Lifco AB: Year-End Report 2015

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Lifco AB (STO:LIFCO):

Reporting period January – December

· Net sales increased by 16.2% to MSEK 7,901 (6,802). Organically, net sales grew by 5.7%

· EBITA increased by 22.8% to MSEK 1,186 (966)

· EBITA margin increased to 15.0% (14.2%)

· Profit before tax grew by 41.7% to MSEK 1,082 (763)

· Net profit increased by 44.7% to MSEK 825 (570)

· Earnings per share increased by 44.4% to SEK 8.91 (6.17)

· A dividend per share of SEK 3.00 (2.60) is proposed, corresponding to a total of MSEK 272.5 (236.2)

Reporting period October - December

· Net sales increased by 11.6% to MSEK 2,121 (1,901). Organically, net sales grew by 4.2%

· EBITA increased by 18.0% to MSEK 323 (273)

· EBITA margin increased to 15.2% (14.4%)

· Profit before tax grew by 89.4% to MSEK 288 (152)

· Net profit increased by 113% to MSEK 238 (111)

· Four acquisitions were announced: the dental companies Preventum Partner and Smilodent, endodontic products and Auto-Maskin, which makes marine diesel engine control units

· After the end of the quarter four acquisitions have been announced: the operations of the environmental technology company Redoma Recycling and Dens Esthetix which offers dental prosthetics, a majority interest in the construction materials company Cenika as well as the dental company Praezimed

Summary of financial performance

  TWELVE MONTHS   FOURTH QUARTER
MSEK 2015   2014   change 2015   2014   change
Net sales 7,901 6,802 16.20% 2,121 1,901 11.60%
EBITA 1,186 966 22.80% 323 273 18.00%
EBITA margin 15.00% 14.20% 0.8 15.20% 14.40% 0.8
Profit before tax 1,082 763 41.70% 288 152 89.40%
Net profit 825 570 44.70% 238 111 113%
Earnings per share [1] 8.91 6.17 44.40% 2.58 1.2 115%
Return on capital employed [2] 19.90% 18.80% 1.1 19.90% 18.80% 1.1
Return on capital employed, excl. goodwill [3] 123% 105% 18 123% 105% 18

COMMENTS FROM THE CEO

Sales increased by 16.2% to MSEK 7,901 (6,802) during 2015, driven by sales growth in all three business areas. Sales were positively impacted by organic growth, as well as by acquisitions and changes in exchange rates. Organic growth was particularly strong in the Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions business areas. The market situation was generally good for all business areas.

EBITA increased by 22.8% to MSEK 1,186 (966) during 2015 and the EBITA margin grew by 0.8 percentage points over the same period to 15.0% (14.2%). Earnings per share increased by 44.4% during the year and amounted to SEK 8.91 (6.17). In 2014, the Group's financial performance was affected by IPO-related costs totalling MSEK 110.

The Dental business area exhibited stable development in terms of both sales and profitability in 2015. Profitability in Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions increased significantly during the period April-December following a weak first quarter.

Cash flow was strong in 2015. Net interest-bearing liabilities decreased by MSEK 63 to SEK 1,950 (2,013) million, in spite of Lifco's acquisitions of businesses at a cost of MSEK 573 and total dividends of MSEK 252. This meant that Lifco, at year-end, had the capacity to undertake further acquisitions at a cost of MSEK 3 000 without net debt surpassing three times EBITDA.

During 2015, we announced nine acquisitions: five within Dental, one within Demolition & Tools and three within Systems Solutions and we are delivering on our strategy of investing in market-leading niche businesses with the potential to deliver sustainable profit growth and robust cash flows.

Following the closing of the quarter, we have announced four acquisitions. We have bought the operations in the Swedish environmental technology company Redoma Recycling and the German Dens Esthetix which provides dental prosthetics. We also announced the acquisition of the German dental company Praezimed as well as a majority interest in the Norwegian company Cenika, a leading supplier of low voltage electrical equipment. Cenika has been consolidated in the Relining division, which has subsequently changed its name to Construction Materials.

