Wincor Nixdorf AG has turned in the best year in its history.
The company, which specializes in supplying IT solutions tailored to the branch operations of banks and retailers, has closed fiscal 2007/2008 (ending on September 30, 2008) with an 8% increase in net sales, or 11% adjusted for exchange rate effects. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) increased by 11%. This result means that Wincor Nixdorf has matched the forecast it issued at the beginning of the fiscal year despite a sharp deterioration in general conditions since then.
The growth rates achieved in fiscal 2007/2008 were again above Wincor Nixdorf's long-term targets of an average of 6% for net sales and 8% growth in EBITA per year. "This growth line still applies to us in the medium term, even if our business performance may become bleaker in the short term due to the global impact of the financial market crisis," stated Chief Executive Officer Eckard Heidloff in Düsseldorf on November 5, 2008 at the company's annual press conference, the first press conference held on the basis of preliminary figures.
Heidloff sees the reason for this positive medium-term outlook in the improvements achieved in the company's business base. "Retail banking has proven to be the business segment in the banking arena that reacts with the least volatility to market circumstance. That will tend to stimulate its renaissance further." Supporting this development is therefore one of Wincor Nixdorf's main fields of activity. Investment in expansion and rationalization is also going to continue in retail business due to the fierce competition.
In addition, Wincor Nixdorf has further improved its basis for business with retail banks and retailers by expanding its activities during the past twelve months. For example, global expansion was continued systematically, reducing dependence on individual customers or singular economies.
The company was able to enlarge its portfolio of solutions by adding further innovations that enable bae banks and retail companies to achieve significant cost advantages and additional customer service in their business processes.
Wincor Nixdorf also expanded its activities in the areas of consulting, software integration, managed services and outsourcing in the year under review. Just as for product-related services, we were able to conclude agreements for services in these areas that run, for the most part, for several years, leading to very stable revenue generation overall. Moreover, expertise in branch/store and self-service business will be applied to adjacent sectors through successful know-how transfer in order to tap additional growth potential.
In view of all this, the CEO is convinced that the current fiscal year 2008/2009 will offer opportunities for Wincor Nixdorf despite the difficult prognosis for the larger economy. "As far as we can see now, we assume that we will be able to follow up the very good previous year's performance and maintain approximately the same level of business," says Heidloff.
Despite a forecast that tends to be positive, management at Wincor Nixdorf agrees that it is not possible to tell definitively whether and when the financial market crisis can be contained or what impact it will have on the world economy. That applies to both established countries and newly industrializing countries. Depending on the intensity of the negative effects on the real economy, short-term reductions in retail banks' and retailers' capital spending budgets cannot be excluded. Wincor Nixdorf is therefore preparing to respond flexibly to the challenges that may arise. As Chief Financial Officer Dr. Jürgen Wunram states: "Our main priority is to make our cost structures more flexible in order to secure our margins. We are therefore taking suitable steps in production, sales and service to make Wincor Nixdorf 'weatherproof'."
On the basis of preliminary figures, Wincor Nixdorf increased its net sales to 2,319 million euros (2,145 million euros) and operating profit (EBITA) to 206 million euros (186 million euros) in the past fiscal 2007/2008. Profit for the period increased even more sharply: by 17% to 127 million euros (109 million euros). After adjusting for amortization of product know-how, profit for the period (cash net income) climbed by 14% to 135 million euros (118 million euros). The proposed dividend is supposed to amount to 2.13 euros and therewith is in line with the company's policy of distributing around 50 percent of the profit for the period as a dividend. This represents an increase of 13% compared to the previous year's regular dividend of 1.88 euros (excluding the special dividend of 0.90 euros).
Net sales and income increase again
On the basis of preliminary figures, Wincor Nixdorf increased its net sales to 2,319 million euros (2,145 million euros) and its operating profit (EBITA) to 206 million euros (186 million euros) in the past fiscal 2007/2008. Profit for the period increased even more sharply: by 17% to 127 million euros (109 million euros). After adjusting for amortization of product know-how, profit for the period (cash net income) climbed by 14% to 135 million euros (118 million euros).
