- Pressemitteilung BoxID 375172
Results Third Quarter 2012
- Positive EBITDA of EUR 2.0 million in third quarter
- Stable turnover in challenging climate
- Cautious optimism about final quarter
- Good starting position achieved for 2013
Aragon AG, one of the leading financial services players in Germany and Austria, can post a significant improvement in its third-quarter earnings compared with previous quarters. Revenues reached new record levels in the first nine months. The company is cautiously optimistic about the fourth quarter. With the sale of loss-making Clarus and further measures to streamline its portfolio, Aragon has built up a very good starting position for the 2013 financial year.
"Despite the difficult climate, the third quarter was a good period for Aragon AG", commented CEO Dr. Sebastian Grabmaier. "We have achieved a turnaround in our earnings, made progress in focusing on our core businesses. Not only that, with the announced management buyout, we have created a stable shareholder structure for the company in future. We therefore can afford to look to 2013 with confidence."
The 2012 financial year has been a challenging time for financial sales companies across the board. The sovereign debt crisis has further increased investors' uncertainty. In the case of capital market products, this is reflected in unwillingness to invest. At EUR 1,655 million, total product sales at Aragon AG for the first nine months matched the previous year's figure. In defiance of the market trend, however, the holdings in investment funds managed by Aragon AG (assets under administration) maintained their ground well. At EUR 4.1 billion as of 30 September 2012, these were around 17 percent ahead of the previous year's figure (EUR 3.5 billion).
Overall, revenues at Aragon AG grew by 5.1 percent to EUR 90.8 million in the first nine months of the year. Of these record revenues, around EUR 10.0 million were still attributable to the Clarus Group. Year-on-year, revenues dropped slightly to EUR 30.8 million in the third quarter (Q3 2011: EUR 32.4 million).
The earnings performance at Aragon AG improved significantly in the third quarter. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from continuing operations grew to EUR 2.0 million in the third quarter (previous year: EUR 1.5 million). Nine-month EBITDA therefore amounted to EUR 0.3 million, thus falling significantly short of the previous year's figure of EUR 2.1 million. Before taxes, the company posted a loss of EUR 2.5 million (EUR -0.3 million) for the first three quarters. Net income after minority interests reduced from EUR 0.4 million to EUR -2.3 million.
The company is still robustly positioned in terms of its key balance sheet figures. Shareholders' equity amounted to EUR 44.1 million as of 30 September 2012, as against EUR 53.3 million in the previous year. The equity ratio remained stable at 45.5 percent (previous year: 45.8 percent). Cash and cash equivalents dropped to EUR 6.9 million as of 30 September 2012 (previous year: EUR 16.0 million). The reduction in liquidity is solely due to the first-time consolidation in the previous year of the now sold Clarus Group. Excluding this effect, the volume of liquid resources would have remained stable.
Together with the positive disposal price achieved for Clarus AG, the discontinuation of the six-digit monthly losses previously incurred at that company has had a sustainably positive impact on the income statement and balance sheet at Aragon AG. The disposal of the health insurance specialist inpunkto AG in the fourth quarter generated sales proceeds in a high single-digit million euro range for Aragon AG. As a result, the company will be able to fully pay off its bank liabilities in the first quarter of 2013. Two strategic financing facilities will then be the only non-current liabilities remaining, and these can be serviced from the cash flow in over the coming years.
"These company disposals not only streamline the brand portfolio at Aragon AG, but also enable us to significantly reduce our costs", added company CFO Ralph Konrad. "We expect to see the first positive impact of these measures in 2013, with an increasingly positive effect in 2014."
The individual segments at Aragon AG performed as follows in the period under report:
Broker Pools: Reduction in key figures
The Broker Pools segment, which focuses on selling financial products via financial intermediaries to private end customers, reported revenues of EUR 49.0 million in the first nine months of 2012. Revenues thus reduced by 7.5 percent compared with the previous year. EBITDA amounted to EUR 1.0 million in the first nine months, as against EUR 1.5 million in the previous year's period.
Financial Consulting: Substantial sales growth
Financial Consulting, the segment which provides independent financial planning and investment advice to private customers, significantly expanded its revenues in the first nine months of 2012. Year-on-year, revenues grew by 23.5 percent to EUR 42.1 million. Nine-month EBITDA amounted to EUR 0.8 million in the first nine months, as against EUR 2.2 million in the previous year.
Due to the highly seasonal nature of its business, fourth-quarter results at Aragon AG are always significantly better than those for the previous quarters. Having said this, the sale of insurance products in the run-up to the harmonisation in gender-specific insurance premiums (the so-called "unisex effect") is not performing as strongly as expected. Turnover with capital market products also remains weak. The company therefore expects a lower volume of revenue growth from year-end business in 2012 than in previous years.
"To return the company to its former earnings strength, we will continue to focus Aragon AG on its core businesses offering stable, sustainable earnings, thus minimising as far as possible the risks inherent in its business model", commented company CEO Dr. Sebastian Grabmaier.
JDC Group Aktiengesellschaft
Aragon AG is a broadly diversified financial services group with two operating segments, Broker Pools and Financial Consulting, and a Holding division. Within its segments, Aragon AG operates in the market with several independently acting subsidiaries. The aim is to integrate various sales models under one roof without infringing on the identity of each individual sales operation. This leads to broad diversification across numerous asset classes and distribution channels and, as a result, ensures high earnings stability. Further information about the company and its subsidiaries can be found at www.aragon.ag.
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