Wincor Nixdorf reports strong sales/demand in retail banking markets for year ending 2005

Source: Wincor Nixdorf

Wincor Nixdorf AG continued its course of profitable growth and further expanded its market position in the fiscal year 2004/2005 (ending September 30).

Group sales increased 11 percent to €1,744 million (previous year: €1,576 million). Adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations between the U.S. dollar and the euro, group sales rose 12 percent.

Group operating profit (EBITA) increased 17% to €137 million (€ 116 million last time). The increase resulted from a significant rise in operating performance and further improved cost structures. Net profit for the period increased to €55 million (€44 million). In addition, Wincor Nixdorf increased its operating cash-flow to €133 million (€122 million) while reducing its net debt to €176 million (€234 million).

The improved profitability in fiscal 2004/2005 will benefit the shareholders of Wincor Nixdorf AG. At the Annual General Meeting of shareholders on February 21, 2006 in Paderborn, Germany, a dividend of €2.10 per share for fiscal 2004/2005 will be recommended, representing a 74 percent increase over the previous year (€1.21 per share). The payout will increase to €34.7 million from €20 million.

"These figures confirm our growth strategy," said Chief Executive Officer Karl-Heinz Stiller at a press conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, on December 14. "We are continuing to grow our business with banks and retailers, expand globally and tap new growth potential." Stiller was optimistic about the company continuing its profitable course in fiscal 2005/2006, assessing the necessary market conditions as favorable. "We expect sales to grow by eight percent and operating profit (EBITA) by 10 percent," the CEO said.

Internationalization driving growth

The sales increase in fiscal 2004/2005 was driven entirely by the international business. In Europe – excluding Germany – sales increased 18 percent to €902 million (€764 million). "After becoming the European market leader in retail, we are now close to reaching this goal in banking," said Stiller, commenting on the significant business growth in Europe, which exceeded the market. In Germany, sales dipped slightly to €513 million (€515 million). Strong growth was also achieved in the Americas, with sales up 18 percent to €133 million. Based on the U.S. dollar, sales increased by 23 percent.

Full IT service provider for business process solutions in retail banking branches In the fiscal year, retail banking sales grew 11 percent to €1,028 million (€930 million). The growth was largely the result of international sales. Operating profit (EBITA) grew 14 percent (€13 million) to €105 million.

In addition to quality, new solutions for complete business processes in branch offices with integrated hardware and software as well as services have provided a competitive advantage. These solutions, for instance, offer a total cost of ownership advantage for the duration of a system's installation. Examples of these new solutions are self-service systems that accept both checks and cash and book accordingly.

Retail business benefited from innovation and services In the retail segment, sales also grew 11 percent to €716 million (€646 million). The increase was driven largely by international orders. Operating profit (EBITA) grew 28 percent to €32 million (€25 million).

In the product business area, the common system platform for nearly all Wincor Nixdorf's electronic POS terminals, self-service and automation systems provided a competitive advantage. In the solutions business, the Company benefited from its strength in application software and systems integration. Reverse vending and lottery systems also contributed to the retail segment’s growth.

Strong growth in solutions/services for banks and retailers Net sales of hardware products increased nine percent across the Group, while those in the solutions/services segment rose 14 percent. As a result, the solutions/services share of total sales grew to 41 percent (40 percent). The long-term goal is to increase this share to around half of total sales.

Wincor Nixdorf experienced increasing demand for complex IT services in the branch office, such as cash management and network-supported IT operations of self-service systems. Both are core elements of outsourcing projects, which banks are increasingly introducing to relieve themselves of IT tasks and focus on their core business. In fiscal 2004/2005, Wincor Nixdorf won several long-term outsourcing contracts from well-known international banks. In Germany, the Company and two savings banks launched the outsourcing joint venture Wincor Nixdorf Portavis GmbH in which Wincor Nixdorf has a majority stake.

Increased investments in research and development In the fiscal year under review, Wincor Nixdorf invested around €78 million (€73 million) - an increase of 7 percent compared to the previous year - in research and development (R&D), or 4.5 percent of net sales, in a move to ensure the technological strength of the company in the future. The number of employees in R&D rose to 714 (660).

Number of employees increased again
Against the general trend, Wincor Nixdorf increased the number of employees in Group by 823 to 6,937 (6,114) again in fiscal 2004/2005. The Group now employs more people outside Germany – 3,542 – than in the country (3,395). Most of the new employees were in the services area. The international sales network was also expanded.

Confirmed outlook
In fiscal 2005/2006, the Group expects to increase sales by eight percent and EBITA by 10 percent not only through its international activities. The German business is also expected to contribute to sales growth again.

Given the continued growth of the global economy, Wincor Nixdorf expects to grow its business with banks and retailers. Both sectors, however continue to face fierce competition internationally. This competition has led to ongoing modernization and restructuring in branch and store operations for which Wincor Nixdorf offers innovative solutions. In addition, the Company continues to expand its activities in neighboring branches such as lottery and postal companies as well as food establishments and service stations.

"We can confirm our outlook based on our recent successful contracts for outsourcing projects and reverse vending systems," Stiller said. "We will continue to strive to keep our promise, as reliability is the prerequisite for trust, which our customers, employees and investors have placed in us."

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