- Incoming orders match high previous-year level
- Record order backlog: € 2.48 billion
- Operating result: +21.6%
Dürr benefited from the highly dynamic emerging markets, which accounted for 70% of incoming orders in the first quarter. Ralf W. Dieter, CEO of Dürr AG: “The Chinese market in particular developed very well with a share of over 40% of order intake. In Brazil, the automotive industry likewise is increasingly investing in additional production capacity.”
In the Application Technology division, the substantial demand for automation solutions generated an increase in order intake of 9.7%. Incoming orders of the Paint and Assembly Systems division and the Clean Technology Systems division matched the previous year’s high levels. In the mechanical engineering division Measuring and Process Systems, a weaker level of demand was discernible from general industry. In addition, this division deliberately rejected orders with poor margins in cleaning technology.
The improvement in group earnings was attributable to a high level of capacity utilization, productivity increases, and a good order processing performance. Dürr continued to invest substantially in research and development, increasing the level of capital spending in this area by 14%, to € 9.8 million. Sales and administration costs only saw a slight rise by 4.8%. The financial result improved by € 1.5 million, to € -4.7 million. One of the reasons for this was improved terms and conditions for the syndicated loan.
The cash flow from operating activities, at € -29.7 million, was at the expected level (Q1 2012: € -18.7 million). Dürr succeeded in doubling its net financial status at € 58.9 million compared with March 31, 2012. Equity was up by 21.4%, to reach € 455.7 million, and the equity ratio improved from 22.5% to 24.4%.
CFO Ralph Heuwing: “In the next several quarters, we anticipate strong cash flows that will enable us to further improve the balance sheet structure and to finance possible acquisitions from our own resources.”
As at March 31, 2013, Dürr had a workforce of 7,784 employees. Since the previous year’s balance sheet date, a further 699 employees have been recruited (+9.9%), 132 of whom in the first quarter of 2013. Since the beginning of this year, 84 new jobs have been created in Germany – and in the past twelve months, as many as 332.
In view of the planned course of the first quarter, Dürr affirms its forecast for 2013 provided no substantial deterioration occurs in terms of general economic fundamentals. The slight shortfall in sales from the first quarter is likely to be easily compensated during the rest of the year. For fiscal 2013 as a whole, sales are expected to reach € 2.4 to € 2.6 billion and the volume of incoming orders € 2.3 to 2.5 billion. Accordingly, the order backlog should reach at least € 2.0 billion at the end of 2013. As regards the EBIT margin, Dürr aims to reach a target corridor ranging from 7.0 to 7.5%. Earnings after taxes are expected to grow on account of the improved financial result, among other factors. The size of the workforce will probably rise to roughly 8,000 employees by the end of 2013.