Overall assessment of the economic situation
The first nine months of 2014 have been successful for the KION Group. There was a marked year-on-year increase in the value of order intake, which rose by 8.2 per cent.
Compared with the first nine months of 2013, consolidated revenue went up by 1.7 per cent to €3,372.3 million. The strong service business made a significant contribution to the growth in revenue. New truck business improved by 2.5 per cent in the third quarter, which meant that the decline over the nine-month period was just 3.8 per cent.
EBIT, adjusted for non-recurring items, came to €308.7 million in the reporting period, which was slightly up on the comparative prior-year period. The adjusted EBIT margin reached an impressive 9.2 per cent, slightly up on the prior-year figure of 9.1 per cent.
Despite the financial expenses incurred in the second quarter in connection with the early repayment of the two tranches of corporate bonds and the positive non-recurring tax effects included in the 2013 figures, net income increased by a substantial 45.9 per cent year on year to €118.6 million. The full impact of the reduction in interest costs was felt for the first time in the third quarter.
The KION Group’s financial position continues to provide it with sufficient scope for implementing the growth strategy. Earnings per share amounted to €1.19, compared with the (pro-forma) earnings of €0.82 in the first nine months of 2013.
Level of orders
The value of new orders for the first nine months of the year totalled €3,566.2 million, a substantial 8.2 per cent increase on the same period of 2013. The LMH and STILL operating segments contributed to this rise, both accelerating their rate of growth over the course of year.
This upward trend was driven by an 8.9 per cent increase in the number of trucks ordered over the nine-month period to a total of 115.2 thousand. The service business also expanded and an increasing proportion of trucks were fitted with customer-specific equipment.
In Europe, the KION Group kept in step with market growth thanks to the sustained recovery in the western European market and higher order numbers in eastern Europe. The main contributor to growth, which was in the low double-digit range, was demand for warehouse technology products and electric forklift trucks. In China, the KION Group saw its order numbers rise by 14.6 per cent, not least due to strong demand for trucks in the Baoli D series. Demand not only for diesel trucks but also for warehouse technology products went up significantly. In Central and South America, the negative sales trend persisted throughout the reporting period, with the weak market conditions in Brazil having a noticeable impact.
Growth markets accounted for around 35 per cent of orders in the first nine months of 2014. The order book amounted to €806.4 million at 30 September 2014, an increase of 16.3 per cent on the value at the end of last year (31 December 2013: €693.3 million).