Business performance in the Group
In 2018, the KION Group focused on strengthening its position in emerging markets in line with its KION 2027 strategy. Back in January 2018, the KION Group entered into an exclusive and global strategic partnership with EP Equipment, Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China, a leading Chinese manufacturer of warehouse trucks. In this context, the KION Group also plans to acquire a non-controlling interest in EP Equipment, Co., Ltd., thereby expanding its product offering in the entry-level segment for lightweight warehouse trucks in the Chinese market and improving on its worldwide position as the leading supplier of electric-powered material handling equipment.
In the first quarter of 2018, the KION Group’s production network was enlarged when the factory in Stříbro, Czech Republic, commenced operations and began manufacturing multishuttles and modular conveyor systems. The factory supports Dematic’s growth in the European market.
Further steps were taken as part of ongoing improvements to the KION Group’s funding. In January 2018, the KION Group agreed an extension, until February 2023, to the term of the revolving credit facility of €1,150.0 million arranged under the senior facilities agreement (SFA), giving it another year of flexibility in its funding. The KION Group issued a further promissory note in June 2018. It has a volume of €200.0 million and will mature in June 2025. In addition, the long-term tranche of the acquisition facilities agreement (AFA) was reduced to €600.0 million (31 December 2017: €1,000.0 million).
At the start of the 2018 financial year, the KION Group adopted the new standards IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 retrospectively. As a result, some of the prior-year figures, Group KPIs and line items have been adjusted, particularly those relating to the leasing business.