Nobina Year-end report March 2017– February 2018
A STRONG YEAR
The fourth quarter
· Net sales amounted to SEK 2,325 million (2,243), an increase of 3.7 per cent.
· Operating profit amounted to SEK 84 million (63).
· Profit after tax amounted to SEK 44 million (267)*, and earnings per share totalled SEK 0.50 (3.02).
· Cash flow from operations was SEK 392 million (336).
· Cash flow for the fourth quarter totalled SEK 151 million (101).
The fiscal year 1 March 2017–28 February 2018
- Net sales amounted to SEK 9,094 million (8,858), an increase of 2.7 per cent.
- Operating profit was SEK 490 million (494).
- Profit after tax amounted to SEK 278 million (518)*, and earnings per share totalled SEK 3.15 (5.86).
- Cash flow for the year from operations was SEK 1,120 million (1,234).
- Cash flow for the year amounted to SEK –94 million (114). Cash flow for the period included the payment of the preceding year’s dividend of SEK –274 million (–230).
Significant events during the fourth quarter
- Two new traffic contracts in Helsinki with HRT/HSL consisting of a total of 42 buses with a value of SEK 570 million over the contract periods of seven years (41 buses) and one year (1 bus) respectively.
- In January, Nobina became the first bus company in Scandinavia with its own autonomous buses on public roads in connection with a cooperation project in Kista with Ericsson, SJ, KTH and the City of Stockholm among others.
- New traffic contract with MOVIA in Roskilde with 21 scheduled buses and a value of approximately DKK 300 million, and traffic scheduled to start in April 2019 and extend over six years with a potential extension by a total of additional six years.
Significant events after the end of the quarter
- Extension of two contracts with Ruter in Oslo and investment in electric buses starting 2019. The extensions run until 2022 and 2023 and comprise a total of 92 scheduled buses, of which 20 are new electric articulated buses. The total value of the extensions is estimated at approximately NOK 800 million.
- The credit rating agreement with Standard & Poor’s regarding Nobina AB has, on the company’s own request, been withdrawn.
- The Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of SEK 3.35 (3.10) per share for payment in June 2018, which is an 8 per cent increase compared with the preceding year.
* The preceding year’s results were affected by recognition of prior, unrecognised deferred tax assets. For more information, refer to the “Income tax” section on page 4.
Following a strong finish to the 2017/2018 fiscal year, we can state that we delivered Nobina’s best ever result, excluding non-recurring costs of SEK 33 million, with continued growth in margin before tax and net sales that rose 2.7 per cent to SEK 9,094 million.
This performance has strengthened the prospects that we can achieve the financial targets established prior to the IPO in 2015. In addition to performance improvements in existing contracts, we are becoming better at developing profitable new business outside of contracts.
Our operations in Sweden set the tone for developments in the Group. This is a business with efficient processes, from analysis and negotiations to implementation and follow-up. We can also note a positive development for our interregional express bus service, Swebus, where passenger volumes have now grown for three consecutive months and we are successfully competing in a market with tough competition. In Denmark in the fourth quarter, we secured an additional contract, with 21 buses in Roskilde and traffic starting in 2019. In Finland, we noted a strong result in 2017/2018, as a result of the extra traffic we performed in conjunction with the extension of the metro in Helsinki. Now that this is complete, we are focusing on continuing to develop our leading position in Helsinki, and are striving to secure traffic contracts in other parts of the country.
We are becoming better at operating incentive-based contracts, where our analysis of passenger flows and extensive experience of different public transport solutions means we can provide more efficient operations that increase value for our customers and, consequently, for society in general. We have also identified a trend in all countries to include in new contracts more quality criteria as part of the tendering process, and compensation models where incentives are based on boarding passengers and the quality experienced by the customers.
We have now entered a phase with high tender volumes. A total of some 2,400 buses are to be tendered in the Nordic region in 2018/2019. We have also begun a test using autonomous buses on public roads in Kista, which has received widespread attention in the media. We believe autonomous vehicles will eventually become part of the transport solution, for the purpose of supporting and strengthening current public transport services. A transfer to electric buses in transport solutions is already underway. At the end of 2018, we will have about 50 electric-powered buses in regular services in the Nordicregion.
A great deal is happening in the public transport industry and the outlook looks promising. At Nobina, we are continuing our efforts to achieve continuous improvements in efficiency to further strengthen competitiveness, but we are also reviewing opportunities to increase the growth rate. This includes more incentive-based contracts, additional business opportunities with existing customers and new bus solutions. I look forward to continuing this exciting journey together with all of Nobina’s dedicated employees.
President and CEO
The information comprises such as Nobina AB (publ) is obliged to publicly disclose pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Market Act. Through the above contact person, the information was submitted for publication at 8.00 am CET on 5 April 2018.