The ideal partner for individual storage and materials handling solutions

The Kardex Group is recovering from the economic downturn in 2009 and 2010 and operating profitably once again.

The operating result (EBIT) of EUR 10.4 million generated in financial year 2011 and the successful capital increase in the late summer of last year are important steps on the road to the Group's restrengthening. Market success has also returned. The sharp rise in net revenues for the three divisions testifies not only to brisk investment activity on the part of our clients but also to the quality of the products and services offered. Nevertheless, considerable efforts will once again be required in 2012 to further bolster the leading positions of Kardex Remstar, Kardex Stow and Kardex Mlog in their respective markets and therefore put the Kardex Group back on a sound and sustainable financial footing. One important step in this direction was the shift in corporate responsibility to the divisions and the attendant, more focused strategic profile given to the individual business areas.

Owing to the late-cyclical nature of demand for warehouse logistics solutions, it was not until the year under review that the Kardex Group's three divisions achieved a substantial recovery from the setbacks of 2009 and 2010. Bookings rose by a significant 22.8% year-on-year to EUR 480 million (+15% adjusted for acquisitions). At EUR 148.5 million, the order books were also well filled at the end of December compared with the end of 2010 (EUR 130.0 million).


After getting off to a tentative start at the beginning of the year, revenues rose continually month for month to reach satisfactory levels toward the end of the year. Net revenues totaling EUR 459.2 million were generated, 29% more than in 2010 (+23.1% adjusted for acquisitions). The higher volumes translated into a return to profitability at EBIT level from the second quarter and also at net result level from the second half of the year. The Group achieved total EBITDA of EUR 21.5 million (previous year: EUR 8.3 million) and EBIT of EUR 10.4 million (previous year: EUR -2.2 million). This includes restructuring costs totaling EUR 3.1 million, mainly relating to the USA. The net result amounted to EUR 3.0 million in the year under review.


The three divisions made mixed contributions to this result. Kardex Remstar increased its revenues by 13.7% to EUR 219.3 million, while Kardex Stow generated 24.4% more revenues than in the previous year at EUR 168.7 million and Kardex Mlog grew by as much as 88% on a like-for-like basis to reach a sales volume of EUR 73.4 million. The operating result at Kardex Remstar was EUR 10.5 million (previous year: EUR 3.8 million), equivalent to an EBIT margin of 4.8% (previous year: 2.0%). Kardex Stow reported EBIT of EUR 3.6 million (previous year: EUR 0.0 million), producing an EBIT margin of 2.1% (previous year: 0.0%). As expected, Kardex Mlog was not yet profitable at operating level, posting a negative operating result of EUR 2.4 million (previous year: EUR -1.7 million for eight months), although a restoration of profitability is within reach. The results achieved in the second half of the year – where there was an improvement in all three divisions compared with the first six months – give us particularly strong grounds for optimism regarding future development.



Successful capital increase strengthens balance sheet and increases financial latitude

In order to strengthen its equity base and increase its financial flexibility, Kardex AG undertook a successful capital increase with full subscription rights for all shareholders in the third quarter of 2011. With the net cash inflow of EUR 25.4 million, around half the convertible bond redeemed at the end of June 2011 was refinanced with equity. Net debt was consequently reduced to EUR 15.6 million at the end of the year (EUR 42.6 million at the end of the previous year). In order to set in place a healthy level of financing for the medium term, new agreements were concluded simultaneously with Swiss and foreign banks to ensure that the company's working capital requirements are sufficiently met on the one hand, and that any necessary guarantees can be granted on the other.


Switch in accounting standards to Swiss GAAP FER

In the summer, the Board of Directors of Kardex AG decided to switch the Kardex Group's financial accounting from IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) to Swiss GAAP FER with effect from 1 January 2011. The change in the market segment on SIX Swiss Exchange from the Main Standard to the Domestic Standard is linked to this switch.  Swiss GAAP FER is a recognized accounting standard which in future will allow the company to continue to publish, transparent financial reports, including segment reporting, at half-yearly intervals in compliance with the requirement to present a true and fair picture. The switch meant that goodwill, capitalized intangible assets due to acquisitions, and capitalized tax effects on loss carry forwards were offset directly against equity. Equity was conversely affected by the restatement of existing pension commitments. The elimination and restatement reduced equity by a total of EUR 56.5 million as at 1 January 2011. Under Swiss GAAP FER, equity at the end of the year amounted to EUR 64.5 million and the equity ratio 25.5%.


