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GEA Annual Report 2020

Along with its Annual Report, GEA has released its first stand-alone Sustainability Report for 2020. This step marks an important milestone in our commitment to increased transparency and dialogue with our stakeholders.

In this short video message, CEO Stefan Klebert provides a brief overview of GEA’s performance in the fiscal year 2020, as well as a perspective for the upcoming mid-term.

Stefan Klebert, CEO

Letter from the CEO

Dear Shareholders,

We began the past fiscal year convinced that our primary focus would be pushing ahead with our efficiency measures aimed at making the company even stronger. Who could have predicted that we would be confronted by an entirely different set of challenges? The unexpected and overwhelming theme of 2020 was, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic. GEA was not immune to its impact, which affected all areas of life and the economy worldwide.

As a company, we reacted quickly to the situation. Already in January, GEA set up a global task force and rapidly took appropriate measures to ensure the safety of its employees and the continuation of operations via local teams organized at each site. We consistently and systematically evaluated the experience gained in the spring, which meant that we were well prepared for the second wave at the end of the year. These extensive measures enabled us to safeguard both the health of our employees and the company’s economic performance, and reliably serve our customers.

Today, we can confidently say: GEA successfully navigated the challenges of 2020! We delivered, and in some cases, even over-delivered on our promises despite the global pandemic. We significantly exceeded our own ambitious EBITDA and ROCE expectations. We also sustainably improved key financial performance indicators, such as net working capital, free cash flow and liquidity. In fact, some of these figures have already reached the target levels that we originally set for 2022 as part of our medium-term financial planning.

Alongside short-term measures to navigate the pandemic, our projects aimed at improving efficiency initiated in 2019 – and their systematic implementation – made a major contribution to GEA’s positive performance in the year under review. Our new organizational structure, which is based on decentralized responsibility for performance and local decision-making power, has paid off.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees. They have handled this highly unusual situation with enormous commitment, while at the same time instituting the necessary changes.

The world remains in the grip of a historic pandemic. However, we cannot and do not intend to let this distract us from our efforts in combating climate change and becoming more sustainable. At GEA, our products are already helping mitigate key global challenges, such as increased urbanization, safeguarding global food supplies and conserving resources. As an international industrial solutions leader, we take our global responsibility very seriously, even in these unprecedented times, and remain committed to “engineering for a better world.” Our climate protection efforts were recognized once again with an “A-” rating in 2020 in the prestigious CDP sustainability ranking (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). GEA’s efforts in reducing its own water usage and in its many customer solutions were also assessed by CDP for the first time in 2020 and were immediately awarded an “A” rating. In both instances, GEA received the highest rating level (“Leadership”). It is our intent to make our commitment and actions even more transparent. To this end, we have once again expanded the breadth of the content included in our sustainability report and will publish it as a stand-alone document for the first time this year.

In the current fiscal year, we have no intention of resting on our laurels; we will press ahead with the course we have set for ourselves. The ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, we remain fully confident in GEA’s potential for further growth. We are strongly positioned in attractive and growing markets, with most of our revenue being generated in the food and beverage industry and the pharmaceutical sector. These are key industries that remain stable – and are even in increasing demand – irrespective of the pandemic. Even if the pandemic continues to fundamentally shape global economic developments, we are able to once again confirm our medium-term financial targets and are setting even more ambitious ones in the areas where we made great progress last year.

We also intend to keep our dividend payment stable. Based on GEA’s excellent performance in fiscal year 2020, we intend to propose an unchanged dividend payout of EUR 0.85 per share at the Annual General Meeting. This once again underscores that GEA shares are a reliable dividend-paying equity investment, which, by the end of the year under review, had nearly fully recovered from the sharp decline caused by the market crash in March, despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This performance is clear evidence of capital market confidence in GEA.

