In 2012, 55% of order intake was accounted for by the emerging markets. Whereas demand in some emerging markets declined, it remained strong in China, where Dürr generated 33% of its business, particularly in the second half of the year. Despite the recession, order receipts were up more than 20% in Europe.
Earnings were boosted by the sharp rise in sales revenues coupled with corresponding economies of scale and moderate costs. In spite of the large volume of business, all contracts were executed reliably thanks to Dürr employees’ strong commitment. The previous years´ comprehensive process improvements and IT spending also left positive traces.
Dürr stepped up its innovation course, increasing R&D spending by 26.1% to € 37.2 million. Capital spending rose to € 32.5 million (2011: € 23.4 million) and was chiefly targeted at capacity extensions at the Group’s facilities in Germany, China, Mexico and Brazil.
Energy efficiency business was expanded, with Dürr acquiring shares in three small technology companies in 2012 among other things. All three companies – Thermea, HeatMatrix and LaTherm – develop solutions related to the use of thermal energy.
Net finance expense widened by € 8.5 million to € 29.2 million chiefly due to non-recurring effects. With the tax rate standing at 24.6%, net profit for the year came to € 111.4 million, up from € 64.3 million in the previous year.
At € 117.6 million, cash flow from operating activities was encouraging. Net financial status came to € +96.7 million (December 31, 2011: € +51.8 million), marking the sixth consecutive improvement. Spurred by the higher earnings, equity rose by 18.6% to € 432.1 million while the equity ratio widened from 21.9% to 23.9%. Ralph Heuwing, Dürr AG´s CFO: “Thanks to our balanced business model and our disciplined capital management, we require only moderate funding for our growth. As a result, we achieved an excellent return of 43.9% on capital employed in 2012”.
In 2012, the Group workforce widened by 12.2% to 7,652 people. 284 additional employees (up 9.1%) were recruited in Germany and 215 (up 21.4%) in China. 33% of the Group’s employees are based in the emerging markets and 45% in Germany.
Dürr entered 2013 with a large order backlog of € 2,316.8 million and has also been performing consistently well over the last few weeks. Project inquiries from the automobile industry remain strong. In North America and Western Europe, the automobile industry is increasingly planning modernization projects to boost the efficiency of older plants. Assuming that economic conditions remain stable, Dürr forecasts slight sales and earnings growth in 2013, with the EBIT margin expected to come in at between 7.0 and 7.5%. Dürr is targeting an order intake of € 2.3 to 2.5 billion.
All the above figures are preliminary and unaudited. They have not yet been approved by the Supervisory Board. The annual report for 2012 setting out the final figures will be published on March 13, 2013.