Strong shareholder approval at the KUKA General Meeting
KUKA continued to grow profitably in 2013 and again benefited from the global trend towards robot-based automation. Overall, KUKA achieved all of its targets in 2013.
- Orders received last fiscal year were steady and remained high, reaching € 1.88 billion.
- Sales revenues rose 2 percent to € 1.77 billion.
- EBIT rose faster than sales in 2013 and reached € 120 million. EBIT margin increased from 6.3 percent in 2012 to a record 6.8 percent.
- Free cash flow climbed from € 77.1 million to € 95.4 million.
- Guidance for 2013 was met fully.
These numbers prove that KUKA has continued to successfully implement its strategic measures. Expanding the general industry business was again a key objective in 2013. Not only is there significant upside potential in this business segment with regard to profitability development; in the long term, it will make KUKA less vulnerable to economic swings. KUKA Robotics launched several versions of the KR AGILUS – a new product specifically designed for the needs of this sector. KUKA Systems had higher orders received from aerospace. In addition, the Systems division supplied a greater number of solutions and products for joining and welding tasks to medium-sized companies.
KUKA has also expanded its global reach. With the acquisition of Utica Enterprises’ systems business, KUKA Systems became the number one car body manufacturer in North America. KUKA has also expanded its presence in the market of the future, Asia. Already today, China is the world’s second-largest robot market. In December, the company opened its new factory in China, a facility with an annual output capacity of over 5,000 robots.
KUKA is successful throughout the world and its strategy is paying off. The company invests 7 to 9 percent of its Robotics division’s sales in research and development. In addition to innovative standard products, KUKA is focusing on an entirely new product line: its sensitive robot generation, which will be capable of working hand-in-hand with humans. Thanks to its unique safety systems, no protective barriers will be needed.
KUKA has had an outstanding start to the current fiscal year, as demonstrated by the results of the first quarter of 2014. Orders received came in at € 615.2 million, up 27 percent year-over-year. Sales revenues rose 6 percent to € 462.5 million. Reis Group and Alema Automation, two companies acquired in early 2014, contributed to the growth.
KUKA plans to work with Reis to continue to leverage the potential in the general industry sector. The acquisition is in line with the corporate strategy to strengthen growth in China. KUKA also purchased Alema Automation, based in Bordeaux, France. KUKA Systems’ experience in the aviation industry complements Alema’s expertise and allows KUKA to offer customers complete solutions from a single source. Aviation industry demand for automation solutions is currently strengthening considerably. The acquisition is thus in line with the company’s strategy to further grow the share of general industry business.
KUKA expects business in Europe to remain stable for the current fiscal year. Slight growth is expected from the United States and Asia. Given the high order backlog and the steady excellent demand from customers, the company expects sales at the Group level in 2014 to come in at between € 1.9 and € 2.0 billion and an EBIT margin of about 6 percent.
In light of KUKA Group’s international orientation and thanks to the strategic acquisitions, the company launched a project to help develop a unified, enterprise-wide leadership model during the reporting year. It will serve as a basis for creating a unified leadership culture in an intercultural context.
All resolutions at the meeting passed with a large majority. KUKA will distribute a dividend of € 0.30 per share entitled to dividends. Shareholders overwhelmingly approved the actions of all Executive Board and Supervisory Board members during the 2013 financial year.