Blue Cap AG shows solid development in the first half of the year despite economic challenges
_Half-year revenue (continued)(1) at EUR 145.4 million at previous year's level (PY: EUR 145.8 million)
_Adjusted(2) EBITDA (continued) of EUR 11.5 million is, as expected, below the previous year's strong level (PY: EUR 15.8 million)
_The indicative net asset value is EUR 136.2 million or EUR 30.36 per share
_Full year forecast after Uniplast sale confirmed with group revenue of EUR 275-295 million and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 8-9%
Munich, August 22, 2023 Blue Cap AG ("Blue Cap") today confirms the preliminary figures published on July 26 with the half-year report presented. Accordingly, in the first half of the year the group achieved consolidated revenue of EUR 145.4 million on prior-year level (PY: EUR 145.8 million). After a weaker first quarter of the year, adjusted EBITDA in particular improved significantly in the second quarter by 40.2% to EUR 6.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the entire six months was EUR 11.5 million (PY: EUR 15.8 million). This corresponds to a margin of 7.9% (PY: 10.5%) of the adjusted total output. The strong business development of HY-LINE and improvements at H+E supported positively. The decline in earnings compared to the previous year is mainly due to the weaker business at con-pearl as expected after the record year 2022 and at the two companies in the Adhesives & Coatings segment.
Net asset value at EUR 30.36 per share – still solid balance sheet and financing structure
As expected, the indicative net asset value (“NAV”) of EUR 136.2 million or EUR 30.36 per share is below the value as of December 31, 2022 (EUR 160.8 million or EUR 36.58 per share) due to the declining operating figures in the first half of the year. The reduction is largely based on the significant decline in the value of INHECO, which can be attributed to the decrease in revenue and the restructuring program currently undertaken. The weaker business development of the two companies con-pearl and Planatol also led to a devaluation in the respective business segments. The significant increase in value of HY-LINE had the opposite effect.
Blue Cap continues to have a solid balance sheet and financing structure. The net debt ratio (including lease liabilities), for the calculation of which the net inflows from the sale of Uniplast in July 2023 were already taken into account, increased slightly to 2.7 years (December 31, 2022: 2.6) as a result of the decline in EBITDA. However, it is still well within the target of less than 3.5 years
The discontinued operation Uniplast contributed revenue of EUR 26.8 million (PY: EUR 27.5 million) and an adjusted EBITDA of EUR 1.3 million (PY: EUR 1.5 million) in the first half of the year.
Business Services with strong business development
As of June 30, 2023, Blue Cap's continued portfolio includes seven majority holdings, which are allocated to the Plastics, Adhesives & Coatings, Business Services and Others segments, and one minority holding.
In the Plastics segment, the announced decline in orders from a major customer at con-pearl had a noticeable effect compared to the previous year. However, reduced raw material prices and energy costs had an overall positive effect on the EBITDA margin in the second quarter. H+E is above the previous year in terms of both revenue and adjusted EBITDA.
Partially significant demand declines at Neschen and Planatol led to a weaker first half of the year in the Adhesives & Coatings segment compared to the previous year. At Neschen, this particularly affected the area of Industrial Applications, at Planatol the areas of wood adhesives and furniture. Compared to the first quarter of 2023, however, significant improvements can be seen at Neschen, which result from the fitness program that has been running since the beginning of the year.
The Business Services segment significantly expanded its revenue and earnings in the first half of the year. HY-LINE continued to benefit from a high order backlog and a very good ability to deliver. Transline also developed very positively, especially in the second quarter. On the one hand, this is due to the increasing momentum in the language services industry. On the other hand, the successfully implemented cost-efficiency measures had a positive effect on the development of earnings. The segment, new since 2021, generates a significant part of the group's earnings. This visibly confirms the strategy of portfolio diversification.
In the Others segment, the smallest participation of Blue Cap, nokra, was below the previous year due to project postponements. At the minority holding INHECO, a noticeable drop in demand dampened revenue whilst higher costs compared to the previous year due to expansion investments affected earnings.
Segment key figures (continued) at a glance
|EUR m||H1 2023||H1 2022||Changes in % or in basis points (bps)|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin in %||11.7%||16.0%||>100 bps|
|Adhesives & Coatings|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin in %||3.3%||6.3%||>100 bps|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin in %||9.6%||9.3%||30 bps|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin in %||-3.0%||-1.6%||>100 bps|
Note: rounding differences are possible
(*) The Others segment includes nokra, the Group's holding and real estate management companies, and Gämmerler already sold in FY 2022
Forecast for 2023 confirmed: further transformation measures are to support operating performance in the second half of the year
“Operationally, we are continuing the transformation across the entire portfolio. After the measures to secure earnings that have already been successfully implemented in the first six months, in the second half of the year we concentrate on strengthening the basis for value-oriented growth with further measures in order to be able to benefit more from a possible market recovery in the individual segments in the medium term," says Tobias Hoffmann-Becking, CEO of Blue Cap AG. The Management Board confirms its annual forecast of July 26, 2023. Accordingly, group revenue for the continued operations are expected to be EUR 275-295 million and the adjusted EBITDA margin to be 8-9%.
In the medium term, Blue Cap foresees substantial growth and earnings potential for all portfolio companies and accordingly considers the net asset value per share for the group at EUR 55 by the end of 2025 to be achievable.
The half-year report is available for download in the internet on the website www.blue-cap.de in the investor relations area. Direct link see below.
(1) Due to the sale of Uniplast on June 14, 2023, Uniplast's contributions in the current year as in the previous year are summarized under discontinued operations. The continued operations therefore include all portfolio companies except for Knauer-Uniplast Group. The information in this press release, including information on the prior-year periods, always relates to continued operations unless otherwise noted.
(2) Adjustments: Adjusted for extraordinary, out-of-period and other effects from reorganisation measures and one-off effects as well as for effects arising from purchase price allocations.