In short, we have every reason to be optimistic about the future. The measures we have taken are bearing fruit and our business model has proven stable, even in turbulent times. We want you, our valued shareholders, to continue to participate in GEA’s successful development. We will be focusing our entire energy in the current fiscal year on ensuring that GEA remains a valuable investment. Thank you for the trust you have placed in us.

Stay healthy and let’s stay connected.

Sincerely,

Stefan Klebert

Report of the Supervisory Board

Dr. Helmut Perlet, Chairman of the Supervisory Board

During fiscal year 2020, the Supervisory Board performed the monitoring and advisory functions incumbent upon it by virtue of the law, the Articles of Association and the Rules of Procedure. In doing so, it regularly dealt with the progress and the prospects of the company as well as all specific material issues while continuously advising the Executive Board on matters relating to the management of the company.

The deliberations held during the Supervisory Board meetings and the meetings of its committees form the most important element for the discharge of our duties. In addition, the Executive Board – in compliance with its obligation to inform – kept the Supervisory Board and its committees up to date through regular, timely and comprehensive written and/or oral reports on all relevant matters and measures relating to the company, its course of business, corporate planning, strategy as well as the progress of the group. The Supervisory Board was involved in all decisions of fundamental importance to the company and assisted the Executive Board in an advisory capacity. The members of the Supervisory Board had ample opportunity to critically examine the reports and motions for resolution submitted by the Executive Board – both in the committees as well as during plenary meetings – and to put forward their own proposals. The chairs of the individual committees customarily attended the Supervisory Board meeting in the wake of their respective committee meetings in order to report on the financial results and the main discussion points that emerged from their committee meetings. Their reports frequently provided the full Supervisory Board with valuable and influential insights. In so doing, the in-depth preparatory work undertaken by the committees was instrumental in enhancing the overall effectiveness of the Supervisory Board’s activities.

Furthermore, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the Presiding Committee, the sitting Chairman and Chairwoman of the Audit Committee in office during the past fiscal year, and the Chairwoman of the Technology Committee all maintained regular contact with the Executive Board. Between meetings, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the CEO regularly discussed matters of strategy, planning, business progress, risk exposure, risk management and compliance. Outside of meetings, the former Chairman as well as the current Chairwoman of the Audit Committee remained in regular contact with members of the Executive Board, in particular with the CFO, in order to keep abreast of current developments relevant to the work of the Audit Committee and to discuss business if necessary. The employee representatives regularly deliberated on important agenda points during pre-meeting consultations with the Executive Board prior to full Supervisory Board meetings.

On a regular basis, the Supervisory Board received specific information on order intake, revenue and earnings, the employment situation in the group and its divisions, as well as on the latest developments concerning the Covid-19 pandemic and their impact on the group and its business activities. Detailed explanations were provided on deviations of business performance from plans and targets on the basis of supporting documents. Prior to and between the meetings, the Executive Board delivered written reports on significant events to the members of the Supervisory Board. Following deliberations at committee level, the future prospects and the strategic orientation of the company and its divisions, as well as corporate planning, were extensively discussed and jointly agreed upon with the Supervisory Board.

Following comprehensive scrutiny and deliberations as well as discussions at committee level, the members of the Supervisory Board cast their votes on the reports and motions for resolution submitted by the Executive Board insofar as this was appropriate or required by law, the provisions of the Articles of Association or the Rules of Procedure. For reasons duly substantiated, in particular in matters of special urgency, resolutions were adopted by written procedure.

In the year under review, there were no conflicts of interest involving members of the Executive Board or the Supervisory Board that would have required immediate disclosure to the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and communication to the Annual General Meeting.

