UNITED INTERNET AG (FRA:UTDI) United Internet AG: Preliminary figures show new records in sales and customer contracts

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13/03/2012 09:10
DGAP-News: United Internet AG / Key word(s): Preliminary Results United Internet AG: Preliminary figures show new records in sales and customer contracts 13.03.2012 / 09:10 --------------------------------------------------------------------- - Growth in new customer contracts of 910,000 to 10.67 million - Sales up 9.8% to EUR 2.094 billion - Pre-tax earnings rise 16.1% to EUR 250.6 million - Earnings per share climb 36.2% to EUR 0.79 - Forecast 2012: approx. 15% sales growth Montabaur, March 13, 2012 - United Internet AG is continuing its growth path as Europe's leading internet specialist with brands such as 1&1, GMX and WEB.DE and today announced improvements in sales, earnings and customer contract figures. According to preliminary figures, sales rose by 9.8% to EUR 2.094 billion in fiscal year 2011 (prior year: EUR 1.907 billion). The company's ongoing investments in the growth markets Mobile Internet and Cloud Computing, as well as in marketing and international expansion are now paying off: United Internet added 910,000 new fee-based customer contracts in 2011 - around 50% more than in the same period last year (610,000). As a result, the total number of customer contracts rose to 10.67 million. Despite increased marketing expenditure for this contract growth, heavy smartphone subsidizing, and strong investment in the development of new products and further international expansion, United Internet also succeeded in improving earnings. EBITDA grew by 2.0% year on year to EUR 364.8 million (prior year: EUR 357.7 million), while EBIT rose by 1.7% to EUR 276.0 million (prior year: EUR 271.5 million). Earnings before taxes (EBT) increased by 16.1% to EUR 250.6 million (prior year: EUR 215.8 million). These earnings include a positive net balance of EUR 18.7 million resulting from the sale of Versatel shares in the second quarter of 2011, the valuation of call options received in this connection, and the at-equity result of Versatel. The resulting positive earnings effect amounted to EUR 0.07 per share. All in all, earnings per United Internet share (EPS) grew by 36.2% during the period under review to EUR 0.79 (prior year: EUR 0.58). 'We set new records in both sales and customer contract figures while also improving earnings,' says Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet, in his assessment of the preliminary figures for fiscal year 2011. 'This strong contract growth has laid the foundation for the company's continued successful development. We are optimistic about our future prospects.' Segments The strong growth in customer contracts had a significant impact on sales in the company's 'Access' segment: revenue increased by 11.2% in 2011 to reach EUR 1.368 billion (prior year: EUR 1.230 billion). The number of Access contracts grew in total by 450,000 contracts in 2011 (prior year: 130,000) to a total of 4.08 million - due mainly to strong demand for 1&1 Mobile Internet products. Segment EBITDA improved by 24.2% to EUR 152.3 million (prior year: EUR 122.6 million). EBIT rose by 32.8% from EUR 92.0 million to EUR 122.2 million - despite a significant increase in costs for new customer acquisition, especially for smartphone subsidies in the Mobile Internet business. In the 'Applications' segment, the number of fee-based contracts rose by 460,000 to 6.59 million in 2011. The high non-German proportion included in this figure (2.73 million contracts) underlines the growing international presence of United Internet. At the same time, ad-financed accounts increased by 2.8 million to 30.8 million. Compared to the previous year, sales of the 'Applications' segment grew by 7.3% to EUR 725.8 million (prior year: EUR 676.5 million). Adjusted for currency effects, segment growth amounted to 8.2%. Business outside Germany grew by 9.9% and contributed a total of EUR 219.2 million (prior year: EUR 199.5 million) to segment sales. Key earnings figures in this segment comprise high expenditure for the development of new Cloud products, the cost of international expansion, and greatly increased marketing expenses - especially for the launch of the 1&1 Do-it-Yourself Homepage in 5 foreign markets. A total of EUR 61.1 million was expensed. As a result of these burdens, there was an expected year-on-year decline in segment EBITDA of 21.2% to EUR 183.4 million (prior year: EUR 232.7 million) and in segment EBIT of 29.5% to EUR 125.0 million (prior year: EUR 177.3 million). 'The strong figures for customer growth, sales and earnings in our 'Access' segment indicate that we have successfully added a new business field, Mobile Internet, in this segment,' states Ralph Dommermuth. 'We are also pursuing this path in the 'Applications' segment. With our international expansion and the development of new cloud and e-business products we expect to tap further business fields. The investments we are making today will form the basis for our future success.' Outlook In its established business fields, United Internet AG expects an increase in sales of approx. 15% and strong growth in earnings. United Internet intends to use this growth in earnings for heavy investment in new business fields. Depending on market and customer developments, an additional EUR 86 - 124 million (prior year: EUR 61.1 million) is to be invested in the market entry in Italy, in a year-long international marketing campaign for the 1&1 Do-It-Yourself Homepage in 7 European nations and the USA, and in the development and launch of De-Mail applications. In addition to growth of approx. 900,000 customer contracts in its established business fields, the company expects that these investments will enable it to gain an additional 200,000 - 300,000 customer contracts for its 1&1 Do-It-Yourself Homepage. Depending on the actual size of the investments, consolidated EBIT in 2012 is expected to reach EUR 243 - 281 million (prior year without Versatel effect: EUR 253.0 million). This corresponds to an EPS result of EUR 0.80 - 0.90. Based on strong customer growth in 2012, United Internet anticipates a significant improvement in earnings in 2013 - both in its established and in its new business fields. EPS is expected to then lie between EUR 1.00 and EUR 1.10. About United Internet With 10.67 million fee-based customer contracts and over 30 million ad-financed free accounts, United Internet AG is Europe's leading internet specialist. At the heart of United Internet is a high-performance 'Internet Factory' with over 5,600 employees, of which more than 1,500 are engaged in product management, development and data centers. In addition to the high sales strength of its established brands (1&1, GMX, WEB.DE, united-domains, fasthosts, InterNetX, Sedo and affilinet), United Internet stands for outstanding operational excellence with around 40 million customer accounts worldwide. United Internet also holds equity interests in listed companies and owns numerous investments in young internet companies. Contact Marcus Schaps Head of Press and Public Relations United Internet AG Elgendorfer Strasse 57 56410 Montabaur Germany Tel: +49 2602/96-1076 Fax: +49 2602/96-1013 E-mail: mschaps@united-internet.de Internet: www.united-internet.de End of Corporate News --------------------------------------------------------------------- 13.03.2012 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a company of EquityStory AG. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement. DGAP's Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases. Media archive at www.dgap-medientreff.de and www.dgap.de --------------------------------------------------------------------- Language: English Company: United Internet AG Elgendorfer Straße 57 56410 Montabaur Germany Phone: +49 (0)2602 / 96 - 1100 Fax: +49 (0)2602 / 96 - 1013 E-mail: info@united-internet.de Internet: www.united-internet.de ISIN: DE0005089031 WKN: 508903 Listed: Regulierter Markt in Berlin, Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, München, Stuttgart End of News DGAP News-Service --------------------------------------------------------------------- 160282 13.03.2012