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2019-05-09 09:00 CEST
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en Group A/S interim report January - March 2019

No. 07/2019
Copenhagen, 9 May 2019

Growth in Auction Turnover and improved EBITDA from operations has seen a quarter of growth in Auction Turnover of 3.5% in local currencies, equal to 1.0% consolidated in DKK. The improvements are primarily due to a very strong development in the Swedish online business under Stockholms Auktionsverk and a small increase in Denmark.

Together with cost reductions of 4 percent (like for like business) this results in the best Q1 performance from operations since the group was listed in 2016. EBITDA in 2019 is DKK 1,478k compared to DKK 361k (excluding the gain from sale of the Fine Art business in 2018 and accrual release) in 2018 and approximately DKK 0k in 2017 (excluding the fees from sale of partnership agreements and adjusting for IFRS 16).

Despite a very cyclical business with Q1 as the weakest period of the year cash flow from operations for Q1 has improved by DKK 28m compared to 2018.

We have seen an improved market demand for our products and a positive response on our financing situation, which together has made us see a change in the development to the better. Furthermore, the start of Q2 has continued this development and we foresee the positive momentum continuing during the year.

To support and strengthen the positive development we will continue the intensified sales- and marketing initiatives and further increase the focus on operations of the business.

Commercial initiatives

A number of commercial initiatives are showing positive effect on the Q1 results. Among them an increased focus on sales management, business control and execution both internally in the headquarters and in relation to the individual auction houses.

Furthermore, all our auction houses has gone through a comprehensive optimization process in terms of logistics and handling of the auction supply chain, which has released resources for intensified sales activities.

In terms of marketing activities, we have focused on creating local activities including an increase in our outreach via focused social media, which has shown a positive effect and strengthened our presence in the local and regional communities.

Furthermore, in order to keep a high visibility in the market, we continuously and persistently communicate our standard free pickup-service and personal booking of experts for private home visits. Furthermore, we are targeting professional sellers to consign larger lot stocks, like previous season's product inventories or surplus items that are suitable for selling at auctions. The benefits of selling at auction are many for our professional sellers - some of the major benefits are massive exposure and a higher stock turnover rate as well as storage capacity, logistics and resales all being handled by the auction house. 

In order to give both private and professional sellers more comfort in relation to the price they will achieve in an auction, we are working at a more flexible and individual setup for setting minimum prices and starting bid for the auction.

The reacquisition of the Fine Art business in March 2019 concluded a turbulent year for this part of the group. We are now focusing on developing this business with a strong base in the facilities at Nybrogatan in Stockholm.

Refinancing of Bonds

The refinancing of the bonds has been agreed with the bondholders, and all legal work related to finalizing the changes is almost completed.

The impact of the refinancing will be included in Q2.

The clarification of the financing situation and the positive development in Auction turnover and profit achieved confirm our confidence in a successful development in the coming years for 

Bengt Sundström, Chairman of the board

Preben Vinkler Lindgaard, CFO

Highlights 2019

January - March 2019  
  • Auction Turnover growth of 3.5 percent in local currency. Growth of 1 percent in DKK.
  • Average knockdown price DKK 2,447 (2,563).
  • Number of knockdowns 69,985 (66,971).
  • Cost level in like for like business in Q1 is reduced by 4 percent compared to last year.
  • EBITDA in Q1 in like for like business is DKK 1,478k, compared to DKK 361k in 2018 and DKK 0k in 2017.
  • Auction Turnover Margin1 in like for like business amounted to 0,8 (0.2) percent.
  Group A/S key figures    
      January - March
DKK million   2019 2018
Auction turnover   171,275 169,825
Revenue   54,150 55,150
Number of Knockdowns (excl. QXL)   69,985 66,971
Average Knockdown price (excl. QXL)   2,447 2,563
EBITDA   1,478 41,842
Auction Turnover Margin1   0.8% 23.6%
Profit   -5,990 31,942
Earnings per share   -0.147 0.783
Cash flow from operations   -20,222 -48,060

1 Auction Turnover Margin = EBITDA/Auction Turnover. Group A/S
Preben Lindgaard

For press enquiries, please contact:
Susanne Sandsberg Klubien,
+45 26891909  

For other enquiries, please contact:
Preben Lindgaard

Certified Adviser: Erik Penser Bank AB
Telephone number: +46 8-463 83 00

Market place: Nasdaq First North Premier Stockholm

This information is information that Group A/S is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 09.00 CEST on 9 May 2019.