RHI Announces Preliminary 2015 Results
Based on the preliminary, unaudited figures, the RHI Group concluded the financial year 2015 with revenue of roughly €1,752 million (approximately $1,953 million) and operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of roughly €124 million (~ $138.2 million), despite a difficult market environment in the customer industries. The continuing decline in fused magnesia prices in China required a complete write-down of assets amounting to roughly €23 million (~ $25.6 million) for the plant in Porsgrunn, Norway, despite further progress in operations. The reduced production volume should continue to improve the earnings situation as lower-grade qualities that have dropped in price are purchased from China.
The production of fused cast products for the glass industry is associated with high fixed costs, which in combination with the low capacity utilization weigh on the margins. This required a complete write-down of existing assets of roughly €8 million (~ $8.9 million) for the U.S. plant in Falconer. In 2015, several future concepts were developed for the plant, and the management board decided to initiate a structured selling process. As part of the plant concept, the management board of RHI AG decided to concentrate the activities of the two Scottish plants for isostatically pressed products at the Bonnybridge site. The Clydebank plant will be closed by the end of 2016. This measure will improve the competitiveness of production in Scotland, but required restructuring expenses amounting to roughly €3 million (~ $3.3 million).
The negative non-cash one-off effects of €34 million (~ $37.9 million) are offset by positive effects of roughly €6 million (~ $6.6 million) from the reversal of provisions following the sale of the premises at the site in Duisburg, Germany, as well as lower closure costs at the site in Kretz, Germany. Hence, EBIT of the year 2015 amounts to roughly €96 million (~ $107 million). The strong free cash flow of roughly €128 million (~ $142.6 million), of which roughly €53 million (~ $59 million) was generated in the fourth quarter of 2015, led to a significant reduction of net debt in the past financial year, which amounted to roughly €398 million (~ $443.6 million) by the year’s end. The board reportedly intends to propose a dividend of €0.75 (~ $0.83) to the annual general meeting on May 4, 2016. This equals the dividend payment of last year.
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