Düsseldorf-based engineering group GEA has just published preliminary figures for the 2016 financial year, together with a business outlook for 2017. According to the data released, order intake rose to EUR 4,674 million on the back of very significant growth in the food sector.
As last predicted in October 2016, revenue fell moderately to EUR 4,492 million. The group’s operating EBITDA amounted to EUR 566 million and this too was in line with last autumn’s forecast. As regards its operating cash flow driver, the company posted a ratio to revenue of 9.5 percent last year.
“The general geopolitical climate became highly volatile in the course of the 2016 financial year. That said, implementation of our new group structure steadily gained in momentum in the course of the year and this helped us to hold our ground in this challenging market environment and to tap into emerging markets more effectively. However, the underlying economic uncertainties are not going to diminish in the foreseeable future and that goes for the current business year 2017 too,” explained Jürg Oleas, CEO of GEA. “So, at the moment, it’s difficult to say how our individual markets are going to fare. In particular, recent and upcoming elections in key sales markets are making it virtually impossible to predict the shape of the future political framework and its potential for business and the economy. Furthermore, current forecasts from important food producers are more cautious than they were for 2016. In order to best prepare ourselves to face the present challenges, we’ve already launched several new strategic projects such as the one in the field of our manufacturing footprint that is currently in the detailed design phase.”
GEA is looking to achieve moderate growth in revenue, an operating EBITDA of between EUR 620 million and EUR 670 million, and an operating cash flow driver margin before investments in strategic projects of between 8.5 and 9.5 percent for the 2017 financial year. This forecast is subject to there being no slowdown in global economic growth and no material adverse currency impacts. Further, the outlook presupposes an absence of serious slumps in demand from relevant customer industries or shifts between these industries which could negatively impact margins.
Already on Monday, the Executive Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft decided with the consent of the Supervisory Board, that the Company shall purchase own shares in an aggregate value of up to EUR 450 million with the purpose of cancellation during the period from March 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.
Since all the figures for the 2016 financial year are preliminary, they have yet to be audited. The consolidated financial statements for the GEA group and the annual financial statements for GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft are being prepared by the Executive Board and will be approved by the Supervisory Board. The annual report with the management report and the consolidated financial statements will be published on the GEA website on March 10, 2017.