With its broad corporate strategy and comprehensive intralogistics portfolio, the KION Group has been able to stay on course even in the extremely difficult market conditions created by the global coronavirus pandemic. The Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) segment, with its focus on automation solutions, was able to build on the positive performance of previous quarters in the first half of 2020, and generated a strong boost in orders for the group in the second quarter. The positive performance of the SCS segment was driven in particular by strong demand in the e-commerce and the food and beverage logistics sectors.
Meanwhile, the current reluctance to invest that is being experienced in many industries hit new business in the Industrial Trucks & Services (IT&S) segment particularly hard.
"The strong order intake in the first six months of this challenging year shows that our broad product range and KION 2027 strategy have put us on the right course to navigate these choppy waters," says Gordon Riske, chief executive officer of KION Group AG.
"The KION Group has a highly resilient business model. As an active full-service provider in more than 100 countries, we are in a position to successfully exploit opportunities even in a global crisis of this magnitude.
"With an installed base of more than 1.5 million industrial trucks and over 6,000 installed warehouse logistics systems, the KION Group's customers include companies in all industries and of all sizes on six continents."
The value of order intake for the KION Group rose by 4.8% to EUR4.4 billion (USD5.17 billion) in the first six months of 2020. However, consolidated revenue fell by 10%, to EUR3.927 billion (USD4.63 billion). This was mainly caused by the restrictions on operations resulting from the extensive lockdown measures in many geographical markets during the second quarter.
KION notes the impact of the global spread of coronavirus and the measures taken to contain the pandemic, which led to a 7% decline in new truck orders to 706,400.
The EMEA region (western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa) recorded the sharpest drop at 16.4%, while the Americas region (North, Central, and South America) saw a decline of 8.9%. In the APAC region, however, orders went up slightly, by 1.4%. This was because the Chinese market bounced back significantly in the second quarter once the strict lockdown measures - which had been imposed earlier there, at the start of the year - were eased.
Looking ahead, KION notes that economic conditions have deteriorated substantially. "At the time of preparation of this interim report, the assessment of the group's business performance over the remainder of this year was still very uncertain. Consequently, an outlook - including quantitative target ranges - for the main key performance indicators has not been provided for 2020," directors say.