PALFINGER news

PALFINGER continued its growth in 2017

08.02.2018
  • Consolidated revenue rose by 8.4 per cent to a record value of EUR 1,471.1 million
  • EBITDAn margin of 12.6 per cent shows operating profitability
  • EBIT of EUR 110.2 million at highest level in the Company’s history 
  • Restructuring and one-time effects burdened consolidated net result: at EUR 52.5 million it was 14.2 per cent lower than in 2016
  • Dividend of EUR 0.47 proposed
  • Consistently high level of incoming orders in early 2018

 

  2015                2016                 2017              % 
 Revenue (EUR million)  1,229.9  1,357.0  1,471.1  +8.4% 
 EBITDAn1) (EUR million) 154.4  172.5  186.0  +7.8% 
 EBITDAn margin1) in % 12.6%  12.7%  12.6%  – 
 EBITn1) (EUR million) 113.4  123.7  129.7  +4.9%
 EBITn margin1) in % 9.2%  9.1%  8.8%  – 
 EBIT 104.4  106.0  110.2  +3.9% 
 Consolidated net result for the period (EUR million)             64.4  61.2  52.5  (14.2%)
 Dividend 0.57  0.57  0.472)  – 
 Employees3) 9,102 9,846  10,212  +3.7% 

 

1) These figures were normalized (n) by restructuring costs.
2) Proposal to the Annual General Meeting.
3) Balance-sheet date figures of consolidated Group companies excluding equity shareholdings and excluding temporary workers.

Attached please find a detailed five-year overview of the key figures of the PALFINGER Group. The Integrated Annual Report and the Annual Financial Report for 2017 may be downloaded at www.palfinger.ag or visit the new digital report i-report.palfinger.ag.
 

Bergheim, 8 February 2018



Performance of the PALFINGER Group
In 2017, the PALFINGER Group succeeded in continuing its longstanding growth despite comprehensive restructuring measures. At EUR 1,471.1 million, revenue reached a new high in the Company’s history for the seventh time in succession. The 8.4 per cent increase in revenue was primarily due to the favourable situation of the construction industry in Europe and successful sales in CIS. Operating profitability was satisfactory, as shown by an EBITDAn margin of 12.6 per cent. Restructuring costs for measures in North America and in the marine business in the amount of EUR 19.5 million were a burden on EBIT, which nevertheless climbed by 3.9 per cent to a historic high of EUR 110.2 million. Restructuring and one-time effects caused the consolidated net result to decrease by 14.2 per cent to EUR 52.5 million. At the Annual General Meeting on 7 March, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board will propose that a dividend of EUR 0.47 per share be distributed.

“2017 was a year of consolidation. Having made the largest acquisition in its history in 2016, the Company took comprehensive measures, primarily in North America and in the marine business, to facilitate further profitable growth. However, additional measures are required, especially in the SEA segment, in order to be able to profit from a future upswing. In 2017 we also set the course for the future by establishing our new vision and strategy,” commented the two Management Board members of PALFINGER AG, Felix Strohbichler and Martin Zehnder, summarizing the most noteworthy developments of 2017.


Performance of the segments
In the 2017 financial year, revenue generated in the LAND segment grew from EUR 1,153.9 million to EUR 1,230.2 million, corresponding to an increase of 6.6 per cent. The growth was achieved primarily in Europe, with the acquisition of the Danish distribution partner Palfinger Danmark AS contributing to the increase as well. In addition, business performance was satisfactory in Asia and CIS. In the reporting period, the LAND segment accounted for 83.6 per cent (previous year: 85.0 per cent) of the Group’s revenue.

The segment EBITDAn (EBITDA normalized by restructuring costs) saw a significant increase of 14.6 per cent, from EUR 175.6 million to EUR 201.4 million. Restructuring costs accrued primarily in the region North America and amounted to EUR 13.3 million in the reporting period compared to EUR 9.5 million in the previous year. The segment also recorded an extraordinarily high increase in EBIT from EUR 128.9 million to EUR 147.5 million.

