Based on preliminary figures, GEA expects for the financial year 2018 an order intake of approximately EUR 4,920 million (previous year: EUR 4,751 million; organic growth*: plus 2.2 percent), revenue in the amount of about EUR 4,830 million (previous year: EUR 4,605 million) and an operating EBITDA** of approximately EUR 515 to 520 million (previous year: EUR 564 million).
In financial year 2018 and based on constant exchange rates:
- revenue rose by approximately 7.9 percent (most recent forecast: approximately plus 7.5 percent)
- operating EBITDA margin amounted to about 10.5 percent (most recent forecast: approximately 11.1 percent)
- operating cash flow driver*** margin amounted to approximately 6.0 percent (most recent forecast: 6.5 to 7.0 percent).
Nonetheless, also supported by the reduction in working capital of around EUR 150 million during the fourth quarter, the net liquidity at the end of December 2018 improved to approximately EUR minus 70 million (actual net liquidity at the end of September 2018: EUR minus 330 million).
From today's perspective, the Executive Board expects for 2019 that revenues will be moderately lower than in the previous year and that operating EBITDA will decline to a range from EUR 440 to 480 million. Herein, for the sake of comparability, the effects from the initial application of IFRS 16 are not yet reflected.
This indicative assessment is based, on the one hand, on the further deteriorating macroeconomic conditions entailing increased price pressure. On the other hand, rising personnel and IT infrastructure costs will have an adverse impact on profitability in the current financial year. In addition, the preliminary 2018 result benefits from non-recurring other operating income in the order of some EUR 20 to 25 million.
In view of these developments, GEA considers its mid-term guidance from March 2018 no longer valid.
Based on the cautious preliminary outlook, GEA assumes that tax loss carryforwards will be usable only to a lesser extent, which should result in a tax expense in the financial year 2018 from an impairment of deferred tax assets by a higher double-digit million amount.
On March 14, 2019, GEA will publish its final figures for 2018, including the dividend distribution proposal, as well as the final outlook for the 2019 financial year together with the audited consolidated financial statements for the year 2018.
* organic growth: adjusted for currency translation effects and changes in the scope of consolidated companies (in 2018 in particular the acquisitions Pavan and VIPOLL)
**operating EBITDA as defined in the 2018 Half-Yearly Financial Report, p.8 and 44ff.
*** operating cash flow driver as defined in the 2018 Half-Yearly Financial Report, p.3