Ernst Russ AG: Another successful financial year
Hamburg, 22 March 2023 - Ernst Russ AG again looks back on a successful financial year. In an economic environment characterised by war, crises and transformation the Ernst Russ Group achieved a positive operating result. Therefore, the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board resolved to propose to the Annual General Meeting the distribution of a dividend.
Following the very positive trading conditions prevailing in the container shipping market relevant to the Ernst Russ Group in the first half of the year, the economic conditions deteriorated as a result of the energy crisis and rising inflation and interest rates. The second half of 2022 saw far-reaching changes in the maritime sector for all market operators which significantly undermined the container shipping markets. Operating earnings (EBIT) of Ernst Russ Group showed very positive trends overall and amounted to EUR 90.1 million (previous year: EUR 30.8 million). Consolidated net income after tax and before non-controlling interests amounted to EUR 83.9 million (previous year: EUR 26.3 million), of which EUR 36.6 million was attributable to minority interests. Due to the positive business development, the liquidity of the Ernst Russ Group increased to EUR 57.8 million despite the extensive repayment of ship mortgage loans. The Group's equity ratio increased from around 54.2% to around 73.2%. The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Ernst Russ AG therefore took the decision to propose a dividend of EUR 0.20 per share for the 2022 financial year to the Annual General Meeting. The basis for the distribution is the individual financial statement of Ernst Russ AG with retained earnings of EUR 25.9 million and positive net income for the fiscal year 2022 of EUR 4.6 million (previous year: EUR 8.5 million). This dividend can be paid in cash or in the form of company shares at the shareholders’ discretion. Since the dividend payment will be made in full out of the tax deposit account within the meaning of Section 27 Corporate Income Tax Act, it will be paid out net, i.e. without deducting any taxes like capital gains tax and/or solidarity surcharge, to domestic shareholders.
“As far as the 2023 financial year is concerned, we are cautiously optimistic that the sentiment will lift slightly and the charter markets relevant to us will stabilise at an adequate level. In light of this, we are expecting the Ernst Russ Group’s consolidated revenue to range from EUR 180 million to EUR 200 million in the 2023 financial year. According to our current forecast, operating earnings are likely to range from EUR 57 to 77 million”, says Robert Gärtner, CEO of Ernst Russ AG. The forecast is based on a planned fleet size of around 30 vessels on average and the assumption that the charter markets will continue to be stable. Accordingly, the 1025 TEU container vessel "Bakkafoss", acquired jointly in a joint venture with Eimskip, complements the ER fleet.
This year’s Annual General Meeting of Ernst Russ AG will take place on 10 May 2023 as an in-person event. Further information will be available on our website in due course – www.ernst-russ/de/hv.html. You can order a printed version of the Ernst Russ AG 2022 Annual Report in both German and English or download it from www.ernst-russ.de.
About the Ernst Russ Group: Ernst Russ AG is an international shipping company and maritime investment manager based in Hamburg. Parts of the company date back to 1893. The Group currently manages a fleet of 29 fully consolidated vessels. The focus here is on container ships with a capacity of between 700 and 6,600 TEU. Ernst Russ AG expands its fleet on an ongoing basis thus ensuring stable and sustainable added value for its shareholders.
Ernst Russ AG
Tel.: +49 40 88 88 1 – 1900