MM Results for the 1st Half-Year 2015
High capacity utilization and improved productivity considerably contributed to this. Both divisions, cartonboard production and cartonboard processing, succeeded in growing and maintaining the profitability at a good level. With the acquisition of a French folding carton group in the field of packaging for pharmaceuticals and luxury goods, organic and acquisitive growth will continue to complement each other. Given the current order situation, continuity at a good level can be expected for the second half of the year, from today’s perspective.
At EUR 1,069.6 million, the Group's consolidated sales were 3.5 % above the comparative value of the previous year (1st half of 2014: EUR 1,033.1 million). This increase results from the growth in business volumes.
Operating profit was improved by 8.8 % or EUR 7.8 million to EUR 96.5 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 88.7 million). Both divisions contributed significantly to this. The Group's operating margin was at 9.0 % (1st half of 2014: 8.6 %).
With unchanged low interests, financial income of EUR 0.8 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 0.9 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -3.2 million (1st half of 2014: EUR -2.6 million).
Profit before tax rose by 9.8 % to EUR 90.8 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 82.7 million). Income tax expense amounted to EUR 23.6 million following EUR 21.7 million in the comparative period of the previous year, resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 26.0 % (1st half of 2014: 26.2 %).
Profit for the period therefore increased by 10.2 % to EUR 67.2 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 61.0 million).
DEVELOPMENT IN THE SECOND QUARTER
With regards to profit, the second quarter was, as expected, below the first quarter of 2015 however above sales and profit of the comparative period of the previous year.
The cartonboard division recorded again full capacity utilization at 99 % (1Q 2015: 99 %; 2Q 2014: 98 %) and was able to improve the average prices in the course of the quarter. The operating margin reached 8.5 % (1Q 2015: 7.2 %; 2Q 2014: 8.0 %).
In the packaging division, non-recurring expenses of around EUR 3 million related to the site concentration of MM Packaging Austria on the larger plant in Vienna as well as the slightly lower production led to a decrease of the operating margin from 10.7 % in the first quarter of 2015 to 7.9 % (2Q 2014: 7.9 %).
The Group’s operating profit amounted to EUR 45.7 million following EUR 50.8 million in the first quarter of 2015 and EUR 42.5 million in the second quarter of the previous year. Thus, the operating margin was at 8.5 % (1Q 2015: 9.5 %; 2Q 2014: 8.3 %).
The profit for the period totaled EUR 31.7 million (1Q 2015: EUR 35.5 million; 2Q 2014: EUR 28.9 million).
Without any indications for a sustainable upturn, continuity however characterizes the current market environment in Europe. In contrast, emerging markets continue to face weaker economic dynamics.
The order backlog in both divisions remains at an overall good level. Therefore, an ongoing satisfying capacity utilization is expected in the Group also during the second half of the year.
However, with the solid market conditions in Europe, the prices for a number of input factors are gradually increasing. The necessary price adjustment for our products has been implemented. Supported by a wide range of efficiency-raising measures, our aim is to maintain the good level of profitability as best as possible in an unchanged very competitive environment. We will pursue the long-term expansion course riskconsciously as before through organic growth as well as acquisitions.