Business activities

KION GROUP AG is the strategic management holding company in the KION Group. KION GROUP AG holds all the shares in Dematic Holdings GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, and thus all the shares in the subsidiaries in the Supply Chain Solutions segment. Furthermore, KION GROUP AG is the sole shareholder of Linde Material Handling GmbH, Aschaffenburg, which holds almost all the shares of the companies in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment. KION GROUP AG collects liquidity surpluses of the Group companies in a cash pool and, where possible, covers subsidiaries’ funding requirements with intercompany loans. As a rule, the external financing of the Group’s activities is handled by KION GROUP AG. Managerial holding company functions and the performance, in return for a consideration, of other services are also part of KION GROUP AG’s remit.

The annual financial statements of KION GROUP AG are prepared in accordance with the provisions in the German Commercial Code (HGB) and the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG). The management report is combined with the group management report. Pursuant to section 315e (1) HGB, the consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). Differences between the accounting policies in accordance with HGB and those in accordance with IFRSs arise primarily in connection with the accounting treatment of financial instruments, provisions, deferred taxes, and procurement leases.

Management system, future development, and risk position

As a holding company without any operating activities of its own, KION GROUP AG is indirectly dependent on the earnings and economic performance of its subsidiaries. The management system, expected development, and the opportunities and risks of the KION Group are described in detail in the ‘Management system’ and ‘Outlook, risk report, and opportunity report’ sections of this combined management report.

Business performance in 2021

The business performance and position of KION GROUP AG are largely determined by the business performance and success of the Group. Detailed reports in this regard are set out in the ‘Business performance in the Group’ and ‘Financial position and financial performance of the KION Group’ sections.

Financial performance

KION GROUP AG does not have any operating activities itself. The revenue of €73.7 million reported for 2021 (2020: €70.5 million) largely arose from the performance of services for affiliated companies.

Other operating income fell by €18.1 million to €27.8 million and included, in particular, gains on the measurement of bank accounts and cash pools in foreign currencies.

The cost of materials related to the revenue from the provision of services and mostly consisted of expenses for consultancy services.

Personnel expenses amounted to €76.1 million, a year-on-year rise of €26.9 million. This growth was primarily attributable to an increase in variable, performance-related salary components, such as short-term incentives and share-based remuneration.

Other operating expenses decreased by €20.9 million to €116.1 million. This year-on-year reduction can mainly be explained by expenses that had been incurred in 2020 in connection with implementation of the capital increase (€14.7 million), although the reduction was partly offset by an increase of €21.8 million in 2021 in expenses for consultancy and other third-party services. Other operating expenses also included foreign currency exchange rate losses resulting from the measurement of bank accounts and cash pools in foreign currencies amounting to €19.1 million (2020: €44.1 million).

Net financial income rose by €268.7 million to €352.2 million. The changes in net financial income / expenses were primarily attributable to the following factors:

  • The total income from profit-transfer agreements mainly related to Linde Material Handling GmbH in an amount of €179.7 million (2020: expense of €23.5 million for the transfer of losses) and Dematic Holdings GmbH in an amount of €150.0 million (2020: €105.7 million).
  • Interest expense and similar charges, which totaled €34.0 million (2020: €54.5 million), included an amount of €25.4 million arising from external financing (2020: €41.7 million). On a smaller scale, they included expenses of €3.0 million from interest charged on intercompany liabilities (2020: €7.6 million) and expenses of €5.7 million from the unwinding of the discount on pension provisions (2020: €5.1 million).
  • Other interest and similar income amounting to €56.3 million (2020: €55.3 million) for the most part consisted of interest income on intercompany receivables.

KION GROUP AG incurred tax expenses of €50.6 million as a result of its role as the parent company of the tax group in 2021 (2020: €19.4 million). The increase was due to the significant improvement in the tax group’s earnings situation in 2021.

Total net income of €210.1 million was incurred in the year under review (2020: net loss of €6.5 million).

Financial performance

in € million








Other operating income




Material expenses




Personnel expenses




Other operating expenses




Depreciation expense




Operating loss




Net financial income



> 100%

Income taxes



< –100%

Net income (loss)



> 100%

Net assets

The total assets of KION GROUP AG increased by approximately 0.9 percent to €7,883.0 million as at December 31, 2021.