Solid growth in all regions - expansion in growth regions
International business again made a major contribution to Wincor Nixdorf's growth. In this context, expansion in growth regions additionally bolstered sales performance.
Net sales in Germany rose slightly by 3% to 588 million euros (572 million euros) and now accounts for 25% (27%) of worldwide sales.
In the region Europe (excluding Germany), net sales increased by 8% to 1,215 million euros (1,129 million euros). Once again, this region was the largest contributor to total net sales, accounting for 53% (52%).
Business again developed excellently in the Asia/Pacific/Africa region: net sales soared 34% year-on-year when measured in USD. In euros, net sales improved by 19% to 329 million euros (277 million euros) and thus accounted for 14% (13%) of the Group's total sales.
In the region America, net sales rose by 27% measured in USD; in terms of euros this represents an increase of 12% to 187 million euros (167 million euros) entspricht. As in the previous year, this region contributed 8% to net sales within the Group as a whole.
Strong banking business again; sales with retail companies slightly down year-on-year
The banking segment again increased its net sales very sharply in the year under review, by 14% to 1,547 million euros (1,358 million euros) and thus made a major contribution to the Group's net sales growth.
While further expanding its integrated hardware, software and service portfolio for optimizing processes Wincor Nixdorf sees itself strengthened in its position as a leading IT solution provider for international retail banking business.
In 2007, Wincor Nixdorf advanced to become the world's number two in shipments of automated teller machines, achieving a further milestone in its success story.
Business with retail companies was slightly below the level of the previous year (-2%). Sales reached 772 million euros (787 million euros).
One of the main activities within the segment was the improvement of the check-out process in the retail industry with further developed hard- and software. The goal with new solutions is to achieve greater efficiency for retailers and shorter waiting times for consumers, for example through automation.
Hardware and software business both grew significantly
Net sales from hardware business in the year under review climbed by 7% to 1,346 million euros (1,254 million euros). As in the previous year, it accounted for 58% of total sales.
Net sales from software/services business increased by 9% to 973 million euros (891 million euros).
In addition to selling software licenses, this includes all the company's service-oriented offerings such as consulting for customers on all aspects of new solutions, on-site implementation and integration (professional services) and all services necessary to ensure low-cost and smooth operation of the IT installed for the customer.
In Germany, for example, Wincor Nixdorf expanded its outsourcing business with the Sparkassen; these savings banks are the largest players in retail banking. For this purpose, the company acquired a majority stake in prosystems IT GmbH, which provides information technology for two Sparkassen.
The company also sees great growth potential in the area of software integration and consulting thanks to its growing software business. "We are hiring additional specialists here within the framework of new projects and successively expanding our activities," said Heidloff, adding: "In the field of consulting, we recently expanded in Germany by taking a majority stake in Bankberatung AG. We can now offer support for change processes at retail banks in all phases of a project." Wincor Nixdorf's long-term objective is to generate half of its net sales from software and services.
Research and development activity expanded significantly
Research and development expenses worldwide amounted to 105 million euros (97 million euros), up 8% over the previous year. As a technology-oriented company, Wincor Nixdorf intends to secure its own success and its customers' competitiveness in the future through its innovative strength. R&D expenses relative to sales were, as in the previous year, 4.5%. The total number of employees involved in research and development was 945 (843) on the balance sheet date, or 10% of the total workforce.
Further increase in staff levels in growth markets
Wincor Nixdorf once again increased its headcount in the year under review and had 9,460 (8,379) employees worldwide at September 20, 2008, 1,081 more than in the previous year. Against the backdrop of the company's internationalization strategy, the headcount outside Germany rose to 5,264 (4,569), with increased numbers in particular in the growth regions of Asia/Pacific/Africa and America. The number of employees in Germany also increased sharply to 4,196, 386 more than in the previous year (3,810).
The increase in the total headcount was aimed in particular at expanding services resources worldwide, bolstering sales in growth markets, and strengthening the company in the areas of research and development and production.
In contrast, the increase in Germany was mainly attributable to employees who were taken over as a result of the majority stakes acquired in the service provider prosystems IT GmbH and the bank consulting company Bankberatung AG.