Sol came out with a “preliminary annual” already end of March. The numbers were not really surprising.
Sales were up 4.9%, EBITDA was up +1.4%, however net result was down -6.8%. I find this surprisingly good especially considering the tough environment for the mostly Italien based industrial gas business.
Most interesting is this part of the statement:
In comparison to 2011, the sales increased slightly in Italy (+0.2%) but much more abroad (+10.8%), which represents 46.8% of the total turnover. The home-care business, in which the Group operates through VIVISOL, marked a growth of 10.9% (sales equal to € 264.9 ml), while the technical gases business increased of 1.3% (sales equal to € 344.9 ml).
I think this is also the reason why the share price is doing quite well at the moment, despite the overall EPS decrease.
Also last week, AS Creation came out with its annual report for 2012. Numbers were ok (EPS 2.67 EUR per share against 1.69 EUR last year. Dividend will be increased to 1.20 EUR.
This is all quite positive, however the shares are now not cheap anymore. With a trailing P/E of 16 and the German economy running on full steam, there seems to be quite a lot of positive expectations for the Russian JV priced in.
AS Creation is one of the stocks where I have to check in more detail if there is still a real “margin of safety” at this level. (Edit: Interestingly, in Bloomberg they show a wrong EPS number for 2012. Here the EPS is 3.22 EUR, this makes the stock look cheaper)
The stock price has great momentum and is on its way to challenge the ATH from 2007 at around 50 EUR:
Last but not least, Vetropack came out with their 2012 report some days ago. Although EPS wass up strongly at 197 CHF per share, operating profit was down. The reason for this was a sale of non used real estate. Vetropack invested significantly more in 2012 than 2011, the question will be if this results in more growth.
In 2012, positive developements in some countires were off set mainly through negative developements in Switzerland and high energy costs.
I still like Vetropack as a very boring, extremely defensive (indirect) consumer play, again one has to monitor if the capital is allocated efficiently. At the moment a solid “hold” position.
The stock price is stagnating clearly, also compared for instance vs. Italian competitor Zignano:
Vetropack is trading at a discount (EV/EBITDA) both to Zignano and Vidrala, the 2 European peers which, in my opnion should be theother way round.