KUKA reports successful fiscal 2013 first quarter and confirms guidance
- Consolidated orders received total € 482.7 million
- Robotics' general industry orders received hit record € 106.0 million
- Sales revenues up 18.7 percent from the year prior to € 436.0 million
- EBIT margin of 6.5 percent significantly higher than last year – Robotics 10.2 percent and Systems 5.0 percent
- Earnings after taxes rise faster than sales revenues, up 34.3 percent to € 14.5 million
- Free cash flow improves sharply to € 15.5 million from € -0.8 million in Q1/12
- Acquisition of UTICA Companies' systems business strengthens market position in the United States
- 2013 guidance confirmed: sales expected to reach about € 1.8 billion and EBIT margin about 6.5 percent
BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2013
KUKA had an excellent fiscal 2013 first quarter. KUKA Group reported consolidated orders received of € 482.7 million in the first quarter of 2013, the third best result in the company's history. The Robotics division contributed orders received of € 233.6 million and generated a new quarterly record of € 106.0 million for general industry orders. The latter was driven primarily by a blanket order from the health care industry. KUKA Systems continued to profit from the excellent automotive industry demand, which is being driven by the uninterrupted demand for a greater variety of models, expanding investment in emerging nations and efforts to improve efficiency; for instance, by reducing cycle times. KUKA Systems' orders received came in at € 258.3 million. Both divisions' results were lower than those reported for the first quarter of 2012, but the large results posted in Q1/12 were truly exceptional.
In the first three months, sales totaled € 436.0 million, 18.7 percent higher than the year prior. KUKA benefited from the strong demand for capital goods associated with robot-based automation for industrial production processes. Both business divisions contributed to this growth. Capacity utilization was high for both Robotics and Systems. Robotics generated sales revenues of € 206.8 million in the first quarter of 2013, a new record. The result is 35.3 percent higher than the € 152.8 million billed in Q1/12. Systems' sales came in at € 234.4 million, up 6.6 percent from the € 219.8 million reported in Q1/12. At the Group level, the book-to-bill ratio in the quarter just ended came in at 1.11, versus 1.64 in Q1/12.
The improved profits are reflected in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), which came in at € 28.4 million versus € 21.9 million in Q1/12. EBIT margin was 6.5 percent, sharply higher than the 6.0 percent reported last year. Robotics' EBIT in the first quarter of 2012 came in at € 21.0 million compared to € 15.9 million in Q1/12. Despite higher costs for research and development and expenses associated with strategic expansion in the general industry segment, the division was able to generate an EBIT margin of 10.2 percent. The Systems division contributed € 11.8 million to the consolidated result versus € 9.6 million in Q1/12. Here too, EBIT margin improved, from 4.4 percent in Q1/12 to 5.0 percent in Q1/13, thanks primarily to better process management.
Order backlog remained high at € 947.2 million, up 4.2 percent from the € 909.4 million posted on December 31, 2012.
Earnings after taxes rose faster than sales revenues, up 34.3 percent to € 14.5 million. Earnings per share improved accordingly, going from € 0.32 to € 0.43. KUKA's share price soared in the first quarter, rising from € 27.67 to € 34.03 on March 28, 2013 and outperforming the MDAX.
In addition to generating strong quarterly results, the company successfully launched its lightweight LBR iiwa at Hanover Fair. The first sensitive industrial robot and other product innovations such as KR AGILUS are expected to open the door to new markets.
In addition, the company's conceptual "moiros" exhibit captured the coveted Robotics Award presented by Hanover Fair organizers. The display features a mobile concept for processing extra-large workpieces.
The company has also strengthened its market position in the United States with the acquisition of UTICA companies. KUKA is now the number one automotive industry system supplier in North America.
In general, KUKA expects the world economy to grow in 2013, with some regional disparities. The company's key markets, automotive and general industry, should also continue to expand in fiscal 2013, even though growth rates are expected to be sharply lower. From a regional perspective, demand from Asia and North and South America is expected to strengthen. Given these general conditions, KUKA Group expects overall sales revenues in fiscal 2013 to be slightly higher and reach € 1.8 billion. Based on the sales forecast, EBIT margin is expected to be around 6.5 percent. KUKA thus confirms its guidance.