Material Handling Equipment Market Posts Stable Development/Strong Growth in Net Sales/Earnings Trend Further Improved
<> Hamburg—The Jungheinrich Group got off to a good start to fiscal 2012, closing the first quarter of 2012 with significant rises in incoming orders and sales as well as a further improvement in earnings. The business trend benefited from the continued increase in plant capacity utilization and the growth in the service business.
Irrespective of the marked drop in momentum displayed by world economic growth, global demand for material handling equipment remained stable at a high level in the first quarter of 2012, at 246.1 thousand trucks (prior year: 246.3 thousand units), and was thus about 4 per cent up on the market volume observed in the fourth quarter of 2011. Markets displayed disparate regional development. Europe, Jungheinrich’s core market, recorded a decline of 4 per cent. Whereas the Western European market shrank by 5 per cent, demand in Eastern Europe increased by 4 per cent. Asian market volume was only marginally larger year on year, with China experiencing a decline of 5 per cent. In contrast, the North American market expanded substantially, growing by 13 per cent.
The value of the Jungheinrich Group’s incoming orders, encompassing all business areas, rose by 8 per cent to 580 million euros compared to the same period last year (prior year: 538 million euros), reflecting a disproportionately significant gain in the service business.
In the first quarter of 2012, production output advanced by 5 per cent to 19.9 thousand forklifts (prior year: 18.9 thousand units). This increase is predominantly due to the mounting utilization of capacity at the Moosburg manufacturing site.
Net sales in the first quarter of 2012 climbed by 11 per cent to 522 million euros (prior year: 472 million euros). Whereas domestic business posted a year-on-year rise of 16 per cent to 146 million euros (prior year: 126 million euros), foreign sales displayed less substantial growth, advancing by 9 per cent to 376 million euros (prior year: 346 million euros). By March 31, 2012, the share of sales accounted for by non-German operations had fallen to 72 per cent (prior year: 73 per cent). All business areas contributed to the uptick in net sales. The largest gain was recorded by new truck business, which achieved a rate of increase of 16 per cent, driving up sales to 269 million euros (prior year: 231 million euros). Overall, the short-term hire and used equipment business posted a rise of 14 per cent to 90 million euros (prior year: 79 million euros). Both demand for trucks for short-term hire and the sale of used equipment grew significantly. Net sales generated by after-sales services climbed by 5 per cent to 165 million euros (prior year: 157 million euros)—solid growth for this business area.
Recording a substantial increase in earnings in the first quarter of 2012, the Jungheinrich Group maintained its positive earnings trend. The rise in earnings was driven by the favourable product mix and and rise in production output by our factories, especially at the Moosburg site, which further increased its capacity utilization. Furthermore, the significant expansion of the short-term hire and used equipment businesses and the growth of our after-sales services operations contributed to the improvement in earnings. Operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 34.5 million euros in the first quarter of 2012 (prior year: 30.3 million euros). As a result, the corresponding return on sales climbed to 6.6 per cent (prior year: 6.4 per cent). Net income advanced to 25.0 million euros (prior year: 21.7 million euros). Accordingly, earnings per preferred share improved to 0.77 euros in the first quarter of 2012 (prior year: 0.67 euros).
Jungheinrich expects world trade to maintain its moderate economic momentum displaying significant regional differences over the remaining course of 2012. Taking account of the demand trend observed in the first quarter of 2012, Jungheinrich anticipates that the global material handling equipment market will only expand by 2 per cent to some 1 million units. Market growth will probably be witnessed above all in Asia, Latin America and the USA. Says Hans-Georg Frey, Chairman of the Board of Management of Jungheinrich AG: “Based on the prognosticated market growth and under the condition that the business trend witnessed in the first quarter of 2012 continues, we expect our company’s incoming orders to total at least around 2.1 billion euros and consolidated sales to be commensurate, matching last year’s level. The sales trend will benefit from the high level of orders on hand as of March 31, 2012 as well as from potential growth opportunities. The Jungheinrich Group stands a good chance of keeping its operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) at last year’s level as long as the material handling equipment industry’s worldwide markets develop as forecast.”
Jungheinrich ranks among the world’s leading companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors. The company is an intralogistics service and solution provider with manufacturing operations, which offers its customers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, shelving systems, services and advice. Jungheinrich shares are traded on all German stock exchanges.
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