5.4 Overall assessment of the Company's performance in 2010

In 2010, the KION Group reached major corporate development milestones. The restructuring begun in 2009 as part of the KIARA performance enhancement programme was implemented successfully, new restructuring measures were initiated and costs were significantly reduced. Employees' knowledge and performance represent one of the KION Group's core strengths and were one of the main driving forces behind the upturn that began in 2010. During the economic crisis, the KION Group proved to be a reliable employer, with the number of employees adjusted with a sense of proportion. By combining the strengths of the STILL and OM brands, the KION Group improved its market penetration and product coverage. The KION Group had strengthened its position in the emerging market of China with its fifth brand, Baoli, in 2009 and assumed complete management control of Baoli in 2010. It is therefore very well placed to participate in the fast development of the Chinese market and to penetrate other high-growth markets with Baoli. Linde Hydraulics, one of the Group's technological mainstays, entered into a strategic alliance with Eaton in 2010. The two companies are an ideal fit in terms of their product portfolios and they are moving into additional regional markets. This alliance is crucial to Linde Hydraulics because it is able to offer its products based on market-leading technologies to a broader range of customers.

In 2010, the KION Group benefited considerably from the global economic recovery and the subsequent upturn that was felt on the worldwide industrial trucks markets. The main drivers of growth last year were the strong home German market and, above all, the emerging markets, which accounted for approximately half of the growth in new truck business. Worldwide order intake for new trucks rose by 32 per cent to 121,500 units, while revenue climbed by 15 per cent to €3,534 million. Due to the rate at which the plants could be ramped up and the more stable growth in service revenue, the sharp rise in order intake was not fully matched by the increase in total revenue.

As a result of the slight improvement in the business situation expected for 2010, the KION Group is highly satisfied with its revenue growth and earnings. The steps taken to boost profitability took full effect, and costs were reduced significantly as a consequence of the KIARA performance enhancement programme, which was launched in 2009. Adjusted EBIT increased to €139 million, having been minus €29 million in 2009. Taking into account interest expenses, tax and one-off items, however, the KION Group again reported a net loss (€197 million). This had a negative impact on the Group's equity. As at 31 December 2010, the KION Group reported equity of minus €400 million. This figure is of no relevance under the covenants agreed with the financing banks or under the German Commercial Code (HGB). The equity of KION GROUP GmbH reported in the single-entity financial statements of that company in accordance with HGB was a very comfortable €333 million. The equity of the ultimate parent company KION Holding 1 GmbH reported in the single-entity financial statements of that company in accordance with HGB as at 31 December 2010 was an equally positive €230 million.

The KION Group is ideally placed to benefit from the sustained upturn on the global industrial trucks market and, in 2010, it set the course that will enable it to do so.

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