January–December 2019: Main focus on performance improvement in Rettig Group’s portfolio companies
Unless otherwise stated, the figures refer to 1 January–31 December 2019 and the corresponding period in 2018. All figures are audited and prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Rettig Group financial highlights
- Rettig Group consolidated turnover in 2019 increased slightly from 2018. The increase came from Purmo Group.
- Rettig Group consolidated EBITDA in 2019 was higher than in 2018. EBITDA of both Purmo Group and Nordkalk improved. Performance improvement measures and the first-time adoption of IFRS 16 Leases starting on 1 January 2019 had a positive impact on EBITDA.
- EBIT increased. The change in accounting treatment of the investments in eQ Plc and Terveystalo Plc contributed positively to EBIT.
- Free cash flow improved following improved EBITDA and favourable development in net working capital.
Matts Rosenberg, CEO of Rettig Group:
“The main focus areas for Rettig Group in 2019 were threefold. First, significant performance improvement initiatives were implemented in our privately held core investments, Purmo Group and Nordkalk. Secondly, we calibrated Rettig Group’s strategy, which sets out to create value through active and responsible ownership. Finally, certain changes were made to Rettig Group’s organisation in order to support successful strategy implementation. Taken together, the main theme was to improve performance in our portfolio companies and operations during 2019.”
Portfolio Company highlights in 2019
PRIVATE CORE INVESTMENTS
Purmo Group had a transformational year in 2019. The company changed its name from Rettig ICC to Purmo Group and renewed its divisional structure. Senior management was strengthened to support the transformation and a new, state-of-the-art radiator factory in Yangzhou, China, was opened. Purmo Group’s turnover and EBITDA increased in 2019 compared to the previous year and the company was successful in reducing costs, for example, in production and procurement.
Nordkalk – A comprehensive performance improvement programme was initiated at Nordkalk and a new CEO, Paul Gustavsson, was appointed to lead the transformation. A new operating model based on three regions was adopted, resulting in a reduction of 16 per cent of the company’s positions. Nordkalk’s EBITDA was significantly above the previous year’s level and the company’s updated strategy aims to drive growth and focuses on sustainable limestone-based solutions.
Alandia – 2019 was the first year for Alandia as a refined marine and yacht insurance company. Strategic focus areas were insurance portfolio optimisation, internal process optimisation and IT systems development. Strong growth continued in premium income in all segments and market areas, but the technical result was lower than expected following significantly higher claims costs in the Hull & Machinery insurance market than in recent years. The decrease was offset by increased investment returns.
Rettig Group’s ownership in Alandia is 25 per cent. It accounts for its ownership according to the equity method and a share of profit of EUR 2.0 million is included in 2019 EBIT. Rettig Group received a dividend of EUR 0.5 million from Alandia in 2019.
LISTED CORE INVESTMENTS
Terveystalo had an excellent year operationally and financially in 2019. Growth continued across all the customer groups and revenue for the full year grew by more than 38 per cent year-on-year, exceeding one billion euros. Organic growth clearly exceeded the long-term growth target of 6–8 per cent and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) grew to EUR 115 million.
Rettig Group’s ownership in Terveystalo is 16.52 per cent, and it is Terveystalo’s second largest shareholder. Rettig Group accounts for its ownership in Terveystalo according to the equity method and a share of profit of EUR 8.2 million is included in 2019 EBIT. Rettig Group received an equity repayment of EUR 4.2 million from the company.
eQ’s result in 2019 was excellent. The Group's net revenue increased by 12 per cent to EUR 50.6 million. The Group's operating profit was EUR 26.3 million and the profit for the period was EUR 21.0 million, growth on the previous year being 18 per cent. The Group’s growth was driven by the asset management business, the operations and profit of which grew exceptionally well.
Rettig Group’s ownership in eQ is 15.15 per cent. It accounts for its ownership according to the equity method and a share of profit of EUR 2.7 million is included in 2019 EBIT. Rettig Group received a dividend of EUR 2.7 million and an equity repayment of EUR 0.4 million from eQ.
The return on Financial Investments was 15.7 per cent compared to 8.4 per cent in the previous year. Performance was strong in all subportfolios. During 2019, we exited our liquid fixed income investments and increased allocation towards private equity.
Outlook for 2020
The uncertainty has increased with respect to the macroeconomic environment, and we expect subdued global economic growth in 2020. Performance improvement in the portfolio companies continues to be the primary objective for Rettig Group also in 2020.
Events after the reporting period
RG Partners Ltd, in which Rettig Group Ltd and the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland are the largest owners, has on 1 March 2020 entered into agreements by which it would acquire a 10.12 per cent ownership of Aktia Bank Plc from several sellers, if the transaction is completed. Part of the transaction is conditional upon approvals from the European Central Bank and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority for RG Partners to acquire a shareholding of more than 10 per cent in Aktia Bank.
Martina von Rettig and Janne Larma were elected as new members of the Board of Rettig Group in the Annual General Meeting on 5 March 2020.
Annual report and financial statements for 2019 published
Financial calendar 2020
The January-March Interim Management Statement will be published on 7 May 2020, the January-June interim report on 19 August 2020 and the January-September Interim Management Statement on 2 November 2020.
Matts Rosenberg, CEO, Rettig Group
Pia Dahlqvist, Head of Communications and HR, Rettig Group
Tel. +358 (0)40 526 7813