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Ernst Russ AG: Positive business performance in the 2019 financial year and continuation of the maritime strategy

Hamburg, 27 April 2020 - The Ernst Russ Group successfully completed strategic projects in the 2019 financial year and further expanded its position as a maritime asset and investment manager.

Positive pre-tax earnings of EUR 3.5 million were generated in the 2019 financial year. Operating earnings (EBIT) of EUR 4.0 million were up slightly on the previous year’s level of EUR 3.8 million. Revenue was up from EUR 52.7 million to EUR 58.8 million due to the expansion of the fleet and the increase in charter income. Growth is also reflected in the increase in total equity and liabilities to EUR 148.7 million (previous year: EUR 103.4 million). Equity of EUR 68.7 million (previous year: EUR 51.1 million) produced an equity ratio of 46.2% (previous year: 49.4%).

Ernst Russ AG continued to pursue its maritime strategy successfully by disposing of its subsidiaries in the Solar and Investor Management segments and other Group companies. These transactions also enabled significant streamlining of the Group structure and a considerable reduction in liability risks.

In summer 2019, Ernst Russ AG acquired a majority interest in a shipping company and further expanded its fleet by adding a handymax bulker and a 3,100 TEU container ship. This was followed by a 4,200 TEU container ship in June 2019 and a feeder container ship in October 2019 in cooperation with a strategic partner. Ernst Russ AG has also acquired further shares in the ElbFeeder joint venture, which holds ownership in seven shipping companies in total, and now has a majority shareholding. The Ernst Russ Group now manages a fleet totalling 71 vessels with a significant shareholding in 28 of these.

‘I am satisfied with the development of Ernst Russ AG in the 2019 financial year. It is and remains our goal to steadily develop our company and the Shipping segment, and to continue to grow within the container, bulker and tanker segment,’ says Robert Gärtner, CEO of Ernst Russ AG in summarising the positive annual result of the Ernst Russ Group.

Corona poses immense challenges for the entire economy. Robert Gärtner looks ahead optimistically: ‘We are taking responsibility by doing everything in our power to protect our shareholders, business partners and employees. We are doing everything to keep our company fully functional and successful’.

It is the aim of Ernst Russ AG to hold an Annual General Meeting and to report on the past fiscal year promptly. This event is currently planned for 19 June 2020 in the form of a virtual Annual General Meeting. Further information will be available on the website at www.ernst-russ.de in due course. You can order a printed version of the Ernst Russ AG 2019 Annual Report or download it from www.ernst-russ.de.

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