EBIT considerably above last year sale of packaging division completed
IWKA's operating business improved significantly during the first quarter of the 2007 business year
- Orders received and sales revenues significantly higher than prior year
- EBIT margin clearly positive at 3.4 percent
- Positive quarterly result for the first time in two years
- EBIT margin target of 4.2 percent for the overall 2007 business year
The Group's continuing operations generated an EBIT of EUR 9.8 million. On a comparable basis, the prior year's EBIT was EUR 1.9 million.
The Robotics as well as the Systems divisions both grew and were able to achieve better results than last year. The growth was based on significantly higher sales, which were up 22.6 percent, and a 23.2 percent rise in total output, as well as an improvement in the fixed costs structure.
Growth in orders received by the Group's continuing operations during the first quarter showed a considerable development. The EUR 436.9 million reported was significantly higher than the comparable prior year's figure of EUR 347.6 million. The improvement amounted to almost EUR 90 million, or 26 percent. Both divisions, Systems as well as Robotics, contributed substantially to this achievement. The Robotics division will diversify further into the manifold range of applications within the General Industry. In addition, the number of orders from the automobile industry is developing very satisfactorily. The Systems division will also be expanding its business activities on the basis of a greater customer range.
Sales revenues were significantly higher than the year before. At EUR 290.7 million, the year-over-year increase in sales was EUR 53.5 million or 23 percent. The full production of the pay-on-production contract (KTPO) in the United States had a major impact. During the first quarter, the IWKA Group's continuing operations posted an EBIT of EUR 9.8 million, which corresponds to a margin of 3.4 percent of sales. Both business divisions contributed to this development.
The consolidated Group's earnings after taxes came in at EUR 1.2 million and are therefore back into positive territory, following the loss of Q1 in the previous year.
The sale of the Packaging division, which has now been completed, will have a very positive impact on the Group's balance sheet and key financial figures in the second quarter of 2007. The IWKA Group received a liquidity inflow of EUR 195 million on April 19, 2007 from the total transaction value of EUR 255 million. The Group's financial footing will therefore be solid as of Q2, 2007.
The IWKA Group had 5,632 employees as of March 31, 2007, 52 less than at the end of 2006.
For the current year IWKA is expecting a sales volume of over EUR 1.2 billion. The large number of orders received in the first quarter will ensure capacity utilisation in the ongoing financial year and will confirm the target of reaching an EBIT margin of 4.2 percent in 2007. These values do not include the meanwhile sold Packaging division. The Group is aiming for an equity ratio of over 20 percent; the sale of the Packaging division in particular will have a positive effect here.
Gerhard Wiedemann, CEO of IWKA AG, commented as follows: "With Q1, we feel we are on the right track to fulfil our targets for 2007! Reporting the sale of the Packaging division by the end of the first quarter I am particularly pleased to have been able to complete the most important aspect of the focussing program of the business year 2007."