- New orders after six months in excess of € 2 billion for the first time
- Guidance for 2017 confirmed
Dürr continued to grow despite the sale of the Dürr Ecoclean Group (industrial cleaning technology), which no longer contributed to sales and order intake in the second quarter. The HOMAG Group achieved the greatest growth in the first half of the year, with order intake up 33.0%. This reflected strong demand in the furniture industry for highly automated production lines. Orders for painting systems for the automotive industry rose sharply in the second quarter, climbing by 10.9%, while the Application Technology division with its painting robot business posted an increase of as much as 21.7%.
In China, there was a noticeable increase in demand in the first half of the year, with new orders rising by 51% to € 405 million. Orders in Europe excluding Germany climbed by 21% to € 765 million.
The rise in operating earnings in the first half of the year was due to the increased sales and high capacity utilization. The latter resulted in economies of scale in the Group’s machinery business in particular. The extraordinary effects of € 14.9 million included in EBIT entail the income of € 22.7 million arising at the end of March from the sale of Dürr Ecoclean and purchase price allocation effects for HOMAG (€ -4.4 million) as well as one-off expenses in the energy efficiency technology segment (€ -3.4 million).
Dürr increased spending on research and development by 15% to € 56.1 million. The focus was on innovation projects within the framework of the digital@DÜRR strategy. Among other things, HOMAG unveiled the cloud-based Internet platform “tapio” for the woodworking industry in May. Following the completion of most of Dürr’s program for expanding its network of business locations, capital expenditure returned to a normal level of € 33.6 million (down 13.0%).
The high net profit caused equity to rise by 17.1% over the middle of 2016 to € 833.2 million. At € 96.2 million, net financial status was firmly in positive territory as of June 30, 2017. Cash flow from operating activities improved over the first half of 2016 by € 43.8 million to € -40.8 million. CFO Carlo Crosetto: “We expect cash flow to perform well in the second half of the year and to be clearly positive at the end of the year. We will be monitoring costs even more closely to boost efficiency.”
Following the sale of Dürr Ecoclean, the headcount shrank by 4.5% over the end of 2016 to 14,545 employees. 7,737 employees are based in Germany, equivalent to 53% of the Group total. 4,482 employees, accounting for 31% of the Group’s workforce, were based in the emerging markets as of the middle of the year.
Sales and order intake of around € 150 million will be lost in 2017 following the sale of Ecoclean. Even so, Dürr is aiming for figures of a similar amount as in the previous year for these two indicators. As things currently stand, Dürr expects to be able to report sales of € 3.4 to 3.6 billion in 2017. On a like-for-like basis, i.e. adjusted for the Ecoclean effect, sales should grow by 3 to 5 % in 2017. Order intake is expected to come to € 3.3 to 3.7 billion. Given the high order intake in the first half of the year, it should be possible at this stage for the upper end of this range to be reached. The target range for the EBIT margin is unchanged at 7.5 to 8.25% and also appears to be readily achievable.