•Preliminary order intake approximately 8.7% up on the same quarter of the previous year • Preliminary revenue up roughly 5% at around EUR 1.0 billion • Update on potential savings within the framework of the “Fit for 2020” project
On the occasion of today’s Annual General Meeting, GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft released first preliminary figures on the Company’s business progress in 2015 and announced a higher savings potential in connection with the ongoing “Fit for 2020” project.
According to preliminary figures, first quarter order intake of the mechanical engineering group based in Düsseldorf amounted to approximately EUR 1,100 million, up circa 8.7 percent on the previous year. Organic growth totaled around 3 percent. On the one hand, the Company had to cope with a decline in the oil and gas as well as the marine industries, while it benefited from an increase in the food and beverage sector. Mainly due to currency translation effects, consolidated revenue climbed more than 5 percent to roughly EUR 1,000 million. Thus, the ratio of received orders to generated revenue (i.e. the book-to-bill ratio) attained a level of around 1.1 in the first quarter of the year.
Within the framework of the ongoing “Fit for 2020” project, we have all but finalized the planned structure of the two Equipment and Solutions Business Areas, the Global Corporate Center as well as the country organizations. Furthermore, the future design of the Shared Service Centers was recently defined and given the go-ahead.
“Based on an in-depth analysis of the current structure of GEA Group as a whole, we have designed the future target organization in line with the blueprint concept presented in August 2014 and identified further potential savings over the past months. The new group structure with fewer levels of hierarchy and less complexity is to be implemented by the end of 2016 so that we will generate minimum savings of EUR 125 million per year as of the fiscal year 2017. Previously, we had anticipated annual minimum savings of EUR 100 million. One-off expenses will also go up”, said Jürg Oleas, Chief Executive Officer of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft.
This increase in potential savings is mainly due to the higher level of planned downsizing that currently foresees a reduction of around 1,450 full-time employees. Last year’s preliminary estimates had still suggested a net reduction of 1,000 jobs. GEA’s senior management is engaged in a close dialogue with the employee representative bodies. Negotiations on the procedures governing the implementation of the headcount reduction as well as the cushioning of the ensuing social effects are under way.
Provided that there is no slowdown in global economic growth, on the basis of constant currencies versus 2014 and without taking into consideration the impact of acquisitions and one-off effects, GEA expects to achieve a moderate organic growth in revenue as well as an operating EBITDA of between EUR 580 and 620 million in the current fiscal year 2015. Under the same conditions, our cash flow driver margin is to reach a level of between 9.0 and 9.5 percent. This forecast does not yet take into account first savings generated in connection with the reorganization of the Group. Against this backdrop, GEA will submit a more detailed outlook on the Company’s business progress as well as a detailed overview of expected savings and expenses under the “Fit for 2020” project together with the first quarter report on May 11, 2015.