Focus areas of Supervisory Board deliberations
In fiscal year 2020, a total of eight meetings of the Supervisory Board were held. On these occasions, the Supervisory Board regularly discussed matters relating to the company’s business progress, its financial position, information related to initiatives in the areas of procurement and production, as well as share price performance. Apart from that, the following key topics were addressed:

At its meeting on February 12, 2020, the Supervisory Board addressed the preliminary financials 2019 and the achievement of targets for the 2019 remuneration of the Executive Board. The Supervisory Board also discussed and approved the Executive Board’s modifier targets in detail for 2020. The presentation on the background to the ad hoc announcement of January 27, 2020 and the reactions of the capital market to this ad hoc announcement were also discussed. At this meeting, the Supervisory Board also approved the premature, mutually agreed departure of Steffen Bersch from the Executive Board and discussed the reshuffling of responsibilities within the Executive Board after his departure.

Against the backdrop of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the key issues addressed during the Supervisory Board meeting held on March 12, 2020 related to establishing guidance for 2020. The adoption of the annual financial statements, including the appropriation of net earnings and the approval of the consolidated financial statements for fiscal year 2019, were also addressed at this meeting. In addition, the Supervisory Board dealt in detail with the report of the Chief Compliance Officer on the past fiscal year 2019 and the determination of the proposed resolutions on the individual agenda items for the Annual General Meeting on fiscal year 2019, which was still scheduled for April 30, 2020 at that time. The Executive Board also informed the Supervisory Board about the results of the 2019 employee survey.

At the Board meeting on April 29, 2020, members of the Supervisory Board were informed, among other things, about GEA’s current situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At this meeting, the Supervisory Board also received a report on the status of the project to implement a uniform group-wide ERP system and approved the budget and important milestones for this project.

At the Supervisory Board meeting on June 24, 2020, the Executive Board presented its observations on accelerating the process related to the 2020 annual financial statements and the preparation and publication of the 2020 annual report. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board addressed initiatives related to procurement, sustainability at GEA, as well as to the human resources strategy and management development. The Supervisory Board also passed a resolution to modify the company pension scheme for former Executive Board members for fiscal year 2020. In addition, the Executive Board informed the Supervisory Board about the status of the sale of the compressor manufacturer Bock.

The annual strategy meeting of the Supervisory Board was held on June 25, 2020. Following presentation of the corporate strategy by the CEO, the Supervisory Board addressed the profitability of the new plant business and – as a key issue – the production strategy. In addition, strategies for the Separation & Flow Technologies and Farm Technologies divisions were presented to the Supervisory Board by the division CEOs and subsequently discussed with them. Finally, the Supervisory Board took stock of the Executive Board’s crisis management with regard to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The subject of the extraordinary meeting of the Supervisory Board on August 18, 2020 was the global manufacturing strategy and the related establishment of a center of excellence for pumps and machining at the Polish site in Koszalin.

At its meeting on September 23, 2020, the Supervisory Board addressed the specifics related to the Annual General Meeting for fiscal year 2019, which was postponed to November 26, 2020 and held as a virtual event. At this meeting, the Supervisory Board also adopted the proposed resolutions for the individual items on the agenda of the virtual Annual General Meeting. On the recommendation of the Audit Committee, the members of the Supervisory Board also adopted a resolution recommending to the 2021 Annual General Meeting the appointment of the auditor of the company and the group for fiscal year 2021, and for the auditor to review the condensed interim financial statements and the interim group management report to be published in the 2021 half-yearly financial report. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board examined global portfolio management and the strategies of the Liquid and Powder Technologies and Refrigeration Technologies divisions. The new decentralized risk management concept was also presented.

At its meeting on December 17, 2020, the Supervisory Board deliberated on the medium-term planning 2021 until 2023 and approved the budget for 2021. In addition, the Supervisory Board reviewed the appropriateness of Executive Board and Supervisory Board remuneration as well as proposals to amend the Executive Board remuneration system. Succession planning for the Executive Board and management development were also covered in the December meeting. The Supervisory Board also adopted a resolution recommending the election of a new Supervisory Board member at the 2021 Annual General Meeting and resolved on amendments to the rules of procedure for the Presiding Committee and the Supervisory Board.

