V-ZUG Holding AG

  • ISIN: CH0542483745
  • Land: Schweiz

Nachricht vom 17.03.2021 | 07:00

V-ZUG Group significantly increases net sales and operating result compared to the previous year

V-ZUG Holding AG / Key word(s): Annual Results

17-March-2021 / 07:00 CET/CEST
Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


Zug, 17 March 2021 - The V-ZUG Group grew by 4.7% in 2020 (5.2% adjusted for currency effects). Net sales in 2020 amounted to CHF 569.4 million (previous year CHF 543.6 million). At CHF 49.2 million, the operating result (EBIT) was significantly higher than in the previous year (CHF 29.6 million - adjusted for special effects in connection with a provision for soil remediation work: CHF 32.7 million). V-ZUG was able to achieve this positive result in a challenging environment characterized by the Covid-19 pandemic, with lower expenditure for customer events and trade fairs on the one hand, and more significant operational challenges on the other hand and as well as against the backdrop of continuing far-reaching transformation projects. V-ZUG is defending its leading position in Switzerland and is also growing strongly in international markets. Since 2020, V-ZUG's production has been CO2-neutral at all its sites.

In 2020, the V-ZUG Group generated a cash flow from operating activities of CHF 99.4 million (previous year CHF 37.7 million) and a free cash flow (after investing activities) of CHF 42.0 million (previous year CHF -31.2 million). The equity ratio was 70.9% as per 31 December 2020.

The start of the financial year 2021 bodes well for the V-ZUG Group. In the first half-year, it expects progress to significantly outperform that of last year. Due to the uncertainties for the second half of the year - particularly with regard to the further course of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing raw material prices and volatile currency exchange rates - the V-ZUG Group refrains from providing a further outlook.

 

Last summer, after many years as part of the Metall Zug Group, the V-ZUG Group embarked upon a journey towards independence. On 25 June 2020, the shares of V-ZUG Holding AG were traded on SIX Swiss Exchange for the first time. Metall Zug AG retains around 30% of V-ZUG Holding AG shares as a strategic shareholding. The share price opened at CHF 72.00, and stood at CHF 88.30 at the end of the financial year 2020, significantly above the issue price. From the Board of Directors' and the Executive Committee's perspective, the listing was a success.

 

Significantly improved operating result

V-ZUG Group's net sales rose compared with 2019, standing at CHF 569.4 million (previous year CHF 543.6 million). At CHF 49.2 million, the operating result (EBIT) was significantly higher than the previous year (CHF 29.6 million, resp. CHF 32.7 million when adjusted for the provision for soil remediation work). And in terms of operational productivity as measured by the EBITDA margin, there was an increase from 10.5% in the previous year to 14.0% in the  financial year 2020. One-time savings in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, such as fewer marketing activities, influenced this result by approx. CHF 5 million. The V-ZUG Group is well on the way to meeting its target of a double-digit EBIT margin in the medium term.

 

In 2020, the V-ZUG Group's cash flow from operating activities amounted to CHF 99.4 million (previous year: CHF 37.7 million), and free cash flow (after investment activities) totalled CHF 42.0 million (previous year: CHF -31.2 million). The equity ratio stood at 70.9% on 31 December 2020. The positive business performance in 2020 and the capital increase generated by Metall Zug AG as part of the spin-off led to a further strengthening of the balance sheet and made it possible to finance extensive investments in products, markets, digitalization initiatives and the production sites at Zug and Sulgen from the company's own funds. As already communicated at the time of the spin-off, using available financial resources to invest into sustainable grow of the value of the V-ZUG Group is set to continue for the next three years. Therefore, the Board of Directors proposes that no dividend be paid for the financial year 2020.

 

The V-ZUG Group is run in two segments: «Household Appliances» and «Real Estate».

 

Segment Household Appliances

In 2020, the Household Appliances segment posted net sales of CHF 569.4 million (previous year: CHF 543.6 million). At CHF 46.2 million, the operating result (EBIT) was significantly higher than the previous year (CHF 28.3 million). The key figure EBITDA in % of net sales increased from 9.7% in the previous year to 12.7% in the year under review (+300bp).

 

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, sustained demand from a stable real-estate market, in part due to the continuation of construction activity in general, had a positive impact on business, particularly in Switzerland. From early summer onwards and particularly during the fourth quarter, the market for construction equipment was going strong. The delivery capability was maintained at all times during the first and second waves of the pandemic. This was possible not least also due to good supplier relations. V-ZUG was therefore able to defend its leading position in Switzerland despite Covid-19 and profound transformation projects and intends to expand this position in the near future.