Fredrik Karlsson

CEO

DEVELOPMENT OF THE GROUP JANUARY – DECEMBER

Sales increased by 16.2% to MSEK 7,901 (6,802), driven mainly by organic growth and acquisitions. Acquisitions accounted for 7.3%, organic growth 5.7% and changes in exchange rates 3.2%. Organic growth was strong in all three business areas.

The acquisitions refer to the German dental company MDH, which was consolidated on 1 April 2014 and thus affected the comparative figures for the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2015 four acquisitions were made, which had an impact on sales and profit in the period April – December. The acquisitions made during the second half of the year have not had any significant impact on the Group’s sales or profit.

EBITA increased by 22.8% to MSEK 1,186 (966) and the EBITA margin was 15.0% (14.2%). EBITA was positively impacted by organic growth, as well as by acquisitions and changes in exchange rates. Changes in exchange rates accounted for 3.0% of the improvement in EBITA. 47% of EBITA for the year was generated in EUR, 29% in SEK, 6% in DKK, 5% in NOK, 4% in GBP, 3% in USD and 6% in other currencies.

Net financial items were MSEK -25 (-43), with the main positive impact coming from lower interest expenses.

Profit before tax increased by 41.7% to MSEK 1,082 (763). Profit for the year was negatively impacted by items related to acquisition costs amounting to MSEK 13. In 2014, the Group's financial performance was affected by IPO-related costs totalling MSEK 110. Net profit increased by 44.7% to MSEK 825 (570).

Average capital employed excluding goodwill increased by just over MSEK 50 from 31 December 2014 to MSEK 966 (916). EBITA in relation to average capital employed excluding goodwill was 123% (105%) at year-end. The improvement was due chiefly to a higher profit and good control of capital employed.

The Group’s net interest-bearing debt decreased by MSEK 63 during the year to MSEK 1,950. The net debt/equity ratio was 0.5 (0.6) at year-end. On 1 April, Lifco issued two bond loans totalling MSEK 1,050, each with a tenor of three years. The loans are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

Cash flow from operating activities improved to MSEK 948 (586) compared with 2014. The higher cash flow was primarily due to improved profit. Cash flow from investing activities was MSEK -664 (-1,361), which is mainly attributable to acquisitions. Cash flow was also affected by the dividends in the amount of MSEK 252 (109).

DEVELOPMENT OF THE GROUP IN THE FOURTH QUARTER

Net sales for the quarter increased by 11.6% to SEK 2,121 (1,901), driven mainly by acquisitions, which contributed 6.1%, and organic growth, which added 4.2%. Changes in exchange rates added 1.3% to sales. The acquisitions undertaken in the first quarter and organic growth both contributed to the strong performance of the Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions business areas.

EBITA increased by 18.0% to MSEK 323 (273) and the EBITA margin rose by 0.8 percentage points to 15.2% (14.4%). All three business areas exhibited two-figure EBITA growth. Exchange rate changes also contributed to the improvement in EBITA for the period, adding 2.8%. Of the quarter's EBITA of MSEK 323, 49% was generated in EUR and DKK.

Net financial items were MSEK -11 (-12).

Profit before tax increased by 89.4% to MSEK 288 (152). The comparison is compromised somewhat by the fact that the Group's financial performance in the fourth quarter of 2014 was affected by IPO-related costs totalling MSEK 96. Net profit increased by 113% to MSEK 238 (111).

Average capital employed excluding goodwill at year-end saw, essentially, no change compared with 30 September 2015, amounting to MSEK 966 (964). EBITA in relation to average capital employed excluding goodwill was 123% at year-end, compared with 118% on 30 September 2015. The improvement was due chiefly to a higher profit and good control of capital employed.

The Group’s net interest-bearing debt decreased by MSEK 288 between 30 September 2015 and year-end, to MSEK 1,950. The net debt/equity ratio was 0.5 at the end of the quarter, which was an improvement of 0.1 percentage point from 30 September. At the end of the period, 75% of the Group’s interest-bearing liabilities were denominated in EUR.

Cash flow from operating activities during the quarter increased tremendously compared with the same period during the previous year to MSEK 338 (116). Cash flow from investing activities totalled MSEK -94 (-28).

