30.04.2009 | Austria
S&T: Positive EBITDA and good performance in south-eastern Europe
Share of total sales realized by solutions and services business is now 54 %
Good results in the Adriatic region and RomaniaIn geographical terms, the Adriatic region and Romania made particularly good contributions to the overall group results during the first quarter. In contrast, the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) as well as Russia, Turkey, Hungary and Ukraine could not avoid the impact of the ongoing crisis. In the German-speaking countries in particular, there were a number of projects that were cancelled or postponed, including projects in which implementation was about to start or was already underway, and for which personnel and budget resources had already been allocated. Rosner: “We have already initiated some appropriate measures in the business units to tailor the available resources to current needs. We are currently assessing our continued involvement in Turkey and, furthermore, our office in Bosnia-Herzegovina has been reduced to a small operational core team and, in Russia, we are looking to establish a strategic partnership with a leading local provider.”
Balancing act with personnel resourcesAt the end of the first quarter of 2009, S&T had 3,048 employees (full time equivalent), which is 87 (2.8 %) less than at the beginning of the year. “For us as a service provider, we have to play a balancing act of ensuring that we retain key resources in order to maintain the high quality of our services, while at the same time acknowledging that we are forced to cut costs. It is also the case that measures implemented in terms of personnel do not have an immediate effect on the cost structure as the resulting savings are only seen two or three months later. We envisage having approximately 2,850 staff at the end of June and hope that no further reductions will then need to be made,” comments Rosner.
Share price on the riseFollowing a decision by the Austrian Takeover Commission regarding the issue of AvW, the S&T share price has shown a clearly positive trend once again. The price at the end of the first quarter was 8.53 euros (March 31, 2009) but within a few days of the decision being publicized it had reached a level of 13.50 euros (April 17, 2009). S&T currently (April 29, 2009) has a market capitalization of 42.98 million euros and the share price is 11.99 euros.
Q2 2009: Positive financial results expected“We are expecting a positive operational result for the second quarter of 2009,” states Rosner. “The forecasts in our individual countries show a positive development in the infrastructure business in comparison to the first quarter. The business solutions area should now have bottomed out in terms of sales and the third quarter should produce positive figures again here. At present, we are also forecasting a positive result for the third quarter and sales revenues that should not be much below those of last year.”