Summary of business performance

Sales markets

In the Industrial Trucks & Services segment, the global market for industrial trucks grew rapidly in the first quarter of 2017, with the number of new trucks ordered rising by 19.4 percent year on year. The total number of trucks ordered across all regions and product types was 350.5 thousand (Q1 2016: 293.5 thousand).

The EMEA region (western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) generated double-digit growth of 14.2 percent. In western Europe (growth of 10.6 percent), orders in France and Spain rose at an exceptionally strong rate. Germany’s growth was slightly slower than that of the western European market as a whole, while a hesitation to invest in the United Kingdom was reflected in a decline in orders. In eastern Europe (growth of 42.0 percent), higher demand in Russia had a particularly beneficial effect. North America, Central America and South America (Americas region) saw orders grow by 7.6 percent overall, with the United States making the biggest contribution in absolute terms. The Brazilian market made a noticeable recovery, having contracted hugely in recent years. Thanks to China’s strong upward trend, Asia-Pacific as a whole (APAC region) reported the highest growth at 32.5 percent. Sales of electric forklift trucks were up by 15.1 percent. There was also a significant increase of 18.2 percent in warehouse truck sales. Sales of IC trucks rose by 22.8 percent in the first quarter. > TABLE 01

Global industrial truck market (order intake)*


in thousand units

Q1 2017

Q1 2016



Country allocation according to new regional governance

Source: WITS/FEM

Western Europe




Eastern Europe




Middle East and Africa




North America




Central and South America












In the warehouse systems business of the Supply Chain Solutions segment, the rapid expansion of e-commerce and the increasingly widespread use of Industry 4.0 technologies drove demand for automation solutions. For this reason, the KION Group continues to expect average annual market growth of around 10 percent.

Business performance in the Group

The KION Group pressed ahead with integrating Dematic in the first quarter of 2017. As part of this process, the Stříbro site in the Czech Republic will be expanded this year to include a new plant for Dematic’s automated conveyor systems. The contract with the building contractor was signed in March 2017. The KION Group is planning an overall investment of around €7 million in this factory, with production due to get under way in 2018. The new factory will manufacture multi-shuttles and modular conveyor systems – modules for automated material handling, storage and retrieval systems – for the European market.

The integration of Egemin Automation and Retrotech Inc. into the Dematic Group is to be completed by the end of 2017. Combined with Dematic’s activities, Egemin Automation will become the world’s largest supplier of automated guided vehicles (AGVs). It is headquartered in the city of Holland in Michigan, US. Retrotech will contribute to the aftermarket business, operating under the Dematic Retrotech brand as part of the customer service organisation of Dematic North America. Its headquarters will remain in Rochester in New York State, US.

KION GROUP AG issued a promissory note with a total volume of €1,010.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 in order to refinance the bridge loan obtained by the KION Group from its core group of banks for the acquisition of Dematic. The bridge loan originally had an agreed volume of €3,000.0 million, of which €2,543.2 million was drawn down. The note is divided into several tranches with maturity periods of five, seven and ten years and have fixed or floating-rate coupons. This step has also significantly extended the maturity profile.

In January, the KION Group received an investment-grade rating for the first time. Fitch Ratings gave the Group a long-term issuer rating of BBB– with a stable outlook, reflecting its improved financial profile, high level of profitability and stable free cash flow. In April, the rating agency Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating for the KION Group from BB+ with a negative outlook to BB+ with a stable outlook.