Ahlsell’s Board of Directors has adopted the following medium-term financial and other targets that form the overall basis for the business plan, which assume continued growth in the addressable distribution market in the Nordic region further accelerated by successful delivery of the Group’s organic growth initiatives and M&A activities as well as implementation of efficiency initiatives.
Target: Achieve net sales growth of 2-3 percentage points above market growth through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.
Outcome 2017 - Ahlsell exceeded its target. Net sales increased by 12%, which is 5 percentage points above the estimated average market growth for the period.
Target: Continuous increase in the adjusted EBITA margin.
Outcome 2017 - Ahlsell achieved its target. The adjusted EBITA margin was 8.8%, which is 0.1 percentage point higher than in 2016.
Target: A cash conversion over time of average 90%. Cash conversion rate: Operating cash flow/EBITDA.
Outcome 2017 - A strong growth and a firmer focus on delivery capacity to the customer increased stock values during the second half of the year. Ahlsell's cash conversion rate was 78%.
Net debt/adjusted EBITDA
Target: Net debt/adjusted EBITDA of 2.0-3.0. The capital structure shall safeguard a solid financial position whilst allowing strategic initiatives.
Outcome 2017 - Thanks to a strongly cash generating business, Ahlsell managed to reduce its net debt, despite several acquisitions. Net debt at the reporting date was 2.6 times adjusted EBITDA.
Target: Pay a dividend equivalent to 40-60% of net profit. The dividend must consider acquisitions, the Company's financial position, cash flows and future growth opportunities.
Outcome 2017 - Ahlsell’s Board of Directors proposes a dividend of SEK 1.65 per share, corresponding to a pay-out ratio of c.50%. As Ahlsell was listed in the autumn of 2016, this is the first full-year dividend to shareholders.
Ahlsell’s financial targets set forth above constitute forward-looking information that is subject to considerable uncertainty. The financial targets are based upon a number of assumptions relating to among other things, the development of Ahlsell’s industry, business, results of operations and financial condition as well as the assumptions referred to above. Ahlsell’s business, results of operations and financial condition, and the development of the industry and macroeconomic environment in which Ahlsell operates, may differ materially from, and be more negative than, those assumed by Ahlsell when preparing the financial targets set out above. As a result, Ahlsell’s ability to reach these financial targets is subject to uncertainties and contingencies, some of which are beyond its control, and no assurances can be given that Ahlsell will be able to reach these targets or that Ahlsell’s financial condition or results of operations will not be materially different from these financial targets.