Cham Paper Group Holding AG

EQS-Adhoc: Full year 2015: Progress and headwind

EQS Group-Ad-hoc: Cham Paper Group Holding AG / Key word(s): Final Results
Full year 2015: Progress and headwind

23.03.2016 / 06:00
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Full year 2015: Progress and headwind

- Rising revenues in local currency thanks to good market conditions and
successful products

- Higher costs of pulp due to currencies reduce operating profit

- Challenging transfer of Digital Imaging production

- Investmens implemented to increase productivity and capacity

- Planning dossier submitted for redesign of the Papieri site

- Payment of a dividend of CHF 3.00 per share

The Cham Paper Group has closed another transformative year with a small profit.
The financial year was challenging for the paper division on several levels.
Extensive investment in upgrading machinery to increase capacity and efficiency
in Carmignano and the relocation of coating operations from Cham to Italy
resulted in greater restrictions on capacity and higher start-up costs than
originally planned. The appreciation in the US dollar against the Euro also led
to sharply increased cellulose costs, which could not be offset directly via
higher prices. In the newly created real estate division, preparations for the
transformation of the industrial site into a new quarter proceeded according to

In 2015, the Group achieved revenue of CHF 194.3 million. This is 10.4% less
than in 2014 (CHF 216.8 million), however, revenue grew by 2.4% in local
currency. The operating profit came to a modest CHF 2.4 million (previous year:
CHF 5.9 million), while the net result was just positive, at CHF 0.5 million
(CHF 1.8 million). The profit has therefore improved slightly in the
traditionally weaker second half thanks to the reduction in costs.

The paper division presented a contrasting picture
The trend in the paper division's revenue and profits did not match the
opportunities presented by the market. The extensive investment in paper machine
4 in Carmignano to increase capacity and efficiency was completed on schedule,
however, the start-up processes following the modifications turned out to be
more difficult than expected and there was a delay in exploiting the increased
production potential. The gains in efficiency are not yet apparent in the
results because of the 10% increase (caused by movements in exchange rates) in
the cost of cellulose, which accounts for around 50% of manufacturing costs. The
challenges involved in the relocation of coating operations for the manufacture
of complex digital imaging products to Italy were underestimated; it was not
possible to keep to the budget or the timetable and this depressed
profitability. However, demand for the Cham Paper Group's speciality papers was
satisfactory to good in all segments. The three divisions Consumer Goods,
Industrial Release and Digital Imaging are well positioned strategically and
their products are appreciated in the market. Tonnage sold increased by 2.3%
despite the restrictions mentioned previously, and the paper division's net
revenue reached CHF 193.4 million. The gross profit decreased from CHF 28
million to CHF 18.4 million as a consequence, in particular, of the increase of
approximately CHF 9 million in the cost of cellulose. Thanks to the reduction in
the cost base, a marginally positive operating profit (EBIT) before
restructuring of CHF 0.7 million was achieved (previous year: CHF 8.6 million);
the figure after restructuring was CHF 2.5 million (CHF 5.6 million).

The real estate division developed as planned
Development of the Papieri site again made major progress in the financial year
2015: the municipality of Cham submitted the planning dossier, which had been
produced jointly with the Cham Paper Group, to the responsible cantonal offices
for preliminary review. The aim is to carry out the ballot on the development
plan and the environmental impact assessment in autumn 2016. A possible
scheduling concept was devised parallel to the development planning process. The
space that has been released on the factory site is already being used on a
short-term basis in a variety of ways by over 50 different tenants. The first
contracts for new long-term tenants in the commercial area have also been
signed. The relevant construction work has started and the real estate division
generated revenue with third parties of CHF 0.8 million (previous year: CHF 0.7
million) and an operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 0.2 million (CHF 0.2 million).
The development expenses for the Papieri project were capitalised.

Strong balance sheet and constant dividend
Despite the dividend payment, the abolition of the minimum EUR/CHF exchange rate
and the associated reduction in the value of Italian assets in CHF, the Cham
Paper Group still has a strong balance sheet. At the end of the reporting year,
the equity ratio amounted to 50.6% (previous year: 52.8%). The Group is almost
free from debt and has cash reserves of CHF 41.4 million. The site in Cham is
still valued at acquisition cost. The Board of Directors will propose to the
General Meeting of Shareholders that a dividend of CHF 3.00 (previous year: CHF
3.00) is paid per share, which will be exempt from capital gains tax for Swiss
private investors.

