VTG AG: Tensions between Russia and Ukraine impair rail logistics
Hamburg headquartered VTG AG has built the basis for a full range-rail service in the year 2014 and increased its business volume again
VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of the leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies in Europe, has built upon the growth it experienced in 2014 and has increased its revenue and results once again. The unaudited figures released on 4 March confirm turnover growth of 4.4 per cent to EUR 818.3 million. Operating profit (EBITDA) rose by a total of 4 per cent, to EUR 191 million. The acquisition of Ahaus Alstätter Eisenbahn Holding AG – AAE will clearly have an effect on VTG’s revenue and results in 2015.
„We have successfully built upon our business in 2014 and, in purchasing AAE, we have taken a considerable strategic step“, explains Dr. Heiko Fischer, CEO of VTG AG. „In the coming months, we will set our focus on integration, develop sector and customer-oriented service packages and bundle our procurement and service activities with the intention of generating significant increases in productivity.“
In 2014, the positive business developments in the Railcar Division were founded in the distribution of numerous new wagons to various customers and good cost management as well as a slight increase in fleet utilization levels. Revenues increased by 3.7 per cent, from EUR 332.9 million to EUR 345.4 million. The EBITDA rose by 7.3 per cent, from EUR 181.1 million to EUR 194.4 million and the utilization levels increased to 91 per cent (previous year: 89.8 per cent).
The European political situation in 2014 was particularly reflected in the results of the Rail Logistics Division. In terms of turnover, in the industrial goods segment, the Rail Logistics Division benefited from consolidating the VTG and Kühne + Nagel rail logistic activities at the start of 2014. However, tensions between Russia and Ukraine almost led to a complete halt of traffic in this region. Import and export flows were also heavily disrupted.
In addition, heavier competition led to sales losses in the liquid goods segment. Correspondingly, contrary to the expectations associated with the joint venture, revenue rose by only 7.9 per cent from EUR 298.4 million to EUR 322 million. Furthermore, the clearly expanded cost structure had a particular impact on the EBITDA which was EUR 4.1 million under the previous year’s EUR 3.8 million, and amounted to EUR -0.2 million in the period under review. The introduction of a new structure and the process optimization measures which are already in place have ensured that the foundations allowing the Rail Logistics Division to make a positive contribution to the company’s net profit in 2015 have already been laid.
In spite of a further decline of prices, the turnover in the Tank Container Logistics Division was almost at the same level as last year and stands at EUR 150.9 million, only 0.9 per cent below last year’s EUR 152.3 million. The EBITDA appears to be much more positive: as a result of one-off investments, it increased by 38.7 per cent, from EUR 9.2 million to EUR 12.8 million.