In 2012, the KION Group is likely to benefit from the further cost-structure improvements already begun as well as from last year's capital expenditure on developing new and additional products and on expanding the sales and service network – as long as market conditions remain broadly stable. Provided that they do, the planned restructuring of the production sites is expected to bring significant, lasting improvements to capacity utilisation at the Luzzara and Hamburg plants, thereby boosting the necessary long-term competitiveness of the Group as a whole.
Further improvement of margins
The KION Group began 2012 with a large order backlog and is currently cautiously optimistic that it will again generate a slight year-on-year increase in revenue. This assumes that no external events have a direct negative impact on either the global industrial truck markets or the Company. Moreover, demand for the Company's products must remain at the same high level as in 2011. In these circumstances, growth would be driven by all segments and business activities. Along with rigorous management of fixed costs, the improvements initiated – especially those designed to improve capacity utilisation at the production sites – would lead to a further increase in profitability from 2013. The brand companies in the KION Group responded to the increase in staff costs and commodity prices by raising their gross list prices in December 2011 and early 2012. Against this background, the KION Group believes another slight rise in its adjusted EBIT margin is possible. This positive trend would also be reflected in net income, although this figure will be affected by non-recurring items in 2012. These will mainly be related to expenses for consolidating the production of warehouse equipment and counterbalance trucks of the STILL brand at one European site. The KION Group therefore expects to achieve a significantly better financial performance this year, although falling just short of breaking even.
Provided that the global economy maintains its positive trajectory, the KION Group believes further slight growth in its revenue and margin and a continued gradual improvement in net income are possible for 2013.
Wiesbaden, 15 March 2012
Gordon Riske Klaus Hofer Harald Pinger