The change is mainly attributable to the acquisitions undertaken in the fourth quarter.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE – BUSINESS AREAS

Dental

  TWELVE MONTHS   FOURTH QUARTER
MSEK 2015   2014   change 2015   2014   change
Net sales 3,435 3,266 5.20% 922 918 0.40%
EBITA 614 543 13.00% 165 149 10.30%
EBITA margin 17.90% 16.60% 1.3 17.90% 16.30% 1.6

The companies in the Dental business area are leading suppliers of consumables, equipment and technical services for dentists across Europe. Lifco sells dental technology to dentists in the Nordic countries and Germany, and develops and sells medical record systems in Denmark and Sweden. A number of small manufacturing companies are also included in the business area, which produce such items as disinfectant fluids and saliva ejectors.

Dental’s sales increased by 5.2% to MSEK 3,435 (3,266) in 2015, boosted by the acquisition of MDH of Germany, which was consolidated as of 1 April 2014, and the acquisitions of Top Dental, J.H. Orsing, Smilodent and Preventum Partner in 2015. As of the second quarter of this year, the MDH acquisition thus no longer affects comparisons. Sales growth remained stable in all regions during the year. In the fourth quarter, sales increased by 0.4% compared with the corresponding period in the previous year, to MSEK 922. Sales were negatively impacted by the sale of NETdental in June 2015.

EBITA improved by 13.0 % to MSEK 614 (543) in 2015 and the EBITA margin increased to 17.9% (16.6%) in the same period, with the acquisition of MDH positively impacting these figures. EBITA increased by 10.3% compared with the same quarter during the previous year, while the EBITA margin increased from 16.3% to 17.9%.

The dental market is generally stable. The results for individual companies in Lifco’s Dental business may, in any individual quarter, be influenced by significant fluctuations in exchange rates, calendar effects (such as Easter), won or lost consumables contracts in procurements for the public sector or major private sector customers, as well as fluctuations in the delivery of equipment. No individual events took place during the year that had any substantial impact on the financial performance of the Dental group as a whole.

Lifco announced three acquisitions within Dental during the fourth quarter. Smilodent was acquired which imports dental technology work which is sold to dentists in Germany. The company had sales of approximately MEUR 4.8 in 2014 and has around 20 employees. Preventum Partner was also bought and provides accountancy services and quality assurance systems to dentists in Sweden. Preventum had sales of approximately MSEK 10 in 2014 and has around 10 employees. Nordiska Dental's endodontic products, accounting for sales of around MSEK 10, were also acquired. The most significant trademark, Calasept, is a product used by dentists in the cleaning of root canals. The products are offered for sale primarily in Europe, Russia and the USA. The endodontic products were consolidated as of January 2016. Both Smilodent and Preventum Partner were consolidated as of November 2015.

After the end of the quarter, the acquisitions of the operation of Dens Esthetix which provides dental prosthetics and the dental company Praezimed have been announced. Both operations are based in Germany. Dens Esthetix had net sales of approximately 1.4 MEUR in 2015. Praezimed is servicing and repairing dental instruments used by dentists and dental laboratories. Praezimed had net sales of approximately 2.5 MEUR in 2015 and has around 15 employees.

Demolition & Tools

  TWELVE MONTHS   FOURTH QUARTER
MSEK 2015   2014   change 2015   2014   change
Net sales 1,574 1,289 22.10% 436 354 22.80%
EBITA 396 288 37.50% 123 92 33.60%
EBITA margin 25.10% 22.30% 2.8 28.20% 25.90% 2.3

Demolition & Tools develops, manufactures and sells equipment for the construction and demolition industry. Lifco is the world’s leading supplier of demolition robots and crane attachments. The Company is also one of the leading global suppliers of excavator attachments. The operations are divided into two divisions – Demolition Robots and Crane & Excavator Attachments – which are of roughly equal size in terms of sales.

Sales increased by 22.1% to MSEK 1,574 (1,289). The market situation was generally good and sales increased in the majority of markets. The UK experienced the most substantial growth among the major markets.

