Westfalen AG has declared that it is “back on the road to success” after revealing a mammoth increase in earnings before tax (EBT) revenue in its 2015 full-year financial results.
EBT for the group grew by a sizeable €30.5m ($33.7m), rising from €1.5m ($1.7) to €32m ($35.4m), with the improvement credited to higher sales and positive margin trends compared to the previous year.
The company attributed this drastic growth to the division’s higher operating profits in 2015, as well as its energy supply and service station division’s earnings being severely affected by the plunge in oil prices in the previous fiscal year.
With our brand strength, high-quality service quality and personal commitment, we were able to significantly increase our margins
Wolfgang Fritsch-Albert, CEO of the German corporation, signified, “With our brand strength, high-quality service quality and personal commitment, we were able to significantly increase our margins.”
However, group turnover in fiscal 2015 dropped by €129.8m ($143.4m) to settle at a total revenue of €1.65bn ($1.8bn) – a 7.3% drop overall. Part of this decline was down to revenue being reduced in the energy supply and service stations divisions, due to the price decline in liquefied gases and fuels.
Specialty gases and liquid industrial gases benefitted the most from higher sales and positive margin trends in its gases division, but it was a tale of two halves as sales levels for liquefied gases in its energy division were significantly lower than the previous fiscal year.
In total, Westfalen invested €46.5m ($51m) back into the group over the past 12 months, namely on expanding its international gas business and on rationalisation and restructuring measures.
Under one such investment, Westfalen’s medical business flourished during the fiscal year. During the year, the company expanded its medical product portfolio launching the in-house production of the medical gas carbon dioxide (CO2) under the brand name Corpadur®. Additionally, the German corporation acquired an 80% shareholder stake in homecare, medical and rehab technology business, Medica-Technik GmbH, strengthening its capital base in this sector.
In terms of an outlook for the future, Westfalen indicated that it anticipates increased sales and higher turnover will mature into an improvement, albeit modest, in earnings. However, anticipated increase in revenue in its energy supply and service station divisions largely depend on autonomous external factors – such as average annual temperatures the changes in margins on fuel.
On the back on this, a press release signified, “The high price volatility on mineral oil products and competitive pressure make it difficult to forecast earnings. Compared to the levels for the previous year, planned sales and turnover are reserved.”