Höft & Wessel achieved 34 percent increase in sales
Return to profit/Order intake doubled/Order portfolio at all-time high/64 percent increase in share price
During first three quarters of the fiscal year 2007 the Höft & Wessel group increased sales by 34 percent to 68.4 (50.9) million Euro. Aggregate output was 74.1 (55.2) million Euro. With earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 1.6 million Euro after -2.7 million Euro Höft & Wessel returned, as expected, to profit. With 128.9 million Euro order intake doubled compared with the previous year of 63.9 million Euro. Order portfolio reached with 120.5 (52.4) million Euro the highest level in almost thirty years of company history.
Assessment is based on successful realization of the international business strategy and the strengthening of sales and marketing coupled with it. At home Höft & Wessel could further develop their good position in the target markets retail (Skeye), transport (Almex) and parking space management (Metric).
Business sector reports
The course of growth in Almex sector is supported by a large-size contract from Deutsche Bahn AG (German Rail) for 3,200 stationary ticket vending machines of the type almex.station. The contract extends over a period of four years and gives a high degree of planning reliability to the business sector. Also üstra Hannoversche Verkehrsbetriebe (Public Transport Hanover) decided in favour of this product and will install ticket vending machines amounting to 8.2 million Euro at their stops. Contracts were also awarded by transport services in Augsburg and Stuttgart against well-known, international competitors. Concerning the large-size project of bus operating companies in Scotland, the first customer installations of the almex.optima ticket printer according to ITSO standard could be commissioned successfully. The highly complex IT overall solution for the extensive Scottish bus project has started smoothly.
The Skeye section received a large-size order from abroad: the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) of Great Britain will equip their more than 2,000 vehicles with skeye.pad XSL appliances, in order to improve breakdown service and to train their service team. In the domestic market Skeye could evidence its competence for fully developed solutions in retail by deliveries to the company Gebrüder Schlau, who use the 700 skeye.allegro LS handhelds for ordering and stocktaking in their Hammer-Heimtex branches. Höft & Wessel contribute their innovation potential as member of the "Future Store Initiative" of the Metro group. Within the framework of this project, RFID technology is tested for the first time in practical use in the men’s wear department of the Galeria Kaufhof branch at Essen. As an innovative partner of retail Skeye also turned out on the 8th ECR day (Efficient Consumer Response) in Cologne, where a better co-operation between manufacturers and retail in the sense of cost savings and customer satisfaction was the topic. The importance of the mobile terminal skeye.integral II UHF was demonstrated as a substantial element in value chain.
The UK-subsidiary Metric registers a lively demand concerning the new AURA parking machine, for which further lowering of production cost is going on. At the important Retail Solutions fair Metric presented the AURA version, where contact-less payments can be made via credit card. This additional option was developed at the request of Visa and Mastercard and has also induced Barclaycard to order an appliance for testing it in practical use. In the USA, Metric wants to gain better access to the market and to improve marketing. With David Witts, a longstanding expert of parking industry was won as President of the Metric subsidiary in New Jersey. With his experience, gained at companies like Parkeon, he will lead Metric with the US version of AURA to growth course from 2008 on.
Shares in upward trend
Höft & Wessel is listed in the Prime Standard of the Deutsche Börse (translated: German stock exchange). The share price in floor trade of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange was 3.32 Euro at the beginning of the year (minimum level of the year) and reached its maximum value with 5.44 Euro on 28 September 2007. This corresponds to an increase by 64 percent. The index Technology All Share, which Höft & Wessel as enterprise of the IT field is to be assigned to, rose only by 19 percent in the same period of time. Earnings per share turned with 0.05 (-0.38) Euro into the positive.
METRIC mobility solutions AG
Höft & Wessel AG, Hanover, established by the entrepreneurs of the same name in 1978, has remained an innovative SME to this day. The company, which has been listed on the stock market since 1998, provides enterprises of note in the retail, logistics, transport & traffic sectors with products and solutions optimised to meet customers specific needs: convenient, mobile data recording devices of the Skeye brand, innovative ticket systems under the Almex label and robust car park ticket vending machines from the UK subsidiary, Metric. Well over a third of the Company's workforce of about 500 employees is engaged in research and development. An average of ten per cent of sales revenues is invested in this field each year. Höft & Wessel products are available in Germany as well as in many European markets, and, in line with the company's internationalisation strategy, increasingly also in the U.S.