 

In the international business, the V-ZUG Group increased net sales in most markets and achieved net sales of CHF 67.4 million in 2020 (previous year: CHF 61.4 million). The own-brand business showed positive progress, with net sales increasing by 41.7% from CHF 37.4 million in the previous year to CHF 53.0 million in the year under review. This encouraging performance was particularly noticeable in the core markets of China, Hong Kong, Australia and Germany, where high growth rates were recorded. Two further ZUGORAMAs were opened in Beijing and Munich, thereby strengthening V-ZUG's position in the premium household appliances sector in these two metropolitan areas. The brand experience offered to customers in the showrooms in Munich was recognized with the 'German Brand Award'. The positive trend in the own-brand business was partially offset by a decline in OEM business in the North American market.

 

Service & Support fulfilled its repair and servicing commitments while taking precautionary measures and succeeded in ensuring customers received a high level of service at all times. The same applies to SIBIRGroup, which is increasingly specializing in the provision of comprehensive all-brand services throughout Switzerland and is reinforcing its position in the market as an independent brand and organization.

 

Nevertheless, the V-ZUG Group is experiencing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in its operations on a daily basis. The strict precautionary measures and employee absences due to quarantining impacted negatively on productivity, particularly in the second half of the year. But the prompt implementation of appropriate precautionary measures enabled V-ZUG to cope well with this challenge. Moreover, the pandemic-related suspension of many sales support measures, such as consultancy in ZUGORAMAs and in customers' homes, led to cost savings throughout the entire year under review. Then again, this may have the effect of diminishing sales in the medium term to a certain extent. Short-time working had to be introduced for 60 to 80 employees in Switzerland for a two-month period during the first wave of the pandemic. Most office staff have been working from home on and off throughout the year, for several months in total.

 

Segment Real Estate

In 2020, the Real Estate segment posted an operating result (EBIT) of CHF 3.7 million - an increase of CHF 2.4 million compared with the previous year. It should be noted that provisions of CHF 3.1 million had to be set aside in the previous year for soil remediation work and in the year under review a value adjustment of CHF 0.5 million had to be made for a building to be demolished in connection with the construction of the new vertical factory in Zug.

 

In view of the spin-off of the V-ZUG Group from the Metall Zug Group, the site at Zug was divided up. The cooperation between the two groups of companies is regulated comprehensively in various agreements relating to matters such as site usage and infrastructure, management, mobility, emissions and site return. These agreements are an excellent foundation for a productive collaboration within the Tech Cluster Zug.

 

In August 2020, the completed «Zephyr Hangar» production building was handed over in its entirety. The new press installed on the ground floor had already been commissioned at the beginning of 2020. The new cooking chamber welding system on the second floor is now also operational, and the enamelling coating technology system - another important production facility - will be installed and commissioned in the first half of 2021. Also progressing in line with expectations are the planning and construction of additional buildings for the new vertical factory in Zug and the transformation of production processes from the old production buildings to the new ones. Construction work on the «Zephyr Ost» production facility is due in early 2021.

 

Alongside the site transformation in Zug, construction of the new refrigerator factory in Sulgen progressed in 2020 as planned. By the end of the year, the factory building and all the structural installations were completed. The production equipment will be installed and commissioned during 2021. The relocation of refrigerator production from Arbon to Sulgen will be completed at the beginning of 2022.

 

Strategic projects

During the year under review, work accelerated to complete the development of the new «Excellence Line» range of kitchen appliances. This new line of thermal appliances combines smart functionality and state-of-the-art technology with premium design. The Excellence Line was launched successfully on the Swiss market at the beginning of March 2021. Launches in international markets will follow in a phased approach until Chinese New Year 2022. More information on the new Excellence Line can be found at: https://excellence-line.vzug.com/ch/en

 

Further milestones were achieved in the implementation of the digitalization strategy. The transition to the new ERP system has been completed. The usual optimizations will now be incorporated into the new processes on an ongoing basis.

 

Sustainability

Sustainability is an integral part of the V-ZUG brand and a key pillar of V-ZUG's strategy, and has for many years been rooted in the corporate culture of the V-ZUG Group. The Head of Sustainability has been leading an interdisciplinary project team since 2020, and now reports directly to the CEO to ensure that the defined sustainability measures are implemented in all segments of the V-ZUG Group. These measures are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and follow the «triple bottom line» approach: people, planet and profit.

