Maintal/Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 24-May-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The shareholders of NORMA Group, a global market leader in engineered joining technology, have approved a dividend of EUR 0.95 per share (2015: EUR 0.90) by a large majority. This was the result of today’s Annual General Meeting in Frankfurt am Main. The total dividend is around EUR 30.3 million (2015: EUR 28.7 million). This equates to a distribution rate of 32.0 percent as measured by the adjusted consolidated net profit for 2016 (2015: 32.3 percent). Since its IPO in 2011, NORMA Group has increased its dividend for the fifth year in a row and kept to its sustainable dividend policy of a dividend rate of 30 to 35 percent.
“We had to adjust the forecast for our organic growth slightly downwards in November 2016 due to the persistently weak demand for commercial vehicles and agricultural machines in the US,” said Werner Deggim, CEO of NORMA Group. “At the end of fiscal year 2016, we achieved organic sales growth of 0.9 percent, which was within our adjusted forecast from November. At the same time, we maintained our profitability and increased our earnings per share. We’re pleased that our shareholders can partake in this development in the form of an increased dividend.”
Slight growth in 2016
In fiscal year 2016, NORMA Group increased its sales by 0.6 percent to EUR 894.9 million (2015: EUR 889.6 million). Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of intangible assets (adjusted EBITA) improved by 0.8 percent to EUR 157.5 million (2015: EUR 156.3 million). The adjusted EBITA margin remained constant at 17.6 percent (2015: 17.6 percent).
“The year 2016 once again showed us that our strategy of geographic and sectoral diversification is paying off. Our latest acquisitions of Autoline and Lifial also contribute to this broad foundation. As a result of the continuous expansion of our portfolio through acquisitions, as well as through our own development of product innovations, we are able to leverage current and future trends for our ongoing growth,” said Werner Deggim.
Share price rises again
The difficult economic situation in fiscal year 2016 also had an impact on the share price. It fell by 20.7 percent during the year. The comparative index MDax achieved a slight gain of 6.8 percent over the same period. “The price of the NORMA Group share developed weaker than the overall market in 2016. This was mainly due to how the US business developed and the corresponding correction of our sales forecast in November. Since then, the share has risen again by around a third,” said Werner Deggim.
Good start to fiscal year 2017
In the first quarter of 2017, NORMA Group generated strong sales of EUR 254.9 million, an increase of 12.5 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Organic growth was 4.6 percent, supplemented by growth from acquisitions of 6.5 percent. Currency effects contributed positively to sales growth at 1.4 percent. Adjusted EBITA rose by 12.2 percent between January and March 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year to EUR 45.0 million, while the adjusted EBITA margin remained at a sustained high level of 17.7 percent.
“In light of the good results in the first quarter of 2017, we can confirm our forecast for the full 2017 fiscal year. We expect sales in 2017 to show moderate organic growth of 1 to 3 percent compared to 2016,” said Werner Deggim. “In addition, we expect revenues from the acquisitions of Autoline and Lifial to total approximately EUR 45 million.” Another objective is to achieve a sustained adjusted EBITA margin at the previous years’ level of over 17 percent (2016: 17.6 percent, 2015: 17.6 percent, 2014: 17.5 percent.
SOURCE: NORMA Group
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