Despite positive business performance in January and February, Q1 2020 at SIXT clearly affected by effects of the Corona crisis
- Consolidated revenue of the mobility service provider for Q1 just 3.4% below last year’s figure thanks to a good start to the year
- However, practical standstill in international travel due to the Corona crisis in March results in quarterly loss before taxes of EUR 5.1 million
- Substantial adjustments made in response to slump in demand: already in Q1 reduction to size of fleets and investments down by 8% on last year
- Massive cost cutting measures of over EUR 150 million initiated for personnel and material costs
- Syndicated loan agreement with participation of German state-owned KfW Bank serves to secure the financial flexibility, especially for financing Sixt Group’s rental fleet
- Private customers are viewing flexible rental and carsharing vehicles more and more as a safe and affordable alternative to the local public transportation system: expansion of long-term rental segment, extension of SIXT share to another European country scheduled for early June
- Expectations for the whole of fiscal 2020 unchanged but further business development highly dependent on further easing measures for travel activities
Pullach, 13 May 2020 – For Sixt SE, the first quarter of the current fiscal year was very much affected by the effects of the worldwide Corona crisis. Once government measures to contain the pandemic came fully into force, such as worldwide travel warnings, border-crossing restrictions, stay-at-home orders and mobility restrictions, plus the shutdown of the economy – business slumped dramatically overnight in mid-March. Although the Group-wide revenue slump for Q1 was just a moderate 3.4% compared with last year’s quarterly figure thanks to an encouraging start to the year, which even outstripped internal expectations, the earnings situation of the international mobility service provider was still clearly characterised by the cost basis prior to the slump in demand in March. Moreover, the effects of the immediately initiated and extensive cost saving and adjustment measures for the rental fleet as well as for personal and material costs will only come into full effect in the coming quarters. Against this background, the Group’s earnings before taxes (EBT) stood at EUR -5.1 million. This means that SIXT is staying within the revised budget plan of March and can therefore confirm its expectations for the full fiscal year 2020. This is based on the assumption that as of the important third quarter one will see a gradual and noticeable rebound in demand.
Erich Sixt, CEO Sixt SE: “During the first two months of 2020 the world was still in order for SIXT, as the growth course of the previous years even exceeded our own expectations. Following the de facto halt to international travel in March, we reacted very quickly to the worldwide slump in demand. We still expect that demand will normalise step by step during the second half of the year. This is obviously dependent on political decisions to further ease limitations on travel, especially in cross-border trips. Thanks to the high adaptability of our business model, we shall be well prepared once demand rebounds. This will allow us to get back onto the market quickly once the crisis subsides.”
Key Group figures for Q1 2020
Introductory Note: As announced, Sixt SE has sold its 41.9% stake in Sixt Leasing SE to Hyundai Capital Bank Europe GmbH which, in the course of this process, submitted a voluntary public takeover bid for all shares in Sixt Leasing SE. Completion of the transaction is expected during the second half of the year 2020. For this reason, the previously fully consolidated investment will be reported as a discontinued operation from the first quarter of 2020 in accordance with the provisions of IFRS 5. The following key figures therefore include the Mobility Business Unit and the other activities of the SIXT Group, but no longer the former Leasing Business Unit. The result as well as the assets and liabilities of the Leasing Business Unit are shown separately in the Balance Sheet and Income statement. The figures for last year have been adjusted accordingly.
- Group revenue for the first three months of this year came to EUR 488.5 million and was thus 3.4% below the previous year’s figure of EUR 505.7 million. While the first two months had once more seen significant growth, this was offset in March by a severe drop in revenue following the effects of the worldwide Corona crisis. Domestic revenue contracted by 4.5% to EUR 210.2 million, with foreign operations down by 2.6% to EUR 278.3 million.
- Consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) for the period from January to March came to EUR -5.1 million (Q1 2019: EUR 40.1 million). It should be noted that the reduction of the rental fleet initiated in March will be delayed due to the average holding period of the vehicles of around 6 months. Material and personnel costs for the reporting period were also still influenced by the business developments prior to Corona.
- For Q1 SIXT reports post-tax earnings from continued business units of EUR -9.6 million (Q1 2019: EUR 27.7 million).
- As announced, SIXT has substantially scaled back investments in the fleet and will continue this process in Q2. Over the first three months of 2020, around 55,900 vehicles were added to the rental fleet Group-wide (Q1 2019: approx. 66,600 vehicles) with a total value of EUR 1.72 billion (Q1 2019: EUR 1.88 billion). This amounts to a reduction in the number of vehicles of around 16% and in the investment volume of around 8%.
Demand from private customers for flexible rental vehicle options and carsharing continues to grow
The customer segments of SIXT continue to be affected differently by the Corona crisis. While demand from business and corporate customers is currently very flat due to the general restrictions on travel and the almost complete closure of commercial airports, in its urban outlets SIXT is registering a further increase in demand from private customers for flexible rental solutions, which has already returned to pre-Corona levels. Carsharing and the classic rental car are seen more and more as a safe alternative to using public transportation during Corona times. SIXT reacted immediately to this development with its product services:
- Flexible daily, weekly and monthly offers for rental cars (“Car on time”) through SIXT rent come with shorter termination periods and instant availability without delivery times, offering customers a bespoke alternative to public buses and commuter trains;
- Attractive subscription models with fixed monthly rates for virtually all vehicle classes;
- Expansion of the nationwide fleet for the carsharing service SIXT share, which is available in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg and other select German sites. Over 1,000 vehicles have been added since the start of the crisis. This service is also seeing customer demand even outstripping pre-Corona levels at present. Obviously, customers appreciate the quality of the service which was recently awarded by the German consumer association Stiftung Warentest. In a test of various car sharing providers, SIXT share convinced as the “best German free-floating provider”. SIXT share is scheduled to be launched in another European country outside Germany as of the start of June.
