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* Revenue up by 14% to EUR109.8 million
* Restructuring programme launched in fourth quarter
* Positive outlook thanks to strong order books (EUR37 million)
Vienna, 22 April - At the press conference today joint chief
executives Bernd Wolschner and Klaus Einfalt unveiled SW
Umwelttechnik's results for 2008. Revenue was up by 14% despite
economic headwinds, particularly in Hungary, and good order intake
should ensure that capacity utilisation remains strong for the
rest of this year.
Revenue Following a bright first half, in the second half of
2008 Central and Southeastern Europe - SW Umwelttechnik's main
market - was battered by the global economic and financial
crisis. Hungary was worst hit, with an abrupt fall-off in
investment in industrial and commercial buildings, bringing EUR11m in
order cancellations for SW Umwelttechnik.
The revenue contribution of the Hungarian market slipped to 55%
(2007: 60%) or EUR61m, while that of the Romanian market doubled to
an on-target 19% (2007: 9%) or EUR21m, and that of Austria was
almost unchanged at 19% or EUR21m (2007: 20%).
The revenue share of SW Umwelttechnik's Infrastructure sector rose
to EUR58m or 53% (2007: 51%). The Water Conservation sector
generated EUR35m or 32% of revenue (2007: 30%), buoyed by revenue
growth on the Romanian market, while the Engineering sector
accounted for EUR16m or 15% of revenue (2007: 19%) owing to the
Hungarian government's restrictive fiscal policies in the 2007-2008
The revenue contributions of the Water Conservation and Engineering
sectors are set to continue to improve in 2009 thanks to the lift
for municipal investment from the announced stimulus packages and
efforts to comply with European Union environmental directives,
which are now being backed by the IMF. The Engineering
sector, which tends to be a good indicator of local government
demand, recorded strong order intake at the start of 2009.
Earnings Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) mirrored harsh
market conditions, and weak trading in Hungary had a particularly
negative impact. EBIT more than halved to EUR2.2m in 2008 (2007:
EUR4.6m). This result already includes the cost of the restructuring
actions implemented in Hungary to adjust to poor economic
situation. Management moved quickly to ensure that the company was
well placed to ride out the downturn, laying off 200 agency workers
and 200 internal staff in Hungary in the fourth quarter of 2008.
These staff reductions will only be visible in the 2009 head
EBIT before non-recurring items was up on the previous year's figure
Despite the restructuring programmes EBITDA was only 18% below
the record figure in 2007, at EUR7.7m.
SW Umwelttechnik's recent expansion in Southeastern Europe has
increased its exposure to currency risk. Sharp movements in the
Hungarian forint (HUF) and Romanian lei (RON) exchange rates
towards the end of the year led to temporary book losses of EUR5m
for financial 2008.
Consequently net finance costs jumped to EUR7.2m from EUR3.3m a year
earlier; EUR3m of the increase came from noncash costs. Management
expects the volatility of these currencies to abate in the medium
term, and the exchange rates to return to their normal ranges,
meaning that items that have been written down can be revalued
Higher finance costs meant that SW Umwelttechnik swung into a loss
on ordinary activities of EUR5.0m (2007: +EUR1.2). However
underlying profit on ordinary activities - excluding noncash
exchange losses and one-time charges - was EUR0.9m.
Due to the noncash exchange losses and non-recurring expenses SW
Umwelttechnik posted a loss attributable to equity shareholders of
EUR3.6m (2007: +EUR1.8m). This figure includes the restructuring
Assets and finances Over the past three years SW Umwelttechnik
has invested some EUR50m in a modernisation and expansion
programme focused on Hungary and the fast growing Romanian market.
This will enable the Company to generate rapid revenue growth
without making additional investments once the trading environment
Although investment totalled EUR9.4m - well above depreciation of
EUR5.6m - non-current assets rose only slightly, from EUR74.5m to
EUR75.2m. The impact of the financial crisis was reflected in the
instability of the HUF and RON, which were both devalued by
around 10% against the euro in the final quarter of 2008, wiping
EUR3.9m off the carrying value of non-current assets.
Current assets also shrank, falling from EUR44.5m to EUR39.7m, of
which EUR1.9m was attributable to exchange rate declines and EUR2.9m
to reduced volume. Total assets contracted from EUR120.2m to
Equity was down from EUR27.2m to EUR20.3m as a result of the loss for
the period of EUR3.6m, currency translation losses of EUR1.7m and a
charge of EUR0.9m resulting from application of the net investment
approach - all items influenced by exchange rate movements. The
equity ratio declined to 17.4% (2007: 22.6%). In consequence one of
management's main priorities in 2009 will be strengthening the
In terms of the intrinsic value of property, plant and equipment -
excluding the currency depreciations in 2007 and 2008 - SW
Umwelttechnik's equity amounts to EUR35m, and the equity ratio is
Borrowings were up from EUR72.2m to EUR77.6m at balance sheet
date; long-term borrowings accounted for 62% of the total (2007:
52%). In order to ensure that the company is able to meet its
financing requirements management is aiming for an increase in
long-term borrowings to 66% - the same ratio as that of
property, plant and equipment to total assets.
