The net worth and capital structure of the technotrans Group again shifted towards equity in 2014. The balance sheet total at December 31, 2014 rose slightly from € 73.0 million at the prior-year reporting date to € 74.5 million.
Non-current assets of € 26.9 million at the end of 2014 were € 2.9 million lower than in the previous year (€ 29.8 million), mainly as a result of depreciation and amortisation on property plant equipment and intangible assets. Declining tax loss carryforwards meant that deferred tax assets from non-current assets were reduced by € 1.2 million compared with the previous year.
By contrast, there was a substantial rise in current assets from € 43.2 million to € 47.6 million. Inventories and receivables at December 31, 2014 climbed by € 3.8 million in total compared with the prior-year reporting date, mainly as a result of the broadened business base and also revenue growth. Cash and cash equivalents of € 17.2 million rose yet further from the prior-year reporting-date total (€ 16.7 million) as a result of the effects explained in the Cash Flow Statement.
Within equity and liabilities, equity rose by a further 8.5 percent from € 43.7 million to € 47.5 million. This development reflects the group’s healthy economic development. The equity ratio thus improved to 63.7 percent (previous year: 59.9 percent). The return on equity, representing net income as a proportion of equity, was 9.4 percent (previous year: 7.0 percent).
As planned, non-current liabilities fell from € 14.3 million in the previous year to € 10.9 million at the end of the 2014 financial year. Borrowings were the main source of change within this item. The € 0.9 million carrying amount for other financial liabilities at the balance sheet date was slightly lower than for 2013; it basically consists of the conditional purchase price components resulting from the interests acquired in KLH (€ 0.5 million from 2013) and gds-Sprachenwelt (€ 0.3 million from 2012). The deferred tax liabilities of € 0.7 million stem from the capitalisation of a customer base following on from the acquisition of KLH Kältetechnik GmbH.
On the other hand current liabilities showed a slight increase of € 1.1 million to € 16.1 million (previous year: € 15.0 million) mainly as a result of an increase in prepayments received from € 1.3 million in the previous year to € 2.0 million and increased provisions amounting to € 5.4 million (€ +0.9 million).
At the balance sheet date, technotrans had financial liabilities totalling € 11.6 million (previous year: € 14.9 million). No current bank overdrafts were in use at December 31, 2014. The non-current financial liabilities stem principally from investments in fixed assets, as well as from acquisitions of interests; they are protected in part by land charges. Details of the structure of financial liabilities are provided in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements (Section 11).
technotrans calculates working capital as current assets less current liabilities. At December 31, 2014 working capital was € 31.5 million, an increase of € 3.2 million on the prior-year reporting date (€ 28.3 million). The increased working capital supplies further proof of the technotrans Group’s improved liquidity situation. Cash and cash equivalents account for the lion’s share of current assets.
The group’s net liquidity, calculated as the difference between non-current plus current interest-bearing borrowings and cash and cash equivalents, improved from € 0.9 million to € 4.8 million in the year under review. The ratio of net debt to equity (gearing) is consequently negative at -10.0 percent (previous year: -2.2 percent).
Provisions rose from € 5.4 million to € 6.5 million in 2014.
The long-term provisions of around € 1.1 million (previous year: € 0.9 million) comprise both personnel-related obligations (pensions) and those Board of Management remuneration components that focus on sustainable corporate performance. The short-term provisions amounting to € 5.4 million (previous year: € 4.5 million) consist of other obligations towards personnel (€ 3.4 million), payments to be made under warranty (€ 1.1 million) and other provisions (€ 0.9 million).