EBITA increased by 37.5% compared with the previous year, to MSEK 396 (288). The EBITA margin improved by 2.8 percentage points, to 25.1% (22.3%). EBITA in the fourth quarter was MSEK 123 (92) and the EBITA margin was 28.2% (25.9%). Lifco works continuously to improve its product portfolios, strengthen its distribution systems and improve productivity in the Group’s companies. The impact of such measures on profit will fluctuate from one quarter to the next, however.

The British company Auger Torque, whose products include earth drills, was acquired during the first quarter of 2015 and was consolidated as of March. Auger Torque introduced a new product segment to the Crane & Excavator Attachments division, as well as access to additional distribution channels, most significantly in the UK, Australia, the USA and China.

Systems Solutions

  TWELVE MONTHS   FOURTH QUARTER
MSEK 2015   2014   change 2015   2014   change
Net sales 2,892 2,247 28.70% 763 628 21.60%
EBITA 263 211 25.00% 59 54 10.20%
EBITA margin 9.10% 9.40% -0.3 7.70% 8.50% -0.8

Through its operating entities, Systems Solutions is active in industries offering systems solutions. Systems Solutions is divided into five divisions: Interiors for Service Vehicles, Contract Manufacturing, Environmental Technology, Sawmill Equipment, and Relining (renovation of sewage pipes). The divisions are leading players in their geographic markets. Following the acquisition of Cenika in January 2016, Relining has changed its name to Construction Materials.

Sales in Systems Solutions increased by 28.7% to MSEK 2,892 (2,247) during the year. All divisions, with the exception of Construction Materials, saw increased sales in 2015. In the fourth quarter, sales increased by 21.6% compared with the corresponding period in the previous year.

EBITA increased by 25.0% during 2015 compared with the previous year, to MSEK 263 (211). Profit within all divisions, with the exceptions of Contract Manufacturing and Construction Materials, was either improved or unchanged during the period. EBITA increased by 10.2% during the quarter compared with the corresponding period in the previous year. The EBITA margin for the year was 9.1% (9.4%). Lifco works continuously to improve its product portfolios, strengthen its distribution systems and improve productivity in the Group’s companies. The impact of such measures on profit will fluctuate from one quarter to the next, however.

Interiors for Service Vehicles grew both in terms of sales and profitability during 2015 thanks to increased sales activities and an improved product range. The EBITA margin is not yet completely satisfactory, however. In the first quarter of 2015, Lifco acquired Sanistål’s Danish car interior business, making Lifco the leading supplier of interiors for service vehicles in the Danish market. Sanistål was consolidated as of February 2015.

Contract Manufacturing had a weak start and end to the year, which resulted in a somewhat lower profit level, but the market situation remained stable. The division’s customers include world-leading manufacturers of equipment for the pharmaceutical industry as well as manufacturers of railway equipment, which require a high standard of quality as regards delivery flexibility and documentation. The acquisition of Norwegian Auto-Maskin, a supplier of marine diesel engine control units, was announced at the end of December. Auto-Maskin was consolidated as of January 2016.

Environmental Technology had a good 2015, driven mainly by the acquisition of Rapid Granulator, a leading global supplier of granulators for plastic production waste. Rapid Granulator was consolidated as of March 2015. Following the closing of the quarter, Lifco has announced the acquisition of the operations in Redoma Recycling. Redoma Recycling is a Swedish company specialising in the development and manufacture of recycling machinery for small and medium-sized cables. Redoma Recycling's sales amounted to approximately MSEK 25 in 2015. The operations were consolidated as of January 2016.

Sawmill Equipment achieved good sales growth in 2015. However, one of the division’s ongoing projects was hit by cost increases, which had a negative impact on profit. Despite this, the division achieved strong profit growth during the year. Sales of pellet systems were particularly strong and the division has attained a leading position in the Nordic, Baltic and Russian markets.

Construction Materials' (formerly Relining) development remained unsatisfactory in 2015 due to lower margins and weak productivity in certain projects. Sales remained stable, however. Following the closing of the quarter, Lifco has signed an agreement to acquire the majority of the Norwegian company Cenika, a leading supplier of low voltage electrical equipment. Cenika's sales amounted to approximately MNOK 160 in 2015. Cenika will be consolidated as of February 2016.