Alexander Sixt, Member of the Executive Board (CAO) of Sixt SE: “Right after the start of the crisis we launched an extensive savings programme. We downsized our biggest cost driver, the fleet, by 13% compared to the average number of vehicles in the previous year already in Q1 to instantly free liquidity. This very clearly demonstrates the high adaptability of our business model. At the same time, we also initiated extensive savings efforts to bring down personnel and material costs already in March with an annualised effect of over EUR 150 million. These effects will be very evident in the following quarters. Alongside the massive reduction of our costs we reacted immediately at the start of the Corona crisis by extending and adjusting our product range to meet the mobility requirements of people in the best possible way even under the current conditions. Our special focus is on expanding our long-term rental offers such as the car-subscription and flat models as well as the extension of our carsharing. The demand for both products is already on the level before the Corona outbreak.”
Syndicated loan secures financial flexibility
To secure its financial flexibility, Sixt SE signed a syndicated loan agreement with a consortium of banks, made up of the Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, DZ BANK AG and UniCredit Bank AG as well as the German state-owned “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau” (KfW) at the start of May 2020. The revolving credit line has a volume of up to EUR 1.5 billion and was concluded at market conditions with a term up to two years. The syndicated loan serves especially the financing of the Sixt Group’s rental fleet, as we still assume a gradual normalisation of demand in the second half of the year and a return to normality in 2021.
Sixt Leasing: minimum acceptance threshold for voluntary public takeover bid reached
On 21 February 2020 Sixt SE concluded an agreement with Hyundai Capital Bank Europe GmbH, a joint venture of Santander Consumer Bank Aktiengesellschaft and Hyundai Capital Services Inc., for the sale of its 41.9% stake in the previously fully consolidated Sixt Leasing SE. With an acceptance rate of almost 73 percent the minimum acceptance threshold of 55 percent for the public takeover bid made by Hyundai Capital Bank Europe GmbH was significantly exceeded at the end of April 2020. This marks another important milestone on the way to the successful sale of Sixt Leasing SE. SIXT expects the transaction to be completed in the second half of 2020.
Outlook for the whole of 2020
Despite the cost saving measures taken, the Managing Board of Sixt SE expects the second quarter of 2020 to see a very strong slump in consolidated operating revenue and Group-EBT given the worldwide travel restrictions.
For the full fiscal year 2020, SIXT confirms its previous expectations and expects to see a sharp decline in consolidated operating revenue compared to last year (discounting the discontinued Leasing Business Unit). Moreover, the Managing Board expects Group-EBT to be clearly positive, even though very strongly below than that of last year (excluding the positive earnings effect from the planned sale of the stake in Sixt Leasing SE). This outlook is based on the assumption that the significant restrictions on private and business travel in the markets of relevance for SIXT will gradually be eased again during the course of 2020 and that demand for mobility products will normalise again step by step. This premise is obviously subject to uncertainty, as no one can foresee the further development of the worldwide pandemic – all the more so as politicians have so far failed to come up with a concrete roadmap as to when travel and mobility restrictions should be comprehensively eased and the economy revived on a larger scale. Of great significance for SIXT will be the third quarter, which is usually a strong quarter in seasonal developments.
For 2021 the Managing Board continues to expect consolidated operating revenue to increase substantially again and Group-EBT to see a slight increase. Projections for both are compared to the previous record year of 2019 and discounting the discontinued Leasing Business Unit.
Today Sixt SE published its Quarterly Statement as of 31 March 2020 on its website at http://ir.sixt.com in the section “Financial Reports.”
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The SIXT Group at a glance
(Data according to IFRS; rounding differences may occur)
|in EUR million||Q1 2020||Q1 2019||in %|
|Mobility Business Unit||485.5||504.4||-3.7|
|Thereof rental revenue||429.0||450.5||-4.8|
|Thereof other revenue from
|in EUR million||Q1 2020||Q1 2019||in %|
|Net other operating income/expenses||-110.8||-123.3||-10.1|
|Earnings before net finance costs, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)||121.6||149.6||-18.7|
|Depreciation and amortisation expense||117.4||102.8||+14.2|
|Earnings before net finance costs and taxes (EBIT)||4.2||46.7||-91.1|
|Net finance costs||-9.3||-6.6||+40.5|
|Earnings before taxes (EBT)||-5.1||40.1||>-100|
|Thereof Mobility Business Unit||-4.7||40.3||>-100|
|Income tax expense||4.5||12.4||-63.8|
|Result from continuing operations||-9.6||27.7||>-100|
|Result from discontinued operations, net of taxes||25.8||5.6||>100|
|Other key figures for the Group||31 Mar. 2020||31 Dec. 2019||Change in %|
|Total assets (in EUR million)||6,721.0||6,249.4||+7.5|
|Rental vehicles (in EUR million)||2,801.4||3,033.4||-7.6|
|Equity (in EUR million)||1,615.1||1,592.2||+1.4|
|Equity ratio (in %)||24.0||25.5||-1.5 points|
|Q1 2020||Q1 2019||Change in %|
|Investments (in EUR billion)1||1.72||1.88||-8.3|
|Average number of rental vehicles (Group)||130,900||129,200||+1.3|
1 Value of vehicles added to the rental fleet