Nobina interim report 1 September - 30 November 2019
STRONG RESULT DESPITE CONTRACT MIGRATION
The third quarter
· Net sales amounted to SEK 2,763 million (2,599), an increase of 6.3 per cent compared to the prior-year quarter, of which 5.5 per cent related to acquisitions, 0.6 per cent was organic growth and 0.2 percent derived from currency effects.
· EBITA amounted to SEK 243 million (267).
· EBIT amounted to SEK 225 million (254).
· Profit before tax amounted to SEK 191 million (213).
· Profit after tax amounted to SEK 148 million (166), and earnings per share totalled SEK 1.66 (1.86) before dilution.
· Cash flow from operations excluding changes in working capital was SEK 538 million (491).
The nine-month period
- Net sales amounted to SEK 8,040 million (7,174), an increase of 12.1 per cent, of which 8.8 per cent related to acquisitions, 2.9 per cent was organic growth and 0.4 per cent derived from currency effects.
- EBITA amounted to SEK 573 million (518).
- EBIT amounted to SEK 533 million (495).
- Profit before tax amounted to SEK 389 million (366).
- Profit after tax amounted to SEK 305 million (280), and earnings per share totalled SEK 3.45 (3.16) before dilution.
- Cash flow from operations excluding changes in working capital was SEK 1,393 million (1,215).
Significant events during the third quarter
- In October, the innovation company Nobina Technology launched a new mobility service via the Travis travel app which is a smart journey planner where different modes of transport are linked together and provide the option of buying tickets for Stockholm Public Transport (SL) directly in the app.
- In November, Nobina repurchased 609,868 shares for a total amount of approximately SEK 37 million within the framework of a share saving scheme.
- Samtrans Omsorgsresor secured a renewed contract to drive wheelchair accessible taxis in Stockholm County. The contract period is for three years and is set to begin in April 2020 with an option for one additional year.
- Länstrafiken in Norrbotten and Piteå Municipality awarded Nobina the contract to operate and develop public transport for the next ten years, with traffic to start in December 2020 and comprise a total of 25 new scheduled buses, 13 of which are electric buses.
- In November, Nobina further developed its business in short-distance commercial traffic with the launch of LandvetterExpressen, an airport bus route from Borås to Gothenburg Landvetter airport with 50 daily departures, seven days a week.
- Nobina’s contract to operate city transport in Malmö was renewed by Skånetrafiken. The contract concerns the operation of 101 scheduled buses, of which 80 are electric buses, and is worth SEK 931 million over the contract period of three years. Traffic services will start in June 2021 and, following the contract period of three years, there is an optional extension period of three years.
Significant events after the end of the quarter
- After the end of the period, an additional 323,839 Nobina shares were repurchased for a total amount of approximately SEK 22 million within the framework of a share saving scheme.
The financial information presented in this report pertains to continuing operations, unless otherwise stated. The divestment of Swebus Express AB was reported pursuant to IFRS 5 and is therefore adjusted in the comparative periods and recognised at an aggregate amount under the line item “profit/loss from discontinued operations” in the consolidated income statement.
Nobina continues to grow with healthy profitability. Nobina reported growth of 6.3 per cent and an adjusted EBT of SEK 209 million (226) during the third quarter. Earnings fell short of the high figure reported in the prior-year period, mainly because we are experiencing a period of extensive contract migration since the end of the second quarter. Such a situation often results in a temporary drop in profitability due to costs for fine-tuning new contracts and additional costs for terminating old contracts. Moreover the contracts being terminated are often, purely because of their age, the most profitable ones in the portfolio. We expect the ongoing migrations to also have a negative impact on profitability in the quarters ahead.
NEW AND DEVELOPED COOPERATIONS
We further strengthened our contract portfolio during the quarter. We returned to Norrbotten through a ten-year contract to operate public transport in Piteå Municipality, and our contract with Skånetrafiken was renewed, meaning we will operate city transport in Malmö for another three years starting in 2021. Both the Piteå and Malmö contracts involve the operation of electric-powered city transport, and our investment in 80 fully electric buses in Malmö is one of the largest of its kind in Sweden. I am also pleased to note that Samtrans, which commands a strong position in the special needs transportation segment in the Stockholm region, has maintained the trust of clients in the recent tendering process. A greater focus on quality criteria during the tendering process is benefiting both Samtrans and its passengers, who are often particularly reliant on, for example, punctuality.
POSITIVE SIGNALS IN DENMARK AND NORWAY
In Denmark, the recently acquired De Blaa Omnibusser and Örslev continued to make strong contributions to net sales and profitability. Moreover, we are seeing increasingly positive effects from our services in Roskilde, a contract that began in the first quarter. Operations in Norway were not influenced by acquisitions, although additional services in the Oslo region provided a positive contribution to both sales and earnings for the quarter. At present, we have 351 buses operating in the capital region, 44 of which are electric buses.
BUSINESS AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT
Society has a significant need for flexible and sustainable journeys – a need that we continuously endeavour to satisfy through our contractual core business and other bus solutions. For example, on 2 December, we began operating the fossil-free LandvetterExpressen, which runs 50 times a day, seven days a week between Borås and the Landvetter airport – an incentive to reduce car travel. This solution is a good example of short-distance commercial traffic, an area where we see numerous applications and great potential, and which could contribute to significant benefits for society.
Another good example of societal development is, of course, the now familiar and notable city transport project in Barkarbystaden, which we develop in collaboration with Stockholm County Council and Järfälla Municipality. In relation to this, we have launched the smart travel planner Travis, connecting public transport, car-pooling, electric scooters and taxi services with traveling information and on-demand services in real time. Digital ticketing agents and services that, with a simple press of a button, can customize your door-to-door journey, are only embryonic in terms of development but we expect a rapid increase in this area. As the market leader we will act as the driving force to convince more people to travel collectively and climate-friendly.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES
Innovations and new, sustainable transport solutions are important for Nobina’s future development. At the same time, it is clear that Nobina has become the successful Group of today because of its ability never to leave anything to chance. Our focus on details, processes and continuous improvements in the existing contract portfolio has created the conditions for profitable growth. This focused work, combined with the contributions from acquired companies, has allowed us to initiate and terminate contracts involving more than 1,000 buses during the period, without any material effect on our overall earnings. This is a sign of strength that shows Nobina is continuing to move in the right direction.
President and CEO
This information is such that Nobina AB (publ) is obligated to publish in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was published, through the agency of the below-mentioned contact persons, on 20 December 2019, at 8:00 a.m.