The economic recovery in Europe was still felt in the EMEA region in 2017. Particularly in construction and infrastructure, PALFINGER benefited from replacement investments, which had been suspended in recent years. Performance was particularly noteworthy in the core markets and in Southern Europe, where the markets had recently been weak, and, in terms of products, once again in the crane business.

The restructuring in North America brought material success. In addition to making adaptations to its internal organization, PALFINGER sold its service body business in the first quarter of 2017. The revision of the existing product portfolio is progressing; one major newly developed product was about to be launched on the market at year end. Provided that the demand for loader cranes continues to be satisfactory, profitability in North America is expected to grow in 2018; the restructuring measures are expected to be completed in the first half of 2018. In South America, PALFINGER continued to operate in a highly difficult market environment, but it seems that the downturn has bottomed out.

In Asia, particularly in China, the partnership with SANY is the foundation for the sound development of business. The Sany Palfinger joint venture recorded significant increases in revenue during the reporting period. In Russia/CIS, the economic environment remained a challenging one, and local value creation continued to prove highly advantageous, facilitating additional growth.

Revenue generated by the SEA segment rose to EUR 240.9 million in the 2017 financial year. This 18.6 per cent increase was primarily due to the business volume of the Harding Group. In 2016, Harding was only included in the scope of consolidation from the end of June onwards, and in 2017 it added EUR 101.6 million to PALFINGER’s revenue. In 2017, the SEA segment accounted for 16.4 per cent (previous year: 15.0 per cent) of consolidated revenue.

The segment’s EBITDAn (EBITDA normalized by restructuring costs) declined from EUR 11.5 million in the previous year to EUR 3.2 million in 2017. In 2017, the restructuring costs incurred in this segment amounted to EUR 5.5 million, as compared to EUR 6.1 million in 2016. The segment’s EBIT dropped from the previous year’s figure of –EUR 3.2 million to –EUR 14.8 million in the reporting period.

Core customers in most of the product groups in the SEA segment depend on the oil price. Therefore, the low oil price dampened investment propensity considerably. Following a highly volatile first half of 2017, signs of stabilization at a low level became evident in the second half of the year.

With the acquisition of the Harding Group in the previous year, PALFINGER expanded its marine business by adding new products in the field of lifesaving equipment. Since then, PALFINGER also has maintained a global service network. This acquisition represented a significant growth step as well as an important strategic development for PALFINGER. In 2017, however, the integration of this acquisition was a significant challenge in terms of earnings.
Following a significant decline in business in 2016, the marine business reported only slight organic declines in revenue in the reporting period. The level of incoming orders was on the increase in some areas, pointing to a stabilization of the market situation. In the cruise industry, PALFINGER succeeded in strengthening its market position thanks to a satisfactory order for lifesaving equipment and cranes.
PALFINGER intends to position itself favourably for future upturns through targeted restructuring of the entire marine business. Some measures, such as the consolidation of business operations and sites in Korea and the Netherlands, have already been implemented. Among other things, these measures will enable PALFINGER to utilize synergies between PALFINGER’s established marine business and the Harding Group. The integration of Harding is expected to take some time. Further restructuring measures are currently being evaluated or being implemented.

 

Earnings and dividend
EBITDAn (EBITDA normalized by restructuring costs) went up by EUR 7.8 per cent, from EUR 172.5 million in the previous year to EUR 186.0 million, resulting in an EBITDAn margin of 12.6 per cent after 12.7 per cent in the same period of 2016. This increase in absolute figures was facilitated by the significant improvement of earnings reported by the LAND segment. However, one-time effects in the HOLDING unit affected this result. Normalized EBIT (EBITn) rose from EUR 123.7 million to EUR 129.7 million, while the EBITn margin dropped from 9.1 per cent in the previous year to 8.8 per cent. Even though the EBITn margin fell 1.2 percentage points short of the target of 10 per cent, primarily due to the developments in the fourth quarter of 2017, PALFINGER considers itself to be well underway in terms of improving profitability.

In the reporting period, total restructuring costs came to EUR 19.5 million (previous year: EUR 17.7 million). EBIT thus increased by 3.9 per cent, from EUR 106.0 million to EUR 110.2 million, which means that despite ongoing restructuring measures, PALFINGER achieved a new peak in its corporate history. The EBIT margin decreased from 7.8 per cent in 2016 to 7.5 per cent in 2017.