 

To help customers save energy, V-ZUG has for a long time committed itself to developing energy-saving appliances. The new Adora V6000 dishwasher line with heat pump sets new standards on the market in terms of energy efficiency. The V-ZUG Group relies on sustainable technologies and production methods in all segments. By continually reducing and offsetting, the V-ZUG Group became CO2-neutral at all production sites (scope 1 and 2, plus air travel), for the first time in 2020. With retrospective effect, this has already been the case at the Zug site since 2018 and at the Arbon site since 2019. The sub-assembly production in Changzhou, China, has been CO2-neutral since 2020, meaning that all V-ZUG's Swiss-made appliances were manufactured CO2-neutrally for the first time.

 

Governance

For its new phase as an autonomous company, the V-ZUG Group re-shaped its Board of Directors as part of the stock market listing. Existing Board members Oliver Riemenschneider, President, Prof Dr Annelies Häcki Buhofer and Dr Jürg Werner were joined by Prisca Hafner, Tobias Knechtle and Petra Rumpf. This line-up incorporates a wide range of expertise.

 

Peter Spirig has been heading up the V-ZUG Group as CEO since 1 September 2020. He took over the position from Heinz M. Buhofer, who acted as interim CEO from September 2019 to August 2020. The Executive Committee also saw the addition of Sandra Forster-Bernacchia, the new Director of Human Resources, at the end of November 2020. The management structure will be further modified to reflect changing requirements during 2021, and the Executive Committee will be strengthened by the new role of Chief Marketing Officer with a considerable focus on digitalization. This role will replace the position of Director of Business Development.

 

Outlook

The start of the financial year 2021 bodes well for the V-ZUG Group. In the first half-year, it expects progress to significantly outperform that of last year. Due to the uncertainties for the second half of the year - particularly with regard to the further course of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing raw material prices and volatile currency exchange rates - the V-ZUG Group refrains from providing a further outlook.

 

 

Key figures

in CHF million (except FTE)

 

2020

2019

Change

 

 

 

 

 

Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

569.4

543.6

4.7%

FX adjusted

 

 

 

5.2%

EBITDA

 

79.6

56.9

40%

in % of net sales

 

14.0

10.5

350 bp

Operating result (EBIT)

 

49.2

29.6

66.2%

in % of net sales

 

8.6%

5.4%

320 bp

Group net result

 

43.2

27.3

58.2%

in % of net sales

 

7.6%

5.0%

260 bp

Cash flow from operating and investing activities

 

42.0

-31.2

n/a

Cash and cash equivalents

 

107.7

36.2

197.7%

Total assets

 

554.7

471.7

17.6%

Shareholder's equity

 

393.2

241.6

62.7%

in % of total assets

 

70.9%

51.2%

1970 bp

Number of employees (FTE) as per 31.12.

 

1'999

1'940

3.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Segments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Household Appliances

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

569.4

543.6

4.7%

FX adjusted

 

 

 

5.2%

Operating result (EBIT)

 

46.2

28.3

63.2%

in % of net sales

 

8.1%

5.2%

290 bp

 

 

 

 

 

Real Estate

 

 

 

 

Operating result (EBIT)

 

3.7

1.31)

180.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Contains a provision of CHF 3.1 million for soil remediation.

 

 

About the V-ZUG Group

V-ZUG is Switzerland's leading brand in household appliances and also markets its products in selected premium markets abroad. V-ZUG has been developing and producing kitchen and laundry appliances in Switzerland for over 100 years and offers a comprehensive service in all markets as well. The V-ZUG Group currently employs around 2,000 people.

The holding company V-ZUG Holding AG is listed in the Swiss Reporting Standard of SIX Swiss Exchange in Zurich and represented in the Swiss Performance Index, SPI (securities number 54 248 374, ISIN CH0542483745, ticker symbol VZUG).


Key dates

29 April 2021 Annual general meeting
22 July 2021 Publication of the half-year report
15 March 2022 Publication of the annual report



Additional Information

Adrian Ineichen
Chief Financial Officer
Phone: + 41 58 767 60 03

Patrik Leisi
Head Legal & Compliance / Investor Relations
Phone: + 41 58 767 60 03
 



Legal notes

The expectations expressed in this press release are based on assumptions. Actual results may vary from those anticipated. This press release is published in German and English. The German version is binding. V-ZUG Holding AG processes personal data in accordance with its privacy statement available at www.vzug.com/ch/en/privacystatement.



End of ad hoc announcement

 

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