- 20% increase in operating EBIT on 8% higher sales
- Order intake slightly up on the previous year’s very high level
The HOMAG Group, which was acquired in 2014, and Dürr´s environmental technology business (Clean Technology Systems division) both posted a roughly one-third increase in order intake. Orders in the Paint and Final Assembly Systems and Application Technology divisions declined after the high figures achieved in the previous year. New orders in China rose by 17%, while ordering in Europe was up 3%. Order intake in North America dropped by 23% over the strong first quarter of 2016.
The good earnings performance was underpinned by high capacity utilization and economies of scale in the Group’s machinery business, i.e. balancing, testing and filling technology, robots and HOMAG’s woodworking technology.
As part of its “digital@DÜRR” strategy, Dürr increased R&D spending by 19.2% to € 28.5 million. At the end of April, the company announced a partnership with Software AG in the area of digitization. Capital spending came to € 18.4 million in the first quarter of 2017, down 6.7% on the previous year, in which two new campus locations in China and the United States had been built.
The high net profit caused equity to rise by 6.8% over the end of 2016 to € 887.2 million. At the same time, the equity ratio widened from 24.8 to 26.1%. Net liquidity reached a very high level of € 245.3 million (Dec. 31, 2016: € 176.5 million). It was buoyed by the proceeds of € 107.7 million that flowed to Dürr on March 31, 2017 from the sale of Dürr Ecoclean. Dürr had already announced the planned sale of its cleaning technology business to the Chinese SBS Group in August 2016. After the first quarter of 2017, cash flow from operating activities came to € -4.1 million and was thus on a par with the previous year (€ -2.5 million). Dürr expects to see an improvement in cash flow in the second half of the year. CFO Carlo Crosetto: “Our balance sheet ratios are excellent. We were able to continue accumulating equity, while the inflow of cash from the Ecoclean transaction additionally widened our financial leeway.”
Following the sale of Dürr Ecoclean, the Group headcount shrank by 5.5% over the end of 2016 to 14,393 employees. 7,697 employees are based in Germany, equivalent to 53.5% of the Group workforce.
Dürr Ecoclean has been excluded from the Dürr Group’s figures since the end of the first quarter of 2017. Sales and order intake of around € 150 million will be lost in 2017 following the sale of Ecoclean. Even so, Dürr is aiming for figures of a similar amount as in the previous year for these two indicators. As things currently stand, Dürr expects sales of € 3.4 to 3.6 billion and order intake of € 3.3 to 3.7 billion in 2017. The target range for the EBIT margin is unchanged at 7.5 to 8.25%. EBIT includes extraordinary income of € 22.7 million from the sale of Ecoclean.