GESCO confirms guidance after the first quarter


- Recession leads to declines in sales and incoming orders as expected
- Net income distinctly positive
- Liquidity and equity remain at a high level
- Environment for acquisitions has improved


Wuppertal, 12 August 2009 – As anticipated, the recession started to have an impact on the SDAX listed investment holding company GESCO AG in the first quarter (1 Apr. to 30 June 2009) of the 2009/2010 financial year (1 Apr. 2009 to 31 Mar. 2010). Aside from a few exceptions, the companies of GESCO Group recorded a decline in operating business.

In the first quarter of the previous year, incoming orders amounted to € 115.6 million, the highest figure in the company’s history. In contrast, incoming orders in the first quarter of the current 2009/2010 financial year totalled € 61.4 million. Group sales amounted to € 73.6 million and were 20.3 % down on the € 92.4 million recorded in the previous year’s period.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) totalled € 7.5 million and was 46.1 % below the previous year’s value of € 13.9 million. Since depreciation and amortisation remained almost unchanged compared to the previous year’s quarter, EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) recorded an even stronger decrease and amounted to € 4.9 million (previous year’s period € 11.4 million). Group net income after minority interest totalled € 2.5 million compared to € 6.2 million in the first quarter of the previous year. This corresponds to earnings per share according to IFRS of € 0.83 (€ 2.03).

The Group’s workforce amounted to 1,762 employees on the reporting date. This was up on the value of 1,719 for the previous year’s reporting date, yet below the 1,795 at the end of the financial year (31 March 2009).

The Group balance sheet still has exceptionally healthy structures: Liquid assets amounted to € 27.0 million and equity totalled € 105.7 million, which corresponds to an equity ratio of 38 %.

The environment for company acquisitions has generally improved. In April 2009, GESCO AG took over Georg Kesel GmbH & Co. KG in Kempten, a niche provider in milling machines and clamping technology. Further industrial SMEs are currently being reviewed with a view to a takeover, even if huge economic uncertainty makes it difficult to put a value on companies.

Based on information available to date, the company confirms its guidance released at the accounts press conference on 25 June 2009 (Group sales between € 280 million and € 310 million, Group net income after minority interest between € 7 million and € 10.5 million and earnings per share between € 2.31 and € 3.47).

Read the full interim report here.