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Half-year closing 2012: Further progress in all three divisions



In the first half of 2012, the Kardex Group turned in a predominantly gratifying business performance. The generated net revenues of EUR 239.8 million were 8.3% higher than the sales reported in the first half of 2011 (EUR 221.5 million). Volume growth and margin improvements had a positive impact on the result. With EBITDA of EUR 17.6 million (H1 2011: EUR 7.8 million), EBIT of EUR 12.3 million (EUR 2.7 million) and a net profit of EUR 9.1 million (EUR -1.2 million) or EUR 1.17 per share, the Group was able to continue its positive performance.

 

At  EUR 252.2 million, bookings were up slightly on the strong year-back period (EUR 251.0 million). The order backlog of EUR 163.0 million at the end of June 2012 was satisfactory (end June 2011: EUR 156.8 million, end December 2011: EUR 148.5 million). Kardex takes an optimistic view of the outlook for the remainder of this financial year.

 

Strategic adjustments implemented in the divisions

The positive momentum seen in the three divisions of the Kardex Group is continuing. Following the shift in entrepreneurial responsibility to the divisions in summer 2011, the strategic focal points of the Group and its divisions had already been reviewed and given a sharper profile. As a result of this, strategies were subsequently reviewed and refined at division level. In June 2012, the strategic focus of the divisions was definitively adopted by the Board of Directors, along with the resulting measures. To enable all stakeholders to gain a better understanding, the Executive Committee of the Group has prepared an investor handbook which can be downloaded from the company's website (www.kardex.com, "Investor Relations" section).

 

What all divisions have in common is that they are a partner to their customers throughout the life cycle of a product or solution. This starts with an assessment of customer requirements and continues via the planning, realization and implementation of customer-specific systems through to ensuring a high level of availability and low life cycle costs by means of customer-oriented life cycle management. To this end, development expenditure is being maintained at a high level and customer proximity is being strengthened by investing even more heavily in the sales and service organizations in future. The efforts being made to expand after-sales services at Kardex Remstar and Kardex Mlog are already receiving an encouraging response from the market. As well as leading to better and more stable margins, this will also reduce the cyclicality of these divisions.

 

Realignment of Kardex Remstar in the US market pays off

Kardex Remstar's performance in the first half of the year was particularly encouraging. The division increased its revenues by 10.5% to EUR 117.3 million. The operating result of EUR 10.8 million (H1 2011: EUR 4.1 million) corresponds to a good EBIT margin of 9.2% (3.9%).

 

The decision to realign US operations taken at the end of 2011 was implemented according to plan. The Lewistown plant was closed and the assembly center in Westbrook commenced operations. The reorganization of sales in North America, including the transfer of after-sales service activities to qualified distribution partners is having the desired positive effect. In Europe, the focus was on expanding the after-sales service organization. The decision to set up a central spare-parts warehouse for Europe in Bellheim established an important basis for this. The period under review saw an increase in the share of revenues accounted for by the after-sales service business despite a rise in the volume of business in the new machines segment from 27% to 28%.

 

Kardex Stow benefits from closer-meshed marketing

Kardex Stow also performed well in the first half of the year. With revenues of EUR 88.7 million, the division exceeded the prior-year period by 8.0%. Margins improved as a result of the higher volumes, but also in particular thanks to the 2011 adjustment of marketing activities towards a stronger focus on smaller and more profitable orders coupled with a targeted expansion of the sales organizations in the European core markets. With EBIT of EUR 4.5 million (EUR 1.2 million) and an EBIT margin of 5.1% (1.5%), Kardex Stow is making good headway and is already at the upper end of its target corridor.

 

The review of all strategic options for the further development of Kardex Stow initiated a year ago is due to be completed shortly. The Board of Directors is expected to be able to take the relevant decisions before the end of the year.

 

Kardex Mlog: Legacy problems overshadow positive performance on products and services front

Kardex Mlog's results still present a mixed picture. At EUR 35.7 million, sales are up 6.9% on the previous year. However, the division still posted a negative operating result. The negative EBIT of EUR 1.3 million (H1 2011: EUR - 1.8 million) was partly attributable to guarantee work and provisions for major project orders in the systems business, while at the same time efforts to win new, complex orders have since been greatly curtailed. Furthermore, the current competitive environment still leaves no scope to secure satisfactory margins in the project business.