New Delegate of the Board of Directors
Preparations are being made for a transfer of responsibilities in the Board of
Directors of the Cham Paper Group: Susanne Oste, the previous Head of
International Sales at Ziegler Papier, will be proposed for election to the
Board of Directors at the General Meeting of Shareholders on 4 May 2016. She is
to replace Urs Ziegler, who will continue to make himself available as a member
of the Board of Directors, as Delegate of the Board of Directors. Susanne Oste
has been being introduced to her responsibilities by Urs Ziegler since January
2016. Peter Schmid will not stand for re-election. The Board would like to thank
Mr Schmid for his tremendous commitment since 2011.

A cautiously positive outlook
The Board of Directors and the Executive Board are of the opinion that the Group
is well positioned for the future. In all its three areas of operations, the
paper division covers attractive and expanding markets. The modernised mills
produce more efficiently than ever before and have built up additional capacity.
As a result, the lengthy, demanding transformation process is drawing to a
close. Assuming that the cost of raw materials stabilises, we are expecting a
clear improvement in the operating profit in the ballpark of the EBIT achieved
in 2014). The Real Estate Division will develop into a strong second pillar for
the Group over the next decade.

Annual Report 2015
The complete annual report (in German) is available on our website in the
Investor Relations section (see «Financial Reports») or directly under the
following link:

Key Figures

in CHF million, unless otherwise specified      2015    2014

Sales in tonnes                                 146,274 142,981

Net revenue                                     194,258 216,762

EBITDA                                          9,187   18,800

As a % of net revenue                           4.7%    8.7%

EBIT before restructuring                       627     8,930

As a % of net revenue                           0.3%    4.1%

Restructuring income / (restructuring expenses) 1,795   -3,059

EBIT after restructuring                        2,422   5,871

Profit                                          480     1,841

Earnings per share (in CHF)                     0.65    2.48

Free Cash Flow                                  -5,695  -5

Shareholders' equity                            102,088 107,900

As a % of total assets                          50.6%   52.8%

(Net debt) / Net cash                           -1,432  3,095

Investments in tangible and intangible assets   12,073  13,384

Number of employees (FTE)                       389     417
A media and analyst conference will take place in the SIX Convention Point in
Zurich today, 23 March 2016, at 9:30.

For information, please contact
Media and IR office Cham Paper Group Holding AG
Edwin van der Geest
Phone +41 43 268 32 32 / +41 79 330 55 22
Valor / ISIN / Ticker: Namenaktien Cham Paper Group Holding AG 193 185 /
CH0001931853 / CPGN

Cham Paper Group
The Cham Paper Group is a leading manufacturer of coated speciality papers.
Surface finishing lends papers properties that generate value added for its
customers. The company, which was founded in 1657, has three sites, one in
Switzerland (Cham) and two in Italy (Carmignano and Condino), and a global sales
The decision to focus on development and sales and discontinue paper
manufacturing in Switzerland has made way for a new project on the factory site
in the centre of Cham. The Cham Paper Group is developing an eleven-hectare
quarter there called the Papieri site.
The Cham Paper Group (ticker symbol: CPGN) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

This communication may contain statements about the future that use words such
as, for example, "believe", "assume", "expect" and other similar expressions.
Such statements about the future are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other
factors, which can cause the true results of the company
to differ significantly from that which is expressly or implicitly assumed in
these statements. In view of these uncertainties, the reader should not depend
on this type of statement about the future. The company gives no undertaking
whatever to update such statements regarding the future, or to
adapt them to future events or developments.
Cham Paper Group Holding AG, Fabrikstrasse, CH-6330 Cham, Tel. +41 41 785 33 33,
Fax +41 41 785 31 59, This press release is issued in English
and German. The German version is binding.

End of ad hoc announcement

Additional features:

Document title: 230316_Medienmitteilung_CPG_eng

23.03.2016 News transmitted by EQS Schweiz AG. - news archive:

The issuer is responsible for the contents of the release.

Language: English

Company:  Cham Paper Group Holding AG


          6330  Cham


Phone:    +41 41 785 33 33

Fax:      +41 41 785 31 50


ISIN:     CH0001931853

Valor:    -

Listed:   Foreign Exchange(s) SIX

End of News EQS Group News Service
447803  23.03.2016 


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