Berlin, 8 May 2017: The international commodities trading group HMS Bergbau AG was able to significantly expand its business activities in financial year 2016 – in spite of one of the most operationally challenging years on record for the industry. Improved international trading relationships and higher tonnages meant that it was able to significantly increase both total performance and profitability.
Accordingly, the group’s total performance rose by roughly 60%, from EUR 117.6 million to EUR 178.0 million in spite of a sharp drop in prices on the international coal market, above all in the first half of 2016. EBIT also increased significantly during the 2016 reporting period, from EUR 747 thousand in 2015 to EUR 1,693 thousand. Profit for the period 1 January to 31 December 2016 ran to EUR 269 thousand (previous year: EUR 179 thousand).
Total assets grew 27.7% in financial year 2016 to EUR 41.0 million (previous year: EUR 32.1 million). As of 31 December 2016, equity totalled 10.1% compared with 11.9% as of the balance sheet date in the previous year. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to EUR 1.6 million at the end of 2016 (previous year: EUR 1.4 million).
Increasing commodity price levels in the second half of 2016 and growing momentum in global commodities trading led to a trend reversal and to a positive development toward the end of 2016. Taking into account this improved framework, the company adapted its strategy to the market situation, which had a positive impact on our business activities, strengthening our strategic alignment. In 2016, HMS Bergbau AG was able to further improve its positioning in the international commodity markets in spite of market turbulence. The expansion of our trade, which previously focused primarily on coal, to include other commodities, such as ores, fertilisers and cement products, proved positive in financial year 2016, and will become another key pillar for HMS Bergbau AG in the medium term. At the same time, it has been tapping into and continuing to further develop new sourcing markets – especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East – within the scope of this horizontal integration strategy.
HMS Bergbau AG’s business developments looked promising at the beginning of financial year 2017. Positive global economic prospects, increased international trading volumes and new marketing agreements, above all in South Africa, Botswana and Indonesia – coupled with an expansion of trading in other commodities – have made us optimistic about the future.
Management therefore expects sales revenues to increase slightly and gross margins to remain attractive in the current 2017 financial year. We expect a positive annual result at a higher level than the one seen in 2016 for financial year 2017.