Through organic and acquisition-driven growth, revenues reached an all-time high of EUR 2,613.6 million during the 2018 fiscal year. This is an increase of EUR 247.5 million (+ 10.5 percent) over the previous year.
The largest absolute increase was achieved in the area of sales revenues which rose by EUR 180.4 million to EUR 388.1 million (+ 86.8 percent). In addition to the acquisition of a total of 52.2 percent of the shares in Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd. (EUR + 160.5 million of revenues), the Group companies in Eastern Europe (EUR + 10.7 million) and Spain (EUR + 6.5 million) in particular made the largest contributions to the increase in sales revenues due to growing demand for NOVOMATIC devices.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to EUR 555.6 million, compared to EUR 561.9 million in 2017. The EBITDA margin in 2018 was 21.3 percent, 2.4 percentage points below the previous year’s level (23.7 percent). This decline in the EBITDA margin is mainly due to margin decrease in the online business in light of the discontinuation of a profitable business segment. The operating profit (EBIT) declined by EUR 220.5 million to EUR -131.9 million due to higher depreciation and amortization as well as high impairments in 2018. The increase in depreciation and amortization from EUR 297.3 million to EUR 331.3 million is mainly attributable to the acquired companies as well as higher depreciation of gaming devices in Germany.
Equity increased by EUR 29.7 million to EUR 1,358.6 million during the reporting period. While revenue reserves, in particular, declined by EUR 126.8 million in the year under review due to the weak results of the fiscal year, the minority interests equity position increased by EUR 120.8 million due to the acquisition of shares in Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd. Furthermore, the valuation reserves increased by EUR 58.9 million as a result of a subsequent valuation of the financial participations.
NetDebt/EBITDA increased from 1.8x in the previous year to 2.4x.
Across the Group, cash flow from operating activities totaled EUR 483.3 million in 2018, compared to EUR 422.3 million the previous year. The operating results in 2018 were burdened mainly with depreciation and impairment, which have no impact on cash. The cash flow was positively influenced by the reduction of inventories (EUR 38.2 million), which resulted primarily from Gaming Technology in Germany and Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd., as well as the reduction of receivables. The reduction of liabilities and provisions, however, led to a deterioration in the operating cash flow.
Cash flow from investing activities amounted to EUR -714.5 million resulted from an increase in cash outflows in the year under review, compared to EUR -519.8 million in 2017. The acquisition of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment resulted in higher cash outflows, mainly due to the acquisition of shares in Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd. (EUR 294.7 million).
Cash flow from financing activities amounted to EUR -143.7 million during the reporting year, a considerable drop over the previous year’s value of EUR 109.7 million. There were no repurchases of bonds in 2018. In 2017, the cash flow from financing activities increased by the drawdown of a short-term OeKB loan with a total volume of EUR 250 million, while the repayment of a credit line negatively influenced the cash flow.