Nobina year-end report March 2018–February 2019
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR NOBINA
The fourth quarter
· Net sales amounted to SEK 2,560 million (2,251), an increase of 13.7 per cent.
· EBITA amounted to SEK 91 million (97).
· EBIT amounted to SEK 69 million (97).
· EBT amounted to SEK 23 million (66).
· Profit after tax amounted to SEK 18 million (55), and earnings per share totalled SEK 0.21 (0.38) before dilution.
· Cash flow from operations excluding changes in working capital was SEK 279 million (241).
The fiscal year 1 March 2018–28 February 2019
Net sales amounted to SEK 9,734 million (8,760), an increase of 11.1 per cent.
EBITA amounted to SEK 578 million (530).
EBIT amounted to SEK 533 million (526).
EBT amounted to SEK 395 million (391).
Profit after tax amounted to SEK 303 million (306), and earnings per share totalled SEK 3.44 (3.46) before dilution.
Cash flow from operations excluding changes inworking capital was SEK 1,285 million (1,155).
Significant events during the fourth quarter
Following On 18 December, Nobina AB received an investment grade credit rating of BBB- with a stable outlook from the international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings.
In January, Petri Auno was appointed new Managing Director of Nobina Finland and member of Nobina’s group management. He joins from VR Group and a position as Senior Vice President. Petri will take up his new position not later than 18 June 2019.
Nobina has been awarded a new ten-year contract by Östgötatrafiken to operate and work jointly to develop bus services in Linköping, both city and regional transport services. The agreement is worth approximately SEK 2.6 billion and involves 87 scheduled buses. The contract includes an initiative using electric-powered articulated buses, new routes and more frequent services.
In February, Nobina AB issued its first green bond of SEK 500 million with a coupon rate of 1.55 per cent. The proceeds from the bond will be used to finance green investments including electric buses, buses run on biofuel as well as charging infrastructure.
Significant events after the end of the quarter
In March, Nobina was awarded two new contracts for Västtrafik in Sjuhärad with a total contract value of SEK 1.4 billion over the contract period, spanning over 10.5 years. Traffic is scheduled to start in June 2020 and involves a total of 70 scheduled buses.
On 12 March, Nobina’s first green bond was listed in the market for sustainable bonds on Nasdaq Stockholm and thereby became available for trade on the same day.
The Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of SEK 3.80 (3.35) per share for payment in June 2019, which is a 13 per cent increase compared with the preceding year.
The financial information presented in the 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 current and the comparative periods and recognised at an aggregate amount under the line item “profit/loss from discontinued operations” in the consolidated income statement.
We can summarise another successful year for Nobina. Sales, adjusted for currency effects, grew by over 9 per cent, or by 4 per cent organically1), and we further strengthened profitability. As previously communicated, we achieved the financial targets set in conjunction with the IPO in June 2015, and are now striving towards new, ambitious targets for continued, long-term, profitable growth. During the 2018/2019 fiscal year, we defended our positions in a market with large tender volumes. During the fourth quarter, we were awarded Östgötatrafiken’s large contract for city and regional transport services in Linköping and after the quarter we won new contracts with Västtrafik to operate in Bollebygd and Kinna. Tender volumes will remain high in 2019, but as fewer of the contracts we currently hold are due to be tendered, we could grow our market shares.
In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, we refined and focused our operations. We divested our interregional traffic Swebus and completed acquisitions that strengthened the contract business including De Blaa Omnibusser (DBO) in Denmark. With Samtrans as part of the Group, we have established important expertise within special needs transportation and can benefit from this in other regions. The acquisition in February of Danish Örslev is a first step in Denmark in this area. Integration of all three acquisitions has now been initiated and proceeds according to plan.
During the fiscal year, electric buses have comprised a natural component of tender documentation for city transport. Development in this area is progressing rapidly, and in the near future we will probably also see electric buses operating in rural areas. At the end of the year, we had 50 electric buses in operation, and we expect that this figure will triple over the next year and continue to grow rapidly. Public transport, unlike passenger car and truck transportation, has made a great deal of progress in the transition to a fossil-free solution. Our bus fleet is currently operated on 81 per cent renewable fuel and within the next few years we will have more electric buses than diesel buses. A growing number of players are aware that buses, and other public transport, have an important role to play in the sustainable development of our cities and communities. We could see this in the substantial interest in the green bond we issued in February, to finance, for example, new electric buses and charging infrastructure. During the fourth quarter, we took the next step in the development of the world’s most modern public transport, in Barkarbystaden near Stockholm, through a decision to collaborate with Scania in test driving autonomous full length buses. Our autonomous minibuses already transport an average of 100 people every day on existing regular services in the district. During the quarter, we also announced the extension of our collaboration with the Swedish Arbetsförmedlingen job centre in the recruitment of bus drivers and mechanics. Increasing the attractiveness of the profession is an important issue for us. We want more people to understand that public transport is an industry of the future, where we are leading developments as the largest player in the Nordic region.
We are now facing several major traffic start-ups and terminations, which will reduce profitability in the short-term. At the end of the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the average contract age was 56 per cent of the average contract term. The average age will gradually decrease as new contracts are secured. As we place stringent demands on the contracts we wish to secure, once achieved it is positive for long-term profitability that we can continue to grow. Nobina’s underlying earnings capacity is robust.
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 2019.