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Wabererʼs books loss in 2018; management address challenges

Wabererʼs International Nyrt. reported an after-tax loss of EUR 20.9 million in 2018, compared to after-tax profit of EUR 18.4 mln in 2017. In an earnings report issued late Tuesday, the new CEO outlined steps to reduce loss-making and make cost cuts.   

Revenue at the Hungarian road haulier, which is listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT), rose 9% to EUR 731.9 mln, but costs outpaced that growth, causing gross profit to fall 13% to EUR 121.7 mln, according to a summary by state news agency MTI.

EBITDA dropped 31% to EUR 57.2 mln, while Wabererʼs booked a EUR 9.0 mln loss on the operating profit line.

CEO Robert Ziegler, who arrived at the firm in February 2019, said a number of short-term measures to overcome challenges had already been initiated when he took the position. He said orders for more than 300 trucks had been canceled, adding that Wabererʼs is prepared to scale down its fleet further if profitability does not improve. The firm is further optimizing its routing, reducing headcount, and making cost savings from contracted drivers, he added.

Ziegler warned that short-term measures alone would not be enough to ensure a sustainable and profitable growth path for Wabererʼs, but said management is working with the board, staff, clients and market experts to address the challenges and will provide a strategy update later in the year.

The CEO remarked that Wabererʼs needs to be "more agile in responding to our clientsʼ needs and to changes in the European and regional transportation and logistics market," adding that it must "better balance owned and contracted capacity."

At the same time, Ziegler added that management would not lose sight of the goal of creating long-term value for shareholders during the transformation at the company.