3U HOLDING AG: Management Board announces preliminary results for 2012, an updated outlook for fiscal year 2013 and a share buyback program

  • Difficult business conditions and missed sale proceeds burden the financial figures for the year 2012
  • Four points target achievement strategy 2013 starts to gain traction
  • New business areas with encouraging dynamics
  • Updated outlook for fiscal year 2013
  • Management and Supervisory Board decide a share buyback program

Marburg, March 16, 2013 – 3U HOLDING AG (ISIN DE0005167902) today released its preliminary financial results for the past year 2012. Group sales of EUR 61.0 million (previous year: 77.3 million), EBITDA of EUR -9.9 million (previous year: 28.5 million) and earnings of EUR -9.4 million (previous year: EUR 26.6 million) were reported for 2012. Compared to the previous year it should be noted that the results of the year 2011 were significantly influenced by the effect of the sale of the subsidiary LambdaNet. The discontinued segment Broadband/IP accounted for EUR 13.9 million in sales, EUR 30.9 million of EBITDA and EUR 28.3 million of earnings.

With regard to the two major segments Telephony and Renewable Energies fiscal year 2012 was strongly influenced by legislative measures. In the segment Telephony this concerns in particular the decisions of the Federal Network Agency for regulation of rates. In the field of renewable energy, the policy-induced uncertainty regarding the future of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) demonstrated specifically in the period from mid-February to mid-June 2012, led to severe impairments.

The most recent decisions of the Federal Network Agency for regulation of rates are expected to account for sales losses of around EUR 5 million for the fiscal year 2013 alone. Also in the field of renewable energies the negative impacts of policy decisions continued at the start of 2013. According to the original plans of 3U HOLDING AG from the beginning of 2012, the solar park in Adelebsen was supposed to be only the first in a series of major projects in the segment Renewable Energies to be realized in 2012 and in subsequent years. For this purpose, several such projects had been identified and developed by the in-house planning capabilities built up over the past 3 years as well as together with an external partner network. The ongoing changes in the legal framework which in particular through the feed-in tariffs have a direct influence on the economics of projects complicate a proper and sustainable planning.

As a consequence of the market developments stated above, the Management Board implemented a Group-wide 4-points target achievement strategy 2013 which includes continuous organizational, operational and strategic actions.

  • The 4-points target achievement strategy 2013 includes the following measures:
  • Cost reduction and margin enhancement program in the segment Telephony
  • Cost optimization and efficiency improvement program in the segment Renewable Energies
  • Acceleration program to launch weclapp; search of a strategic partner
  • Cost stabilization program project development, focusing on external projects

Cost reduction measures have already been initiated or implemented in all loss making areas of the Group in the fourth quarter of 2012. Concomitant, unavoidable staff reductions lead to a reduction in personnel costs in the current year starting from the first quarter of 2013.

Encouraging are the developments in some of the most current companies within the 3U Group. Both Selfio GmbH and ClimaLevel Energiesysteme GmbH were able to exceed their sales targets in 2012 and plan substantial surpluses for 2013. The solar park Adelebsen generates income from the feed-in tariff since August 2012. In the first half of 2013 a substantial reflux of liquid funds is expected from the project, which is currently funded solely with equity. After the completion of the construction of the solar park in the 4th quarter of 2012, the extensive warehouses and storage areas along with a siding track are currently marketed.

In its updated forecast the Management Board of 3U HOLDING AG continues to expect a turnaround in the earnings figures for the fiscal year 2013. Planned are sales between EUR 45 million and EUR 50 million, an EBITDA of between EUR -1.0 and EUR 1.0 million and earnings between EUR -3.0 million and EUR -1.0 million. The forecast for the business year 2014 will be announced with the publication of the Annual Report 2012 on March 28, 2013.

The Management Board with the approval of the Supervisory Board has decided to carry out anew a repurchase of own shares on the stock exchange. The beginning of the repurchase, including further details on the buy-back will be announced separately prior to commencement.