Extract from the Stock Exchange Release published on 8 February 2019:
Cramo’s 2018 was a year of solid sales growth, acquisitions in both of our divisions and a successful performance improvement in Modular Space business. All Group level financial targets were achieved in the financial year 2018. In addition, growth targets regarding the Equipment Rental division’s sales as well as Modular Space division’s rental sales were achieved.
The market environment was good for both of our business divisions, which further supported the organic sales growth of 6.1% for the full year. Group’s comparable EBITA increased by 8.3% to EUR 130.1 million and full-year profitability improved. During the last quarter, we successfully completed the acquisition of the Swedish-based Nordic Modular Group Holding AB (“NMG”), which strengthens the Modular Space division both in terms of market position and business model expansion.
The Equipment Rental division’s performance varied between the countries in the last quarter of the year. Sales remained at the previous year’s level in Sweden. Norway continued on a profitable growth track. In most of our Eastern and Central European countries, sales and profitability improved, whereas the underlying performance in Germany continued to be not satisfying. In Finland, the result was still weighed down by a tightened competition, which affected prices and sales. However, Finland’s profitability improved from the previous quarter. Performance improvement measures continues in both Germany and Finland.
In the Modular Space division, the fourth-quarter organic rental sales were 13.5% higher than in the previous year. Total rental sales increased by 37.3% and were supported by acquisitive growth as NMG was consolidated in the division’s figures for the first time from 31 October onwards. Comparable EBITA increased by 28.8%. In the last quarter, the division’s profitability was diluted by cost provisions related to certain integration and restructuring measures. Excluding these one-off factors, the performance improvement actions taken during the past years contributed to profitability.
As announced in December, the Board of Directors of Cramo decided to pursue towards spin-off of the Company’s Modular Space business to existing Cramo’s shareholders. The transaction and separate listing is expected to take place in Nasdaq Stockholm latest in the third quarter of 2019. I am looking forward to the year ahead as we aim towards utilizing the full-potential of both of our business divisions in order to maximize the shareholder value.
The 2019 equipment rental market outlook remains still positive despite increased economic uncertainties. In Sweden and Finland, the rental market still shows growth due to growth outside new residential building construction. In the Eastern European countries market growth is expected to remain strong. The Modular Space outlook remains positive within all segment’s operating countries.