DGAP-Ad-hoc: United Internet AG / Key word(s): Annual Results/Dividend
- Customer contracts: +1.28 million to 23.85 million contracts
- Sales acc. to IFRS 15: +22.0% to EUR 5.131 billion (pro forma: +10.1%)
- EBITDA acc. to IFRS 15: +22.6% to EUR 1.201 billion (pro forma: +10.5%)
- Two-part dividend proposal against backdrop of ongoing 5G spectrum auction
- Guidance 2019: sales growth of approx. 4%, EBITDA growth of approx. 8% or
In its fiscal year 2018, United Internet made further strong investments in new customer contracts and the expansion of its existing customer relationships, and thus in sustainable growth. All in all, the number of fee-based customer contracts was raised by 1.28 million to 23.85 million contracts. In its Consumer Access segment, the company added 970,000 contracts (900,000 mobile internet and 70,000 broadband connections), while 1.33 million ad-financed free accounts and 10,000 pay accounts were added in the Consumer Applications segment. The Business Applications segment contributed a further 300,000 contracts - of which 50,000 were from organic growth and 250,000 from the takeover of the Austrian company World4You.
Sales and earnings figures were shaped by the consolidation of Strato and Drillisch, as well as by positive conversion effects from the initial application of IFRS 15 (prior year: IAS 18). The IFRS 15 effects had a positive impact on sales (EUR +283.2 million). The effects of IFRS 15 on earnings were largely offset by expenses for the increased use of smartphones (no or only small one-off customer charges for new contracts and refinancing via higher tariff prices over the contractual term).
Specifically, consolidated sales grew by 22.0%, from EUR 4,206.3 million (acc. to IAS 18) in the previous year to EUR 5,130.8 million (acc. to IFRS 15) in the fiscal year 2018. On a pro forma basis (including Strato and Drillisch for the whole of the previous year), sales rose by 10.1% from EUR 4,660.6 million (acc. to IAS 18) to EUR 5,130.8 million (acc. to IFRS 15).
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 22.6%, from EUR 979.6 million (comparable prior-year figure acc. to IAS 18 without the extraordinary result) to EUR 1,201.3 million (acc. to IFRS 15). On a pro forma basis (including Strato and Drillisch for the whole of the previous year), EBITDA improved by 10.5% from EUR 1,087.1 million (comparable prior-year figure acc. to IAS 18) to EUR 1,201.3 million (acc. to IFRS 15). In the fiscal year 2018, EBITDA includes one-off expenses for integration projects of EUR 41.7 million.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased by 15.2%, from EUR 704.0 million (comparable prior-year figure acc. to IAS 18) to EUR 811.0 million (acc. to IFRS 15). EBIT also includes the above mentioned one-off expenses from integration projects. The difference in percentage growth compared to EBITDA (+22.6%) is due to increased amortization of purchase price allocations (PPA), mainly from the Strato and Drillisch takeovers completed in 2017.
Earnings per share (EPS) for the fiscal years 2017 and 2018 were dominated by various special items. In 2017, non-cash impairment charges on Rocket Internet shares and an extraordinary result in connection with prior-year M&A activities had a net positive impact (EPS effect: EUR +1.14), while there was a negative impact on EPS in the fiscal year 2018 from a non-cash impairment charge on Tele Columbus shares (EPS effect: EUR -1.02). Adjusted for these special items, EPS fell from EUR 2.02 to EUR 1.96. This was due to the first full-year effect of minority interests resulting from the approx. 33% stake of Warburg Pincus in the Business Applications segment and the approx. 27% stake of minority shareholders in 1&1 Drillisch AG, and thus in the Consumer Access segment. In addition, there were increased PPA writedowns relating mainly to the Strato and Drillisch takeovers in 2017, as well as to the acquisition of Versatel. Without consideration of these PPA writedowns, EPS rose by 6.0% from EUR 2.34 in 2017 to EUR 2.48 in 2018.
Against the background of the ongoing 5G spectrum auction, and the necessary additional investments in the event of a successful acquisition of spectrum at the auction, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of United Internet will make the following two-part dividend proposal - in accordance with the company's dividend policy - at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting on May 23, 2019:
Payment of a dividend of EUR 0.05 per share in the event that 1&1 Drillisch has acquired spectrum during the 5G spectrum auction by May 20, 2019. The dividend is based on the minimum dividend as prescribed by Section 254 (1) of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG). On the basis of 200.3 million shares with dividend entitlement (as of December 31, 2018), the total dividend payment for fiscal year 2018 would amount to EUR 10.01 million.
Payment of a dividend of EUR 0.90 (prior year: EUR 0.85) per share in the event that 1&1 Drillisch has not acquired spectrum during the 5G spectrum auction by May 20, 2019. On the basis of 200.3 million shares with dividend entitlement (as of December 31, 2018), the total dividend payment for fiscal year 2018 would amount to EUR 180.27 million.
An overview of all key figures and the annual financial statements 2018 are available online (as of March 28, 2019) at www.united-internet.de.
Information and Explanation of the Issuer to this News:
In the interests of clear and transparent reporting, the annual financial statements and interim statements of United Internet AG, as well as its ad-hoc announcements pursuant to Art. 17 MAR, contain additional financial performance indicators to those required under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), such as EBITDA, EBITDA margin, EBIT, EBIT margin and free cash flow. Information on the use, definition and calculation of these performance measures is provided in the Annual Report 2017 of United Internet AG from page 53 onwards.
27-March-2019 CET/CEST The DGAP Distribution Services include Regulatory Announcements, Financial/Corporate News and Press Releases.
|Company:||United Internet AG|
|Elgendorfer Straße 57|
|Phone:||+49 (0)2602 / 96 - 1100|
|Fax:||+49 (0)2602 / 96 - 1013|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Berlin, Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange|
|EQS News ID:||792685|
|End of Announcement||DGAP News Service|
792685 27-March-2019 CET/CEST