption market

In 4th quarter of 2012, the period in which its results were first consolidated
with those of the overall Group, Valora's newly acquired Ditsch/Brezelkönig unit
generated net revenues of CHF 50 million. Operating profit for the same period
was CHF 7 million, resulting in an EBIT margin of 14.2%.
With its 230 outlets in Germany and Switzerland, Ditsch/Brezelkönig has a highly
successful retail network and a powerful, fully integrated business model
ideally suited to the attractive immediate-consumption market.

Valora Services initiates sustainable repositioning of its business

Valora Services generated reported net revenues of CHF 465 million in 2012,
compared to CHF 600 million a year earlier. This lower figure reflects the
division's sale of its Valora Services Austria unit in the second half of 2012,
the general weakness of the press market and the reduced scale of its tobacco
and food wholesaling activities for third-party customers in Switzerland. EBIT
for 2012 was CHF 12 million, which equates to an operating-profit margin of
2.6%. Given the continuing decline of the overall press market, specific
opportunities for the division to enter into a strategic partnership, a joint
venture or a co-operation agreement are now being evaluated in detail.

Valora Trade focusing on high-margin niche markets and increased cost efficiency

In an intensely competitive market environment, Valora's Trade division
succeeded in raising its net revenues by 6.4% in 2012, to reach CHF 792.5
million. In local-currency, this amounted to an increase of 6.9%, with all the
division's country units expanding their revenues from 2011 levels. Persistent
parallel imports and shopping tourism, coupled with the greater prominence
retailers are according their private-label brands, increased the downward
pressure on prices. The division's operating profit of CHF 8 million in 2012
equates to an EBIT margin of 1.0%. Valora Trade is shifting the focus of its
principal portfolio - particularly in the food, food-service and confectionery
categories - and will in future devote more resources to smaller and
medium-sized principals operating in higher-margin niche markets. Cost-cutting
measures are also being implemented.

Board to recommend that 2013 General Meeting raise dividend to CHF 12.50 per
share and elect Ernst Peter Ditsch as a new Board member

At the General Meeting of shareholders to be held on April 18, 2013, the Board
of Directors will recommend that the dividend be raised to CHF 12.50 per share
(CHF 11.50 in 2011). This will include a withholding-tax exempt distribution
from reserves from capital contributions amounting to CHF 5.85 per share. The
planned dividend payment date is April 25, 2013. The Board will further
recommend to the General Meeting that new authorised share capital of 250 000
shares be approved for the period until April 18, 2015. In so doing, the Board
intends to replace the current authorised share capital of 204 401 shares
(following the Ditsch/Brezelkönig acquisition) which will expire on April 15,
2013. This renewed authorised share capital will enable the Group to act on
investment and acquisition opportunities more rapidly or to optimise its capital
structure. The election to the Board of Ernst Peter Ditsch, now Valora's largest
shareholder, will also be recommended. After four decades of professional
activity, and having successfully developed his family business, Ernst Peter
Ditsch has sold the company to the Valora Group and is now standing for election
to the Board of Directors with the intention of continuing to foster the
company's further development at a strategic level. All the other Board members
are standing for re-election. The 2013 General Meeting will again provide
shareholders with an opportunity to participate in a consultative vote on
Valora's remuneration report. 

Outlook: Valora to concentrate on strengthening its core areas of expertise and
profitably expanding its businesses

The worldwide economic climate has been extremely difficult for some years now,
notably in Europe generally and in Switzerland as well. Conditions can be
expected to remain challenging. In those circumstances, Valora will continue to
focus on strengthening its core areas of expertise, with the objective of
significantly reducing the Group's exposure to economic volatility. In 2012, the
Convenience Concept and Ditsch/Brezelkönig acquisitions enabled Valora to create
a sound platform for profitable expansion and for further strengthening the
Group's retail expertise. The priority now is to integrate these newly acquired
companies, so that they can achieve their full potential within the Valora Group
and their synergies with existing Valora retail formats can be fully exploited.
Valora Services, having divested recently of two business units, will reposition
its activities. Given the continuing decline of the overall press market,
specific options for strategic partnerships will be evaluated in detail. The
encouraging growth Valora Services has achieved by developing its range of
logistics services is extremely promising and offers further potential for
expansion. Valora Trade will in future put greater emphasis - alongside its
activities in the attractive cosmetics sector - on high-margin niche markets.
The division has also initiated a number of cost-cutting measures in order to
achieve a substantial increase in its profitability.

