- Sales of € 3,767 million above the target corridor
- Sixth consecutive improvement in EBIT
- Outlook for 2016: Stable performance expected
In 2015, order intake in China rose by 9% to € 953 million. Orders from the automotive industry in China came close to repeating the previous year’s record. Order intake in North America climbed by 65% to € 722 million. Service business continued to grow, rising by 40% to just under € 900 million.
The Group’s high sales were boosted by the fact that revenues from painting equipment engineering were up around € 200 million on the normal level in 2015 due to the catching-up of customer-induced project delays arising in 2014. At 7.3%, the EBIT margin in painting equipment engineering returned to normal, after peaking at an extraordinarily high 9.8% in 2014. HOMAG’s operating EBIT margin made good progress, coming to 6.1% before extraordinary effects from purchase price allocation and the termination of the employee capital participation. Looking forward, HOMAG will continue to improve its profitability with the FOCUS optimization program.
Earnings after tax rose by 11% to € 166.6 million although both net finance expense and tax expense were burdened by extraordinary effects from the domination and profit transfer agreement entered into with HOMAG Group AG in March 2015.
At € 102.3 million, capital spending exceeded the € 100 million level for the first time. The most important projects entailed the construction of new Campus business locations in Southfield (USA) and Shanghai. Research and development expense rose by 75%, and hence more quickly than sales, to € 97.1 million. A central focus of innovation is the smart factory/Industry 4.0 sector, where Dürr strengthened its position with the acquisition of iTAC Software AG at the end of 2015. iTAC is one of the world’s leading vendors of manufacturing execution systems for intelligently networking production systems.
At € 173 million, cash flow from operating activities reached a good level despite an increase in net working capital as a result of high business volumes. As cash and cash equivalents substantially exceeded financial liabilities, the net financial status (€ 129 million) reached the top end of the target range (€ 50 to 150 million). Ralph Heuwing, CFO: “We were able to further strengthen our balance sheet in 2015. With our good cash position, we will be able to finance further acquisitions alongside our operating business.”
The Group headcount rose by 5% over the end of 2014 to 14,850 employees. In Germany, employee numbers rose by 4% to 8,026 due partially to the acquisition of iTAC. Just under 30% of all of Dürr’s employees are based in the emerging markets, while the HOMAG Group accounts for almost 40% of employees.
In view of the record earnings, the Board of Management will be recommending a further dividend increase to the Supervisory Board. Dürr had distributed a dividend of € 1.65 per share for 2014.
The business forecast for 2016 assumes that the global economy will continue to grow at a stable rate and that automotive production will rise by around 5% as forecast by experts. On this basis, Dürr expects to reach sales of € 3.4 to 3.6 billion in 2016. This marks a moderate decline over the previous year, in which sales were unusually high due to recouped revenues originally planned for 2014. Adjusted for this, sales came to just under € 3.6 billion in 2015 and were thus on a par with the level expected for 2016. Order intake should move in a range of € 3.3 to 3.6 billion. Accordingly, orders on hand will stay largely unchanged over the end of 2015 (€ 2.47 billion) and come to € 2.2 to 2.6 billion. From today´s perspective, EBIT in 2016 should more or less match the record level achieved in 2015, resulting in an EBIT margin of between 7.0 and 7.5% again.
The figures in this press release are provisional and unaudited. They have not yet been approved by the Supervisory Board. The annual report for 2015 setting out the final figures will be published on March 17, 2016.