DGAP-News: RATIONAL AG / Key word(s): Annual Report
24.03.2022 / 07:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Rational AG in fiscal year 2021: sales revenues up by 20 percent to 780 million euros - EBIT margin of 20.5 percent
- Sales revenues of 780 million euros - up 20 percent
- EBIT of 160 million euros - EBIT margin of 20.5 percent
- Shortages of materials weigh on fourth quarter
- Positive outlook for the future
Landsberg am Lech, 24 March 2022 Rational generated sales revenues of 780 million euros in fiscal year 2021. This equates to an increase of 20 percent (2020: 650 million euros). Sales revenues were positively impacted by factors such as encouraging demand for the new iCombi and iVario, catch-up investments, government support programmes and orders brought forward in anticipation of shortages of materials. Due to supply bottlenecks for electronic components, it was not possible to meet the high customer demand in full. The result was outstanding orders on hand of more than 300 million euros at the end of 2021, a figure that rose further due to the high level of new orders at the beginning of 2022.
All regions significantly exceeded the previous year's sales revenues in fiscal year 2021. Performance was particularly buoyant in Latin America (+47 percent), followed by North America (+25 percent) and Germany (+22 percent). There was also an encouraging rise in sales revenues of 20 percent in Asia. In Europe, sales revenues increased by 14 percent. Germany and Asia slightly exceeded pre-crisis levels again in 2021.
The iVario posted record sales revenues of 81 million euros in 2021, an increase of 18 percent. Revenue from the iCombi was 698 million euros in the past year or 20 percent higher - a big step toward attaining pre-crisis levels again.
EBIT margin well up on previous year
Thanks to the rise in sales revenues, Rational recorded earnings before financial result and taxes (EBIT) of 160.1 million euros, which is significantly up on the previous year (106.8 million euros). "Operating costs increased by 11 percent, hence more slowly than sales revenues. These positive effects are reflected in the EBIT margin", explains CFO Jörg Walter. The EBIT margin improved by around 4 percentage points year-on-year, from 16.4 percent to 20.5 percent.
Shortages of materials put brakes on year-end spurt
From September 2021, the global supply bottlenecks intensified. The supply situation worsened progressively, especially for electronic components. In combination with new record highs in order intake, this led to longer delivery times. In order to keep supply chains and production running as far as possible and to return delivery times in the overseas markets to Rational's customary level as soon as possible, some of the production output of the last term was completed, apart from the missing components, and dispatched to overseas warehouses. "By dispatching partially assembled appliances, we are bridging the long shipping times on the freight routes. The electronic components will follow by air as soon as they are available. The appliances will then be finished by local engineers on site", reports Chief Executive Officer Dr Stadelmann. Rational received the first deliveries from an alternative supplier of processors in March. As a result, the Executive Board expects the still challenging supply situation to ease slightly. However, the Ukraine crisis and the COVID pandemic in China could exacerbate the situation again. All in all, Rational expects the material sourcing situation to be extremely volatile in 2022. The company continues to tackle these challenges with prompt countermeasures, where possible.
The significant rise in material costs was reflected in the margins in 2021. "We normally don't increase prices across the board, but rather locally in special situations. However, due to the considerable cost increases for commodities, primary products and logistics, we felt compelled to raise our price levels in 2021", explains Stadelmann. The new prices have applied in the overseas markets since November 2021, while in some markets in Europe they will only come into effect in 2022.
As a socially responsible company, Rational had made only minimal adjustments to the size of its workforce during the crisis. The improved market prospects and the company's financial strength enabled it to make new appointments in strategically important areas in the course of 2021. "Rational is and remains the market and technology leader worldwide. In order to get our company ready for the future, we are increasingly investing in software specialists for the expansion of our digital offering", comments CFO Walter. As at the balance sheet date (31 December 2021), the total number of employees in the Group had risen to 2,248 (2020: 2,180).
Rational anticipates a successful, but challenging fiscal year 2022
With record orders on hand and a very high level of customer satisfaction, which was again confirmed in 2021, Rational essentially starts 2022 with confidence. The company expects sales revenues to be between 10 percent and 15 percent up on 2021 and so above the pre-crisis levels of 2019. Due to the higher costs for commodities and components, which Rational will counter in 2022 with further price increases, the gross margin is expected to be at the level of the previous year. Since the increase in operating costs was disproportionately small relative to revenue, the company anticipates that EBIT will grow at a slightly higher rate than sales revenues and that the EBIT margin will be slightly higher year on year.
In its recently published Annual Report, Rational also points to the geopolitical risks as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The affected regions account for around 2 percent to 3 percent of its sales revenues. Any impact on the company's business will be limited to that unless the conflict spreads. "First and foremost, we're happy in the knowledge that our employees there are in safety. Nevertheless, we see risks to currency stability, logistics and the propensity of customers to invest in these regions", is how Stadelmann assesses the situation.
7.50 euros dividend and 2.50 euros special dividend per share proposed
The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Rational AG will submit a proposal to the General Meeting of Shareholders on 4 May 2022 to distribute a dividend of 7.50 euros per share, plus a special dividend of 2.50 euros per share. This equates to a total distribution of 113.7 million euros. "Our shareholders have stood by us in times of crisis, too. In general, we aim for a dividend payout ratio of 70 percent our consolidated net profit for the year. The dividend payout ratio of 92 percent of our consolidated net profit for the year is intended to express our thanks to all our shareholders. It is also envisaged as partial compensation for the crisis-related reduction in the dividend for 2020", explains the CEO. The 2022 General Meeting of Shareholders will again be conducted virtually without physical attendance by shareholders. The invitation will be sent out soon.
Stefan Arnold / Head of Investor Relations
Tel. +49 (0)8191 327-2209
Fax +49 (0)8191 327-72 2209
The Rational Group is the global market and technology leader for thermal preparation of food in professional kitchens. Founded in 1973, the company employs more than 2,200 people, over 1,200 of whom are in Germany. Rational was floated in the Prime Standard of the German stock market in 2000 and is currently represented in the MDAX.
The company's principal objective is to offer maximum customer benefit at all times. Rational is committed to the principle of sustainability, which is expressed in its corporate policies on environmental protection, leadership, job security and social responsibility. Numerous international awards bear witness to the high quality of the work done by Rational's employees year for year.
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24.03.2022 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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