Overall assessment of the economic situation
The KION Group grew strongly again in the first six months of 2014 and reported a substantial increase in order intake on the equivalent period of the previous year. Whereas the new truck business remained below that of the comparable prior-year period, the high-margin service business again posted encouraging growth rates. Revenue in the first half of the year, at €2,233.3 million, reflected the level achieved in the first half of 2013 (H1 2013: €2,234.4 million), despite being dented by currency effects. The adjusted EBIT margin for the first six months of the year reached 8.8 per cent, a repeat of its strong performance in the same period last year. In the second quarter, the adjusted EBIT margin rose to 9.6 per cent.
Net income, however, fell from €70.3 million to €60.6 million. This was primarily due to financial expenses incurred by the early repayment of the two tranches of corporate bonds and the positive non-recurring tax effects included in the 2013 figures. Earnings per share amounted to €0.60, compared with the (pro-forma) earnings of €0.70 in 2013.
The KION Group’s financial position improved again due to the repayment of the corporate bond tranches. Thanks to the sustained reduction in interest costs, the KION Group now has more scope to implement its growth strategy.
Level of orders
The value of new orders for the first six months of the year totalled €2,424.0 million, an impressive 7.7 per cent increase on the same period of 2013. In the second quarter alone, the value of new orders increased by 11.1 per cent in spite of ongoing negative currency effects. All operating segments achieved a higher volume of orders than in the first half of 2013.
The number of trucks ordered worldwide rose by 8.4 per cent to around 79,900 units. Growth was stronger in the second quarter, and at 13.9 per cent was markedly above the market average. The increase in the volume of orders in western Europe can be attributed both to the excellent results in Germany and to higher unit sales in other western European countries, with France and the UK being the top performers in the second quarter. In eastern Europe, the KION Group put in a strong performance despite the negative market trend in Russia, achieving – in part thanks to substantial gains in the Czech Republic – a healthy overall growth rate of 9.6 per cent in a stagnating market. In Asia, there were significant gains in all product categories for the first six months of the year. In China, the number of trucks ordered rose by 17.5 per cent, which was largely due to the increase in orders in the diesel truck segment. There was further encouraging demand for the Chinese brand Baoli’s D series trucks in the second quarter. In Central and South America, the KION Group was unable to escape the negative market trend. Growth markets accounted for around one third of new orders in the first six months of the year.
The total value of the order book was €834.7 million, a substantial increase of 20.4 per cent on the value at the end of last year (31 December 2013: €693.3 million).