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Preliminary figures 2009

In 2009, KUKA Group's overall orders development of orders received was better compared with the German mechanical and plant engineering sector in general

2 février 2010

The latter's orders received came in at -41 percent in real terms for the first eleven months of 2009 according to VDMA. KUKA Group's orders received declined by 29.4 percent year-over-year, from EUR 1,279.9 million (2008) to EUR 903.3 million (2009). Both divisions reported roughly similar  declines. Orders received of Robotics came in at EUR 324.3 million (2009), a reduction of 30.2 percent compared to the year prior. Especially, the automotive sector faced a strong decline. The general industry and service sectors were down by a lesser amount. Orders received of Systems declined by 28.0 percent year-over-year, from EUR 854.9 million (2008) to EUR 615.4 million (2009).

Order backlog was EUR 543.4 million as of December 31, 2009, nearly the same as at the end of 2008. The KUKA group’s activity is notionally secured for about five months.

Sales revenues for 2009 came in at EUR 902.1 million, down by 28.7 percent from 2008's EUR 1,266.1 million. Here too, the two divisions were equally affected. Robotics’ sales revenues declined by 30.3 percent, from EUR 474.4 million (2008) to EUR 330.5 million (2009). Systems’ sales revenues decreased  from EUR 837.5 million (2008) to EUR 605.5 million (2009), a drop of 27.7 percent. The Group's book to bill ratio was thus 1.0.

The 2009 operating result (EBIT) declined as a result of the substantial revenue declines, lower capacity utilization and one time charges. It ended substantially in the red at EUR -52.9 million versus EUR 52.0 million the year prior. Of this total, the Robotics’ share was EUR -11.5 million, which compares to EUR 42.0 million in 2008. Systems posted EUR -29.1 million versus EUR 26.8 million in 2008. Excluding KUKA Group's restructuring costs, EBIT amounted to EUR -14.3 million, and was thus within the 2009 guidance range of EUR -10 million to EUR -15 million. Non-operating related one time charges, especially restructuring costs, totaled EUR -38.6 million at Group’s level. These include mainly pay offs to employees abroad and in Germany for 2009 and 2010.

KUKA implemented a cost reduction program aimed at saving more than EUR 70 million in 2009. This program resulted in material and personnel costs savings of EUR 72 million as per December 31, 2009, of which EUR 42 million are of recurring nature. The savings totaled EUR 45 million in the first nine months 2009. The total savings target for 2009 was slightly exceeded. All personnel related savings were made in conjunction with socially acceptable severance packages. The company's preferred actions included flexible measures such as reducing the number of temporary workers, reduced working hours for core personnel, salary concessions, postponement of union wage hikes and voluntary severance agreements. For the most part, forced redundancies were avoided.

The difficult business situation resulted in the restructuring of the business in France and the closures of the KUKA Systems France locations in Tours and Montigny near Paris. In total, 144 employees were affected by these steps. Nevertheless, KUKA has been able to sell the Tours location, which employed 80 people, to a strategic investor. For the remaining employees in greater Paris a redundancy payments scheme was implemented.

Group's number of employees decreased by 427 persons, from 6,171 as of December 31, 2008 to 5,744 as of December 31, 2009. This represents a year-over-year decline of 6.9 percent. Robotics had 252 fewer employees, with the total headcount falling from 2,261 as of December 31, 2008 to 2,009 as of December 31, 2009. Systems reported a drop by 247, the total count going from 3,781 as of December 31, 2008 to 3,534 as of December 31, 2009. Due to the transfer of central functions to the shared service center, KUKA AG's number of employees increased by 72. As of December 31, 2009, KUKA Group had 165 employees less on its payroll than the 5,909 it had on September 30, 2009. Furthermore, the number of temporary workers decreased from 1,008 as of December 31, 2008 to 584 on December 31, 2009, a year-over-year drop of 42.1 percent. The majority of the remaining temporary workers are based in the U.S. subsidiaries of KUKA.

Group's net debt amounted to EUR 48.5 million as of December 31, 2009 and was slightly better than the December 31, 2008 total of EUR 53.6 million, in part due to the November capital increase. Net debt had reached almost EUR 100 million during 2009. The Group's financial situation has thus further stabilized despite the negative earnings development during the financial year.

The closing numbers for Q4/09 were as follows

Group's orders received in Q4/09 came in at EUR 229.5 million, only 8.7 percent less than the Q4/08 total of EUR 251.3 million. The substantial recovery of the Robotics business was especially satisfying. Robotics had orders received of EUR 97.2 million, which is 9.0 percent higher than the prior year's fourth quarter and 37.9 percent higher than in Q3/09. The growth was in particular attributable to a major automotive sector order towards the end of 2009. Systems had orders received of EUR 146.6 million in Q4/09, down 13.5 percent from the level achieved in Q4/08, but at the same level as in Q3/09.

Group's sales revenues were again down substantially (-27.9 percent), from EUR 342.1 million in Q4/08 to EUR 246.7 million in Q4/09; however, sales revenues were 13.3 percent higher than the total posted in Q3/09. Robotics’ sales revenues of EUR 86.5 million were higher than the prior quarter's results. This represents a decline by 33.3 percent from the prior year's peak of EUR 129.6 million. Systems posted sales revenues of EUR 171.1 million in Q4/09, down 22.9 percent compared to the prior year's level and up 12.9 percent from Q3/09.

The operating result (EBIT) of the group for Q4/09 came in at EUR -24.9 million, primarily because of one-time charges totaling EUR 21.2 million. In Q4/08, EBIT was EUR 0.0 million. Accruals were booked in Q4/09 for the reduction of approximately 300 employees in total for 2009 and 2010. EBIT from operations was thus EUR -3.7 million. Robotics’ EBIT was EUR -5.0 million compared to EUR 12.0 million in Q4/08 and Systems’ EBIT EUR -14.0 million versus EUR -5.0 million in Q4/08. The difference to the Group’s EBIT related to the other companies, including the AG, during Q4/09.

"In Q4/09, KUKA made significant progress towards implementing efficient management structures and cutting costs. Furthermore, the operating business improved during the quarter just ended," said Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG, regarding the company's current business performance.