Hoeft & Wessel AG pays dividend for the first time

Subsidiary Metric Parking accomplishes turnaround in 2009. Operating result of EUR 3.1 million for 2009 exceeds expectations.
The Hoeft & Wessel Group plans to pay a dividend for the first time in the year 2010. Thanks to the solid business performance in 2009, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board will propose at the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of 8 cents per share be paid to the shareholders for the last financial year. This is equivalent to a payout ratio of about one third of net income generated by the Hoeft & Wessel Group.  In relation to the share price at the end of 2009, this represents a dividend yield of 2.1 per cent. Efforts to distribute a dividend will be made in future, too, taking account of the capital requirements of the Group.

In spite of challenging general economic conditions, sales revenues of this IT hardware and software specialist in fiscal 2009, at EUR 94.1 million, were down slightly year-on-year (2008: EUR 98.1 million) by 4.1 per cent. Adjusted for currency effects, sales revenues came to EUR 97.1 million, almost matching the previous years level.

The operating result (EBIT) of the Hoeft & Wessel Group, at EUR 3.1 million in 2009, turned out slightly better than expected (previous year: EUR 3.5 million due to amortisation of goodwill).

Corresponding to the good Group results, cash flow from ongoing operations rose substantially, to EUR 5.9 million (previous year: EUR 1.5 million).

A substantial contribution to the good performance in 2009 was made by the Almex division, which has developed into one of the leading providers of ticketing systems for public transport throughout Europe. At the same time, the British subsidiary Metric, specialised in parking space management systems, successfully accomplished a turnaround in 2009. The Skeye business division recorded a decline in sales revenues that was typical for the Auto ID market segment.

In the 2009 financial year, the order intake was raised by 14 per cent, to a total volume of EUR 80.3 million (2008: EUR 70.4 million).

In 2009 the Hoeft & Wessel Group managed to acquire two large-scale orders. The Metric subsidiary was awarded a contract for the installation of more than 1,000 car park ticket vending machines in the American city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The public transport operations of the Swiss canton of Geneva opted in favour of Hoeft & Wessels Almex brand when they placed an order for 720 stationary ticket vending machines. Moreover, extensive full-service maintenance contracts for mobile Skeye brand terminals were concluded with the retail organisation Rewe. Moreover, in renewing the full-service contract of London Bus, Metric succeeded in consolidating its services department.

For the year 2010, Hoeft & Wessel AG expects a slight increase both in sales revenues and the operating result. Assuming a further recovery of the global economy, the Company anticipates that its positive business trend forecast will continue in 2011.

Our portfolio of solutions for public transport, parking, as well as retail and logistics enables us to gain increasing significance abroad. The international trends in the direction of widespread automation, networking and urbanisation provide ideal requirements for further growth. This is why we will continue opening up new markets in a targeted fashion, explains Hansjoachim Oehmen, Chairman of the Board of Management of Hoeft & Wessel AG, in explaining the Companys future growth strategy. 
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