Wuppertal, 15 February 2012 − The GESCO Group generated strong incoming order and sales growth in the first nine months of the current financial year 2011/2012. Key earnings figures rose considerably higher than sales thanks to good capacity utilisation and the resulting economy of scales. In the fourth quarter, which includes the months October to December for the subsidiaries, incoming orders and sales also reached a very high level. The Group is increasing its guidance a second time on account of these developments.
The first nine months of the year were dominated by strong economic developments and considerable year-on-year growth rates. Incoming orders increased by 21.4 % to € 337.1 million (previous year: € 277.7 million). Group sales rose by 25.1 % to € 309.2 million (€ 247.2 million). At 67.8 %, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) grew significantly more strongly, reaching € 29.4 million (€ 17.5 million). And finally, Group net income after minority interest rose by 74.5 % to € 17.4 million (€ 10.0 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of € 5.77 pursuant to IFRS (€ 3.31). In the fourth quarter, which includes operations in the months October to December 2011, incoming orders and sales came to around € 100 million each, according to preliminary figures, and therefore remained at a very high level.
In view of these positive developments, the Group is further increasing its guidance, which it had already raised in November 2011. The sales target is being put up to € 410 million (previously: € 400 million) and Group net income after minority interest is now expected to come in at € 22 million (previously: € 21 million), corresponding to earnings per share of € 7.28 pursuant to IFRS (previously: € 6.95). The Group is also planning to increase its dividend considerably to account for this strong earnings growth; for the previous year, a dividend of € 2.00 per share was distributed.
At the end of December 2011, GESCO acquired an 85 % share in Werkzeugbau Laichingen Group. WBL Group manufactures high-performance sheet metal forming tools at its sites in Laichingen and Leipzig. In 2011, the company employed 150 employees and generated sales of around € 17 million. WBL is already included in the Group balance sheet for the first nine months of the year; it will be included for the first time in the income statement as from financial year 2012/2013.