Ad-hoc announcement: Management and Supervisory Board propose the suspension of the dividend - CENIT records slight sales decline in the first quarter of 2020
During the first three months, CENIT group generated sales revenues of EUR k 39,228 (prior year: EUR k 41,238/-4.9%). Sales revenues in CENITs consulting and services segment decreased by -8.3% to EUR k 11,594 (prior year: EUR k 12,639). Sales of third-party software increased by approx. -5.6% to EUR k 23,724 (prior year: EUR k 25,136). Sales proceeds from CENIT’s proprietary software increased from EUR k 3,401 to EUR k 3,640 (7.0%).
The gross profit (operating output less cost of materials) amounted to EUR k 20,064 (prior year: EUR k 20,814, representing a decrease of -3.6%. CENIT achieved EBITDA of EUR k 2,338 (prior year: EUR k 2,306/1.4%) and EBIT of EUR k 805 (prior year: EUR k 844/-4.7%). Results per share were EUR 0.06 EUR (prior year: 0.07 EUR).
During the first three months, the group-wide order intake totaled EUR k 53,872 (prior year: EUR k 48,940). On March 31st, 2020 orders in hand amounted to EUR k 61,866 (prior year: EUR k 61,099).
Asset and Financial Situation
On the balance-sheet date, equity capital totaled EUR k 41,288 (31 Dec. 2019: EUR k 40,940), accounting for an equity ratio of 42.5% (31 Dec. 2019: 45.8%). On the balance-sheet date, bank deposits and liquid assets totaled EUR k 26,960 (31 Dec. 2019: EUR k 18,461). The operative cash flow was EUR k 9,653 (prior year: EUR k 10,828).
On March 31st, 2020, CENIT group employed 738 (prior year: 747). Group-wide personnel costs for the reporting period were EUR k 15,312 (prior year: EUR k 15,487).
Annual General Meeting and dividend
The Management Board has decided, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, to make use of the option provided by the German Act on Measures under Corporate, Cooperative, Association, Foundation and Home Ownership Law to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic ("COVID-19 Act") to protect shareholders, employees and participating service providers to hold the 2020 Annual General Meeting as a virtual general meeting without the physical presence of shareholders or their authorized representatives.
Considering the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the business activities and liquidity of CENIT AG, the Management Board and Supervisory Board have reviewed the original proposal for the appropriation of profits published in the Annual Report 2019 and the prospect of continuing the current dividend policy. After careful consideration, they have agreed that, in the interest of strengthening the company's stability in view of the economic and financial challenges that are expected in the current business year, a dividend payment is not appropriate at present.
The COVID 19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the global economy and the countermeasures that have been taken have significantly restricted economic activity since mid-March.
This will also have a significant impact on the business development of CENIT AG in 2020, especially since the majority of our customers belong to the automotive and aerospace industries, which are currently suffering particularly from the shutdown and production downtimes.
As it is not possible to estimate neither the duration nor the further spread of the pandemic, we are unable to make a reliable sales and earnings forecast at present. We hope that the economic situation will recover by the middle of the second half-year 2020.
Please visit CENIT’s homepage for the full 3 Months Report 2020: www.cenit.com/reports.
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