Overall assessment of the economic situation
The KION Group has had a good start to 2015. The marked rise in revenue and order intake reflects the strength of the Group’s market position in the new truck and service businesses, both in developed and in emerging markets. Even after elimination of positive currency effects, the Group still generated an encouraging level of growth.
The KION Group and its brand companies outperformed the market in the first quarter. Significantly better unit sales of diesel trucks enabled Baoli to consolidate its position in the global economy segment. The strategy of marketing region-specific products beneath the premium segment based on a cost-efficient production and development platform is starting to bear fruit.
Adjusted EBIT increased considerably, whereas the EBIT margin was unchanged year on year. The improvement in net financial expenses, which can be attributed to the optimisation of funding in 2014, provided an extra boost to net income. Earnings per share came to €0.41, which was roughly 49 per cent up on the figure for the first quarter of last year.
Level of orders
In the first three months of 2015, order intake advanced by 7.0 per cent or €81.1 million to €1,247.9 million. Both brand segments saw increases in the volume of orders. Positive currency effects amounting to €34.2 million also contributed to this trend.
The number of trucks ordered increased to approximately 41.6 thousand trucks, which was 6.2 per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2014. In western Europe, the number of trucks ordered from the KION Group was up by 11.2 per cent. Whereas there was a slight increase in market share for counterbalance trucks, sales figures for warehouse trucks were behind overall market growth rates even though they rose significantly. Reflecting the overall market situation, demand in eastern Europe declined – although unit sales were very encouraging in some eastern European countries. In Asia, and above all in China, the KION Group bucked the market trend by generating growth and therefore strengthened its market position. By contrast, the number of trucks ordered in South America continued to slide, especially in Brazil.
The total value of the order book amounted to €866.9 million, an increase of 13.4 per cent on the value at the end of last year (31 December 2014: €764.1 million).