Financial Results Press Conference

Successful fiscal year 2011

  • Consolidated orders received up 36 percent to EUR 1.55 billion
  • Sales revenues also up sharply: +33.1 percent to EUR 1.44 billion
  • EBIT rises disproportionately to EUR 72.6 million; EBIT margin improves to 5.1 percent
  • Earnings after taxes at EUR 29.9 million
  • Free cash flow rises to EUR 6.5 million
  • Guidance 2011 exceeded
 

KUKA AG's Executive Board presented KUKA Group's 2011 annual report at its financial results press conference on March 28, 2012 and subsequently explained the developments of the previous fiscal year. The 2011 fiscal year was marked by strong global demand for robot-based automation from automotive and general industry. As a result, KUKA Group was able to generate record orders received, sales and EBIT. The Group surpassed its 2011 guidance, which had been stated as sales revenues of EUR 1.35 billion and a consolidated EBIT margin of over 5 percent.

The key 2011 business numbers are as follows:
Consolidated orders received came in at EUR 1,553.0 million, up 36.0 percent from 2010's EUR 1,142.3 million. Robotics' orders rose 34.6 percent to EUR 654.4 million, which compares to EUR 486.2 million last year. Comparably strong growth was exhibited by both the automotive and general industry sectors. The Systems division was able to win numerous major automotive industry orders, especially for car body and assembly systems, but also general industry orders. Year-over-year, orders received were up 27.9 percent. In total, the division's orders received reached EUR 916.6 million, which compares to EUR 716.8 million in 2010.

KUKA Group's sales revenues for the fiscal year just ended also set a new record at EUR 1,435.6 million, rising 33.1 percent from the EUR 1,078.6 million achieved in 2010. KUKA was able to continuously improve sales from quarter to quarter and generated the highest number during the fourth quarter: EUR 403.2 million. The Robotics division reported sales revenues of EUR 616.3 million, an increase of 41.5 percent from the EUR 435.7 million generated in 2010. Systems generated sales revenues of EUR 850.7 million, 22.4 percent more than the EUR 695.3 million posted the year prior. The book-to-bill ratio came in at 1.08, still considerably greater than 1 and also higher than the 1.06 reported in 2010.

KUKA Group's order backlog rose accordingly and reached EUR 724.0 million at the end of fiscal 2011, 14.8 percent higher than the EUR 630.5 million reported on the December 31, 2010 record date. By division, Robotics' order backlog to the end of 2011 was EUR 184.4 million, up 23.8 percent year-over-year, while Systems had EUR 545.0 million on hand, an increase of 9.0 percent over the year prior. The order backlog coverage for the Systems division's project business is six to eight months and three to four months for the Robotics division's product business. KUKA Group thus has a high degree of visibility on the business situation for the current fiscal period.

KUKA Group's earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose in each quarter of the reporting period and almost tripled for the 2011 year overall, ending at EUR 72.6 million. Last year the company reported a final EBIT of EUR 24.8 million. EBIT margin too was significantly better, going from 2.3 percent in 2010 to 5.1 percent in 2011. The substantial improvement was driven not only by higher business volume, but also the launch of the new KR QUANTEC generation of robots by Robotics. In addition, the savings generated by the cost-cutting programs in 2009 and 2010 had a positive impact on the earnings situation for the entire year.

Both divisions contributed to this delightful growth. Robotics was able to more than double its contribution to Group EBIT, reporting EUR 51.0 million in 2011 versus EUR 20.8 million in 2010. The division's EBIT margin rose in parallel during the same comparable period, to 8.3 percent from 4.8 percent. Driven by better capacity utilization, Systems' EBIT rose from EUR 20.0 million in 2010 to EUR 33.7 million in 2011. EBIT margin climbed from 2.9 percent in 2010 to 4.0 percent in 2011. The holding company's costs dropped from EUR 16.0 million in 2010 to 11.6 million in 2011. Consulting costs related to the company's restructuring had been included in the prior year's comparable number.

In total, KUKA Group's earnings after taxes went from EUR -8.6 million last year to EUR 29.9 million in 2011. It was the first time the Group was able to generate a positive year-end result since 2008. Earnings per share improved accordingly, going from EUR -0.28 in 2010 to EUR 0.89 in 2011. As a result of the capital increase in 2010 and the sale of treasury shares in 2011, the average number of shares in circulation rose from 30.3 million in 2010 to 33.4 million in 2011.

KUKA Group's net debt; that is, liquid assets minus current and non-current financial liabilities, was EUR 32.6 million as of December 31, 2011, an improvement of EUR 27.7 million over the EUR 60.3 million owed on the prior year's record date, December 31, 2010. The Group's financing structure improved again. The share of current debt, EUR 7.4 million, of total financial liabilities of EUR 201.4 million is now only 3.7 percent compared to 26.9 percent the year prior.

Equity was also higher, driven especially by the positive year-end result of 29.9 million, up from last year's EUR -8.6 million, and the EUR 23.7 million in cash received from the sale of treasury shares. Overall, equity was up EUR 54.3 million to EUR 252.4 million as of December 31, 2011. Accordingly, the equity ratio; that is, the ratio of equity to total assets, was up 3.3 percent, from 20.1 percent to 23.4 percent.

KUKA Group's average capital employed in 2010 and 2011 was EUR 312.5 million and EUR 332.9 million respectively; that is, it rose slightly last year. The return on capital employed was again positive in view of the EBIT of EUR 72.6 million and ended at 21.8 percent, which compares to 7.9 percent in 2010.

Driven by the sharply higher business volume, KUKA Group engaged in targeted hiring of new employees and used contract workers to cover temporary order peaks. Overall, the workforce expanded by 10 percent to 6,589, which compares to 5,990 on December 31, 2010. Of the 599 new full-time employees hired by KUKA Group, the Robotics division accounted for 406 and the System division 187. On a percentage basis, the increases were 17.3 percent and 5.4 percent respectively. Other companies accounted for an additional six persons. On a regional basis, most of the hiring was done by foreign subsidiaries in the growth markets of the United States, Brazil, China, Hungary and India. In Germany, new hires were attributable mainly to Robotics. The division added technical staff in research and development, as well as manufacturing in Augsburg. The number of contract workers went from 843 as of December 31, 2010 to 1,078 on December 31, 2011.

 

Outlook

For 2012, KUKA Group expects further growth in the global economy and in its key automotive and general industry markets, although at a slower pace.

Based on the high order backlog and the high degree of visibility on the business situation, KUKA Group expects sales during the 2012 fiscal year to at least match the 2011 level of EUR 1.44 billion. EBIT margin should exceed 5.5 percent, up from 5.1 percent in 2011.

Based on a further improvement in EBIT, the year-end result for 2012 should be correspondingly higher.

"Fiscal 2011 was the most successful year in the company's history," says Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG. "Thanks to the successful interweaving of corporate strategy, business operations and financial management, our company is back on track, and we have established a solid basis for continued sustainable growth in the coming years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date of publication
 
28/03/2012
 
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