Dividend up by 25% to 25 cents
Renowned economic and IT experts elected to the supervisory board
Broad approval of the merger plan for a European company
Further increase in revenues and EBITDA projected
Pliezhausen, March 17, 2016. The ordinary Annual General Meeting of DATAGROUP AG (WKN A0JC8S), which has taken place today at the head office near Stuttgart, has decided to increase the dividend from 20 to 25 cents per share. The shareholders will thus benefit from the record result achieved by the IT service provider in the last fiscal year. In its outlook for the current fiscal year, the management expects another significant increase in revenues and earnings.
Some 81% of the share capital were represented at this year’s ordinary Annual General Meeting of DATAGROUP AG. All agenda items were approved unanimously or with a large majority, including the distribution of a dividend of 25 cents per share (previous year 20 cents). Overall, the company will pay out EUR 1,893,114.75 to its shareholders, equalling some 28% of the net profit. The remaining amount of EUR 4,846,804.77 will be carried forward to new account. DATAGROUP had achieved new all-time-highs in FY 2014/2015 with revenues of EUR 158m and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of EUR 15.3m.
According to regular schedule, the Annual General Meeting selected a new supervisory board and confirmed each of the three proposed candidates with a very large majority. In addition to Heinz Hilgert, the former Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr. Carola Wittig and Klaus Hardy Mühleck will join the board. Dr. Carola Wittig is presiding judge at the District Court in Stuttgart and a recognised expert in economic, tax and IT issues. Klaus Hardy Mühleck is Senior Vice President / Chief Information Officer (CIO) of thyssenkrupp AG and previously held the positions of CIO at Volkswagen and Audi as well as CIO Automotive at Daimler AG. Heinz Hilgert is managing partner and founder of TransVise GmbH. He held leading positions in national and international banks, among others as CEO of West LB and Deputy CEO of DZ Bank.
‘We are very pleased to have again won three recognised economic and IT experts for the Supervisory Board, helping us to further proceed on DATAGROUP’s successful path’, says DATAGROUP CEO Max H.-H. Schaber. ‘I would like to thank in particular the departing members of the Supervisory Board, Karlheinz Eisemann and Dr. Volkmar Weckesser, who supported DATAGROUP’s development in a trustful, energetic and constructive way.’
The AGM also approved the draft merger plan, according to which DATAGROUP AG will be transformed into a European company (Societas Europaea). ‘The broad support from shareholders for this plan is an important signal’, comments DATAGROUP COO Dirk Peters. ‘The international legal form will strengthen our position in the competition for large, internationally active Mittelstand companies. Additionally, the transformation will make it easier to address international investors. It is another important step in the implementation of our growth strategy DATAGROUP 2020.’
The management was very pleased with the business development in the current fiscal year (01.10.2015 – 30.09.2016). DATAGROUP achieved strong growth, particularly in its core business with high-margin IT services, and significantly improved operating earnings. In the first five months of the fiscal year, revenues grew by 5% to EUR 67.7m (previous year EUR 64.8m). Adjusted for one-off items, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation climbed by 9% to EUR 5.3m (previous year EUR 4.9m), operating earnings per share (EPS) increased sharply by 28% to 18 cents (previous year 14 cents).
‘We will grow more strongly again this year and are above the very good prior-year result in operating terms’, comments DATAGROUP CEO Max H.-H. Schaber. ‘Based on the very good business development we expect to see new record levels in terms of revenues and EBITDA. Furthermore, acquisition-related one-off items may result in a jump in earnings.’ For FY 2015/2016, the management expects revenues of between EUR 167m and EUR 175m and an EBITDA of between EUR 15.5m and EUR 20m. Earnings per share are expected to range between 66 and 100 cents.
DATAGROUP is a leading German IT service company. Over 1,400 employees at 16 locations across Germany design, implement, and operate IT infrastructure and business applications such as SAP. With its product CORBOX, DATAGROUP is a full-service provider, serving over 330,000 global IT workstations for medium and large enterprises as well as for public-sector clients. In other words: ‘We manage IT’. The company is growing organically and through acquisitions. The acquisition strategy is particularly noted for its optimal integration of the new companies. DATAGROUP is actively participating in the IT service market’s consolidation process with its ‘buy and turn around’ and its ‘buy and build’ strategy.