GEA’s order intake rose to EUR 1,144.3 million in the first quarter of 2016. Whereas revenue fell, mainly as a result of a low order intake of small, fast-processed orders in the first two months of the year, the order backlog increased by 8.5 percent compared with December 31, 2015.

With the gross margin remaining stable, further cost reductions facilitated by the “Fit for 2020” initiative in particular enabled GEA to improve its operating EBITDA margin by around 20 basis points to 10.0 percent, this despite the contraction in volume.

“Thanks to the measures to enhance efficiency already implemented and our strong position in the market, we succeeded in raising our operating EBITDA margin to 10.0 percent for the first time in a first quarter of a year despite relatively low revenue figures,” said Jürg Oleas, Chairman of the Executive Board of GEA, appraising the present situation. “On the basis of solid order intake and a healthy order backlog, we can now corroborate the forecast we made back in February for fiscal year 2016.”

Net liquidity continued to improve compared with the prior-year period, increasing from EUR 822.7 million to EUR 867.9. Adjusted for non-recurring items, the cash flow driver margin for the last 12 months amounted to 10.9 percent, compared with 10.2 percent for the prior-year period.

IFRS key figures of GEA

(EUR million)  Q1 2016 Q1 2015 Change in %
Results of operations
Order intake 1,144.3
Revenue 941.2
Operating EBITDA1 93.9 98.2 -4.4
as % of revenue 10.0 9.8 -
Operating EBIT 1 74.3 78.8 -5.6
as % of revenue 7.9 7.8 -
EBIT 59.0 67.5 -12.6
Net assets
Working capital intensity in % (average of the past 12 months) 13.1 12.2 -
Net liquidity (+)/Net debt (-) 867.9 822.7 5.5
Financial position
Operating cash flow driver margin2 10.9 10.2 -
ROCE in % (goodwill adjusted)3 14.1 22.7 -
Full-time equivalents (reporting date) 17,173 18,161 -5.4
GEA Shares
Earnings per share (EUR) 0.18 0.21 -15.2
1) Before effects of purchase price allocations and before non-recurring items 2) Cash flow driver = operating EBITDA – capital expenditure – change in working capital (average of the last 12 months) 3) Capital employed excluding goodwill from the acquisition of the former GEA AG by former Metallgesellschaft AG in 1999 (average of the last 12 months)