Hawesko on a successful course
Hawesko on a successful course
2009 sales at previous year’s level: € 339 million (±0%)
Second-best EBIT in the company’s history: approx. € 22 million (previous year: € 25.5 million)
Good free cash flow and zero net debt ensure dividend continuity
Upbeat start into the new fiscal year
Hamburg, 2 February 2010. The wine trading group Hawesko Holding AG (HAW, HAWG.DE, DE0006042708) published its preliminary results for the fiscal year just completed (1 January – 31 December 2009) today. Despite the financial crisis, the Group’s net sales in 2009 amounted to € 338.6 million, thus remaining stable at the previous year’s level (€ 338.8 million). The driving force behind the steady upward movement of the Group was primarily the sales development in the segments focused on end customers, i.e. the specialist retail segment (Jacques’ Wein-Depot) with an increase of 3.6% and mail order (primarily Hanseatisches Wein- und Sekt-Kontor) with an increase of 3.2%. In contrast, the wholesale segment was confronted with a decline in sales of 5.3% because sales of premium, older-vintage Bordeaux wines outside Germany remained sluggish. Group sales in Germany accounted for 93% (previous year: 91%) of total volume and exceeded comparable sales in the previous year by 1.8%. In 2009 the entire German wine market grew only by 1.2% in terms of value, according to data of the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK). Thus the Hawesko Group outperformed the market in the past fiscal year as well. According to preliminary calculations, the consolidated result of operations (EBIT) amounts to approximately € 22.2 million (previous year: € 25.5 million), and therefore in the upper part of the expected range. The financial result is expected to amount to a net expenditure of € 2.6 million, including a non-recurring expenditure of € 1.8 million (previous year: expenditure € 3.3 million). According to preliminary calculations, the rate of tax expenditures will be 34%, so that consolidated earnings after deductions for taxes and minority interests is currently anticipated to be approximately € 13 million, or between € 1.40 and €1.50 per share (previous year: € 14.6 million and € 1.67 per share). Without the non-recurring financial expenditure, earnings per share would reach the level of the previous year, or between € 1.60 and € 1.70. Free cash flow is expected to exceed the forecast level of € 14 to 15 million by approximately 25%. The consolidated balance sheet is expected to show net debt of zero. Against the background of these preliminary figures, the Hawesko management board sees the fiscal basis to propose to the supervisory board a dividend payout in at least the same amount as the previous year (€ 1.20 per share). The consolidated accounts of the Hawesko Group will be certified by the auditor and presented to the supervisory board for review in March 2010.
The Hawesko management board expects a moderate increase in sales and EBIT at the previous year’s level in fiscal year 2010. Due to the elimination of the non-recurring expenditure in the financial result, an increase in the consolidated earnings after taxes and minority interests, as well as earnings per share, should be possible. Alexander Margaritoff, chief executive officer, commented: ‘During the worst economic crisis since the Second World War we were able to maintain sales at the previous year’s level and achieve the second-best result in our company’s history. We have accomplished this through the implementation of our consistent, long-term strategy. In 2009 we continued to develop our marketing in a comprehensive manner focusing on the customer. The awards we received over the past year bear witness to this: the Innovation Prize for our wine weblog TVino and, at the annual mail order business convention, the award ‘Catalogue of the Year’ for the 100th issue of the Hawesko mail order catalogue. We were also ranked among the 6 German companies listed on the stock exchange with the best market orientation by BBDO Consulting and the Department of Innovative Brand Management at the University of Bremen. For the first time in 2009 we gained more than 200,000 new customers in one year and thus further strengthened our basis of trading for the future. 2010 will doubtless bring more challenges, but we believe that we will be able to deal with these from a basis of strength and firm footing. Trading up until now in the new year confirms our view.’
In the fourth quarter of the recently concluded fiscal year (1 October to 31 December 2009), the Hawesko Group increased its sales compared to the figure in the corresponding quarter of the previous year of € 111.4 million by 7.6% to € 119.8 million. The stationary specialist retail segment (Jacques’ Wein-Depot) increased its sales by 2.0% compared to the same quarter in the previous year to € 38.0 million; on a like-for-like basis this corresponds to an increase of 1.2%. At the end of fiscal year 2009 there were 272 depots (end of the previous year: 271). Over the course of the year, four new depots were opened. As part of the continuous adaptation of the network to the customer structure, three depots were closed and four moved to new locations. Sales of the mail order segment increased in the fourth quarter by 5.5% from € 32.9 million to € 34.8 million. After four consecutive quarters of negative development, the wholesale segment once again increased its sales in the quarter under review, by 14.2% to € 47.0 million. This was due primarily to two circumstances: first, a certain recovery in the sales of Bordeaux wines of older vintages in the fourth quarter; this business had come practically to a complete stop due to the global financial crisis. Second, our new Swiss subsidiary GlobalWine AG, which has been consolidated from 1 July 2009, contributed € 1.6 million to quarterly sales. According to preliminary calculations, the consolidated EBIT in the final quarter of 2009 amounted to € 12.9 million (same quarter in the previous year: € 13.5 million) and broke down as follows: specialist retail € 5.5 million (same quarter in the previous year: likewise € 5.5 million), mail order € 4.4 million (€ 4.8 million), wholesale € 4.1 million (€ 4.0 million); headquarter costs totalled € 1.2 million (€ 0.9 million). A non-recurring financial expenditure of € 1.8 million was incurred due to the utilisation of approved capital by the management and supervisory boards for the issuance of 139,000 new Hawesko shares (without dividend rights for fiscal year 2009) by way of a capital increase for a contribution-in-kind of limited-partner (minority) shares of a subsidiary in the wholesale segment.
Hawesko Holding AG is a leading supplier of premium wines and champagnes. In fiscal year 2009 the Group achieved sales of € 339 million through their three sales channels – specialist wine retail (Jacques’ Wein-Depot), wholesale (Wein Wolf und CWD Champagner- und Wein-Distributionsgesellschaft) and mail order (in particular Hanseatisches Wein- und Sekt-Kontor). The Group employs 656 people. The shares of Hawesko Holding AG are listed on the Hanseatic Stock Exchange in Hamburg as well as in the prime standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.