Published: 08-05-2019 18:22

Stern Groep N.V., the listed Dutch mobility group in automotive retail and services, announces its results for Q1-2019.

IFRS 16, involving the recognition of lease commitments on the balance sheet, has applied since the beginning of 2019. In order to enable a true comparison with the results in 2018, the results in 2019 are reported with and without application of IFRS 16.

In connection with the proposed sale of SternLease BV on 31 May 2019, SternLease BV and its figures in 2019 are recognised as a discontinued operation. The 2018 figures stated in this press release have been pro forma adjusted for comparative purposes.

Key points

  • Profit after tax Q1-2019 with IFRS 16 € 2.9 million and without IFRS 16 € 3.1 million (Q1 -2018: € 3.1 million)
  • Net revenue Q1-2019 of € 300.8 million is 2.4% lower (Q1-2018: € 308.1 million)
  • The lease portfolio showed further organic growth in Q1-2019 to 13,606 contracts (+6.1% in Q1-2019), the order book amounts to 1,286 contracts (Q1-2018: 1,394)
  • Profit at Dealergroup Stern was stable, with the EBIT margin still low at 1.1%
  • Market share in passenger cars unchanged at 5.3%, market share in light commercial vehicles rises to 8.0% (Q1-2018: 6.9%)
  • Solvency without IFRS 16: 22.7% (year-end 2018: 23.0%). With IFRS 16, solvency is 18.9% (pro forma year-end 2018: 18.9%). With IFRS 16 and with SternLease as a discontinued operation, solvency is 26.9% (year-end 2018: 26.3%)
  • Net asset value per share without IFRS 16: € 27.82 (year-end 2018: € 27.34). With IFRS 16, net asset value per share is € 27.09 (pro forma year-end 2018: € 26.59)
  • The regular dividend will be passed over. If the sale of SternLease BV is approved at the General Meeting on 9 May 2019, an interim dividend of € 2.50 per share will be distributed in June 2019 and a further dividend of € 1.00 per share will be distributed in Q4-2019, after final settlement of the purchase price.

Henk van der Kwast, Chief Executive Officer:

“The effects of the cost-saving programme initiated after Q3-2018 have already been significant in Q1-2019. In combination with the harmonisation of processes and the application of more digital solutions, we expect the operating profit to show a clear recovery in 2019 from the eventful year in 2018. If the shareholders approve the sale of SternLease, operating profit will be further boosted within a few months with the integration of the partnership agreement with ALD Automotive.”

State of affairs in Q1-2019

Net revenue declined slightly by 2.4% compared to Q1-2018 to € 300.8 million, mainly due to lower revenue from sales at Dealergroup Stern. The lease portfolio showed organic growth of 20.7% compared to Q1-2018.

Despite the decline in revenue, the gross profit remained virtually unchanged on Q1-2018 at € 45.7 million. This was mainly due to better margins on car body repairs and the growth of the rental fleet.

Other operating income declined by € 1.5 million to € 2.0 million. A gain from the revaluation and dividend relating to the interest in Bovemij was recognised in Q1-2018. Since this information was not yet known at the time of preparation of the Q1-2019 figures, the result on the interest in Bovemij will be recognised in Q2-2019.

Employee expenses were 2.3% lower than in Q1-2018, despite the CLA increases of 0.75% on 1 July 2018 and 3.2% on 1 February 2019. The decline in employee expenses was mainly due to the reduction in the number of (mainly indirect) FTE. The number of FTE has fallen by approximately 70 since year-end 2018. Operating expenses were 4.1% lower than in Q1-2018, due in part to the cost-saving programmes initiated in Q4-2018.

The profit after tax came to € 2.9 million (Q1-2018: € 3.1 million), and the negative effect of the implementation of IFRS 16 in Q1-2019 was € 0.2 million.

Press here for the press release dated 08-05-2019 in English.