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HAMBURG (dpa-AFX) – The forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich closed the past financial year better than expected at the beginning of the pandemic thanks to savings measures and a strong final quarter. Despite the corona-related economic slump, the SDax group has reached at least the upper end of the forecast range everywhere, as the Hamburg-based company announced on Friday. Jungheinrich is also optimistic for 2021.
Even if the overall numbers are still below the previous year, investors reacted to the stock exchange with pleasure and bought the shares properly. The price of the paper climbed in the early afternoon by more than 7.5 percent and rose to more than 38 euros. The paper is thus recovering a bit, but at the beginning of the year the price was still slightly higher at more than 40 euros. Since the Corona crash, however, the share has made an astonishing run overall. The shares are now trading as high as they were last in spring 2018.
“Against the background of the general and market conditions made more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are satisfied with the course of business for the year,” said CEO Lars Brzoska on Friday, according to the announcement. Thanks to cost reductions and increased efficiency, the group was able to “successfully limit” the effects of the pandemic.
Sales in 2020 reached 3.81 billion euros, after 4 billion euros in the previous year. Incoming orders fell from 3.92 billion to 3.78 billion euros. In terms of operating earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), the group reached 218 million euros after 263 million euros. Although sales fell slightly, Brzoska commented in front of journalists, the results were still very good, “if you consider how drastically the corona pandemic has hit many companies”.
One can also speak of a decent result in terms of EBIT. CFO Volker Hues added that several special effects would also have an impact on the EBIT, such as impairments, development expenses and a corona bonus for employees. “We were only able to achieve the result because we worked hard on the issue of costs.” Based on the results, the Executive Board proposes a dividend of EUR 0.43 per preferred share, 5 cents less than a year ago.
It is said that the supply chains are a major challenge in the past year as well as in the current year. Jungheinrich has managed to never let the supply chains tear down. As a result of the pandemic, suppliers had repeatedly had problems, and plants had to close temporarily due to corona cases, explained Brzoska. Jungheinrich had already set up a “task force” before the crisis to deal with precisely this issue, keep an eye on supply chains and, if necessary, look for alternatives.
In the current year Jungheinrich intends to increase sales again to EUR 3.9 billion to EUR 4.1 billion. Incoming orders should move within the same framework and thus pick up again. With a bandwidth between 260 and 310 million euros, the EBIT should be at least roughly at the level of 2019./knd/ssc/fba