DGAP-News: A.S. Création Tapeten AG: 2013 a disappointing year on balance

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DGAP-News: A.S. Création Tapeten AG / Key word(s): Final Results
A.S. Création Tapeten AG: 2013 a disappointing year on balance

20.03.2014 / 09:50

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A.S. Création Tapeten AG, Gummersbach
(ISIN DE000A1TNNN5)

2013 a disappointing year on balance 

Sales revenues reach about EUR 200 million
A.S. Création achieved marginal revenue growth of 0.5% from EUR 198.9
million to EUR 199.8 million in the fiscal year 2013. A higher growth rate
was prevented by the 6.3% decline in
A.S. Création's domestic sales revenues in December 2013. The German
wallpaper market was not least affected by the bankruptcy of the Praktiker
and Max Bahr DIY store chains. While sales revenues in foreign markets
increased by 4.2%, the Managing Board had expected much stronger growth,
primarily in Russia. Total sales revenues fell clearly short of the
company's high expectations, according to which sales revenues for the
fiscal year 2013 had been projected to amount to between EUR 210 million
and EUR 220 million. The company is therefore not satisfied with its sales
revenues.

One-time effects weighing on bottom line 
A.S. Création's earnings deteriorated in 2013. At EUR 5.2 million, earnings
before taxes were down by 61.4% on the previous year's EUR 13.6 million.
Adverse factors included increased price competition and higher personnel
expenses as a percentage of sales. In addition, higher-than-expected
start-up and exchange losses at the Russian distribution company and the
Russian wallpaper factory, in which A.S. Création holds 50%, weighed on the
bottom line. Also, the company established a provision of EUR 2.0 million
in 2013 in conjunction with the pending anti-trust proceedings in Germany.
Given that this provision and the pro-rated losses of the Russian joint
venture are not tax deductible, net profit declined much more strongly than
earnings before taxes. At EUR 1.3 million, net profit was down by 85.1% on
the previous year's EUR 8.9 million. This means that the company clearly
missed its earnings projections, according to which net profit had been
expected to come in at between EUR 9 million and EUR 11 million.

Excellent financial position
In spite of lower earnings, net financial liabilities were reduced further
in the difficult fiscal year 2013 and amounted to EUR 20.3 million on
December 31, 2013, down EUR 0.8 million on the previous year's EUR 21.1
million. At 58.8%, the equity ratio exceeded the previous year's high level
of 58.6%. The Managing Board is of the opinion that the financial position
of A.S. Création is very solid and will allow the company to continue its
growth strategy in spite of the uncertain environment.

Consistent dividend policy
A.S. Création's dividend policy is characterised by a high payout ratio.
The fixed payout ratio means that the absolute amounts of the dividend
payments are not smoothened over time but increase or decrease in line with
earnings. In keeping with the dividend policy of the past, it will be
proposed to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders to pay out a
dividend of EUR 0.25 per share (previous year: EUR 1.20). Based on earnings
per share, this dividend represents a payout ratio of 52.1% (previous year:
44.9%).

Outlook on 2014 subject to high uncertainty
The deterioration in the company's earnings in 2013 is attributable, among
other things, to the start-up and exchange losses in Russia. Accordingly, a
special focus will be placed on A.S. Création's Russian activities in 2014.
However the economic trend in Russia and the exchange rate trend of the
Russian rouble are virtually impossible to predict at present. The Managing
Board projects consolidated sales revenues of between EUR 205 million and
EUR 215 million for 2014. In view of the high uncertainty regarding the
factors that will influence the company's earnings in 2014, the Managing
Board intends to issue a precise earnings forecast for the fiscal year 2014
later in the year.

The Group's key figures for the fiscal year 2013 are summarised below:
 
<pre>

                                                     2012  2013   Change

Sales                                         EUR m 198.9 199.8    0.5 %
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)     EUR m  15.8  10.2 - 35.1 %
Earnings before taxes                         EUR m  13.6   5.2 - 61.4 %
Net profit                                    EUR m   8.9   1.3 - 85.1 %
Earnings per share                        EUR/share  3.22  0.48 - 85.1 %
Cash flow                                     EUR m  19.3  16.4 - 15.0 %
Capital expenditures                          EUR m  13.1   8.7 - 33.7 %
Depreciation                                  EUR m   9.8   9.5  - 3.5 %
Number of employees (average)                         820   837    2.1 %


</pre>

Gummersbach, March 20, 2014

A.S. Création Tapeten AG

The Managing Board

Inquiries:
Maik Krämer, 
Director of Finance and Controlling, 
phone +49-(0)2261/542-387, 
fax +49-(0)22 61/542-304,
e-mail m.kraemer@as-creation.de
 
The 2013 Annual Report is available at www.as-creation.de or from:
A.S. Création Tapeten AG, 
Frau Börngen, 
Südstr. 47, 
D - 51645 Gummersbach,
phone +49-(0)22 61/542-350,
e-mail investor@as-creation.de


End of Corporate News

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Language:    English                                               
Company:     A.S. Création Tapeten AG                              
             Südstraße 47                                          
             51645 Gummersbach                                     
             Germany                                               
Phone:       +49 22 61 54 2-0                                      
Fax:         +49 22 61 54 2-3 04                                   
E-mail:      investor@as-creation.de                               
Internet:    http://www.as-creation.de                             
ISIN:        DE000A1TNNN5                                          
WKN:         A1TNNN                                                
Listed:      Regulierter Markt in Frankfurt (Prime Standard);      
             Freiverkehr in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, München,  
             Stuttgart                                             
 
 
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