The 2017 net financial result was affected in particular by the necessary termination of hedge accounting for hedges in connection with a marine project. Therefore, at EUR 52.5 million the consolidated net result for the 2017 financial year was 14.2 per cent lower than the previous year’s figure of EUR 61.2 million. Earnings per share thus came to EUR 1.40, as compared to EUR 1.63 in 2016. In line with PALFINGER’s dividend policy, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board are going to propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.47 (previous year: EUR 0.57) be distributed for the 2017 financial year.


Assets and cash flows
Total assets increased slightly by 0.6 per cent, from EUR 1,535.8 million as at 31 December 2016 to EUR 1,545.0 million as at 31 December 2017.

Equity decreased by 0.7 per cent, from EUR 579.9 million as at 31 December 2016 to EUR 575.7 million. This decrease was primarily due to the lower consolidated net result in 2017 and was lowered further by dividend payments and foreign currency translation effects. The equity ratio decreased to 37.3 per cent, also as a consequence of the expansion of total assets.

In March, PALFINGER placed a promissory note loan in the amount of EUR 200 million, which facilitated the long-term refinancing of the acquisition of the Harding Group as well as other acquisition projects. In this connection, non-current liabilities increased from EUR 525.3 million to EUR 576.1 million, while current liabilities decreased from EUR 430.6 million to EUR 393.3 million. 98.1 per cent of PALFINGER’s total capital employed has been secured on a long-term basis.

Net debt rose slightly from EUR 513.1 million to EUR 513.3 million. As at 31 December 2017, the gearing ratio came to 89.2 per cent, as compared to 88.5 per cent as at 31 December 2016. Net investments during the reporting period came to EUR 68.3 million (previous year: EUR 71.4 million) and comprised primarily the enlargement of production capacities and replacement investments.

Cash flows from operating activities lessened from EUR 109.6 million in the 2016 financial year to EUR 92.0 million in the reporting period. Even though the improved EBIT situation and the increase in liabilities had a positive effect, the performance was dampened by higher inventories. As a consequence of the higher purchase price payments for the acquisitions in 2016, cash outflows from investing activities decreased from –EUR 187.7 million to
–EUR 58.7 million in the reporting period. As a result, free cash flows amounted to EUR 43.1 million, as compared to –EUR 68.7 million in the previous year.


Outlook
As the order backlog at the end of 2017 was very high, PALFINGER is optimistic regarding business performance in 2018. Due to short-term internal and external delivery problems, a significant order volume could not be completed by the end of 2017 and had to be postponed until 2018. Capacity utilization of the production plants is expected to remain at a high level. The global approach to value creation structures will be conducive to balancing capacity utilization peaks.

Even though the conditions predicted for 2018 harbour a great deal of uncertainty, the management, from today’s point of view, foresees that revenue in the 2018 financial year will reach a new record high. It is anticipated that the restructuring measures in North America will be completed in the first half of 2018; further measures in the marine business will follow. The changes already made in 2017, as well as additional changes, are expected to facilitate an extraordinarily high increase in earnings and thus also a record result.


ABOUT PALFINGER AG

The international mechanical engineering firm of PALFINGER is the world’s leading producer of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With around 12,000 employees, 34 manufacturing sites and a worldwide network of dealerships and service centers at over 5,000 locations, PALFINGER takes on its customers’ challenges and creates added value. PALFINGER is consistently continuing on its course as a provider of innovative, complete solutions that deliver increased efficiency and better operability, while leveraging the potential of digitization along the entire production and value chain.

PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1999 and in 2021 achieved record revenue of EUR 1.84 billion. In 2022, PALFINGER celebrates its 90th anniversary under the tagline “Celebrating the future since 1932.”

 

For further information please contact:

Hannes Roither | Group Spokesperson | PALFINGER AG
T +43 662 2281-81100 | h.roither@palfinger.com

Texts and accompanying images are available in the “News” section of www.palfinger.ag, www.palfinger.com.