Annual Report 2016: A good year of significant events

The Schouw & Co. Group had a good year in 2016. The portfolio companies reported good business activity in most market segments. Many of the initiatives and activities undertaken were successful, and the Group upgraded its guidance several times during the year.


Consolidated revenue was up by 14% from DKK 12,566 million in 2015 to DKK 14,369 million in 2016. The increase was due predominantly to the acquisitions of Specma and GPV, which were consolidated from 1 January and 1 April 2016, respectively. Fibertex Nonwovens and the former Hydra-Grene also contributed, while Fibertex Personal Care reported flat revenue and BioMar’s revenue fell slightly despite an increase in volumes sold.

EBIT rose from DKK 831 million in 2015 to DKK 1,038 million in 2016. BioMar and the acquisitions of Specma and GPV were the main drivers of the EBIT improvement. Fibertex Nonwovens and the former Hydra-Grene also contributed, while Fibertex Personal Care reported a moderate decline relative to the very good performance of 2015.


Highlights

Realised in 2016:

  • Revenue rose to DKK 14.4 billion (2015: 12.6) with company acquisitions making positive contributions.
  • EBIT was up 25% to DKK 1,038 million (2015: 831), which was better than expected during the year.
  • Cash flows from operating activities rose to DKK 1,598 million (2015: 1,171).
  • Profit after tax in associates and joint ventures amounted to DKK 566 million (2015: 86), mainly from the sale of shares in Kramp. 
  • Net interest-bearing debt was a net deposit of DKK 1,028 million.
  • High level of business activity: acquisitions of hydraulics company Specma and EMS company GPV, sale of shares in Kramp, sale of Incuba Invest’s shares in Scandinavian Micro Biodevices and a number of substantial capacity-increasing investments in the portfolio companies.
  • Our ROIC improved for the seventh consecutive year, reaching 20.2%, excluding goodwill, and 16.6% when stated including goodwill.


Outlook for 2017
:

  • Healthy activity in most market segments, but in all markets, winning orders is a highly competitive process.
  • Allocating additional resources to prepare portfolio companies for the future.
  • For 2017, we expect revenue of about DKK 15.6 billion and EBIT in the range of DKK 940-1,060 million.  However, consolidated EBIT is expected to be in the upper end of that range.
  • Proposal to increase the dividend for the 2016 financial year by 20% to DKK 12 per share.
      

BioMar

BioMar reported slightly lower revenue, but a considerable EBIT improvement to DKK 581 million (2015: 447) driven by operational improvements and a number of special factors. BioMar expects to increase revenue and improve its core earnings in 2017, but EBIT is expected to be lower than the 2016 figure.


Fibertex Personal Care

Fibertex Personal Care reported flat revenue with a slight drop in EBIT. For 2017, the company expects to grow its revenue and to report EBIT in a range close to the 2016 EBIT.
 

Fibertex Nonwovens

Fibertex Nonwovens reported improvements in both revenue and EBIT. For 2017, the company expects revenue to continue to improve and EBIT to be higher than the 2016 EBIT.
 

Hydra/Specma

Hydra/Specma reported improvements in both revenue and EBIT in its Danish operations and a significant effect from the Specma acquisition. For 2017, the company expects moderate revenue growth and EBIT in a range close to the 2016 EBIT.
 

GPV

GPV reported improvements in both revenue and EBIT. Effective from 1 March 2017, GPV acquired EMS company BHE. The transaction has lifted the 2017 revenue forecast, whereas integration costs are expected to keep EBIT at just below the 2016 EBIT.
 

Statement by Jens Bjerg Sørensen, President of Schouw & Co.:

”The Schouw & Co. Group had a remarkable year in 2016. Achieving a number of milestones while generating EBIT of more than DKK 1 billion and a cash flow from operations of DKK 1.6 billion, Schouw & Co. has built a very strong financial position. We are seeing the positive effects of recent years’ investments in preparing our business for the future, and we have an attractive platform for continuing to grow. However, these strong results and our strong capital structure also bring with them a certain responsibility – and we are confident that we at Schouw & Co. and our portfolio businesses have the potential to continue creating long-term value.

It lies firmly rooted in Schouw & Co.’s DNA for us to think in terms of and invest in long-term opportunities, but we also understand and respect the importance of every single penny and of having the ambition to develop our group in the short term as well. As an international business, at Schouw & Co. we fully accept the responsibility that comes with operating globally. Creating value in a proper and reliable manner always pays off in the long term.   

Long-term investment will also a key factor for Schouw & Co. in 2017, as we expect to allocate additional resources to upgrading organisations and managements. We will be focused on projects involving innovation and future value creation. Even business-to-business industrial players need to think about digitalisation and to be adaptable and ready for change.

Schouw & Co. has a strong, solid platform. We regularly assess attractive investment opportunities involving either our existing portfolio companies or the potential of adding new businesses to the portfolio. Our performance and our capital structure involve a certain responsibility, and we stand well prepared to continue creating long-term value.”


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