The General Shareholders’ Meeting of Mecalux approved the distribution of dividends at 0.49 euros per share, representing a total of 12m euros and 25% of the net result of the group in 2006. In parallel to this, The Meeting approved a share capital enlargement to the proportion of one new share per every ten shares in circulation which are to be assigned free of charge to the shareholders. This represents 2,444,200 euros and 2,444,200 new ordinary shares. On another point, the General Shareholders’ Meeting of Mecalux approved the 2006 results which showed an across-the-board increase in sales, with an increase of 82% in invoicing, rising from 292.5m euros in 2005 to 531.1m euros in 2006. The 2006 financial year represented the consolidation of the Esmena Group which contributed to the consolidated business results of 154.2m euros. Net profit for 2006 increased by 56%, rising from 30.9m euros to 48.2m euros.
Mecalux continues with its policy of expansion
Mecalux’s growth is being fuelled by the strategic takeover of new companies, by the expansion of its automated warehouse division and by the growth in all the markets in which operates. 2006 was the year when the Group integrated Esmena, its principal competitor in Spain, and TKINSA (the automated warehouse division of ThyssenKrupp, financially integrated in 2005), and representing two strategic purchases for the company. Ignoring the contribution of the Esmena Group, Mecalux grew by 29%. By markets, Mecalux continued to strengthen its presence, growing in all of them and increasing sales by 22% in Southern Europe, 61% in other European markets, 41% in the NAFTA area and 35% in South America. The company continues to see its future in automation.
Investment in 2006 in production plants:
The total amount invested in the enlargement of new production plants rose to 36.8m euros. The increase in the production needs of Mecalux and the excellent functioning of the automated storage division made these investments essential.
New production plant of automated storage devices for warehouses in Gliwice, Poland. In 2006 the Group reached the necessary critical mass in this area of business in order to justify the building of a dedicated production centre with 20,000 m2, which are added to the already existing surface area of 35,000 m2. Factors which have influenced the choice of this location are the possibility to receive fiscal aid from the Polish government, the improved production costs and the geographical proximity to the rapidly developing countries of Central and Eastern Europe. This production plant came into operation in the first semester of 2007.
Enlargement of Esmena’s factory in Gijón. The sharp increase in the sales of the Group and the good outlook for the future have made it necessary to increase the current production plant by 15,000 m2, which are to be added to the already existing surface area of 32,000 m2. Part of this investment, which is to be carried out over the next three years, is supported by a grant from the Asturias Government.
Mecalux’s Chicago plant has been enlarged from the current 25,000 m2 by a further 10,000 m2. This is in response to the need to expand production given the growth of sales in the American market.
Announcement of the purchase of a call option on UFC Interlake Co.
Aside from the results for 2006, at the beginning of the 2007 financial year, Mecalux announced the purchase of a call option on the American company UFC Interlake Holding Co, one of the major suppliers of storage systems in the United States. The call option was priced at 7.5m dollars and would be exercised in the second half of 2008. With this possible purchase, Mecalux would strengthen its position in the United States, within the market for automated warehouses and would consolidate its leadership in Latin America.