UNITED INTERNET AG (FRA:UTDI) Successful start to FY 2012 for United Internet

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09/05/2012 18:51
DGAP-News: United Internet AG / Key word(s): Quarter Results Successful start to FY 2012 for United Internet 09.05.2012 / 18:51 --------------------------------------------------------------------- - Growth in new customer contracts of 320,000 to 10.99 million - Sales up 15.7% to new record of EUR 576.9 million - Strong earnings growth in established business fields - Expansion course accelerated with heavy investments in new business fields - 2012 guidance confirmed Montabaur, May 9, 2012. United Internet AG once again continued its growth path as Europe's leading internet specialist in the first quarter of 2012. The company succeeded in raising both sales and the number of customer contracts to new record levels and significantly increased earnings in its established business fields. At the same time, the company invested heavily in establishing and developing new business fields. With the targets already achieved in the first quarter of 2012, United Internet is well on track to meet its forecast for 2012 as a whole. Business development of the Group In the first quarter of 2012, consolidated sales of United Internet AG rose to the new record level of EUR 576.9 million - representing year-on-year growth of 15.7%. Sales in established business fields increased by 15.0% to EUR 570.8 million. In addition, sales in new business fields amounted to EUR 6.1 million (prior year: EUR 2.2 million). United Internet also achieved strong growth in its customer contracts: with the addition of 320,000 new contracts to 10.99 million, the corresponding growth figure for the first quarter of 2011 (+210,000 new contracts) was easily exceeded. At the same time, United Internet also succeeded in raising earnings significantly in its established business fields during the first quarter of 2012. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 11.5%, from EUR 95.9 million last year to EUR 106.9 million, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved by 12.2%, from EUR 76.0 million last year to EUR 85.3 million. As announced in the forecast for the full year 2012, this positive earnings development in established business fields was used to invest heavily in the development of new business fields. The main focus was placed on the international marketing campaign for the 1&1 MyWebsite, and the development of De-Mail applications. In line with planning, EBIT-effective start-up losses of EUR 37.0 million (prior year: EUR 5.7 million) were incurred for these activities in the first quarter of 2012. These start-up losses result mainly from high expenditures for marketing the 1&1 MyWebsite in six European nations, the USA and Canada and are part of total start-up losses planned for new business fields in 2012 of EUR 86 - EUR 124 million. As a result of these start-up losses, there was an expected overall decline in key earnings figures of United Internet AG compared to the same period last year. EBITDA amounted to EUR 70.5 million (prior year: EUR 90.5 million) and EBIT totaled EUR 48.3 million (prior year: EUR 70.3 million). Pre-tax earnings (EBT) stood at EUR 44.4 million (prior year: EUR 64.8 million), while earnings per share (EPS) amounted to EUR 0.15 (prior year: EUR 0.20). 'The dynamic growth in our established business fields gives us the strength to invest heavily in new business fields. Thanks to the positive development of our business and the gradual decline in start-up losses from new business fields over the coming quarters, we are well on track to reach the targets we set for 2012 as a whole,' states Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet, in his assessment of the figures for the first quarter of 2012.
Group development  Quarterly comparison   Q1 2011  Q1 2012    Change
(in EUR million)
Established business fields
Sales                                       496.4    570.8   + 15.0%
EBITDA                                       95.9    106.9   + 11.5%
EBIT                                         76.0     85.3   + 12.2%

New business fields
Sales                                         2.2      6.1  + 177.3%
EBITDA                                       -5.4    -36.4
EBIT                                         -5.7    -37.0

