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2018-02-09 07:55 CET
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No. 4 2018 Annual Report 2017

LEI: 21380031XTLI9X5MTY92

Our core business delivered growth and EBITA above the 2016 level. Also our related business delivered growth, but did, however, dilute earnings.The Board of Directors will propose 2017 dividends distribution of DKK 10 per share at the annual general meeting.

CEO Jens Andersen says:
"We will continue to challenge the status quo to keep moving from a product-focused to a more solution-focused business and remain an attractive sourcing and services company. We invest in productivity improvement with the purpose to continuously grow the business and expand the services to our customers. We will exercise a strict management of our cost base. At the same time, we will reallocate costs to growth areas and further digitalisation of the business. The recently announced divestments of our Austrian and Belgium business activities are important steps in order to obtain profitable growth and free up capital for development." 

Financial highlights
(DKK million)*
Q4 2017 Q4 2016
2017
 

 2016
Revenue 2,979 2,851 11,105 10,420
EBITA 85 125 295 312
Earnings before tax -90 102 126 223
Cash flow from operating activities 282 415 12 203
Financial ratios (%)        
Organic growth adj. for number of working days 7.0 5.4 6.9 2.3
EBITA margin 2.9 4.4 2.7 3.0
Net working capital, period-end/revenue (LTM) 9.7 8.4 9.7 8.4
Net working capital, average/revenue (LTM)** 10.2 10.1 10.2 10.1
Gearing (NIBD/EBITDA), no. of times 1.4 0.1 1.4 0.1
Return on invested capital (ROIC) 3.8 10.0 3.8 10.0
* Due to the divestments of our Austrian and Belgian business activities, GFI GmbH and Claessen ELGB NV, 2016 and 2017 figures in this announcement relate to our continuing operations.
** Calculated as an average of the past four quarters' inventories, trade receivables and trade payables.

2017 Revenue

  • Overall, our core business experienced growth of 6.5%, while related business overall saw growth of more than 19%.
  • Actual organic growth for the group increased to 6.9% from 2.3% in 2016, adjusted for the number of working days.

2017 EBITA

  • EBITA from the core business increased by DKK 16m compared to 2016 even though EBITA was affected by one-off costs of DKK
    39m in 2017, while one-off costs amounted to an income of DKK 1m in 2016. Adjusted for one-offs, EBITA for the core business saw an increase of DKK 56m or 17% in 2017.
  • Related business diluted EBITA by DKK -45m compared to DKK
    -12m in 2016.

Dividends distribution

  • At the annual general meeting, the Board of Directors will propose dividends distribution of DKK 10.00 per share, down from DKK 12.00 distributed in 2017.

2018 outlook

  • For 2018, we expect revenue of approx. DKK 11.4bn corresponding to organic growth of approx. 4%. Within core business we expect growth of approx. 3%, which is on par or above the expected market growth. Related business is expected to show growth of approx. 25%.
  • For 2018 we expect an EBITA of approx. DKK 345m, of which DKK 365m is expected from core business and DKK -20m from related business.

    
    

EBITA, DKK million Core business Related business Solar Group
2017, actual, published 12.01.2018 309 -45 264
Divestment of Austrian and Belgian businesses 31 - 31
2017, actual  continuing
operations
340 -45 295
Overhead costs* -10 - -10
Planned improvements 35 25 60
2018 guidance 365 -20 345

   *The Austrian and Belgian businesses carried approx. DKK 10m in overhead
costs, which will now be placed in the continuing operations within core business.

Financial targets

  • Following our strategy review we have changed our long-term financial targets, which are stated in the Annual Report.

Audio webcast and teleconference today
The presentation of Annual Report 2017 will be made in English on 9 February 2018 at 11:00 CET. The presentation will be transmitted as an audio webcast and will be available at www.solar.eu. Participation will be possible via a teleconference.

Teleconference call-in numbers:

DK: tel. +45 354 455 83
UK: tel. +44 203 194 0544
US: tel. +1 855 269 2604

Yours faithfully,
Solar A/S

Jens Andersen

Contacts:
CEO Jens Andersen - tel. +45 79 30 02 01

CFO Michael H. Jeppesen - tel. +45 79 30 02 62

Director, Stakeholder Relations Charlotte Risskov Kræfting -
tel. +45 40 34 29 08

Enclosures: Annual Report 2017, pages 1-139 + Q4 2017 Quarterly information, pages 1-10. Please see Annual Report 2017 for comments on Q4 2017.

Facts about Solar
Solar Group is a leading sourcing and services company. Our core business centres on product sourcing, value-adding services and optimisation of our customers' businesses.

Being a sourcing and services company, we focus on each individual customer. We always strive to understand our customers' unique and genuine needs in order to provide relevant, personal and value-adding services, turning our customers into winners.

Solar Group is headquartered in Denmark, generated revenue of more than DKK 11bn in 2017 and has approx. 3,000 employees. Solar is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen and operates under the short designation SOLAR B. For more information, please visit www.solar.eu.

Disclaimer
This announcement was published in English and Danish today via Nasdaq Copenhagen. In the event of any inconsistency between the two versions, the English version shall prevail.

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