Work of the committees
The Presiding Committee met four times in the past fiscal year. Its deliberations focused on strategic and Executive Board matters, particularly Executive Board remuneration and corporate governance issues.

The Audit Committee held nine meetings during the fiscal year. In the presence of the auditor, the CEO as well as the CFO, the committee focused on the annual financial statements in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements for 2019 as well as the 2020 quarterly statements and half-yearly financial reports. Furthermore, the Committee’s key activities included matters such as the effectiveness of the internal control, risk management and audit systems, the audit of the annual financial accounts as well as compliance. The Audit Committee also deliberated on the accounting process and was briefed at regular intervals on the risks and opportunities faced by the company. The auditors provided a detailed explanation of their audit activities and the audit process to the Audit Committee.

In addition, the Audit Committee, with the support of a project group set up for this purpose, conducted an auditor selection process during the past fiscal year in accordance with the requirements of the EU Statutory Audit Regulation with regard to the selection of the group auditor for fiscal year 2021. The Audit Committee, and in particular its former Chairman Hartmut Eberlein, were closely involved in all procedures and major decisions as part of their process responsibility and were kept up-to-date on the project group’s work and the status of the selection process. By resolution of the Audit Committee of May 13, 2020, GEA re-tendered the audit of the annual and consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2021. As a result of the selection process, the Audit Committee submitted to the Supervisory Board, by way of a resolution dated August 25, 2020, a recommendation to the Annual General Meeting on the proposal of a group auditor for fiscal year 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the EU Statutory Audit Regulation, which the Supervisory Board addressed at its meeting on September 23, 2020. In accordance with the transitional provisions of the EU Statutory Audit Regulation, the invitation to tender for the selection of auditors is to be issued during the 2021 fiscal year at the latest. The Executive Board provided the Audit Committee with sufficient resources to support the selection process.

In addition, the Audit Committee submitted its proposal for the appointment of an auditor for the preceding fiscal year to the Supervisory Board, dealt with the engagement of the auditor of the annual financial accounts, determined the audit process and the key audit areas including audit fees, ensured the required independence of the auditor and addressed the permitted non-audit services provided by the latter for fiscal year 2020.

In the year under review, the Nomination Committee was convened on four occasions and dealt with matters of Supervisory Board succession planning.

In fiscal year 2020, the members of the Technology Committee held two meetings. The committee addressed the structure and tasks of the global technology organization within the group, its planned projects and issues relating to the development of a group-wide innovation and digitalization strategy. In addition, the Technology Committee discussed global megatrends and disruptive technologies in food production, as well as their potential impact on GEA’s business model and innovation strategy. The Technology Committee also discussed the means and resources available for research and development, as well as their allocation, with the Chief Technology Officer and the Executive Board members.

The Mediation Committee did not meet in the year under review.

The committee chairs briefed the Supervisory Board on the activities undertaken by their committees during the Supervisory Board meetings held in the wake of the respective committee meetings.

Length of Supervisory Board membership and disclosure of individual meeting attendance

Supervisory Board member Length of time on the Supervisory Board End of current term Supervisory Board and committee meetings in 2020 Attendance Present
Dr. Helmut Perlet (Chairman) 15 years 2021 25 25 100%
Kurt-Jürgen Löw (Deputy Chairman) 14 years 2021 12 12 100%
Ahmad Bastaki 17 years 2021 16 16 100%
Hartmut Eberlein1 11 years 2021 15 15 100%
Rainer Gröbel 20 years 2021 12 12 100%
Colin Hall 2 years 2021 12 11 92%
Michaela Hubert 4 years 2021 14 11 79%
Michael Kämpfert 14 years 2021 17 16 94%
Eva-Maria Kerkemeier 9 years 2021 8 8 100%
Dr. Annette G. Köhler2 0.5 years 2021 2 2 100%
Brigitte Krönchen 6 years 2021 19 19 100%
Jean Spence 9 years 2021 14 14 100%
Dr. Molly Zhang 4 years 2021 10 10 100%

1 Left on September 30, 2020
2 Since October 1, 2020

Whenever Supervisory Board members were unable to attend meetings of the Supervisory Board or its committees, they asked to be excused and usually cast their votes in writing.