At €4,238.2 million, financial assets were almost unchanged and largely comprised the carrying amounts of the equity investments in Dematic Holdings GmbH (€2,862.2 million) and Linde Material Handling GmbH (€1,368.4 million).

Cash and cash equivalents rose by €96.8 million to €200.0 million as at the reporting date.

Receivables and other assets amounted to €3,438.8 million (December 31, 2020: €3,468.2 million). The bulk of this total, €3,394.4 million, consisted of loans and cash pool receivables due from other Group companies (December 31, 2020: €3,444.7 million). The total also included the Company’s entitlement to the transfer of profits from Linde Material Handling GmbH in an amount of €179.7 million (December 31, 2020: liability of €23.5 million from the transfer of losses) and to the transfer of profits from Dematic Holdings GmbH in an amount of €150.0 million (December 31, 2020: €105.7 million). There were long-term loans to Group companies of €427.9 million (December 31, 2020: €571.3 million).

Net assets

in € million

Dec. 31, 2021

Dec. 31, 2020






Property, plant and equipment




Financial assets




Receivables and other assets




Cash and cash equivalents




Deferred income



> 100%

Total assets








Equity and liabilities








Retirement benefit obligation




Tax provisions



> 100%

Other provisions








Total equity and liabilities




Financial position

By pursuing an appropriate financial management strategy, the KION Group – through KION GROUP AG – makes sufficient cash and cash equivalents available at all times to meet the Group companies’ operational and strategic funding requirements. KION GROUP AG is a publicly listed company and therefore ensures that its financial management takes into account the interests of shareholders and financing partners. For the sake of these stakeholders, KION GROUP AG strives for an appropriate ratio of internal funding to borrowing.

Equity increased by €156.9 million in the reporting year. After taking into account the dividend payment of €53.7 million and the net income for the year of €210.1 million, equity rose to €4,788.8 million (December 31, 2020: €4,631.9 million). The equity ratio was 60.75 percent as at the reporting date (December 31, 2020: 59.3 percent).

Provisions increased by €41.4 million to €129.6 million, mainly because personnel provisions rose by €34.0 million to €58.8 million. This rise was primarily due to the increase in the provision for short-term incentives and share-based remuneration. Furthermore, the Company added €9.3 million to pension provisions, taking them to a total of €63.6 million.

Liabilities amounted to €2,964.6 million (December 31, 2020: €3,092.2 million) and mainly consisted of loan liabilities and cash pool liabilities to other Group companies amounting to €2,035.1 million (December 31, 2020: €1,973.4 million), liabilities to banks of €421.8 million (December 31, 2020: €612.7 million), and the corporate bond of €500.0 million (December 31, 2020: €500.0 million). After deduction of cash and cash equivalents, the resulting net debt amounted to €721.8 million (December 31, 2020: €1,009.5 million).

In 2020, KION GROUP AG launched a corporate bond program (EMTN program) with a total volume of €3 billion. The first bond was placed on the capital markets under this program in 2020 and had a nominal amount of €500.0 million, a maturity date in 2025, and a coupon of 1.625 percent.

KION GROUP AG was able to further reduce its financial debt thanks to the healthy increase in free cash flow in the first quarter of 2021. A variable-rate tranche of the promissory note that had a nominal amount of €167.0 million and was due to mature in 2024 was repaid ahead of schedule at the end of April 2021, thereby contributing to a further decrease in leverage.

Since October 4, 2021, KION GROUP AG has had a new syndicated revolving credit facility (RCF) with a total volume of €1,000.0 million. Its term ends in October 2026 and can be extended by up to two years with the consent of the syndicate of banks. The new facility has a variable interest rate; the contractually agreed interest terms are linked to KION GROUP AG’s credit rating and to compliance with sustainability KPIs. The previous credit facility, whose term was due to end in February 2023 and which had a volume of €1,150.0 million, was terminated.

The liabilities to banks and the promissory notes are not collateralized.


The average number of employees at KION GROUP AG in 2021 was 276 (2020: 271). KION GROUP AG employed 279 people as at December 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020: 276).