Lenzing AG

EANS-Adhoc: Lenzing AG
Clear Earnings Improvement in the First Quarter of 2015

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Financial Figures/Balance Sheet/quarterly report

- Increased revenue thanks to better product mix
- Cost savings improve operating results
- Market environment remains difficult
The first quarter of 2015 for the Lenzing Group was characterized by
satisfactory volume demand against the backdrop of still unsatisfactory selling
prices. In spite of the ongoing difficult market environment, the upgraded
product mix, slightly higher fiber sales volumes and the improved cost situation
enabled Lenzing to achieve a clear improvement in earnings.   
Consolidated revenue totaled EUR 474.6 mn in the first quarter of 2015, a rise
of 5.1% from EUR 451.7 mn in the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved by 28.7% from the previous year
to EUR 59.6 mn (Q1 2014: EUR 46.3 mn). This corresponded to an EBITDA margin of
12.6% (Q1 2014: 10.2%). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to
EUR 27.0 mn in the first three months of 2015, comprising a sharp rise of 61.3%
from the prior-year level of EUR 16.7 mn. The EBIT margin was 5.7% (Q1 2014:
3.7%). The profit for the period more than doubled to EUR 16.6 mn, climbing by
115.3% from EUR 7.7 mn in the first quarter of 2014.
Adjusted equity of the Lenzing Group rose to EUR 1,113.6 mn at the end of March
2015, up from EUR 1,066.1 mn at the end of 2014. The adjusted equity ratio
amounted to 45.4% (December 31, 2014: 44.9%). Net financial debt was more or
less unchanged at EUR 450.1 mn (December 31, 2014: EUR 449.5 mn), whereas net
gearing fell to 40.4% from 42.2% at the end of 2014.
Laying the groundwork for success
"The marketing drive for specialty fibers launched in 2014, especially for
TENCEL®, has paid off. We successfully implemented initial price increases and
significantly increased the share of specialty fibers in the product mix.
Moreover, we laid the groundwork for generating further earnings improvements
against the backdrop of an ongoing difficult market environment thanks to
comprehensive structural and cost optimization measures", explains Lenzing's
Chief Executive Officer Peter Untersperger. "The excelLENZ cost savings
initiative is proceeding according to plan and will generate cost savings of up
to EUR 160 mn p.a. as of 2016 compared to the year 2013. Furthermore, we are
adjusting technical services to the declining investment activity of the Lenzing
Group, thus serving as the basis for important productivity increases."
Strong volume demand
Lenzing continued the good operational development achieved in the fourth
quarter of 2014 with respect to its core business of manufacturing man-made
cellulose fibers in the first quarter of 2015 as well. All production plants
were once again operating at full capacity. Demand for the specialty fiber
Lenzing Modal® as well as TENCEL® was very gratifying. Lenzing reported a
comparatively good development for standard viscose fibers used in textile
applications in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to the selective focus on
attractive sales markets and higher value fiber qualities, continuing the
positive trend of the fourth quarter of 2014.
The improved product mix led to a rise in Lenzing's average fiber selling prices
before currency effects to EUR 1.68/kg in the first quarter of 2015 compared to
EUR 1.56/kg in the first quarter of 2014. In a like-for-like comparison, taking
account of all revenue-related currency effects in the first quarter of 2015,
the average fiber selling price of the Lenzing Group in the first three months
of 2015 would be about EUR 1.58/kg.
Outlook 2015
The viscose fiber market showed a slight upward movement at the beginning of the
second quarter of 2015. However, it remains to be seen whether this development
is sustainable. Thanks to the ongoing high volume demand for its fibers, Lenzing
continues to expect full utilization of all its production capacities. Lenzing
will strive to carry out selling price increases in the second quarter of 2015.
Moreover, the excelLENZ program involving additional cost savings will be
resolutely continued. Lenzing continues to expect an ongoing improvement in the
product mix and a good development of operating results in both the textile and
nonwovens segments for the rest of the year. This can be attributed to the very
good development of TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal® and the intensified marking
activities targeting attractive markets and new customers.


Key Group indicators

(in EUR mn)                                  1-3/2015                   1-3/2014
Group revenue                                   474.6                      451.7
EBITDA                                           59.6                       46.3
EBITDA margin in %                               12.6                       10.2
EBIT                                             27.0                       16.7
EBIT margin in %                                  5.7                        3.7
Profit/loss for the period                       16.6                        7.7
Earnings per share                               0.66                       0.28
CAPEX(1)                                         11.2                       36.6


                                           31/03/2015                 31/12/2014
Adjusted equity ratio(2)in %                     45.4                       44.9
Number of employees at                          6,301                      6,356


1) Refers to investments in intangible assets, property, plant and equipment
2) Ratio of adjusted equity (equity including investment grants less prop.
deferred taxes) to total assets

Further inquiry note:
Lenzing AG
Mag. Angelika Guldt
Tel.: +43 (0) 7672-701-2713
Fax: +43 (0) 7672-918-2713

end of announcement                               euro adhoc 

issuer:      Lenzing AG
             A-A-4860 Lenzing
phone:       +43 7672-701-0
FAX:         +43 7672-96301
mail:     a.guldt@lenzing.com
WWW:      http://www.lenzing.com
sector:      Chemicals
ISIN:        AT0000644505
indexes:     WBI, ATX, Prime Market
stockmarkets: free trade: Berlin, official market: Wien 
language:   English


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