Corporate governance
The Supervisory Board continuously monitors the evolution of the standards set out by the Corporate Governance Code. The current Declaration of Conformity is based on the German Corporate Governance Code (GCGC) as amended on December 16, 2019, which has been in force since publication in the Federal Gazette by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) on March 20, 2020, and the GCGC as amended on February 7, 2017, which was valid until then. The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board issued the current Declaration of Conformity in accordance with section 161 of the Aktiengesetz (AktG – German Stock Corporation Act) on December 17, 2020, and made it permanently available to the shareholders on the company’s website gea.com. Further information on corporate governance can be found under “Corporate Governance Statement”.

Annual financial statements and consolidated financial statements 2020
The 2020 annual financial statements of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft, the consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS and the combined management report were audited by KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft and received an unqualified audit opinion. Since fiscal year 2011, KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Berlin, has audited the financial statements of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft and the group. The head auditor responsible for conducting the audit since fiscal year 2018 has been Michael Jessen.

In the presence of the auditors, the combined management report, the annual financial statements of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft, the proposal for the appropriation of net earnings as well as the consolidated financial statements and the audit reports for fiscal year 2020 were extensively discussed during the meeting of the Audit Committee on March 2, 2021, and at the Supervisory Board meeting for balance sheet approval held on March 3, 2021. The auditors reported on the audit process and the key findings of their audit. They were also available to answer questions.

On the basis of the final result of the examination performed by the Audit Committee and after conducting its own scrutiny, the Supervisory Board agreed with the auditors’ findings at its meeting held on March 3, 2021, and found that there were no objections to be raised. The Supervisory Board approved the 2020 consolidated financial statements, the 2020 annual financial statements of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft, as well as the combined management report. The annual financial statements of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft are hereby adopted. The Supervisory Board considers the proposal for the appropriation of net earnings to be reasonable.

The review of the company’s consolidated non-financial statement for fiscal year 2020 by the Supervisory Board pursuant to section 171 (1) of the AktG was supported by a Limited Assurance Engagement conducted by KPMG. For this purpose, KPMG audited GEA’s risk assessment regarding relevant information about the company’s sustainability performance, evaluating the design and implementation of systems and processes designed to ascertain, process and monitor disclosures on environmental, employee-related and social matters, human rights, corruption and fraud, including data consolidation. Referring to the auditor’s findings, the Audit Committee also conducted its own audit proceedings to ensure that the data submitted complied with the legal requirements; the Chairwoman of the Audit Committee informed the Supervisory Board accordingly.

Changes in the composition of the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board
Johannes Giloth joined the Executive Board as Chief Operating Officer on January 20, 2020. He is responsible for the newly established procurement, production and supply chain function. Johannes Giloth was appointed for a three-year term.

Steffen Bersch stepped down from the Executive Board on February 29, 2020.

Hartmut Eberlein stepped down from the Supervisory Board with effect from September 30, 2020. Prof. Dr. Annette G. Köhler was appointed as a new member of the Supervisory Board by resolution of the Düsseldorf Local Court with effect from October 1, 2020, and was elected as a member of the Supervisory Board by the Annual General Meeting on November 26, 2020.

The Supervisory Board wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to the senior management teams, employee representative bodies and, in particular, to all employees of GEA Group, thanking them for their personal commitment and all their work during the past fiscal year.

Düsseldorf, March 3, 2021

Dr. Helmut Perlet

Chairman of the Supervisory Board

GEA shares in the capital markets

In a very challenging market environment dominated by the global Covid-19 pandemic, GEA’s share price nearly fully recovered from the steep decline experienced during the spring.

