KION has finished 2022 with a strong order intake and an increase in revenue compared to the previous year. However, sharply rising costs for materials, energy and logistics coupled with ongoing supply chain disruptions negatively impacted earnings and cash flow.
“We faced a great deal of challenges in 2022. In light of this, we are focusing on the systematic implementation of the numerous measures we have introduced to strengthen our resilience and profitability,” says group CEO Rob Smith. “We are already in a far more agile and resilient position than we were this time last year. Our innovation pipeline is full and we invest in our sites worldwide. Furthermore, global growth drivers at KION Group such as digitalisation, automation, and alternative energy systems remain intact. That’s why we are looking ahead to this year with optimism.”
At EUR11.708 billion (USD12.3 billion), the group’s order intake came to within 6.2% of the previous year’s record figure, despite a noticeable drop in demand.
Orders for the Industrial Trucks & Services segment increased by 3.2%, while the Supply Chain Solutions segment saw orders fall by 22.3% as customers slowed their new investments.
Overall group revenue rose by 8.2% from last year, to reach EUR11.136 billion (USD11.74 billion).
In its analysis of the full-year results, KION points out that the ongoing war in Ukraine, global inflation and the associated hikes in interest rates, as well as the rapid spread of coronavirus in China all had a negative impact on the global economy in 2022. There was a steady decline in the global demand for industrial trucks over the course of the year as a result of the general economic conditions.
While order numbers in the first quarter were still above the previous year’s level, momentum slowed significantly over the rest of the year. In the 2022 reporting period, global order numbers in the market are likely to be below the comparable period of the previous year—particularly in the EMEA region, according to KION.
Looking ahead, the group believes that it is well prepared in view of the steps that it has taken to boost its resilience. It expects an increase in revenue and a significant improvement in both adjusted EBIT and return on capital employed (ROCE) in 2023. KION anticipates that free cash flow will be “comfortably into positive territory”. However, the market-related and geopolitical risks continue to create uncertainty regarding the business performance of the group and its operating segments.