Valora plans to issue a perpetual callable hybrid bond, whose proceeds will be
used to partially replace the financing for its recent acquisitions currently
being provided by drawing on its syndicated loan facility. Assuming market
conditions are favourable, this transaction, which forms part of the Group's
long-term financing strategy, will be executed in the next few weeks. A banking
syndicate is already in place to underwrite the bonds.

In 2013, Valora expects to generate an operating profit (EBIT) of some CHF 75
million, or between CHF 80 million and CHF 85 million including positive one-off
effects. Projected EBIT for 2015 is approximately CHF 100 million. In the words
of Roland Benedick, Valora's Board Chairman and CEO, "We want to exploit and
develop the potential we now have. Our first priority is to consolidate our
profitability with a view to raising it further in the medium term".


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All related documents are available on www.valora.com / newsroom:

Press release / 2012 results presentation
www.valora.com/newsroom

2012 Annual Report 
www.valora.com/annualreport

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Valora Telephone Conference - Analysts' and Media Conference 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 15:00 CET

Michael Mueller, CFO, will provide information about the Group's 2012 results
during a telephone conference. The dial-in conference call will be held in
English.

To participate in the conference: call the following number 
(please call 10 to 15 minutes before the hour):

+41 (0) 58 310 50 00 (Europe)
+44 (0) 203 059 58 62 (UK)
+1 (1) 866 291 41 66 (USA - toll-free)

The playback will be available one hour after the conference on the following
homepage: http://www.valora.com/de/investor/documents/multimedia/index.php


Disclaimer
NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES
THIS DOCUMENT IS NOT BEING ISSUED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND SHOULD NOT
BE DISTRIBUTED TO U.S. PERSONS OR PUBLICATIONS WITH A GENERAL CIRCULATION IN THE
UNITED STATES. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER OR INVITATION TO
SUBSCRIBE FOR OR PURCHASE ANY SECURITIES. IN ADDITION, THE SECURITIES OF VALORA
HOLDING AG HAVE NOT BEEN REGISTERED UNDER THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES LAWS AND
MAY NOT BE OFFERED, SOLD OR DELIVERED WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OR TO U.S.
PERSONS ABSENT REGISTRATION UNDER OR AN APPLICABLE EXEMPTION FROM THE
REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNITED STATES SECURITIES LAWS

This document contains forward-looking statements about Valora which may
incorporate an element of uncertainty and risk. The reader should therefore be
aware that such statements may diverge from actual future events. These
forward-looking statements are projections relating to future possible
developments. All the forward-looking statements contained in this document are
based on data available to Valora at the time this document was prepared. Valora
makes no commitment whatsoever to update forward-looking statements in this
document at a later date, or to adapt them to reflect new information, future
events or the like.

Attachments with Announcement:
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Further inquiry note:
Investor Relations: 	Tel:	+41 61 467 36 50
Mladen Tomic	         E-Mail:	mladen.tomic@valora.com 

Media Relations:	         Tel:	+41 61 467 36 31
Stefania Misteli	         E-Mail:	stefania.misteli@valora.com

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 
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Attachments with Announcement:
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issuer:      Valora Holding AG
             Hofackerstrasse 40
             CH-4132 Muttenz
phone:       +41 61 467 20 20
FAX:         +41 58 789 12 12
mail:     info@valora.com
WWW:      www.valora.com
sector:      Retail
ISIN:        CH0002088976
indexes:     
stockmarkets: Main Standard: SIX Swiss Exchange, stock market: BX Berne eXchange 
language:   English
 



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