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Interim Report as of March 31, 2012

KUKA generates record orders received and boosts EBIT-Margin to 6.0 percent

9 May 2012

  • Group's consolidated orders received reach a new record of EUR 602.6 million, up 51.8 percent from the year prior
    • Both divisions report highest ever orders received in a single quarter
  • Sales revenues in the first three months climb 12.5 percent to EUR 367.3 million,
  • Group's consolidated EBIT margin improves substantially over last year; hits 6.0 percent
    • Robotics' 10.4% exceed target margins, Systems' 4.4% 
  • Earnings after taxes double to the EUR 10.8 million
  • Guidance for 2012 firmed up: sales revenues expected to increase to EUR 1.5 billion and 5.5 to 6 percent EBIT margin forecast 


Business performance in the first three months of 2012

KUKA developed strong momentum in the first quarter of 2012. The demand for capital goods for robot-based automation continued unabated. Orders received reported by the two divisions, Robotics and Systems, were up nearly 52 percent to EUR 602.6 million totally. The closing numbers of both divisions were the highest ever reported in a single quarter. Sales in the first three months were up 12.5 percent to EUR 367.3 million. EBIT margin was reported at 6.0 percent, a sharp improvement over the 4.5 percent posted the year prior.

Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG, commented as follows: "We are working hard to maintain the unusual momentum of the first quarter right through the year. We are focusing especially on our general industry business.” KUKA aims to sustainably grow its market share with targeted product innovations and a focused strategy.

KUKA AG posted consolidated orders received of EUR 602.6 million in the first quarter of 2012, which is 51.8 percent higher than the EUR 397.1 million generated in the first quarter of 2011 and 37.9 percent higher than the previous record of EUR 436.9 million set in Q1 2007. 

The Robotics division's orders doubled to EUR 264.7 million compared with the strong years 2007 and 2008 (Q1/07 and Q1/08: EUR 116.8 million). This also represents an increase of 44.6 percent from the previous record EUR 183.1 million generated in Q1 2011. 

The systems business profited mainly from large automotive industry orders, which related to current model changes and were concentrated in the first half of 2012. As a result, the Systems division was able to generate orders received of EUR 344.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. This result exceeded last year's number of EUR 215.8 million by 59.5 percent.

KUKA Group's consolidated sales revenues for the first quarter of 2012 were reported at EUR 367.3 million, roughly the same as in prior quarters, because of the longer lead times, especially for the project business. The quarterly average for 2011 is EUR about 360 million. Both operating divisions are thus exceptionally well loaded. Sales were 12.5 percent higher than the EUR 326.5 million reported in Q1 2011. Both divisions contributed to this growth. In the first quarter of 2012, Robotics sent out invoices totaling EUR 152.8 million, 12.4 percent more than the EUR 136.0 million billed in Q1 2011. Systems invoiced systems and components worth EUR 219.8 million, up 7.4 percent from the EUR 204.7 million reported in Q1 2011.

At the same time, the company's orders on hand again rose substantially in the first quarter of 2012. Order backlog at the end of the quarter approached the EUR 1 billion threshold and on March 31, 2012 was posted at EUR 981.2 million, up 40.1 percent from the EUR 700.2 million recorded on the prior year's corresponding record date, March 31, 2011. This development impacted the Robotics division especially because of its strong orders received growth. At the end of the quarter, the division's order backlog was EUR 299.4 million, 51.9 percent higher than the EUR 197.1 million reported on March 31, 2011. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, the Systems division's order backlog was EUR 688.7 million, 35.2 percent higher than the EUR 509.3 million reported on the prior year's record date, March 31, 2011.

Overall, KUKA Group generated earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of EUR 21.9 million for the first quarter of 2012, versus EUR 14.7 million in Q1 2011. EBIT margin (that is, EBIT over sales revenues) thus exceeded the 5 percent threshold sustantially for the first time, ending at 6.0 percent. Both divisions contributed equally to this very satisfactory result. Robotics' EBIT in the first quarter of 2012 came in at EUR 15.9 million compared to EUR 10.0 million in Q1 2011. The division's EBIT margin of 10.4 percent exceeded the 10 percent threshold for the first time. The result was driven especially by the relatively high share of general industry and service sales. The Systems division contributed EUR 9.6 million to KUKA Group's EBIT compared to EUR 7.7 million in Q1 2011 and generated an EBIT margin of 4.4 percent.

KUKA Group's earnings after taxes in the first quarter of 2012 jumped to EUR 10.8 million from EUR 5.4 million last year. Earnings per share improved accordingly, going from EUR 0.17 to EUR 0.32.


The high capital spending on robot-based automation continues unabated globally. Especially the automotive industry continues to invest in expanding its capacity in the BRIC nations and in existing factories in Europe and the United States. General industry customers are also increasingly taking advantage of the benefits of robot-based automation to improve the quality of their products and lower their costs. 

Given this framework, KUKA expects sales revenues of at least EUR 1.44 billion for fiscal 2012. Assuming unchanged general conditions, KUKA expects to reach about EUR 1.5 billion. Based on this sales forecast, the Group is forecasting an EBIT margin of 5.5 to 6.0 percent.

"The start of the current financial year has been outstanding for KUKA," says Dr. Till Reuter. "The success of the operations and the compendium of strategic measures that have been introduced lead to expectations of further strong business performance in 2012."

KUKA Group, key figures

in EUR million 3 months 2011 3 months 2012 Change
Orders received 397.1 602.6 51.8%
Order backlog (03/31) 700.2 981.2 40.1%
Sales revenues 326.5 367.3 12.5%
Gross profit 66.8 79.9 19.6%

in % of sales revenues

20.5% 21.8% -
Earningsbefor interest and taxes (EBIT) 14.7 21.9 49.0%

in % of sales revenues

 4.5% 6.0% -
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) 20.8 28.5 37.0%

in % of sales revenues

6.4%  7.8% -
Net result 5.4 10.8 >100%
Earnings per share in EUR 0.17 0.32 88.2%
Capital expenditure 4.1 12.8 >100%
Equity ratio in % (03/31) 20.1% 23.5% -
Net debts (03/31) 70.1 38.4 -45.2%
Employees (03/31) 6,192 6,804 9.9%