GESCO strengthens balance sheet during the recession and expects growth


- 2009/2010 figures fall within forecast
- A high level of equity and sufficient liquidity
- Strong start to the new financial year: 
Incoming orders up 43 %


Wuppertal, 29 June 2010 – The SDAX listed investment holding company GESCO AG is announcing its results for financial year 2009/2010 (1 April 2009 – 31 March 2010) at its annual accounts press conference today. As expected, figures at the end of the year showed a decrease in sales and earnings but also a stronger balance sheet. The company is forecasting growth for the new financial year 2010/2011. The number of incoming orders already went up considerably in the first quarter.

While the previous year still showed the effects of an economy that had been lively until autumn 2008, financial year 2009/2010 was dominated by recession – the effects of which GESCO Group, like many others, was unable to escape. At the end of 2008, the Group already took preventive action by implementing cost saving programmes and starting various sales and innovation campaigns. Total Group sales in financial year 2009/2010 dropped from € 378.4 million to € 277.7 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to € 16.5 million compared to € 38.9 million in the previous year. Group net income after minority interest reached € 8.9 million (previous year: € 21.6 million). Earnings per share according to IFRS came to € 2.95 (€ 7.16). These figures fell within the forecast published in June 2009.

GESCO Group closed the crisis year with an exceptionally strong balance sheet structure. The equity ratio now amounts to 42.7 %, liquid assets to € 26.9 million and the debt ratio is comfortably low with a ratio between net liabilities to banks and EBITDA of 1.7. In addition, goodwill poses just a small risk to the company’s finances, as it totals only 6.4 % of equity.

For the first time, the Group’s staff of 1,733 includes the 42 employees of Georg Kesel GmbH & Co. KG, acquired in April 2009. On the previous year’s reporting date, GESCO Group employed 1,795 people.

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a dividend of 
€ 1.30 per share to the Annual General Meeting on 2 September 2010. The Company distributed € 2.50 per share in the previous year.

In view of the improved economic situation, the company is forecasting Group sales between € 290 million and € 320 million and Group net income after minority interest of between € 9 million and € 11 million, corresponding to earnings per share according to IFRS between € 2.98 and € 3.64, for the new financial year 2010/2011 (1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011).

Business livened up considerably in the first quarter of financial year 2010/2011, which comprises the operating months January to March for the Group’s subsidiaries. Incoming orders came to € 87.8 million, up 
42.9 % on the same quarter in the previous year (€ 61.4 million), and with € 76.8 million, sales were 4.3 % higher than in the previous year 
(€ 73.6 million).

Dr. Hans-Gert Mayrose, member of the Executive Board, on the company’s outlook: “GESCO has come through the crisis rather well compared to others. We naturally lowered our costs considerably, but we did not “save the group to death” either. Our subsidiaries have retained their full supply capacities and some have gained new customers and tapped into new markets. Although there are still economic risks, there are plenty of signs pointing to an upturn at present.”

The complete Annual Report is available online at