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#Stabilus: Strong Q3, increases FY guidance


As we had come to expect, Stabilus, the globally leading developer and producer of gas springs and hydraulic dampers, has reported a strong set of Q3 numbers this morning. The company writes that it has successfully completed the third quarter of its fiscal year 2015 (which ends September 30) with strong double digit revenue growth in all markets and business areas.

Revenue of Stabilus S.A. grew from EUR 130.2 million in Q3 FY2014 by 23.2 percent to EUR 160.4 million. In all regions, the group was able to achieve double digit revenue growth: Turnover by Europe based entities increased by 16.2 percent, NAFTA turnover grew – supported by the strong US$ – by 35.1 percent and revenues in the Asia/Pacific and RoW (Rest of World) region rose by 21.5 percent. In terms of markets, the automotive segment continued to be the strongest growth area with a rise in revenues by 28.0 percent, driven by increased demand for the electromechanical lifting system POWERISE, whose sales in the period of March to June 2015 grew by 58.9 percent to EUR 34.8 million. The markets Industrial (+11.7 percent) and Swivel Chair (+22.6 percent) also increased significantly in revenue. In the first nine months of its ongoing fiscal 2015, Stabilus thus posted sales of EUR 453.0 million after EUR 376.1 million in fiscal 2014 (+20.4 percent).

The group was able to transfer the positive development in revenue to their operating results and achieved double digit growth rates in these performance indicators. Adjusted EBITDA rose from EUR 24.5 million in Q3 FY2014 by 12.2 percent to EUR 27.5 million in Q3 FY2015. In the first nine months of fiscal 2015, Stabilus achieved growth in its adjusted EBITDA of 16.8 percent to EUR 79.4 million (9M FY2014: EUR 68.0 million).

At EUR 19.8 million, the adjusted operating result (adjusted EBIT) in Q3 FY2015 stood 10.6 percent above the previous year figure of EUR 17.9 million. In the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal year, the group achieved an adjusted EBIT of EUR 56.9 million after EUR 48.1 million in the previous year period (+18.3 percent). This corresponds to an adjusted EBIT margin of 12.6 percent for the first nine months of fiscal 2015.

The growth of adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBIT was slightly lower in Q3 FY2015 compared to the previous quarters because provisions were increased by EUR 4.1 million in Q3 in unison with the group’s growth.

Q3 result impacted by one-off refinancing effects
On June 16, 2015, Stabilus concluded the premature redemption of its EUR 256 million high yield bond that carried an interest rate of 7.75 percent and put in place a new financing structure consisting of a EUR 270 million Term Loan Facility and a Revolving Credit Facility of EUR 50 million. The new financing reduces the group’s yearly interest payments by EUR 13 million.

In the context of the premature redemption of the high yield bond, derivatives that were embedded in the high yield bond in the volume of EUR 20.9 million were derecognized (non-cash). Furthermore, a contractually agreed prepayment fee in the amount of EUR 9.9 million (cash) was paid to the bondholders. In addition, EUR 4.7 million in transactions costs occurred (cash). Thus, on a non-adjusted basis, Stabilus recorded a result of EUR -25.5 million in Q3 and a result of EUR 2.0 million in the first nine months of fiscal year 2015. To show the group’s operational profit development, in fiscal 2015 Stabilus will also show adjusted results, mainly adjusted by the one-off effects due to the refinancing. The adjusted profit in Q3 FY2015 was recorded at EUR 9.5 million. Adjusted profit for the first nine months of FY 2015 amounted to EUR 41.0 million.

Guidance for FY 2015 increased, full year revenues now expected at EUR 600 million with an unchanged adjusted EBIT margin of 12-13 percent
On the basis of strong product demand in all regions and the continuously strong US$, Stabilus increases its guidance for FY 2015: While previously revenues of EUR 575 to 585 million at an adjusted EBIT margin of 12 to 13 percent were expected, the management now expects revenues of approx. EUR 600 million at an unchanged adjusted EBIT margin of 12 to 13 percent.

Dietmar Siemssen, CEO of Stabilus, said: “In the first nine months of this fiscal year, we achieved double digit growth both in revenue and our operating results in all regions and segments. Our development is especially strong in the Chinese market, where we grew ca. 35% in Q3 compared to the previous year quarter.

Stabilus currently generates approx. 7 percent of its group revenues in China. While the Chinese automobile market as whole is currently cooling off with an expected average yearly growth of approx. 6 percent, the Chinese SUV market – in which an especially large number of gas springs and POWERISE systems are used – is expected to grow at an average yearly rate of approx. 17 percent, according to current forecasts.

Siemssen added: “In the Chinese automobile market, there is a shift in the car mix from sedans to SUVs and Multi-Purpose Vehicles. As the worldwide market leader in our product segment, we will benefit at an above average rate from this development. We experience strong demand for gas springs, dampers and POWERISE systems in China and were able to win important new projects in the third quarter of fiscal 2015. Beginning in 2016, to realize our growth potential in China, next to gas springs for the automotive sector we will start to produce POWERISE systems and products for our Industrial business locally in China in our new Chinese manufacturing plant.”

We are impressed by today’s numbers, the increased guidance and the comments on China. Stabilus is a part of the Nordic Investor portfolio and will continue to be so for a while.

Nordic Investor

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