Faltering growth in the economy and global trade impacted on the market for industrial trucks in KION's major sales regions. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, customers acted increasingly cautiously and, overall, placed fewer orders for new trucks than in 2011. The decline in volume was offset by price increases that resulted, among other reasons, from the higher proportion of trucks with customer-specific fittings. Postponement of necessary replacement investments in previous years, combined with the high degree of capacity utilisation by customers, also led to greater demand for maintenance services.
Exchange-rate differences – in particular the appreciation of the renminbi and pound sterling against the euro – only had a minor impact on KION's financial performance. Commodity prices, which declined on average over the year, had a slightly positive effect on the cost of sales.