Körber Group achieves strong growth

The Körber Group grew strongly in the 2010 financial year. The international technology group saw incoming orders rise 16 percent to reach €1.75 billion. Sales increased 4 percent to €1.68 billion.

Net operating income nearly doubled to reach €181 million. Net income for the Group amounted to €114 million, resulting in a return on sales of 8.8 percent. In this conjunction, the negative effects of the German Accounting Law Modernization Act (BilMoG) also had to be absorbed. This reduced the results by around €30 million. Without this one-off effect, the return on sales would have been 10.8 percent.

The Paper and Machine Tool Divisions, which in the previous year were hit hard by the economic crisis, were able to post marked improvements. The less cyclically-dependent Tobacco and Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems Divisions continued to post stable positive growth. “We quickly and successfully overcame the effects of the economic crisis,” said Körber AG’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Bauer, at the Annual Results Press Conference in Hamburg.

Despite difficult conditions, the Tobacco Division, which operates in a relatively restrictive market environment, was able to maintain its incoming orders at the high level of €770 million (previous year: €793 million). Sales totaled €798 million (previous year: €808 million). This means the Tobacco Division almost matched the very high level of the previous year, which was characterized by particularly favorable economic circumstances.
The Paper Division, which was hit hard last year by the economic crisis, saw a sharp rise in incoming orders to €426 million (previous year: €356 million). The division also recorded a rise in sales, which improved to €382 million (previous year: €362 million).
The Machine Tool Division posted an even stronger improvement. Incoming orders were lifted from €215 million to reach €375 million – a rise of 75 percent. Sales rose to €333 million (previous year: €291 million).
The Pharmaceutical Packaging Systems Division remains on course for growth. Incoming orders rose to €158 million (previous year: €125 million). Sales increased to €146 million (previous year: €132 million).

“The Körber Group is in the process of transforming itself from a traditional mechanical engineering business into modern technology group,” continued Bauer. The extensive technical know-how within the Group is increasingly being used to open up and develop new markets outside the established business fields. In addition, growth projects have been defined in all divisions within the framework of the strategy, and these projects are now being successively implemented.

At the same time, however Körber is not letting up in its determination to boost growth through innovations in the Group’s traditional markets. “To no small extent, our success is attributable to the fact that we are continuing to extend our already-leading technology positions in all divisions,” stressed Bauer. In the 2010 financial year, Körber Group companies launched numerous innovative machines, technical solutions and services on the market. “Our timing was fortuitous; the economy has begun to pick up once again. This is also reflected by the volume of incoming orders,” said Körber’s CEO. In overall terms, expenditure on research and development hit €94 million last year. This corresponds to a R&D ratio of 5.6 percent.

Following a very good 1st quarter, Körber is anticipating further profitable growth for the year 2011. Incoming orders and sales are now expected to exceed €1.8 billion. The number of employees is likely to increase slightly.
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