Acceleration of sustainable, profitable growth enables significant value creation for our shareholders
We are one of the world's largest system suppliers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. As an internationally active industrial technology group, we focus on machinery and equipment as well as advanced process technology, components, and comprehensive services.
We generate around 80% of our sales in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. These markets are characterized by stable growth rates with comparatively small fluctuations. This is based on important global megatrends such as continuous population growth, the expansion of the middle class, the demand for alternative protein sources (new food), or the trend towards healthy, functional and individual nutrition.
Mission 26 focuses on seven key levers to accelerate sustainable, profitable growth. The focus is on sustainability, innovations and digital solutions, new food, and excellence initiatives in sales, service as well as procurement and production. The company is also looking at targeted acquisitions.
Mission 26 sets ambitious financial targets for 2026. Organic sales growth of on average 4.0 to 6.0 percent annually is expected, leading to sales of around EUR 6 billion. The EBITDA margin before restructuring expenses is projected to grow to a record level of more than 15 percent. The Group-wide return on capital employed (ROCE) is anticipated to increase significantly to over 30 percent.
Based on the assumption of increasing profitability combined with a stable net working capital to sales ratio in a range of 8 to 10 percent and disciplined capital expenditures of around EUR 200 million annually, we expect strong free cash flow generation totaling around EUR 2 billion from 2022 to 2026.
We will allow our shareholders to participate in this success of substantial value enhancement with sustainable dividend increases. In addition, strong cash generation and a solid balance sheet will enable external growth. GEA will therefore examine value-enhancing acquisitions to strengthen its portfolio.
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