 

By contrast, demand for stacker cranes – a segment in which the company occupies a leading market position in central Europe – is making pleasing progress. The increased focus on standardized solutions rolled out in 2012 for specific industry segments is promising. The basis for these system solutions for the MDynamic stacker crane has already been placed with several customers. Finally, the drive to step up the expansion of the services business is bearing initial fruit. During the period under review, the share of revenues generated by these services rose by 24%, and the share of total revenues increased from 13% to 15%.

 

Improvements in results strengthen balance sheet and equity ratio

The predominantly gratifying performance in the divisions is also having a positive impact on the key balance sheet figures of the Kardex Group. Although revenues resulted in an increase in net working capital to EUR 73.4 million (EUR 64.8 million on 30 June 2011, EUR 71.8 million on 31 December 2011), the Group generated a free cash flow of EUR 11.8 million in the first half of 2012. This reduced the Group's net debt to EUR 3.8 million.

Thanks to the significantly lower level of debt, net financial expense in the first half of 2012 came to EUR 1.4 million, as against EUR 3.7 million in the first half of 2011. Owing to tax loss carry forwards, the tax ratio remained at a low 17.0%. At the end of the first half of the year, Group equity stood at EUR 74.7 million and the equity ratio increased from 25.5% at the end of 2011 to 31.2%.


Change at the helm of the Executive Committee and new members of the Board of Directors

Immediately after the General Meeting on 24 April 2012, Dr Felix Thöni assumed the office of President of the Executive Committee in his capacity as Executive Member of the Board of Directors. After performing the dual role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for a period of one year, Philipp Buhofer has since been concentrating on his duties as Board Chairman. Jakob Bleiker and Ulrich Looser were elected as new Board members in place of Leo Steiner and Martin Wipfli.

 

Outlook

The debt crisis is not passing the industry by unnoticed. In contrast with the US, the recovery in investment momentum levelled off during the first half of the year in Europe and Asia. But the trend toward efficient and innovative intra-logistics solutions remains unbroken.

Consequently, from the present perspective, the outlook for all of the Group's divisions is still assessed as good. The Executive Committee therefore expects the positive business trend to continue in the second half of the current financial year. However, Kardex remains ready to respond fast to any worsening of the economic environment.

 

For the full interim report, please go to our website: www.kardex.com/nc/en/investor-relations/financial-reports/interim-report.html.

 

Please note: Today, 23 August 2012, at 10:00 CEST, there will be an analyst conference call (conference ID: 4555449) with Executive Director Felix Thöni and CFO Gerhard Mahrle to discuss the half-year results. To take part, call +41 22 592 73 12.

 

Contact for media and investors:

Edwin van der Geest

Investor Relations
investor-relations@kardex.com

 

Tel. +41 79 330 55 22

 

 

 

 

Calendar of events

 

 

14 March 2013

Annual Report 2012, Analysts’ and Media Conference

25 April 2013

Annual General Meeting 2013

 

 

Key figures

 

EUR millions

         
           

1 January to 30 June

2012

 

2011¹

 

+/-%

Bookings

252.2

105.2%

251.0

113.3%

0.5%

Order backlog (30 June)

163.0

68.0%

156.8

70.8%

4.0%

Net revenues

239.8

100.0%

221.5

100.0%

8.3%

Gross Profit

58.0

24.2%

46.9

21.2%

23.7%

OPEX

45.7

19.1%

44.2

20.0%

3.4%

Operating result (EBIT)

12.3

5.1%

2.7

1.2%

355.6%

Operating result before depreciation (EBITDA)

17.6

7.3%

7.8

3.5%

125.6% 

Result for the period

9.1

3.8%

-1.2

-0.5%

 

Result per share for the period (EUR)

1.17

 

-0.21

 

 

Free cash flow

11.8

 

-12.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30.06.2012

 

31.12.2011

 

+/-%

Net debt

3.8

 

15.6

 

-75.6% 

Equity / Equity ratio

74.7

31.2%

64.5

25.5%

15.8%

Employees (full-time equivalents) per 30 June

2,068

 

2,136

 

-3.2% 

 

¹ For reasons of comparability, the previous period’s figures have been adjusted to Swiss GAAP FER.
 

 

 



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