Wuppertal, 25 June 2015 – GESCO Group, an association of industrial SMEs in the fields of tool manufacturing/mechanical engineering and plastics technology, reports today at its annual accounts press conference that financial year 2014/2015 (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015) was significantly burdened and indicated that there would be slight improvement in the new financial year 2015/2016.
The financial year for GESCO AG and the GESCO Group runs from 1 April to 31 March of the following year, while the financial years of the Group’s subsidiaries coincide with the calendar year. Financial year 2014/2015 therefore encompasses the operating calendar year 2014. For GESCO Group, this period was generally characterised by a stable order situation. Positive signals were recorded at the start of the financial year; however, as early as spring of 2014, the Ukraine crisis started to have a negative impact on business at Frank Walz- und Schmiedetechnik GmbH, which produces wear parts for the agricultural market. The restructuring measures at MAE Maschinen- und Apparatebau Götzen GmbH and Protomaster GmbH in particular had a significant negative impact on the development of earnings at GESCO Group. Independently of each other, the situation at both subsidiaries deteriorated considerably over the course of the financial year. Both companies faced major qualitative and technological challenges as a result of strong growth and the respective customer requirements. With the support of external experts and in close cooperation with GESCO AG, the companies have taken countermeasures, hired new staff and invested in technical equipment to the extent necessary.
Incoming orders rose by 3.0 % in the reporting period to € 448.8 million (previous year: € 435.6 million). Group sales were down 0.4 % on the previous year’s level (€ 453.3 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to € 46.2 million (€ 48.7 million).
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fell more sharply than EBITDA in terms of percentage to € 27.3 million (€ 32.0 million) on account of significantly higher depreciation and amortisation. Group net income after minority interest amounted to € 12.4 million (€ 18.1 million) and earnings per share stood at € 3.72 (€ 5.45).
The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a dividend payment of € 1.75 per share at the Annual General Meeting, which will be held on 18 August 2015. This proposal is slightly higher than the distribution rate of approximately 40 % of Group net income after minority interest, which has been in place for years. € 2.20 per share was paid out in the previous year.
For financial year 2015/2016 (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016), the company anticipates sales growth of approximately € 480 million to € 490 million in a relatively positive economic environment. The result will, however, continue to be negatively impacted by the restructuring measures at the two subsidiaries. In addition, the agricultural sector – and thus Frank’s business – has not shown any indication of notable recovery. While low energy prices are ultimately having a positive effect on the economy in general, they are leading to a decrease in demand for loading arms from oil industry customers at SVT GmbH. Based on the current situation, the company expects Group net income after minority interest to be between approximately € 12.5 million and € 14.0 million.
During the first quarter of the new financial year 2015/2016, which includes the operating months January to March 2015 of the Group’s subsidiaries, GESCO Group’s incoming orders increased considerably from € 127 million to approximately € 146 million. This figure, however, includes bulk orders that will partly only become relevant in the following year. Sales in the first quarter amounted to approximately € 119 million (previous year’s period: € 109 million). Order backlog amounted to approximately € 208 million at the end of the operating first quarter.
Dr Hans-Gert Mayrose, member of the Executive Board, stated on the financial statements and the outlook: “2014/2015 was clearly a disappointing financial year. We are making every possible effort to meet current challenges, but have not yet completely turned the corner. From where we stand now, we expect to see improvement in 2015/2016, but will not yet reach the earnings potential achieved in previous years.”
The full Annual Report is availableat www.gesco.de.
The annual accounts press conference/analysts’ meeting on 25 June 2015 will be broadcast live as an audio webcast on the internet from 10.30 am and will be available at www.gesco.de for a period of twelve months (in German only).