- Operating Cash flow strongly increased
- EBITDA forecast significantly raised
- Important investment in own Group headquarters
Marburg, 26 August 2009 – Group sales decreased during the first six months of the current business year with 48.4 Mil. € as expected compared with the year before (52.9 Mil. €). The segment fixed line telephony could not avoid the influence of the shrinking call-by-call-market. The segment broad band/IP showed a moderate sales growth in contrast.
Earnings before interest, taxes and write-offs (EBITDA) as well as the net earnings for the period were clearly improved. EBITDA of 6.6 Mil. € in the first six months of 2009 topped EBITDA of the respective comparison period of the year before (5.5 Mil. €) by 18.8%. Earnings improved compared with the corresponding period of the year before by 0.4 Mil. € to 0.3 Mil. € during the first six months in 2009. As a result earnings per share are reported at 0.01 €.
Balance sheet ratios remained highly robust. The equity ratio is now 46.5% as opposed to 44. 9% at 31 December 2008.
Operating cash flow of 4.8 Mil. € was 3.0 Mil. € higher than the first half year 2008.
Due to capital repayments on LambdaNet loans and lease obligations, own-share buy-backs and pre-paid network leases, Group cash and cash-equivalents ended down from 35.5 Mil. € at 31 December 2008 to 32.2 Mil. € at 30 June 2009. Compared to 31 March 2009 this represents an increase of 1.2 Mil. €.
After a positive second quarter for the fixed line telephony segment the EBITDA forecast for this segment is raised by over 3 Mil. € for the second time this year to 7-9 Mil. €. As a result the 3U Group expects sales of around 96 Mil. € and EBITDA of 12-14 Mil. € for the current financial year.
3U HOLDING AG has for some time now identified the renewable energies segment as a business focal point. One particularly promising area thereby is realisation of solar-thermal power plant projects.
Against that background the company has grasped a financially very attractive opportunity to acquire an inexpensive site in Marburg. A new group headquarters building will be constructed there, whereby implementing the concept of solar-thermal power plants (STPP).
The STPP concept entails efficient transformation of solar energy directly into heat and electrical energy. Such a reference project is quasi a conditio sine qua non for a successful bid for a municipal STPP project. The company also plans to build testing and trialling facilities in the area of renewable energies on the site.
Because of the planned low-energy construction method, it will be possible to reduce energy consumption drastically. This will mean not only cost savings for 3U – especially with regard to the uncertainty surrounding future energy costs – but will also be reflected positively in the company’s carbon balance sheet.
The site also offers very flexible options in terms of its use, which will be very helpful in developing new business segments in the area of renewable energies.
“That this investment is also profitable goes without saying. Because of the extremely attractive purchase price and the currently very favourable interest rates, the new corporate headquarters of the 3U Group will be a very attractive investment”, explains Chief Financial Officer Oliver Zimmermann. “With the construction of the new building, associated with implementation of the solar-thermal power plant concept, we are taking a decisive step in demonstrating our competence in the renewable energies field and can combine our strategic interests perfectly with our financial interests,” adds fellow executive board member Michael Schmidt.
Head of Investor Relations
3U HOLDING AG
Tel.: +49 6421 999-1200
Fax: +49 6421 999-1222