ACQUISITIONS AND SALES 2015

Lifco has announced the following acquisitions and sales during the year:

Consolidated as of   Acquisitions   Business area   Sales   Employees
Feb-15 Sanistål’s Danish car interior business Systems Solutions MDKK 25 11
Mar-15 Auger Torque Demolition & Tools MGBP 10 114
Rapid Granulator Systems Solutions MSEK 300 139  
Apr-15 Top Dental Dental MGBP 3.4 25
Aug-15 J.H. Orsing Dental MSEK 20 9
Nov-15 Preventum Partner Dental MSEK 10 10
Smilodent Dental MEUR 4.8 20  
Jan-16 Auto-Maskin Systems Solutions MNOK 130 65
Jan-16 Endodontic products Dental MSEK 10 -
Consolidated until Sales Previous business area Sales Employees
Jun-15 All shares in NETdental. Lifco owned 65% of the shares. Dental MSEK 140 13

Further information on the acquisitions is provided on page 17 of the interim report. The figures presented for sales and number of employees refer to the estimated annual sales and the number of employees at the acquisition date.

OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Employees

The average number of employees in 2015 was 3,369 (3,013). At the end of the period, there were 3,386 (3,009) employees. During the year, around 330 employees were gained through acquisitions.

Events after the end of the reporting period

Date of announcement   Acquisitions   Business area   Sales   Employees
07-Jan Redoma Recycling Systems Solutions MSEK 25 8
22-Jan Cenika Systems Solutions MNOK 160 30
01-Feb Dens Esthetix Dental MEUR 1.4 14
10-Feb Praezimed Dental MEUR 2.5 15

None of the aforementioned acquisitions are expected to have any material impact on Lifco's profit or financial position during the current year.

Proposed dividend

The Board of Directors and CEO propose that the annual general meeting approve a dividend of SEK 3.00 per share for 2016, amounting to a total of MSEK 272.5. This represents 34% of net profit which is in line with Lifco's dividend policy. The proposed record day is Monday, 16 May 2016. Euroclear expects to distribute the dividend to the shareholders on Thursday, 19 May 2016, pending the annual general meeting’s approval.

Related-party transactions

No significant transactions with related parties took place during the period.

Risks and uncertainties

The risk factors of the greatest significance to Lifco are the competitive landscape, structural changes in the market and the general economic development. Lifco is also exposed to financial risks such as currency risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and counterparty risk.

The Parent Company is affected by the aforementioned risks and uncertainties through its function as owner of the subsidiaries.

Accounting principles

The Lifco Group applies International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as adopted by the EU. The applied accounting principles are consistent with those described in Lifco’s annual report for 2014, which is available at www.lifco.se. This Year-End Report has been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting and the Swedish Annual Accounts Act. The Parent Company applies the Annual Accounts Act and RFR 2, Accounting for legal entities. The application of RFR 2 implies that the Parent Company, in the Year-End Report for the legal entity, applies all IFRS and statements adopted by the EU to the greatest extent possible within the framework of the Annual Accounts Act, the Pension Obligations Vesting Act and with regard to the relationship between accounting and taxation. No new IFRS standards or IFRIC statements have been adopted by the EU which are applicable to Lifco or which have a material impact on the Group's performance or financial position for 2015.

The report has not been reviewed by the Company’s auditors.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AFFIRMATION

The Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer certify that the Year-End Report provides a true and fair view of the Parent Company’s and Group’s operations, financial positions and results and that it describes the significant risks and uncertainties to which the Parent Company and companies included in the Group are exposed.

Enköping, 22 February 2016

    Carl Bennet Chairman of the Board    
Gabriel Danielsson Board Member Ulrika Dellby Board Member       Erik Gabrielson
Board Member
Ulf Grunander Board Member Fredrik Karlsson President and CEO, Board Member Annika Norlund Director, Employee Representative
Johan Stern Deputy Chairman Axel Wachtmeister Board Member Peter Wiberg Deputy Director, Employee Representative

FINANCIAL CALENDAR

The annual report for 2015 will be published on 8 April 2016.