Changes in management structure

Following the General Meeting on 26 April 2011, the Chairmanship of the company was transferred to Philipp Buhofer, while newly elected Dr. Felix Thöni became Vice Chairman. As of 1 June, the Board of Directors streamlined the Group's organization with a view to shortening decision-making paths and strengthening the position of the three divisions, i.e. the individual companies, in the market. The Group has since been headed by an Executive Committee comprising the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, the three division heads, as well as the Group CFO. This change has proved effective, but is a temporary, transitional solution. The office of President of the Executive Committee is to be transferred to Dr. Felix Thöni with effect from the General Meeting on 24 April 2012. He will also serve as Delegate of the Board of Directors. As of this date, Philipp Buhofer will concentrate on his duties as Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Focus on strategic direction

With the shift in corporate responsibility to the divisions, the strategic focal points of the Group and its divisions were reviewed and given a sharper profile. The strategies are consequently being developed and implemented at division level. The common one-stop shop proposition continues to play a role in the marketplace; however, the success of each individual, independent division – with its own products, subsystems and services – remains central.

The Group continues to focus on offering customers innovative products and solutions designed to improve the efficiency of warehousing and materials handling in internal logistics. While Kardex Remstar and Kardex Mlog concentrate on dynamic production and warehouse logistics solutions, the focus for Kardex Stow is on static racks and related products. From a long-term perspective, the current areas of business are attractive and the Group's expertise is meeting with a positive echo from the market.

What all divisions have in common is that they are a partner to their customers throughout the lifecycle 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 lifecycle costs by means of customer-oriented lifecycle management. To this end, not only is development expenditure being maintained at a high level but customer proximity will also be strengthened by investing even more heavily in the sales and service organizations in future. In particular, expansion of after-sales services at Kardex Remstar and Kardex Mlog should result in better margins but also lead to a reduction in the two divisions' cyclicality.


Milestone projects in all divisions

Kardex Remstar is operating in an environment that has become increasingly competitive in recent years, which calls for a continuous improvement of cost structures in addition to greater innovative efforts to remain a technological and market leader. With the revised innovation strategy, reorganization of production and realignment of the sales operation in the US, important steps have been taken in this direction. On the revenues side, leverage lies first and foremost in the expansion of service activities that is now underway as well as systematic expansion of the regional presence.

Kardex Stow is operating in a very competitive market environment. Thanks to its highly automated Belgian plant and the established plant in Shanghai, however, this division is well positioned on the cost front compared with its competitors. But as the division's geographical sphere of action is limited by high transport costs, various strategic options are presently being looked into. At the same time, Kardex Stow is expanding its sales organization so that in future it can focus more closely on acquiring smaller orders with higher margins in all the markets in which it operates.

Cost and risk considerations meant that Kardex Mlog concentrated its drive to internationalize the business – which began in 2010 – on neighboring European countries. Besides the sale of greenfield installations, the focus is increasingly on the acquisition of refurbishment projects and expansion of after-sales services. The substantial installed base offers numerous opportunities to do so. A concentrated offer of standardized solutions for specific industries will make an important contribution to lowering both project costs and project risks.


Change to the Board of Directors and proposals for submission to the General Meeting

Mr. Leo Steiner, who has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2004, and Martin Wipfli, a member of the Board of Directors since 2007, are not standing for re-election. The Board of Directors thanks them for their many years of valuable work for the Company and is to propose to the General Meeting that Mr. Jakob Bleiker and Mr. Ulrich Looser be elected to the Board of Directors. Both have many years of management and industry experience, and will be able to make a major contribution to the future development of Kardex Group. It will also be proposed that no dividend be paid.



From the present perspective, the outlook for all of the Group's divisions is good. The high order backlog at the beginning of the year provides grounds for optimism. The Executive Committee therefore expects a further increase in the volume of revenues in the current fiscal year as well as a continued improvement in profitability. At the same time, Kardex is ready to respond fast to any worsening of the economic environment. Management is therefore endeavoring to achieve a balance between further, systematic cost reductions in all divisions and at the same time maintain innovative capacity and intensive marketing.


Contact for media and investors:

Edwin van der Geest

Investor Relations


Tel. +41 79 330 55 22




Calendar of events



29 March 2012

Annual Report 2011, Media and Analysts’ Conference

24 April 2012

Annual General Meeting 2012

23  August 2012

Interim Report 2012

14. März 2013

Annual Report 2012, Media and Analysts’ Conference

25. April 2013

Annual General Meeting 2013


2011 Annual Report

The full 2011 Annual Report of the Kardex Group is available at:



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