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Sixt records outstanding fiscal year 2017, both for revenue and earnings - further profitable growth through focus on internationalisation and market launch of an innovative mobility platform
• Consolidated pre-tax earnings grow disproportionally, up by 31.6% to EUR 287.3 million – operating return on revenue climbs to record figure of 12.4%
• USA records around EUR 322 million revenue and positive earnings contribution – Sixt already number 4 in the US market
• Successful expansion in Italy with 21 company-owned stations already set up in first year
• Substantial dividend increase: Shareholders to receive EUR 4.00 per ordinary share and EUR 4.02 per preference share for 2017, in each case including a special dividend of EUR 2.05 per share
• Market start of new Sixt mobility platform gearing up for launch
• Consolidated revenue and earnings are expected to increase further in 2018
Sixt looks back on an outstanding fiscal year 2017, which saw all-high record figures for revenue and profitability as well as key strategic progress. Consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to EUR 287.3 million, some 31.6% higher than the previous year's figure and significantly above the original expectations. Thanks to growth across the board at home and abroad, operating consolidated revenue climbed 8.7% to EUR 2.31 billion. Shareholders of the international mobility service provider are set to benefit from this business performance and excellent equity capitalisation with a total dividend for fiscal year 2017 of EUR 4.00 per ordinary share (previous year: EUR 1.65) and EUR 4.02 per preference share (previous year: EUR 1.67). This includes a special dividend of EUR 2.05 per share for both share classes. For the current fiscal year, the Managing Board expects to see further gains in revenue and earnings.
Sixt is presenting the preliminary key figures for the Group's annual financial statements for 2017 at the Company's annual press conference in Munich today.
Erich Sixt, CEO of Sixt SE: “2017 was not just another record year for Sixt, but brought a major leap forward. With a pre-tax return on operating revenue of over 12% we underlined our position as one of the world’s most profitable mobility service providers. The positive contribution towards earnings from our business in the USA as well as the highly satisfactory development of our new corporate country Italy demonstrate that for Sixt expansion and growth go hand in hand with profitability. Especially the USA offers our Company enormous growth potential for the coming years. If we utilise it right, the USA will become the single biggest market for Sixt in a few years, even ahead of Germany.”
Successful international expansion continues
For the first time since its market entry in 2011, Sixt's rental business in the USA closed the year with a substantial positive result. This was due to the persistently strong operative growth in the world's biggest vehicle rental market. Thus, operating rental revenue climbed 11% last year to around EUR 322 million, which has already made Sixt the fourth largest car rental company in the USA (source: Auto Rental News). Furthermore, the concentrated focus on the core business at large, fast-growing airport and downtown stations also paid off.
At the end of 2017 Sixt had over 51 stations in the USA. During the current year a new branch office was opened at the airport in San Antonio, Texas with further stations scheduled for New York, the airports of Denver and Salt Lake City as well as Hawaii. Seven of the 20 biggest Sixt stations are already located in the United States.
In Italy, the Company successfully entered the market with its new corporate country structure in 2017. All in all 21 company-owned rental stations were set up during the course of the year. The initial focus was on the larger commercial and holiday destinations in the north of the country. The new subsidiary recorded a revenue and earnings development in 2017 that significantly outperformed expectations. In the current year, expansion will focus on the further development of the station network in the south of the country, with at least five further stations being added by the middle of the year.
Other key corporate countries, such as Spain and France, also generated strong revenue growth in 2017. The total share of foreign business in rental revenue continued to climb, up to 55.4% (2016: 53.3%).
One-stop shopping: Sixt prepares new platform for mobility all from one source
Preparations for the start of a new innovative mobility platform are steaming ahead. In the course of this year Sixt will make its customers a new product offer all from one single source and capable of covering a wide variety of mobility requirements. Such mobility services as carsharing, classic vehicle rental or transfer services, which hitherto had been independent products, will in future all be bundled and integrated under one roof and one brand. For customers this means full flexibility.
Shareholder-friendly dividend policy with special dividend
Subject to the consent of the Supervisory Board, the Managing Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting on 21 June 2018 an increase in the dividend for fiscal year 2017 to EUR 1.95 per ordinary share (previous year: EUR 1.65) and EUR 1.97 per preference share (previous year: EUR 1.67). In addition, there is a special distribution of EUR 2.05 per share for both share classes.
On the basis of this proposal, the total dividend pay-out would increase from EUR 77.8 million in the preceding year to EUR 188.1 million.
Dr. Julian zu Putlitz, CFO of Sixt SE: “Both the planned strong increase in the ordinary dividend and the distribution of the special dividend reflect the Group's excellent equity base. This was further increased significantly as a result of the good earnings performance and the sale of our stake in DriveNow. This enables us to let our shareholders continue to participate very attractively in the Company's success in spite of our ambitious growth plans and the substantial investments in new mobility concepts.”
Key Group figures for fiscal year 2017
• Consolidated operating revenue (excluding revenue from the sale of used leasing vehicles) climbed 8.7% to EUR 2.31 billion (2016: EUR 2.12 billion). This growth is supported by all regions and business units. The key driving factor was the ongoing strong growth in vehicle rentals in Western Europe and the USA.
• The Group's total revenue climbed 7.9% to EUR 2.60 billion (2016: EUR 2.41 billion).
• Rental revenue climbed 10.0% and, as in the preceding years, outperformed market growth to close at EUR 1.69 billion (2016: EUR 1.53 billion). Outside Germany growth was 14.2%, but within Germany, further intensified sales activities also led to ongoing revenue growth of 5.2%, up on an already very high level.
• Operating leasing revenue came to EUR 443.9 million, an increase of 5.6% on the previous year's figure (EUR 420.3 million). The basis for this was the persistently strong increase of the contract portfolio in the Online Retail business field (private and commercial leasing customers).
• Consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT), the Sixt Group’s principal success parameter, gained 31.6% and thus outstripped revenue growth. EBT amounted to EUR 287.3 million (2016: EUR 218.3 million). The operating return on revenue (EBT to consolidated operating revenue) climbed 2.1 percentage points to 12.4% – a record figure in the industry.
• Group profit improved from EUR 156.6 million to EUR 204.4 million, a gain of 30.5%.
Outlook for 2018
For the Vehicle Rental business unit Sixt expects the year 2018 to generate further demand, above all in the dynamic development of foreign operations. Extra expenses will be incurred from further expansion measures, such as the extension of the station network in selected countries and the set-up of an integrated mobility platform for Sixt services.
In 2018, the Leasing Business Unit will lay the foundation for medium-term contract and earnings growth, in particular in the Online Retail and Fleet Management business fields, and promote the international orientation. This requires further investments in IT and human resources, which are reflected in its result in the short term. Due to the growing number of leasing contracts, the remarketing of lease vehicles on the used car market is becoming increasingly important.
Keeping in mind the various growth initiatives within the Sixt Group as well as the friendly economic conditions, the Managing Board expects 2018 to show significant growth in consolidated operating revenue over last year. For pre-tax earnings (discounting the gain from the sale of the DriveNow investment) the Managing Board expects a slight increase over 2017, given the exceptionally strong earnings performance in 2017 and the ongoing strong investments in expansionary measures and new services.
Following the completion of the sale of the 50% interest in DriveNow, Sixt Group will generate a pre-tax gain of around EUR 200 million in fiscal year 2018. Alongside this one-time effect on earnings, the Managing Board expects to see no further impact in Group revenue and earnings from the sale of the interest consolidated at equity.
The full consolidated financial statements 2017 of Sixt SE will be published on 27 April 2018.
The most important preliminary figures can be downloaded already today on our website at http://ir.sixt.eu.
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