MAX Automation closes 2016 with record order backlog - Group sales and earnings lower than last year as announced

DGAP-News: MAX Automation AG / Key word(s): Final Results

31.03.2017 / 07:36
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.




MAX Automation closes 2016 with record order backlog -
Group sales and earnings lower than last year as announced

- Order backlog increases by 43.4% to EUR 193.8 million

- Group sales decline by 12.2% to EUR 337.1 million

- EBIT before PPA amortization reduced to EUR 17.4 million

- The Management Board and Supervisory Board are planning a constant dividend of 15 cents per share for fiscal year 2016

- Corporate design with a new MAX Automation logo takes strategic focus on high-tech mechanical engineering into consideration

Düsseldorf, March 31, 2017 - MAX Automation Group did not develop according to plan in all areas in fiscal year 2016. As announced in November 2016, Group sales and earnings of the specialist for high-tech mechanical engineering were below the previous year's figures. On the other hand, order intake and order backlog rose to record levels. The Management Board considers the positive development of orders to be an excellent starting point for the planned sales and earnings growth in the current year.

In the past fiscal year, MAX Automation introduced initial measures as part of its "Strategy 2021." The cornerstones are the further focus of the MAX Group on the attractive growth markets automotive, medical technology, electronics and industrial applications, significant expansion of its international business, the development of innovative mechanical engineering and software solutions in networked production and greater leveraging of synergies between Group companies.

Daniel Fink, Chairman of the Management Board of MAX Automation AG: "2016 was a challenging year with light and shadows. Although sales and earnings were below our expectations, we received attractive orders from high-growth industries and reached a record level with our order backlog. In addition, we have strategically drawn a clear path into the future by launching our 'Strategy 2021.' MAX therefore has every reason to be optimistic regarding its development in 2017 and beyond."

Key Group figures for 2016

- Consolidated order intake reached a record high of EUR 395.7 million, 8.8% above the already high level of the previous year (2015: EUR 363.7 million). This development was mainly driven by buoyant business in the Industrial Automation segment.

- Consolidated order backlog as of December 31, 2016, was at the record level of EUR 193.8 million, which is 43.4% higher than on the same day of the previous year (EUR 135.2 million). The book-to-bill ratio was 1.17 and is thus a good basis for further growth.

- Group sales fell by 12.2% to EUR 337.1 million in 2016 (previous year: EUR 384.0 million) due to a market-related lower demand in the Environmental Technology segment and delays in large-scale orders in the Industrial Automation segment. It should also be taken into account that in the previous year Group sales included the contributions of the business of the former Group company altmayerBTD that was sold in December 2015. Adjusted for this effect, Group sales declined by 8.2% in 2016.

- Group earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and before depreciation from purchase price allocation (PPA depreciation) decreased to EUR 17.4 million (previous year: EUR 24.8 million, -29.9%). Costs for strategic capacity adjustments in Environmental Technology as well as an increase in the number of employees in the Industrial Automation segment had an impact on the sharp rise in business volume. It should also be taken into account that the Group had benefited last year from a product and project mix that was particularly advantageous in terms of profitability.

- Net interest income improved from EUR -3.6 million to EUR -2.8 million due to the effects of the reorganization of Group financing in 2015. As expected, interest expenses were reduced by around EUR 1 million.

- The Group posted an annual result of EUR 8.3 million euros (2015: EUR 10.6 million, -21.2%).

- Group equity increased to EUR 111.3 million as of December 31, 2016 (December 31, 2015: EUR 106.9 million, +4.1%). At 36.3%, the equity ratio remained well above the targeted minimum value of 30% (December 31, 2015: 37.7%).

Development of the Group segments
The Industrial Automation segment increased its order intake by 27.2% in 2016 to EUR 300.7 million (2015: EUR 236.3 million). The order backlog rose as of December 31 by 59.2% to the record level of EUR 164.1 million (December 31, 2015: EUR 103.1 million). Due to customer delays in the awarding of contracts, however, sales of EUR 239.8 million remained below expectations (2015: EUR 252.2 million, -4.9%). EBIT before PPA decreased to EUR 16.8 million (2015: EUR 26.4 million), which was mainly influenced by a temporary reduction in capacity utilization as a result of delayed orders and the aforementioned personnel buildup. In addition, it should be taken into account that the Group's profit in the previous year had benefited from a product and project mix that was advantageous in terms of profitability.

The Environmental Technology segment that includes the Vecoplan Group recorded an unsatisfactory business trend in the reporting year. This was due to the persistently low oil price and correspondingly lower demand for recycling and processing solutions, especially in the US. Even a good final quarter, which was above expectations, could not compensate for the sluggish demand in the previous quarters. Sales declined by 26.3% to 97.4 million euros (2015: EUR 132.2 million euros). EBIT before PPA amounted to EUR 1.8 million compared to EUR 1.5 million in the previous year. In the meantime, Vecoplan has adapted its capacities to the changed market conditions and thus created a good basis for a positive development in the current year.

Reliable dividend policy
The Management Board and Supervisory Board plan to propose a constant dividend of 15 euro cents per share (previous year: 15 euro cents) to the Annual General Meeting on June 30, 2017, for the past fiscal year. The distribution sum amounted to EUR 4.0 million as in the previous year.

New corporate design
At the beginning of 2017, MAX Automation AG introduced a new corporate design with a new logo. This takes its self-image as an internationally oriented specialist for high-tech mechanical engineering into account.

Outlook for fiscal year 2017
The Management Board sees MAX Automation strategically well positioned with its focus on important growth drivers in industrial automation and environmental technology, and considers the high level of order backlog to be an excellent basis for a successful development in 2017. For the current fiscal year, based on the current portfolio, it expects Group sales of at least EUR 370 million and Group EBIT before PPA amortization in the range of EUR 22 million to EUR 25 million.

The full consolidated financial statements for 2016 will be published today and will be available on the company's website at

Frank Elsner / Frank Paschen
Frank Elsner Kommunikation für Unternehmen GmbH
Tel.: +49 - 5404 - 91 92 0
Fax: +49 - 5404 - 91 92 29

About MAX Automation AG:
MAX Automation AG (Securities Identification Number: A2DA58) with its headquarters in Düsseldorf is an internationally active high-tech mechanical engineering Group and a leading fullservice supplier of integrated and sophisticated system and component solutions. Its operational business is divided into two segments. In the Industrial Automation segment, the Group is considered to be a trendsetter in the development and manufacturing of integrated and proprietary solutions for use in manufacturing and assembly in the automotive industry, medical technology, packaging machines and the electronics industry due to its comprehensive technological knowhow. In the Environmental Technology segment, MAX Automation develops and installs innovative systems for use by the recycling, energy and raw materials industries.

31.03.2017 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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