The report for the first quarter of 2016 will be published on 12 May 2016 at 11:00am.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at 3pm. on 12 May at Bonnierhuset, Torsgatan 21, Stockholm.

The report for the second quarter of 2016 will be published on 15 July 2016.

The report for the third quarter of 2016 will be published on 25 October 2016.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting of Lifco AB will be held at 3pm. on Thursday 12 May 2016 in Bonnierhuset, Torsgatan 21, Stockholm. Shareholders wishing to add an item to the agenda at the AGM on 12 May 2016 may do so by submitting their proposal to the Chairman of Lifco by email: ir@lifco.se or by post to: Lifco AB, F.A.O: Bolagsstämmoärenden, Verkmästaregatan 1, SE-745 85 Enköping, Sweden. To ensure their inclusion in the notice and thus on the agenda for the AGM, proposals must be received by the Company no later than 11 March 2016.

NOMINATION COMMITTEE

The Nomination Committee for the annual general meeting 2016 consists of Carl Bennet, Carl Bennet AB, Anna-Karin Celsing, representative for minority shareholders, Per Colleen, AP4, Hans Hedström, Carnegie Fonder, Marianne Nilsson, Robur Swedbank Fonder AB and Adam Nyström, Didner & Gerge fonder. Carl Bennet is Chairman of the Nomination Committee.

Shareholders wishing to present a proposal to the Nomination Committee prior to the annual general meeting 2016 may do so by sending an email to ir@lifco.se or by post to: Lifco, F.A.O: Valberedningen, Verkmästaregatan 1, SE-745 85 Enköping, Sweden.

TELECONFERENCE

Media representatives and analysts are welcome to join a teleconference in which CEO Fredrik Karlsson CFO Therése Hoffman and Head of Business Area Dental Per Waldemarson will present the Year-End Report. The presentation is expected to last approximately 20 minutes, after which there will be the opportunity to ask questions.

Time and date: 3pm. on Monday, 22 February

Link to the presentation:

http://cloud.magneetto.com/wonderland/2016_0222_Lifco/view (https://webmail.lifco.se/owa/redir.aspx?C=s3i5YFapY02OcDshKr1ZuPW56cF-LNNIiSeScgZ-K9N-JAp7rgs_jBCkIWPtfD14xy3RQNjEagQ.&URL=http://cloud.magneetto.com/wonderland/2016_0222_Lifco/view)

Telephone numbers:

Sweden +46 8 566 426 90

UK +44 203 008 98 01

USA +1 646 722 48 97

LIFCO IN BRIEF

Lifco acquires and develops market-leading niche businesses with the potential to deliver sustainable profit growth and robust cash flows. The Group has three business areas: Dental, Demolition & Tools and Systems Solutions. Lifco is guided by a clear philosophy centred on long-term growth, a focus on profitability and a strongly decentralised organisation. The Lifco Group comprises 133 companies in 28 countries. In 2015 the Group reported EBITA of MSEK 1,186 on sales of around BSEK 7.9, with an EBITA margin of 15.0%. Read more at www.lifco.se

This information has been released at 11:30am. on Monday, 22 February in accordance with the Swedish Securities Market Act, the Swedish Financial Instruments Trading Act and/or the regulations of Nasdaq Stockholm.

[1] (http://file:///C:/Users/Admin/Documents/Klienter/Lifco/Rapporter/Q415/Year-End%20Report%202015.docx#_ftnref1) Attributable to shareholders in the Parent Company

[2] (http://file:///C:/Users/Admin/Documents/Klienter/Lifco/Rapporter/Q415/Year-End%20Report%202015.docx#_ftnref2) Rolling twelve months

[3] (http://file:///C:/Users/Admin/Documents/Klienter/Lifco/Rapporter/Q415/Year-End%20Report%202015.docx#_ftnref3) Rolling twelve months

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Contacts

Lifco AB
Media and investor relations
Åse Lindskog
ir@lifco.se
tel: +46 (0) 730 24 48 72

Contacts

Lifco AB
Media and investor relations
Åse Lindskog
ir@lifco.se
tel: +46 (0) 730 24 48 72