Forward-looking statements

The forward-looking statements and information given below are based on the Company’s current expectations and assessments. Consequently, they involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Many factors, several of which are beyond the control of the KION Group, affect the Group’s business activities and profitability as well as the earnings of KION GROUP AG. Performance particularly depends on macroeconomic and industry-specific conditions and may be negatively affected by increasing uncertainty or a worsening of the economic and political situation. Any unexpected developments in the global economy would result in the KION Group’s and KION GROUP AG’s performance and profits differing significantly from those forecast below.

The outlook for 2021 is particularly uncertain in view of the continued rapid spread of coronavirus at the end of 2020. If the pandemic continues to worsen, the authorities may impose renewed restrictions that would adversely affect procurement, production, and sales activities and make customers less willing to invest.

The KION Group does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect subsequently occurring events or circumstances. Furthermore, the KION Group cannot guarantee that future performance and actual profits generated will be consistent with the stated assumptions and estimates and can accept no liability in this regard. Actual business performance may deviate from the KION Group’s forecasts due, among other factors, to the opportunities and risks described here.


The forecasts in this section are derived from the KION Group’s multiple-year market, business, and financial planning, which is based on various assumptions. Market planning takes into account macroeconomic and industry-specific performance, which is described below. Business planning and financial planning are based on expected market performance, but also draw on other assumptions, such as those relating to changes in the cost of materials, labor costs, sale prices, and movements in exchange rates.

With regard to the further course of the coronavirus pandemic, the market assumptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on which this outlook is predicated, are based on the expectation of a continued need for contact restrictions until vaccination rates rise and treatments improve over the course of the year. According to the assumptions, this will enable the potential transmission of infection to gradually be brought down to a low level.

Expected macroeconomic conditions

Following the global economic slump triggered by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the IMF’s outlook for 2021 – published at the end of January 2021 – anticipates that global economic output will recover with a rise of 5.5 percent, taking it above the pre-crisis level in 2019. The strength of the recovery will vary significantly from country to country, for example because of differences in access to medical resources to contain the coronavirus pandemic and the extent and effectiveness of government support packages.

The IMF predicts growth of 4.3 percent for the developed economies in 2021. This will be underpinned by the continuation of the central banks’ expansionary monetary policy, fiscal stimulus packages, and an economic recovery resulting from the increased containment of the coronavirus pandemic as various vaccines become more widely available. However, this would not fully compensate for the decline in economic output in 2020. US growth is expected to be above the 4.3 percent mark at 5.1 percent, while the eurozone’s growth of 4.2 percent will be slightly below this level.

The IMF predicts that the economic output of the emerging markets and developing countries will increase by 6.3 percent in 2021. This will be driven by the strong recovery in China, where economic growth of 8.1 percent is expected.

Reflecting the economic recovery, the volume of global trade will increase by 8.1 percent in 2021 according to the IMF. In absolute terms, global trade will thus remain significantly below the level recorded in the years before the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, the IMF also predicts that commodity prices will rise sharply, which would likely affect the purchase prices of the materials used by the KION Group.

According to the IMF, the main risks to the macroeconomic outlook are the continued spread and further mutations of coronavirus, delays in procuring and distributing the vaccines, rising government debt and an increasing number of company insolvencies. On the other hand, opportunities could arise, in particular, if the pandemic is brought under control sooner because of more efficient vaccination programs and improved treatment.

Expected sectoral conditions

In the KION Group’s view, the global material handling market should see strong growth in 2021 if economic conditions improve as expected. This is being driven by the increasing market momentum of the supply chain solutions market and a further gradual recovery of the global market for industrial trucks. Overall, the global material handling market is expected to grow at a higher rate than global GDP. This is primarily because of the fundamental growth drivers, particularly the fragmentation of value chains and consumers’ increasing preference for e-commerce, which the KION Group believes has become even more important as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Growth at regional level, especially in the more cyclical market for industrial trucks, will again depend heavily on economic conditions in the main sales markets.

Following the impact from the pandemic in 2020, the KION Group is expecting a gradual market recovery for new business with industrial trucks in 2021, with a percentage rise in unit sales that is in the mid-single-digit range and above the medium-term growth trend of around 4 percent. This rise is expected to be driven primarily by the recovery of the EMEA region, which was heavily affected by the pandemic in 2020, and by sustained growth in China. However, the latter is likely to be significantly lower than the exceptionally strong growth seen in 2020. The KION Group is in an excellent position from which to take advantage of the continuing electrification and automation of warehouses. The high number of trucks in operation worldwide provides a sustainable customer base for the service business.

The market for supply chain solutions is likely to continue expanding in 2021, particularly as a result of the sustained uptrend in e-commerce, which was further reinforced by the changes in consumer buying behavior during the pandemic. The trend for micro-fulfillment warehouses is also expected to continue. From a technology perspective, automation and robotics solutions will remain the main drivers. In the medium-term double digit market growth is expected.

Expected business situation and financial performance of the KION Group

In the fiscal year 2021, the KION Group plans to fully participate in the market recovery and has laid the foundations for this in the year under review, both in terms of technology and production as well as in terms of financing. In the global market for industrial trucks, the KION Group is aiming to outperform market growth thanks to the high proportion of revenue that it generates in markets that are likely to bounce back strongly. The KION Group’s portfolio in the market for warehouse automation and supply chain solutions covers all of the main growth drivers. In 2021, the Group therefore anticipates that its revenue will increase at a rate above the expected medium-term growth rate of the global market, in part due to the strong order book at the start of the year.

The order intake of the KION Group is expected to be between €9,700 million and €10,400 million. The target figure for consolidated revenue is in the range of €9,150 million to €9,750 million. The target range for adjusted EBIT is €720 million to €800 million. Free cash flow, including the effects of the capacity and structural program started in 2020, is expected to be in a range between €450 million and €550 million. The target figure for ROCE is in the range of 8.2 percent to 9.2 percent.

Order intake in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment is expected to be between €5,900 million and €6,200 million. The target figure for revenue is in the range of €5,900 million to €6,200 million. The target range for adjusted EBIT is €445 million to €485 million.

Order intake in the Supply Chain Solutions segment is expected to be between €3,800 million and €4,200 million. The target figure for revenue is in the range of €3,250 million to €3,550 million. The target range for adjusted EBIT is €360 million to €400 million.

Outlook 2022


KION Group

Industrial Trucks & Services

Supply Chain Solutions

in € million







Order intake1


9,700 – 10,400


5,900 – 6,200


3,800 – 4,200



9,150 – 9,750


5,900 – 6,200


3,250 – 3,550

Adjusted EBIT1


720 – 800


445 – 485


360 – 400

Free cash flow


450 – 550



8.2% –9.2%


Disclosures for the Industrial Trucks & Services and Supply Chain Solutions segments also include intra-group cross-segment order intake, revenue and effects on EBIT

Overall statement on expected performance

Overall, the KION Group anticipates that it will return to growth in 2021. The KION Group expects that its adjusted EBIT, and thus its profitability, will remain below the pre-crisis 2019 level due to the continuation of extensive expenditure aimed at strengthening future growth and the anticipated rise in commodity prices. However, there should be a sharp improvement compared with the 2020 level, which was adversely affected by the pandemic.