MAX Automation with solid development in the first quarter of 2020 - Core business within expectations

DGAP-News: MAX Automation SE / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement
13.05.2020 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


MAX Automation with solid development in the first quarter of 2020 - Core business within expectations

- Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on sales and earnings in the first quarter of 2020 still small

- Group sales decreased to mEUR 80.2 (-8.1%) compared to Q1 2019; core business roughly stable at mEUR 68.9 (-1.7 %)

- Group EBITDA at mEUR 0.6 (+228.5%); core business 26% below Q1 2019 at mEUR 4.5, among other things due to planned higher fixed costs and revenue shifts due to the COVID-19 pandemic

- Detailed forecast for 2020 still not possible due to COVID-19 pandemic

Duesseldorf, 13 May 2020 - The start to the 2020 financial year for MAX Automation SE (ISIN DE000A2DA58), listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, was within expectations considering the overall weak economic environment and the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the impact of the pandemic and the associated containment measures are already visible in the figures of the MAX Group for the first quarter of 2020, the majority of MAX companies were nevertheless only marginally affected.

More significant effects from the coronavirus crisis were already apparent in order intake. Overall, the picture for the segment is heterogeneous: While the Process Technologies business unit was affected to a greater extent by a reluctance of investments in the automotive industry, Evolving Technologies benefited from higher demand both in the medical technology segment and packaging automation. Environmental Technologies was confronted with lower demand from the USA, particularly due to the effect of a major order in the comparable period. Overall, order intake in the core business sank by 19.4% to mEUR 67.6 compared to the same period in 2019. Order intake in the non-core business fell according to expectations by 45.9% compared to the comparable period of the previous year due to the business closures of IWM Automation companies. Order intake at the Group level declined by 23.1% compared to the first quarter of 2019 to mEUR 74.9.

The order backlog of the Group as of the end of March amounted to mEUR 194.6 (31 March 2019: mEUR 265.3) and was therefore 26.6% below the previous year's period. In particular, the order backlog of the core business remains at a relatively high level and amounted to mEUR 152.7 as of 31 March 2020 (31 March 2019: mEUR 181.7). Major orders in electromobility, medical technology and shredding technology obtained during the fourth quarter of 2019 ensured satisfactory capacity utilization in the segments.

Group sales for the quarter under review were 8.1% below the previous year's value mainly due to the business closures in non-core business. At mEUR 68.9, sales generated in the core business were nearly at the level of the previous year's period (3M 2019: mEUR 70.1). Partly related to COVID-19, Process Technologies was affected by delays in commissionings and less progress with projects (-12.3%), while Environmental Technologies reported a slight increase in sales (+2.7%). At -0.1%, sales of Evolving Technologies were nearly at the level of the first three months of 2019.

In the first quarter of 2020, the MAX Group achieved positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the amount of mEUR 0.6 (3M 2019: mEUR -0.5), therefore exceeding the result from the previous year's period but still remaining below the management's initial expectations partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EBITDA for the core business fell by 26.0% to mEUR 4.5, mainly due to planned higher fixed costs in the Process Technologies segment as well as delayed final project acceptances.

Financial resources as of 31 March 2020 amounted to mEUR 37.7 (31 December 2019: mEUR 40.6). The Group's liquidity position continues to provide sufficient flexibility despite the increase in net debt in 2019.

"The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business development of MAX Automation was already noticeable in the first quarter of 2020 but considering our orientation toward high-revenue segments, we still see ourselves correctly positioned, particularly in these times of crisis," says Andreas Krause, Chairman of the Management Board and CFO of MAX Automation SE.

Outlook 2020: COVID-19 influence on MAX Automation not reliably quantifiable

After the end of the first quarter of 2020, the development and possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business performance of the MAX companies could no longer be reliably assessed. Consequently, on 29 April 2020, MAX Automation SE withdrew the forecast it had published for the current fiscal year in conjunction with the 2019 annual financial statements. Despite the largely positive start to the fiscal year 2020, MAX Automation no longer expects to achieve sales at the Group level of between mEUR 380 and 410 along with an EBITDA between mEUR 16 and 20 as was originally forecast for the 2020 fiscal year due to the developments of the pandemic.

Detailed financial information

The complete interim release on the first quarter of 2020 MAX Automation SE can be downloaded under


Katja Redweik    
Head of Corporate Development/IR    
MAX Automation SE    
Tel.: +49 - 211 - 9099 144    

Contact for media representatives:

Susan Hoffmeister     Marco Cabras
CROSS ALLIANCE communication GmbH     newskontor - Agentur für Kommunikation
Tel.: +49 - 89 - 125 09 03 33     Tel.: +49 - 211 - 863 949 22

About MAX Automation SE
MAX Automation SE (WKN: A2DA58), based in Düsseldorf, is an internationally active industrial group for high-tech automation solutions. The operating business is divided into three divisions: in its Process Technology segment, the Group's comprehensive technological Expertise makes it an innovation leader in the development and manufacture of proprietary solutions (e.g. dosing, impregnation), particularly for the automotive and electronics industries. In its Environmental Technology segment, MAX Automation develops and installs technologically complex systems for the recycling, energy and raw materials industries. The Evolving Technologies division of MAX Automation develops high-quality assembly and system solutions for the medical technology and automotive industries as well as for robotics and augmented automation.

13.05.2020 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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