Fundamentals of the KION Group
The accounting policies used in this interim report are essentially the same as those used for the year ended December 31, 2019. The reporting currency is the euro.
Management and control
Jiang Kui, Dr. Christina Reuter, Hans Peter Ring, and Xu Ping resigned as Supervisory Board members with effect from the end of the Annual General Meeting on July 16, 2020 so that the terms of office of the shareholder representatives on the Supervisory Board would not all end at the same time in the future. As proposed by the Supervisory Board, they were then re-elected to the Supervisory Board for a term of five years. This has created a staggered board structure, thereby helping to ensure the continuity of the Supervisory Board’s work.
Strategy of the KION Group
The KION Group continued to execute its KION 2027 strategy during the period under review, despite temporarily prioritizing short-term measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The aim of the long-term strategy is for the KION Group, as a provider of solutions, to grow at a faster rate than the global material handling market and to continue increasing its adjusted EBIT margin so that it reaches double digits in the long term. Profitability is to be ensured throughout the various market cycles by a robust business model. A further target is the optimization of efficient capital use as measured by return on capital employed (ROCE).
A particular focus is to sustainably strengthen the KION Group’s position in the growth regions of the global material handling market. In the third quarter, for example, construction of a new plant for manufacturing counterbalance trucks in the value segment got under way in the eastern Chinese city of Jinan, the opening ceremony was held for the new warehouse technology factory near Xiamen, and the production facility for material handling solutions in Stříbro, Czech Republic, was expanded.
In the energy field of action, the Group continued to focus on the development and production of lithium-ion batteries for use in energy-efficient drive systems for industrial trucks. This includes KION Battery Systems GmbH (KBS), which went into operation at the start of this year and is a joint venture with BMZ Holding GmbH.
In the digitalization field of action, the Supply Chain Solutions segment added to its technological expertise and strengthened its market position in the first quarter by acquiring and integrating Digital Applications International Limited (DAI), a software firm specializing in logistics automation solutions.
In the automation field of action, the KION Group entered into a strategic partnership with Shanghai-based Quicktron in the third quarter. Quicktron is a Chinese manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots. This expands the Group’s global product offering of automated warehouse solutions.