Group earnings were better than expected
Clean EBITDA was € 186.2m (KBC: 175.0, CSS 171.0) and clean EBIT was € 138.0m (KBC: 130.0, CSS: 126.0). Exceptionals were tiny vs. € 127.8m in 1Q11 related to the sale of the Borco terminal. Operating earnings were enhanced by € 3.5m y/y due to currency movements (stronger $ ). Earnings growth was mainly driven by capacity expansion (notably Netherlands) and an improvement in occupancy to 93% vs. 92% last year. Management reports strong demand in oil and chemicals, and they see some improvements in biofuels although that segment remains volatile. Clean EBIT rose 26% y/y, of which subsidiaries rose 27% and associates rose 24%.
New guidance implies consensus will have to move up a bit:
Management does not rule out that in 2012 they will be able to reach the low end of their 2013 target of clean EBITDA of between € 725-800m. Our current estimate for 2012 is € 710m so we will have to move up by 3-5%. BB reveals that other estimates are roughly in line with our estimate, or already at the low end of the 2013 target. On balance, consensus has to move up a notch.
Holland rules the waves:
Earnings growth was highest in the Netherlands division (+37% to € 45.9m), followed by Asia (+13% to € 53.6m), North America (+8.2% to € 10.6m), EMEA (+8% to € 24.1m), and Latin America (+1% to € 7.4m). Overhead was € -8.6m vs. € -8.9m a year ago and LNG was € 5.0m vs. € -2.0m a year ago so it swung around by € 7.0m due to commissioning of the GATE terminal and the acquisition of the Altamira terminal. Occupancy was between -1% and +1% y/y for most divisions, except for North America where occupancy rose 600bp to 97%. Group occupancy was 93% vs. 92% a year ago. Earnings growth in the Netherlands is driven by commissioning of several very large terminals in the course of 2012.
Projects under construction will add 5.6m cbm in the period 2012-2014, resulting in gross capacity of 33.9m cbm. The total investment amounts to € 1.6m, of which the remaining amount for Vopak amounts to € 400m.
Estimates under review, should go up say 3-5% on EBITDA level. TP should also go up a bit.