VTG tank wagon.

EUROPE: ‘VTG opened a completely new chapter in 2015’, said Chief Executive Heiko Fischer when presenting preliminary results on February 23. In 2015 the integration of AAE had been successfully completed, all VTG divisions developed their business, processes and structures were simplified and comprehensive refinancing benefited from low interest rates, said the company.

Looking to 2016, VTG intends to strengthen its market position, and is ‘actively involved’ with innovation, digitalisation and process simplification while pursuing additional selective growth.

Group revenue rose by 25·6% to €1 027·5m in 2015, and EBITDA by 76·2% to €336·5m. Revenue at the Railcar Division increased by 55·5% to €537·2m and EBITDA by €72·5% to €335·4m. Fleet utilisation was down slightly from 91·0% to 90·6%.

VTG has pooled the activities of national subsidiaries into VTG Rail Europe, and now aims to centralise procurement, operational management and administration. Focusing on four strategic fleet segments is expected to make the company ‘more sales-oriented in the market and more effectively aligned to customer requirements’, according to VTG.

The Rail Logistics Division has ‘successfully been pursuing the repositioning path’ set in 2015. Revenue increased 0·6% to €324·0m despite high competion and the continuing tension in Russia and Ukraine. EBITDA rose to €3·4m following a €0·2m loss in 2014.

VTG has acquired the 30% stake in VTG Rail Logistics formerly held by Kuehne + Nagel, making it sole shareholder of ‘the largest private rail logistics company in Europe.’ Restructuring is ‘swiftly being pursued’.

The Tank Container Logistics Division benefited from the rise in the US dollar exchange rate, growth in overseas transport volumes and one-time earnings.