Order backlog Order backlog at year end was a satisfactory EUR37.4m.
While this failed to match the record EUR46m reported at year end
2007 it was still well above the 2006 figure of EUR25.9m.
Current robust order intake in Hungary and Romania, driven by public
sector environmental and infrastructure investment, is
particularly encouraging in view of the challenging trading
Employees The average head count rose to 896 in 2008 (2007: 797)
due to expansion in Romania. The Romanian workforce grew to 221
(2007: 99) as a result of the start- up of the Bucharest factory. The
reduction of 200 in the permanent labour force in Hungary, initiated
during the fourth quarter, is included in expenses for 2008, but
the positive impact on costs will not be seen until 2009.
Investment Following the record EUR26m investment programme in 2007,
in 2008 a healthy EUR9.4m went to completing the new plants; EUR5.1m
was spent in Hungary and EUR3.2m in Romania.
Dividend recommendation The Management Board will recommend to the
AGM forgoing payment of a dividend for 2008 financial year because
of the overall economic situation and the loss for the year.
It should be noted that the Management Board received no variable
(performance related) remuneration for the 2008 financial year.
Outlook SW Umwelttechnik's investment of EUR50m in expansion in
Hungary and Romania has created strong positions in these markets,
and its modern production facilities have given it cost leadership
The expectation is for a further sharp decline in all forms of
industrial and commercial investment across the entire CSE region in
2009, offset by growing public sector investment as a result of
the announced stimulus packages. SW Umwelttechnik has a good name
as a public sector contractor, as shown by recent orders.
Management anticipates the following trends in the company's main
. In Romania, economic growth will slow, but is expected to remain positive.
Municipal environmental and infrastructure investment cofinanced by the EU
should continue to expand rapidly in 2009. Romania will remain the main
growth driver for SW Umwelttechnik. Investment in further expansion is
currently on hold but should restart in 2010. The company plans to offer
its full product range across the entire country. This will involve
further expansion of the Bucharest plant and the development of additional
production facilities in Transylvania (a site has already been acquired in
Targu Mures) and the Moldova region.
. Hungarian GDP is forecast to contract by 3%, leading to a sharp fall in
industrial and commercial investment. The Water Conservation sector, and
probably also the Engineering sector, look set for further growth - partly
as a result of a mooted stimulus package.
. Compared with Central and Southeastern Europe, the situation in Austria is
relatively stable. Restructuring programmes have been implemented in
recent years, and SW Umwelttechnik is now well established as a successful
niche player. In Austria the main business, Water Conservation, should
continue to grow as a result of new product developments and the stimulus
All in all, SW Umwelttechnik expects only a slight decline in revenue in 2009
due to its strong market shares, and is looking forward to a profitable year as
a result of the restructuring measures that are already in place.
Summary balance sheet
|EUR '000 |2008 |% |2007 |% |2006 |% |
| | |interest | |interest| |interest|
|ASSETS |117,379 |100 |120,194 |100 |95,474 |100 |
|Non-current |77,664 |66.2 |75,707 |63.0 |57,911 |60.7 |
|assets | | | | | | |
|Current assets |39,715 |33.8 |44,487 |37.0 |37,563 |39.3 |
|EQUITY AND |117,379 |100 |120,194 |100 |95,474 |100 |
|LIABILITIES | | | | | | |
|Equity |20,459 |17.4 |27,211 |22.6 |26,490 |27.7 |
|Long-term |51,762 |44.1 |41,153 |34.3 |24,833 |26.0 |
|liabilities | | | | | | |
|Current |45,158 |38.5 |51,830 |43.1 |44,151 |46.3 |
|liabilities | | | | | | |
Summary income statement
|EUR m |2008 |2007 |
|Revenue |109.8 |96.1 |
|EBIT |2.2 |4.6 |
|ebit* |5.1 |4.6 |
|EBITDA |7.7 |9.4 |
|POA |-5.0 |1.2 |
|poa* |0.9 |2.0 |
|Profit/loss for the period attributable to |-3.8 |1.7 |
|equity shareholders | | |
ebit*= before non-recurring items
poa*= underlying POA
Founded in 1910, SW Umwelttechnik remains a family business, though it has been
listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1997. The company is widely
identified with sustainable enterprise and rapid expansion in Central and
Southeastern Europe. Its innovative environmental technology products are
contributing to infrastructure renewal in CSE countries.
end of announcement euro adhoc
ots Originaltext: SW Umwelttechnik Stoiser & Wolschner AG
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch
Further inquiry note:
Dr. Bernd Wolschner
Member of the Management Board
Tel: +43 (0)7259 31350
Fax: +43 (0)463 37667
Tel: +43 (0)664 8117662
Fax: +43 (0)463 37667
Börsen: Börse Berlin / free trade
Börse Frankfurt / free trade
Wiener Börse AG / Regulated free trade