Sales                                       498.6    576.9   + 15.7%
EBITDA                                       90.5     70.5   - 22.1%
EBIT                                         70.3     48.3   - 31.3%
United Internet's business is divided into the segments, 'Access' and 'Applications', as described below. Development of business in the 'Access' segment As a result of the positive development in customer figures, 'Access' sales grew by 16.9% to EUR 375.6 million in the first quarter of 2012. Despite greatly increased costs for new customer acquisition (+160,000 contracts in Q1/2012 compared to +80,000 in the same period last year), there was strong year-on-year growth in EBITDA to EUR 41.3 million (prior year: EUR 31.1 million) and EBIT to EUR 34.8 million (prior year: EUR 23.8 million).
Development of  Access segment                  Q1      Q1   Change
Quarterly comparison (in EUR  million)        2011    2012
Sales                                        321.2   375.6   +16.9%
EBITDA                                        31.1    41.3   +32.8%
EBIT                                          23.8    34.8   +46.2%
The number of Access contracts grew by 160,000 contracts to 4.24 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Customer contracts in Access segment  March 31,     Dec. 31,    March 31,
(in million)                               2011         2011         2012
Access, total                              3.71         4.08         4.24
of which DSL complete (ULL)                2.37         2.51         2.58
of which Mobile Internet                   0.37         0.79         0.94
of which narrowband / T-DSL / R-DSL        0.97         0.78         0.72
'The strong development in customer growth and sales in our 'Access' segment illustrates the dynamic trend resulting from our successful penetration of the Mobile Internet market over the last two years,' concludes Ralph Dommermuth. 'We intend to take the same approach in our 'Applications' segment. International expansion and the development of new cloud and e-business products will open up new business fields for us. The investments we make today will therefore lay the foundation for our future success.' Development of business in the 'Applications' segment Thanks to strong customer growth, sales in the 'Applications' segment also rose by 13.5% to EUR 201.2 million in the first quarter of 2012. In the segment's established business fields, sales grew by 11.4% to EUR 195.1 million. In addition, there was also revenue from new business fields of EUR 6.1 million (prior year: EUR 2.2 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the established business fields rose from EUR 64.3 million last year to EUR 67.1 million, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) improved from EUR 51.7 million last year to EUR 51.9 million. These strong earnings in its established business enabled United Internet to make planned investments in new business fields. This resulted in EBIT-effective start-up losses of EUR 37.0 million (prior year: EUR 5.7 million).
Development of Applications segment 
Quarterly comparison (in EUR million)        Q1      Q1   Change
                                           2011    2012
Established business fields
Sales                                     175.1   195.1  + 11.4%
EBITDA                                     64.3    67.1   + 4.4%
EBIT                                       51.7    51.9   + 0.4%

New business fields
Sales                                       2.2     6.1  +177.3%
EBITDA                                     -5.4   -36.4
EBIT                                       -5.7   -37.0

Sales                                     177.3   201.2   +13.5%
EBITDA                                     58.9    30.7   -47.9%
EBIT                                       46.0    14.9   -67.6%
In the first quarter of 2012, the number of Applications contracts grew by 160,000 to 6.75 million (of which 2.83 million abroad). This growth in contracts resulted from 120,000 new Business Applications contracts (of which 60,000 contracts for the 1&1 MyWebsite) and 40,000 new Consumer Application contracts, raising their respective totals to 4.79 million and 1.96 million. The number of ad-financed accounts grew from 30.8 million to 31.0 million.
Customer contracts in Applications     March 31,    Dec. 31,    March 31,
segment  (in million)                       2011        2011         2012
Total fee-based contracts                   6.26        6.59         6.75
of which domestic                           3.74        3.86         3.92
of which foreign                            2.52        2.73         2.83
Ad-financed accounts                        28.3        30.8         31.0
Outlook In view of the successful start to its fiscal year 2012, United Internet AG can confirm its guidance for the full year and expects an increase in sales of approx. 15% in its established business fields as well as strong growth in earnings. The company intends to use this growth in earnings for heavy investment in new business fields. Depending on market and customer developments, start-up losses of EUR 86 - EUR 124 million (prior year: EUR 61.1 million) are expected from the year-long international marketing campaign for the 1&1 MyWebsite, and 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 believes that these investments will enable it to gain an additional 200,000 - 300,000 customer contracts for its new business field '1&1 MyWebsite'. Depending on the size of the investments actually made, consolidated EBIT in 2012 is expected to reach EUR 243 - EUR 281 million (prior year without positive effect from the sale of Versatel shares: EUR 253.0 million). This corresponds to an EPS result of EUR 0.80 - EUR 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 11 million fee-based customer contracts and 31 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 5,800 employees, of which more than 1,600 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 42 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 --------------------------------------------------------------------- 09.05.2012 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 Indices: TecDAX Listed: Regulierter Markt in Berlin, Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Freiverkehr in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, München, Stuttgart End of News DGAP News-Service --------------------------------------------------------------------- 168994 09.05.2012