GEA Group achieves impressive start to 2007
Bochum, May 09, 2007 - GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft generated earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of EUR 64.3 million in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 82.8 per cent on the EUR 35.2 million reported for the first quarter of 2006. All segments - including the "Other" companies - contributed to this growth. The EBIT margin rose significantly from 4.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent. "Now that we have sold Lentjes, the disposal of our Plant Engineering operations is complete. The GEA Group will now focus its operating activities entirely on its highly profitable and fast-growing mechanical engineering businesses in sectors such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and power supply. Although the first quarter of the year is traditionally our weakest, we have almost doubled our EBIT. The GEA Group is therefore well on its way to increasing its EBIT margin by roughly two percentage points by 2009", announced Jürg Oleas, the chief executive officer of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft.
The Customized Systems segment raised its first-quarter EBIT by EUR 2.5 million to EUR 9.2 million. The Process Equipment segment improved its EBIT by EUR 12.2 million, or 61.3 per cent, to EUR 32.1 million on the back of strong performances in the Process Equipment and Dairy Farm Systems divisions. The Process Engineering segment almost doubled its EBIT in the first quarter of 2007 from EUR 9.7 million to EUR 19.2 million.
The Group's main key figures for the first quarter of 2007 were announced by the Executive Board at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting in Bochum on April 30. The volume of new orders received in the first quarter of 2007 grew by 12.9 per cent to more than EUR 1.38 billion (Q1 2006: approximately EUR 1.22 billion). Sales in the first three months of 2007 rose by 26.1 per cent to roughly EUR 1.06 billion (2006: EUR 0.84 billion).
Earnings before tax (EBT) doubled to EUR 51.8 million, as did earnings per share on continuing operations, which advanced from EUR 0.08 to EUR 0.17.
The GEA Group's Executive Board expects the volume of new orders received in 2007 and 2008 to increase slightly on the already very high level of EUR 5.0 billion achieved in 2006. Based on the sales of EUR 4.3 billion generated in 2006, the Executive Board is forecasting sales growth of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in each of the next few years. Given the company's well-stocked order books, the Executive Board expects sales to grow by over 10 per cent in 2007. EBIT will continue to grow disproportionately. The GEA Group aims to raise the EBIT margin in its three core segments from 8.1 per cent at present to almost 10 per cent over the next three years. Following its impressive start to 2007 the GEA Group is maintaining this forecast for the period up to 2009.
|Key Figures for Q1 2007 (in EUR million)||Q1 2007||Q1 2006|
|% of sales||6.1||4.2|
|Earnings before tax||51.8||25.6|
|Net income on continuing operations||31.6||15.7|
|Net income/loss on discontinued operations||1.4||-5.1|
|Basic earnings per share (EUR)||0.18||0.06|
|thereof on continuing operations||0.17||0.08|
|thereof on discontiued operations||0.01||-0.03|
|Net position (adjusted)*||362.4||165.5|
|Employees at balance sheet date||17,897||15,879|
* Including Plant Engineering in Q1 2006 and 2007
** On property, plant and equipment and intangible assets
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft is an international technology group that focuses on specialty mechanical engineering, especially process engineering and equipment. Around 17,500 employees generated sales of more than EUR 4.3 billion in 2006. The GEA Group is one of the world's market and technology leaders in 90 percent of its businesses and is listed in Germany's MDAX index (G1A., WKN 660200).