View more insights (PDF)

Financial performance

GEA successfully navigated through the challenges of 2020. Despite the global pandemic, the company significantly exceeded the already demanding expectations for EBITDA before restructuring measures and ROCE. Moreover, GEA sustainably improved major financial performance indicators, such as net working capital, free cash flow and liquidity.

2020

2019

EBITDA before restructuring measures (reported)

EUR million

532
479

2020

2019

 

as % of revenue

11.5
9.8

Order intake declined slightly by 4.6 percent to EUR 4,703 million. Farm Technologies was the only division to escape this pandemic-related impact, recording a 5.5 percent rise in order intake. Whereas GEA’s order intake in the first quarter still rose by 16.0 percent, declines were seen in all of the following quarters. However, the 7.9 percent decrease in the fourth quarter was already less pronounced than the declines of the preceding two quarters.

GEA’s revenue also slightly decreased by 5.0 percent (or -2.6 percent at constant exchange rates) to EUR 4,635 million, and was thus within the expected range. All five divisions were affected by this trend. As with order intake, the company’s revenue also increased by 3.5 percent in the first quarter, while the pandemic led to declines in the subsequent quarters. In 2020, the service business developed better than the rest of the group, declining 0.9 percent respectively registering a currency-adjusted increase of 1.9 percent.

EBITDA before restructuring measures rose by 11.1 percent to EUR 532 million. The further implementation of the efficiency measures had a positive impact. As a result, the EBITDA margin before restructuring measures increased significantly from 9.8 percent in the previous year to 11.5 percent in 2020. All five divisions contributed to the positive development of earnings and margins.

At EUR 97 million, profit for the period improved considerably compared with the prior-year loss of EUR 171 million on the back of the good operational development.

In summary, despite the negative impact of the pandemic, GEA performed very well in fiscal year 2020, particularly with regard to its earnings figures. Consequently, with an EBITDA margin of 11.5 percent before restructuring measures in the year under review, the company has already reached the lower end of the target range of 11.5 to 13.5 percent for 2022 announced at the Capital Markets Day in September 2019.

 

Key financial figures

(EUR million)

2020

2019

Change in %

Outlook 2021

The outlook is based on the market projections and other assumptions described in the Annual Report 2020. Following a decline of around 3.5 percent in 2020, the global economy is expected to grow by roughly 5.5 percent in 2021. GEA anticipates a gradual improvement in the course of the year due to the slow roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations. Accordingly, the forecast presented below does not reflect a renewed sharp rise in infections or new virus mutations, which could lead to another lockdown (“3rd wave”) with an associated negative impact on global economic growth.

Revenue development
(organic)

0 to 5% (slightly rising)

EBITDA before restructuring measures
(at constant exchange rates)

EUR 530 – 580 million

ROCE
(at constant exchange rates)

16.0 – 20.0%

GEA is expecting the following trends to materialize for the individual divisions:

Revenue development (organic)*

Expectations for 2021 (pro-forma) 2020 (EUR million) 2020 (EUR million)
Separation & Flow Technologies slightly declining 1,182 1,192
Liquid & Powder Technologies slightly rising 1,532 1,666
Food & Healthcare Technologies slightly rising 961 895
Farm Technologies slightly rising 595 625
Refrigeration Technologies slightly declining 665 663
Consolidation - -299 -405

*) For revenue, “slight” corresponds to a change of up to +/- 5%, while a change of more than +/- 5% is referred to as “significant”.

EBITDA before restructuring measures (at constant exchange rates)*

Expectations for 2021 (pro-forma) 2020 (EUR million) 2020 (EUR million)
Separation & Flow Technologies slightly rising 259 255
Liquid & Powder Technologies significantly rising 110 120
Food & Healthcare Technologies significantly rising 88 79
Farm Technologies slightly rising 64 67
Refrigeration Technologies slightly rising 60 59
Others significantly declining –47 –47
Consolidation - 0 0

*) For earnings figures, “slight” indicates a change of up to +/- 10%, while a change of more than +/- 10% is deemed “significant”.

