The KION Group will undertake a restructure
KION Group has continued on its path of recovery from the previous quarter and made a strong start into 2021. The company has thus laid a solid foundation for the current year and confirms its outlook for 2021, despite the unchanged risks in relation to changes in customer end-markets, rising commodity prices and a difficult supply situation for some key products and components.
The group's order intake amounted to EUR2.626 billion (USD3.16 billion), which was 26.2% higher than the figure in the prior-year period. The group's order book was up by 7.8% compared with the end of 2020, mainly due to the increase in orders on hand in the industrial trucks and services segment.
Consolidated revenue went up by 17.1%, while earnings jumped by 49.2%.
"Our KION 2027 strategy, our resilient financial position, and our flexibility in capitalising on market potential are paying off," says Gordon Riske, chief executive officer.
"With our new organisation set-up announced in January, we have laid the foundations for future growth. Nevertheless, economic conditions are still subject to significant uncertainty, beyond the effects from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We also expect commodity prices to rise and see risks in the availability of key intermediate components, for example, in the semiconductor industry."
Riske notes that the global economy recovered in the first quarter of 2021 relative to the corresponding period of the prior year, which enabled the global market for industrial trucks to grow. At 592,000, the number of new trucks ordered was up by a very substantial 71% compared with the first quarter of 2020.
KION points out that the recovery was strongest in the Asia Pacific region, where the number of new trucks ordered almost doubled year on year (+98.6%). The biggest contributor to this increase was China (131.3%), where the coronavirus pandemic had taken a particularly heavy toll on demand in the first quarter of 2020.
The Americas region (North, Central, and South America) recorded 71.8% year-on-year growth.
The EMEA region (western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa) also saw a double-digit increase (41%) in the number of new trucks ordered compared with the prior-year period.
In the KION Group's view, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has, in some cases, actually accelerated the growth of the market for supply chain solutions, where the upward trend of the previous quarters was maintained in the first three months of 2021. The KION Group believes that this growth is primarily being driven by ongoing investment in warehouse automation by companies in the e-commerce, food and general merchandise sectors.
In its outlooks, KION continues to see risks in relation to changes in customer end-markets, commodity prices and the availability of base products and components. Nonetheless, all of the targets specified by the 2020 annual report regarding the full-year 2021 outlook are confirmed.