The Jungheinrich Group stayed its course for growth in the first quarter of the 2015 financial year. At 666 million euro, the value of incoming orders was eleven per cent higher than the year-earlier figure. Incoming orders in terms of units rose substantially, jumping by 20 per cent to 24.5 thousand trucks. In the reporting period, consolidated net sales were up eight per cent to 620 million euros.
Steady Growth In Western Markets
In the first quarter of 2015, global demand for material handling equipment advanced by four per cent to 282.4 thousand forklifts (prior year: 272.3 thousand trucks). Europe, Jungheinrich’s main sales market, recorded an increase of 13 per cent. Demand in Western Europe climbed by 17 per cent, whereas market volume in Eastern Europe declined by eleven per cent owing to the weakness of the Russian market. Excluding Russia, the Eastern European market posted eight per cent growth. In Asia, market volume dropped by five per cent, whereas demand in North America rose by nine per cent.
Forklift Trucks In High Demand
The Jungheinrich Group’s unit-based incoming orders in new truck business, which include orders for both new forklifts and trucks for short-term hire, were 20 per cent up year on year in the first quarter of 2015 to 24.5 thousand trucks (prior year: 20.5 thousand trucks). The value of the Jungheinrich Group’s incoming orders, encompassing all business fields, totalled 666 million euro and was thus eleven per cent higher than in the first quarter of 2014 (600 million euro). As of March 31, 2015, orders on hand from new truck business totalled 451 million euro and were thus 57 million euros, or 14 per cent, higher than the 394 million euro achieved in last year’s corresponding period. The rise compared to the 379 million euro in value at the end of 2014 amounted to 72 million euros, or 19 per cent. The order reach was thus four months.
Net Sales Up By Eight Per Cent
In the first quarter of 2015, consolidated net sales were up 45 million euro, or eight per cent, to 620 million euro (prior year: 575 million euro). All of the business areas contributed to this growth. In Germany, the single-most important market, net sales grew by 3 per cent to 153 million euro (prior year: 149 million euro). Net sales generated outside Europe climbed by 9 per cent to 63 million euro (prior year: 58 million euros). The portion of consolidated net sales accounted for by countries outside Europe remained at 10 per cent. The foreign ratio rose from 74 per cent to 75 per cent.
EBIT up by Five Per Cent
In the first quarter of 2015, Jungheinrich drove up EBIT by five per cent to 42.3 million euro (prior year: 40.2 million euro). The return on sales was 6.8 per cent (prior year: 7.0 per cent). Net income advanced by seven per cent to 27.6 million euro (prior year: 25.7 million euros). Accordingly, earnings per preferred share amounted to 0.84 euro in the first quarter of 2015 (prior year: 0.79 euro). By March 31, 2015, the Jungheinrich Group’s balance sheet total had risen by 59 million euro to 3,099 million euros compared to its level at the end of fiscal 2014 (December 31, 2014: 3,040 million euro). The equity ratio rose to 29.9 per cent (December 31, 2014: 29.6 per cent).
In the first quarter of 2015, Jungheinrich further increased its labour force particularly in the European sales organisation. As of March 31, 2015, a total of 12,740 people (December 31, 2014: 12,549 staff members) were employed throughout the Group—191 more than at the end of 2014.
With regard to its business performance over the remaining course of the year, Jungheinrich expects the world economy to display positive development. Against this backdrop, the company anticipates that the global material handling equipment market will continue to expand in the current year. At present, Europe’s market—with Western Europe as the growth driver—is also expected to develop positively. Jungheinrich anticipates that the Eastern European market will shrink, with prospects of stable development if the Russian market recovers considerably over the course of the year. As before, the company expects the Asian market to grow. However, the prerequisite for this is that demand for IC engine-powered counterbalanced trucks in China recovers as the year progresses. The North American market should continue to expand. Based on this generally positive economic outlook, the company expects both incoming orders and consolidated net sales to range between 2.6 and 2.7 billion euro in 2015, with an EBIT amounting up to 200 million euro in the financial year under way.
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