• Operating earnings improved in all divisions
• Key figures for the first half of 2013:
- Profit before taxes EUR 451.5 million (adjusted for one-off items: EUR 313.5 million)
- Consolidated net profit EUR 126.2 million (adjusted for one-off items: EUR 100.2 million)
• Guidance 2013 confirmed
• Successful sale of non-core activities
• Reorganization of Europe business going according to plan
The first six months of 2013 went well for HOCHTIEF. The strategy implementation continues as planned accompanied by the disposal of non-core activities. Leighton thus successfully finalized the sale of its telecommunications business in the second quarter. Both the airports and the services transactions are expected to close by no later than the year-end. Restructuring of the Europe business continued to take shape and will bolster the competitiveness of HOCHTIEF for the long term.
"We are well on course to implement our strategy and position HOCHTIEF as a global infrastructure group. This new, strong company, creating sustained value, will benefit our shareholders considerably," said HOCHTIEF CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes, commenting on the developments.
The company’s progress is reflected in its earnings performance. All divisions improved operating earnings. With an order backlog of over EUR 45 billion, the Group also has the equivalent of 18 months in forward orders and every cause to look ahead to the remainder of the fiscal year with unchanged optimism. HOCHTIEF accordingly confirms its guidance for fiscal 2013, which already no longer included any earnings contribution from HOCHTIEF AirPort and now also no longer includes any contribution from the Service Solutions business of HOCHTIEF Solutions sold.
Key figures for the first half of 2013
The positive trend in earnings performance since the start of the year has continued. Operating earnings (EBITA) came to EUR 586.9 million in the period January to June 2013 (H1 2012: EUR 183.8 million). The very substantial rise is due to improved operating earnings in all divisions and also reflects completion of the sale of Leighton’s telecommunications business. This transaction had a EUR 165 million positive impact on earnings. HOCHTIEF likewise improved profit before taxes to EUR 451.5 million (H1 2012: EUR 72.7 million*). Excluding one-off items - i.e., excluding the effect of the sale of the Leighton telecoms business just mentioned and other effects, initial expenditure on restructuring in the HOCHTIEF Europe and HOCHTIEF Americas divisions, and disposal-related costs in the HOCHTIEF Europe division - HOCHTIEF generated profit before taxes of EUR 313.5 million in the first six months. Consolidated net profit amounted to EUR 126.2 million in the first half of 2013 (excluding one-off items: EUR 100.2 million). In the prior-year period, substantial impacts on earnings had resulted in a consolidated net loss of EUR 50.6 million.*
Sales came to EUR 12.61 billion. This marks a 5.0% increase on the same period of 2012 (H1 2012: EUR 12.01 billion). Group work done, at EUR 14.36 billion as of the reporting date, was slightly higher than the prior-year figure (H1 2012: EUR 13.88 billion). The HOCHTIEF Asia Pacific division was on a par with last year. HOCHTIEF Americas generated growth, attaining the highest level of work done in the first half of any fiscal year to date. HOCHTIEF Europe surpassed the comparative figure from 2012. HOCHTIEF’s order backlog, at EUR 45.31 billion as of June 30, 2013, was 14.4% down on the high level at the same point in the previous year (H1 2012: EUR 52.97 billion), largely as a result of negative exchange rate effects (EUR 4.13 billion), mainly relating to the Australian and the US dollar. New orders came to EUR 11.61 billion in the half year ending June 30, 2013, as expected below the figure for the prior-year period (H1 2012: EUR 16.34 billion). The driving factor is a decrease in the HOCHTIEF Asia Pacific division, where orders were affected by changes on resources markets. HOCHTIEF Americas was also down on the prior-year figure. The comparative period of 2012 included large contracts in the roads segment. The HOCHTIEF Europe division outperformed the prior-year period thanks to new orders in Germany and international markets.
Implementation of the new strategy
HOCHTIEF is making successful headway with its restructuring. Some important milestones were reached in the second quarter of 2013.
