Forward-looking statements

The forward-looking statements and information given below are based on the KION Group’s current expectations and assessments up to the time of preparation of this combined management report. Consequently, they involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Many factors, some of which are beyond the control of the management, affect the Group’s business activities and profitability as well as the earnings of the strategic management holding company, KION GROUP AG. Performance particularly depends on macroeconomic and industry-specific conditions and may be negatively affected by 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 forecasts below.

The prospects for 2023 are very uncertain in view of the severe ongoing disruption to global supply chains and the volatile macroeconomic and geopolitical situation at the time that this combined management report was prepared. The risk factors described below, as well as customers’ unwillingness to invest, may have an adverse impact on procurement, production, and sales activities.

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 predicted 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 and labor costs, the sale prices achievable, and movements in interest rates and exchange rates.

This outlook is based on the market assumptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with regard to the expected economic fallout from the war in Ukraine, inflation and anti-inflationary measures, and the ongoing consequences of pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains.

Expected macroeconomic conditions

The IMF expects global economic growth to slow again in 2023 to 2.9 percent. It predicts that the developed economies will expand by just 1.2 percent, with growth in the eurozone (0.7 percent) projected to remain markedly lower than the rate in the US (1.4 percent).

The economies of the developing countries and emerging markets are likely to be much more stable, with their anticipated growth rate of 4.0 percent roughly on a par with the level achieved in 2022. This forecast is driven largely by the expectation of a rebound of growth in China to 5.2 percent following the lifting of its zero-COVID strategy.

The IMF believes that, in 2023, the inflation rate will drop to 6.6 percent as a result of the more restrictive monetary policy of the central banks and the slowdown in growth. Commodity prices are also primed to ease, with energy commodities likely to see the biggest falls.

The IMF expects the volume of global trade to expand by 2.4 percent in 2023, down sharply from the growth rate of 5.4 percent in 2022 due to the weakening of the economy.

According to the IMF, there is still risk associated with the macroeconomic outlook and the related deterioration in the economic climate. The main risk factors are a worsening of the coronavirus situation in China as restrictions are lifted, escalation of the war in Ukraine, and a debt crisis resulting from stricter funding conditions worldwide. Inflation could also be driven back up if the war in Ukraine or faster-than-expected growth in China leads to higher energy and food prices. A deepening of the crisis in the Chinese real-estate sector is regarded as a further risk. Should the crisis spill over to the banking sector, it would severely dent the country’s economic growth, with the fallout extending beyond China’s borders.

Expected sectoral conditions

In the KION Group’s view, the economic environment described above and the softening of the market in 2022 make it unlikely that the figures for the global material handling market in 2023 will match those achieved in 2022. However, the KION Group does believe that the long-term upward trend remains intact, with the market growing at a faster rate on average than global economic growth as a whole. The central drivers of this growth are the fragmentation of value chains and the automation of warehouses and distribution centers for faster delivery times to consumers. Growth at regional level, especially in the more cyclical market for new industrial trucks, will again depend heavily on economic conditions in the main sales markets.

The KION Group is predicting that the number of new industrial trucks ordered in 2023 will see a steep decline in the high single-digit percentage range. This reduction in order intake will primarily be due to an anticipated decrease in the EMEA and Americas regions. By contrast, new orders are expected to increase slightly in the APAC region. In the long term, the KION Group currently expects to see continued market growth in the new truck business of around 4 percent.

Based on external analysis, the KION Group expects the market for supply chain solutions to also contract slightly in 2023. Huge sums have been invested in warehouse automation in recent years, a trend accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, but 2023 is likely to see growth rates continuing to normalize, particularly in the e-commerce sector. This is mainly due to high interest rates and commodity prices – although these are expected to ease – and to the uncertain economic outlook amid a tense geopolitical environment.

The KION Group predicts that the long-term growth of the market for supply chain solutions will remain intact. According to the KION Group, and backed up by research institute Interact Analysis, e-commerce customers are likely to become much more willing to invest again after the end of 2023 as the trend toward automation advances and inflation eases. One of the key reasons for this prediction is that the importance of online sales remains high and customers continue to expect rapid delivery times.

Expected business situation and financial performance of the KION Group

In 2022, the KION Group took decisive steps in both operating segments in order to enhance the long-term resilience of its business model. The steps taken to structure contracts in a way that allows price adjustments and manages risk, along with the measures designed to improve processes in procurement, production, and project management, are expected to have an effect on gross margins as early as 2023.

The revenue growth anticipated in the Industrial Trucks & Services segment will be only partly affected by the weakening of the market as there is still a very high volume of orders on the books from 2022 to be processed. The likely lower level of demand for new business should provide the segment with an opportunity to shorten delivery times over the course of the year and reduce the remaining inventories of unfinished trucks. Revenue and the gross margin for new business will benefit from the list price increases that were introduced in 2022 in response to the growth of manufacturing costs. The segment is progressively working through its order book, which means that most of these positive price effects will not materialize until the second half of the year. Given that the availability of materials is predicted to improve, the segment should see year-on-year growth in revenue from new business. In the service business, the high number of industrial trucks in operation worldwide provides solid foundations for a small rise in revenue. The KION Group expects the adjusted EBIT of the Industrial Trucks & Services segment to improve markedly, mainly thanks to the positive price effects and the assumption that manufacturing costs for new business will remain largely stable.

In the Supply Chain Solutions segment, the focus is on continuing to strengthen operational resilience by structuring contracts in a way that minimizes risk and on improving processes in procurement, project delivery, and project management. The portfolio of integrated automation and software solutions is being systematically refined and provides the basis for a stable level of business in the key sales industries (general merchandise, apparel, food and beverage, and grocery). Nonetheless, the revenue that the segment earns from the project business (business solutions) is predicted to fall sharply, not least because there is likely to be less investment on the part of e-commerce providers. By contrast, further revenue growth is anticipated in the high-margin service business. The gross margin is expected to improve thanks to the higher proportion of new contracts with customers that contain adequate price adjustment clauses and thanks to the steps now under way to optimize project management processes. The adjusted EBIT of the Supply Chain Solutions segment is predicted to rise sharply, primarily on the back of the improved gross margin in the project business (business solutions).

Revenue, adjusted EBIT, free cash flow, and return on capital employed (ROCE) have been defined as the core key performance indicators that will be used to manage the KION Group from the 2023 financial year onward. Consequently, order intake is no longer included in the outlook.

The Executive Board expects the core key performance indicators of the KION Group and its operating segments to be at the following minimum levels in 2023:

Outlook 2023


KION Group

Industrial Trucks & Services

Supply Chain Solutions



Outlook 2023


Outlook 2023


Outlook 2023


€11.1 billion

minimum €11.0 billion

€7.4 billion

minimum €7.8 billion

€3.8 billion

minimum €3.2 billion

Adjusted EBIT1

€292.4 million

minimum €550 million

€420.5 million

minimum €600 million

€–45.6 million

minimum €65 million

Free cash flow

€–715.6 million

minimum €500 million



minimum 5.0%


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

Overall statement on expected performance

Overall, the KION Group believes that it is well prepared for the future in view of the steps that it has taken to boost its resilience. It expects an increase in revenue and a significant improvement in both adjusted EBIT and return on capital employed (ROCE) in 2023. As a result, it anticipates that free cash flow will be comfortably into positive territory. However, the aforementioned market-related and geopolitical risks continue to create uncertainty regarding the business performance of the Group and its operating segments.