ROCE (3rd party, at constant exchange rates)*

Expectations for 2021 (pro-forma) 2020 (in %) 2020 (in %)
Separation & Flow Technologies slightly rising 23.4 23.5
Liquid & Powder Technologies significantly declining 220.4 95.6
Food & Healthcare Technologies significantly rising 7.3 6.3
Farm Technologies slightly rising 13.5 13.9
Refrigeration Technologies slightly declining 15.9 15.5

*) GEA defines changes in ROCE of up to +/- 3% p. as “slight” and changes in excess of +/- 3% p. as “significant”. ROCE is not calculated for the “Others” segment.

Further expectations

Medium-term financial targets to 2022 specified
In autumn 2019, GEA presented new medium-term financial targets for the period up to the end of fiscal year 2022, according to which consolidated revenues are expected to grow on average by 2 to 3 percent annually. The EBITDA margin before restructuring measures is projected to increase to a range of 12.5 to 13.5 percent (previously: 11.5 to 13.5 percent). In addition, GEA plans slightly higher capital expenditure (capex) of around 4 percent of revenue in 2021 due, among other things, to the optimization of the production network and the implementation of a standardized ERP system. In 2022, capex is expected to return to its original range of 2.5 to 3.5 percent of revenue. The ratio of net working capital to revenue is projected to be 8.0 to 10.0 percent by the end of 2022 (previously: 12.0 to 14.0 percent).

Summary

Despite the challenges still posed by Covid-19, the company remains very confident about future growth prospects based on its still attractive end markets and the efficiency measures initiated.

Dividend

The company’s proven operational strength and high level of liquidity has prompted the Supervisory Board and Executive Board to propose that the Annual General Meeting approve the payout of an unchanged dividend of EUR 0.85 per share. This means that the total dividend payout will again amount to EUR 153.4 million based on the number of dividend-bearing shares in circulation as of December 31, 2020.

Proposed dividend

EUR 0.85

per share

Appropriation of net profit
GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft reported net income for the fiscal year of EUR 109,942 thousand in accordance with the HGB (previous year: EUR 284,481 thousand). In addition, an amount of EUR 43,000 thousand was withdrawn from other retained earnings (previous year: allocation EUR 131,000 thousand). Including profit brought forward of EUR 815 thousand (previous year: EUR 752 thousand), the net retained profits amounted to EUR 153,757 thousand (previous year EUR 154,233 thousand).

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose to the Annual General Meeting that the net retained profits be appropriated as follows:

Appropriation (EUR thousand) 2020 2019
Dividend payment to shareholders 153,418 153,418
Profit carried forward 339 815
Total 153,757 154,233

The dividend payment corresponds to the payment of a dividend of EUR 0.85 per share for a total of 180,492,172 shares (previous year: 180,492,172 shares).

GEA publishes first stand-alone Sustainability Report for 2020

As part of GEA’s commitment to increased transparency and improving the sustainability of our business activities and customer solutions, we have published our first-ever stand-alone GEA Sustainability Report for fiscal year 2020. Fully adhering to the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the report provides greater disclosure on human rights matters in our supply chain as well as our waste and water management strategy and activities, including how we contribute to several of the U.N.’s Sustainability Development Goals.

Read the full Sustainability Report (PDF)

Enabling customers

The global pandemic affected private lives and businesses worldwide, upsetting supply chains, production schedules and deliveries. Even so, GEA’s commitment to finding solutions and serving customers in 2020 remained unchanged. Our teams overcame numerous hurdles to ensure customers, particularly those in essential services, could continue to produce and deliver. This was made possible thanks to new digital tools to support remote services, testing and even commissioning. We continued to live our corporate mission – “engineering for a better world” – by developing solutions to meet demands for more efficient production and processes, as well as foods and other products that carry a smaller environmental footprint.

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