• The Group’s airport business, held in HOCHTIEF AirPort GmbH, was sold to a subsidiary of Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). The transaction was likewise made with economic effect as of January 1, 2013 and will lead to the deconsolidation of around EUR 1.5 billion of assets, including around EUR 0.4 billion of minority interests. The transaction proceeds will amount to approximately EUR 1.1 billion, subject to closing adjustments. The Group does not expect the sale to have a significant impact on earnings.
• The Service Solutions business under HOCHTIEF Solutions AG, being no longer part of the core business, was sold to SPIE S.A., France, with economic effect as of January 1, 2013. With a selling price of approximately EUR 250 million, subject to closing adjustments, the transaction will have a significant positive one-off impact on earnings.
• In June 2013, Leighton closed the sale, as mentioned above, of majority shareholdings in telecommunications companies Nextgen Networks, Metronode, and Infoplex. The selling price was approximately EUR 475 million.
• The Group seeks strategic partners for its property development activities in Europe, held in the aurelis, HTP, and formart companies and business lines. By teaming up with long-term investors, HOCHTIEF aims to reduce tied-up capital in this segment. Talks are going well.
• The Group will use the sale proceeds to reduce net debt, invest in the core business, and allow shareholders to share adequately in its success. HOCHTIEF is already systematically implementing those goals:
• In June, the HOCHTIEF Executive Board decided on a stock buy-back program for some 5.6% of HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft’s capital stock. The purchases are to be made on the stock exchange.
• HOCHTIEF has also increased its stake in Leighton Holdings Ltd. to 54.96% (as of June 30, 2013) by purchasing around 4.8 million shares. The HOCHTIEF Group further added to its shareholding after the close of the second quarter, taking it up to 56.39% as of July 18, 2013. HOCHTIEF is convinced of its subsidiary’s strength and sees the step as a strategic investment. The increase in the shareholding also represents an investment in the core business: HOCHTIEF and Leighton pursue coordinated, complementary business strategies and work together in a partnership of trust. HOCHTIEF intends to further increase its stake in Leighton.
Other projected strategic measures are currently being implemented systematically: To hone its competitive edge in Europe, the Group is completely reorganizing the business operated by HOCHTIEF Solutions. With leaner structures, the company aims to be more flexible in addressing client needs and requirements. To achieve this, more responsibilities and accountability are being transferred to operational units. Alongside process improvements, this is expected to deliver significant reductions in cost. Throughout the process, HOCHTIEF has the interests of the workforce in mind: All decisions are made in close consultation with employee representative bodies. After successful completion of the restructuring measures, HOCHTIEF currently expects cost savings of EUR 40 million to EUR 60 million per annum. The Group puts the restructuring costs at between EUR 70 million and EUR 90 million.
HOCHTIEF (hochtief.com) continues to expect new orders, work done, and the order backlog to normalize in fiscal 2013.
The increased profit guidance for fiscal 2013 announced in the report for the first quarter is confirmed and now takes into account the sale of the Service Solutions business. For operational earnings, the Group expects profit before taxes of between EUR 580 million and EUR 660 million, and consolidated net profit of between EUR 160 million and EUR 200 million. As before, this guidance does not include the earnings contributions from HOCHTIEF AirPort nor does it include any longer the earnings contributions from the Service Solutions business of HOCHTIEF Solutions now sold. Both transactions are expected to close by year-end with effect from January 1, 2013. The earnings contributions still included in current figures will be deconsolidated then. The pre-divestment operational guidance for the Group’s consolidated profit before taxes of EUR 670-750 million and net profit of EUR 210-250 million remains unchanged. Non-operational effects (such as one-off effects of agreed divestments and costs of restructuring measures) are not included in the Group operational guidance and will have a significant positive net effect on profit before taxes and consolidated net profit in 2013.
*Restated for IAS 19R. For notes on the adjustment, please see pages 18 and 19 of the half-year report.