Ansprechpartner: Martina Vomela
Tel.: +43 7442 500 3100


Yearly financial report according to article 124 BörseG

BENE AG: Bene concludes first year of restructuring and starts 2014/15 full of optimism

Vienna/Waidhofen an der Ybbs (pta009/21.05.2014/08:00) - Vienna/Waidhofen an der Ybbs, 21 May 2014: Bene AG, which is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, took numerous steps during the past financial year (1 Feb. 2013-31 Jan. 2014) to lay the foundation for an operational turnaround and a sustainable positive development of the Austrian premium label. Although, as expected, the restructuring measures had a negative effect on profit, they nevertheless showed a positive impact on operations. New customers were won, major international orders were carried out and the gross profit margin improved from 52.1% to 55.4%. Overall, the Bene Group achieved total sales of EUR 163.1 million. Around a quarter of total sales (EUR 40.6 million) were in Austria; Bene thereby continues to demonstrate its position as the Austrian market leader. A comprehensive study carried out at the end of the year clearly confirmed Bene's status as an international premium brand that stands for design, innovation and superior quality. Considering the strong project pipeline ahead, the Bene Management Board expects sales growth of 10% for 2014/15.

The results of the 2013/14 financial year basically reflect the preliminary figures that were presented back on 17 April: Bene achieved group sales of EUR 163.1 million in the 2013/14 financial year compared with EUR 213.6 million in the previous year. The decrease in sales was expected to be about this amount and is largely the result of more selective market development and a sales strategy geared less towards sales volumes and more toward pricing quality. Despite the new direction for sales activities and the cost reductions that have been implemented, overcapacities at the start of the last business year and one-off charges from the restructuring burdened the final results. Bene accordingly reported EBIT amounting to EUR -24.2 million (2012/13: EUR -17.2 million) and EBITDA of EUR -12.5 million (2012/13: EUR -8.2 million) for the past financial year. On the balance sheet date 31 January 2014, the Bene Group had 1,079 employees in total worldwide (31 January 2013: 1,387) and reported net indebtedness of EUR 64.6 million (31 January 2013: EUR 55.1 million). Total assets were decreased by EUR 37.0 million to EUR 95.4 million (31 January 2013: EUR 132.4 million) due to the deconsolidations performed and because the company had to report negative capital levels in the 2013/14 financial year due to the restructuring. Equity amounted to -23.0% of total assets as of the reporting date. Bene has sufficient financial resources at its disposal with which to implement the recovery plan on its own and in the envisaged timeframe, thanks to the restructuring agreement with creditor banks agreed upon in August 2013. For the additional and long lasting strengthening of its operational business - in particular to be financially well positioned in, above all, the rapidly growing Middle East, in the financial year 2014/15 the Bene Group is aiming for an improvement in its capital and financing structure, which also includes potential equity investors. The declared aim of this process is a comprehensive recapitalisation of Bene to ensure equity and leverage ratios of an industry-appropriate size.

Premium brand internationally - market leader in Austria
Like no other company, Bene has a competitive and comprehensive portfolio that covers all dimensions of modern work environments as well as office projects of any magnitude. The Austria and UK segments as well as the Middle East region are currently showing very pleasing trends. In the past financial year, Bene achieved sales amounting to EUR 40.6 million in Austria with numerous major projects, thereby impressively demonstrating its position as the market leader.

Innovation driver of functional design and innovative design concepts
Bene's leading position as an innovation driver is underscored by its functional designs, innovative design concepts, and highly intelligent products. This uncompromising attitude towards innovation, design and sustainable solutions for the future is also reflected in numerous awards and has resulted in a strong project pipeline, in the core markets in Europe as well as in the US, Asia and Australia.

In fiscal year 2013/14, Bene took important steps towards a turnaround. Their effect will become evident in the current fiscal year. With the acquisition of the major order in Abu Dhabi, Bene created the basis for the group's organic sales growth by up to 10%, if the construction project is completed on time. Based on planned growth in sales, the positive full-year effect of the implemented cost-sinking measures, and the elimination of unusual costs related to the restructuring, it is management's goal to achieve a balanced operating result. However, this goal will only be possible as long as the impact of external factors on the Group's business, such as the currently tense political situation in Eastern Europe, remains manageable.

The annual report 2013/14 is available at:

About Bene
The Bene Group, a globally active company with its head office and production facilities in Waidhofen an der Ybbs/Austria, employs 1,079 people at 80 locations in 35 countries around the world (as of 31 Jan. 2014). Bene defines the office as a living space and its concepts, products and services turn this philosophy into reality. Development, design and production along with consulting and sales are united under one roof. As the Austrian market leader and a major market player in Europe, Bene stands for forward-looking office concepts.

web publication:
publication date: 21.05.2014

emitter: BENE AG
Schwarzwiesenstraße 3
3340 Waidhofen an der Ybbs
contact person: Martina Vomela
phone: +43 7442 500 3100
stock exchanges: official trade in Vienna
ISIN(s): AT00000BENE6 (share)
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