At € 707.1 million, new orders achieved a high level in the second quarter of 2014. Looking ahead over the next few months, further major project awards from the automotive industry are expected in China for example.
Service business expanded by 7.7% to € 257.5 million in the first half of the year. The mechanical engineering business of the Measuring and Process Systems division also performed well. With order intake up slightly and steady sales, EBIT rose by 57% to € 25.6 million. This was mainly driven by the earnings turnaround in the realigned Cleaning and Surface Processing business unit. Sales from painting systems and robots declined on account of project delays.
The cost of sales dropped by 9.3% in the first half of the year and thus more quickly than sales thanks to productivity gains. In an effort to safeguard its innovation leadership, Dürr stepped up spending on research and development by 14.1% to € 22.1 million. Net finance expense contracted by € 1.1 million to € 9.1 million thanks to increased investment income and lower borrowing costs. Earnings after tax rose by 10.5% to € 57.9 million.
Cash flow from operating activities doubled over the first half of 2013, coming to € 24.2 million. After the dividend payout of € 50.2 million, equity rose to € 513.7 million. As total assets temporarily rose as a result of the April 2014 bond issue, the equity ratio contracted from 23.8% (June 30, 2013) to 23.0%. In line with plans, capital spending dropped from € 21.8 to € 17.8 million. At a positive € 227.3 million, the net financial status remained at a high level. The same applies to cash and cash equivalents, which came to € 393.5 million, and the total liquidity (cash and cash equivalents, term deposits and other investments) of € 788.9 million. Dürr’s CFO Ralph Heuwing: “Dürr has a healthy balance sheet and ample cash. On this basis, we are able to execute the acquisition of a majority stake in HOMAG without any debt risks.” In mid-July, Dürr had announced that it would be initially buying 53.7% of the capital of HOMAG Group AG, the world’s leading producer of wood-processing systems. In August Dürr will submit a voluntary takeover offer to the HOMAG shareholders.
The Dürr Group’s headcount has risen by 5.4% since mid-2013 to 8,324 employees. In Germany, employees numbers climbed by 9.2% to 3,861 due partially also to the purchase of environmental technology specialist LTB in July 2013. The Group workforce is expected to increase to around 8,500 by the end of the year.