- Solid basis created for the further development in the year
- Expenses for the settlement of claims and risk provision continue to decline
- Total assets exceed the EUR 4 billion level for the first time
- Company confirms forecast for the current fiscal year
Baden-Baden, May 3, 2017: The high earnings growth during the past fiscal year continued unabated in the first three months of 2017. The recent strong, high-margin new business and the continued favourable trend in losses led to a significant 28.0% rise in the Consolidated Group’s net profit to EUR 28.8 million compared with EUR 22.5 million in the previous year. This performance resulted in earnings per share of EUR 1.91 compared to EUR 1.50 in the previous year.
"We are very pleased with our development in the first quarter, even though some of the new business growth can be attributed to the timing of the Easter holiday this year. Demand for our products remained high and, as a result, we are very confident that we will be able to achieve our set targets, including those for the Consolidated Group’s net profit", said Wolfgang Grenke, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRENKE AG, in his comments on the development in the first three months of 2017.
Net interest income improved by 14.2% from EUR 51.8 million in the previous year to EUR 59.1 million and was largely a result of the terms of the contracts in the portfolio (CM1). Losses fell 13.0% in the three-month period from EUR 15.7 million in the previous year to EUR 13.6 million. Based on this development, net interest income after settlement of claims and risk provision increased from EUR 36.1 million in the previous year to EUR 45.5 million (+ 26.1%). The Consolidated Group’s loss rate was 1.1% compared to 1.5% in the previous year.
The profit from service business rose 16.3% in step with new business growth. The profit from new business grew 8.8% as a result of lower capitalised initial direct costs due to a below-average increase in expenses related to the conclusion of new contracts. Taking into account gains and losses from disposals, which tend to be volatile on a quarterly basis and yielded a loss in the first quarter, GRENKE Consolidated Group’s income from operating business rose from EUR 63.6 million in the previous year to EUR 73.8 million (+16.1%).
As one of the Consolidated Group’s key expense items, staff costs grew by 15.8%, which was below the rise in new business. As per March 31, 2017, the average number of employees at the Consolidated Group was 1,133 (March 31, 2016: 975).
Selling and administrative expenses did not increase compared to the previous year. This meant that the overall growth of total expenses was visibly lower than the growth in income. As a result, there was a 22.2% increase in the operating result to EUR 37.3 million, which compares to EUR 30.5 million in the previous year.
Sebastian Hirsch, member of the GRENKE AG Board of Directors, added: "High growth requires a stable foundation. With our solid equity base demonstrated by an equity ratio of 17.1% and our level of total assets, which exceeded the EUR 4 billion mark for the first time at the end of March, we are ideally equipped to handle the future challenges."
In addition, we are well on our way to achieving the 2017 targets set for our new business. With 20 percent year-on-year new business growth at GRENKE Group Leasing, we are currently above the expected range of 11 to 16 percent. New business at GRENKE Group Factoring in the reporting period also developed better than expected. With an increase of 28 percent, new business at GRENKE Group Factoring exceeded the projected growth of between 12 and 20 percent; nevertheless, we are currently remaining by our forecast. In terms of earnings, the net profit generated in the first quarter places us on track to achieve our forecast range of EUR 113 to 123 million. The Consolidated Group’s growing internationalisation will also play a role in achieving this. In the first quarter, we had a total of four cell divisions in different countries. In addition, we acquired the company of our former franchisee in Malta.