MAX Automation SE: Satisfactory operating result influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic

DGAP-News: MAX Automation SE / Key word(s): Annual Report
18.03.2021 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


MAX Automation SE: Satisfactory operating result influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Group sales of mEUR 307.0 down 27.8% compared to the previous year (12M 2019: mEUR 425.5)
  • Group operating result (EBITDA) improved to mEUR 5.7 (12M 2019: mEUR -0.9)
  • Group order intake at mEUR 319.6 (12M 2019: mEUR 379.9; minus 15.9%)
  • Outlook for 2021: Sales and EBITDA expected to increase strongly compared to the previous year

Dusseldorf, 18 March 2021 - MAX Automation SE (ISIN DE000A2DA58), listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, continued its turnaround in financial year 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and achieved a positive operating result. This was primarily due to strict cost discipline, measures aimed at securing liquidity, and the continued elimination of problem areas in the non-core business.

High demand in medical technology and packaging automation

After a promising start to the past financial year, the pandemic also affected the business performance of the MAX Group. They led to a significant decline in order intake in the first half of the year in particular. The MAX Group's consolidated order intake fell by 15.9% to mEUR 319.6 in the financial year (previous year: mEUR 379.9) due to customers' pandemic-related reluctance to invest. From the third quarter of 2020 on, in parallel with increasing hopes that the effects of the pandemic would abate, the MAX Group again recorded a positive order trend and generated high order intake, particularly in the month of December.

The broad positioning in its core business areas Process Technologies, Environmental Technologies and Evolving Technologies in future-oriented industries supports the MAX Group's ability to hold its own in a market environment impacted by the corona crisis. The core business areas recorded a robust performance with a drop in orders of less than 10% overall. The medical technology and packaging automation businesses in the Evolving Technologies segment in particular showed dynamic growth in demand. The medical technology area achieved an exceptional performance with its Tip & Cup technology and successfully entered the in-vitro diagnostics market by receiving major orders. Sales in the area of packaging automation also developed encouragingly. These positive developments helped to compensate for the declines in the other areas of the business. In the Environmental Technologies segment, order intake was down from the previous year, which was characterized by major orders, due to the pandemic and low oil prices. In the Process Technologies segment, order intake decreased due to the corona-related investment stops in the global automotive industry. The non-core Business reported a planned decline in order intake, mainly due to the closure of the IWM Automation companies. Overall, the order backlog at Group level increased to mEUR 209.4 as of 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: mEUR 199.5).

COVID-19 pandemic delays targeted growth in core business

Sales revenue in the MAX Group decreased by 27.8% compared to the previous year in 2020 to mEUR 307.0 (12M 2019: mEUR 425.5). The main negative factors here were slower project progress as a result of production interruptions at customer sites, border closures and quarantine regulations at nearly all Group companies in the core Process Technologies and Evolving Technologies businesses and in the non-core Business. By contrast, the Environmental Technologies segment was able to continue production at nearly normal levels with only insignificant delays due to the pandemic. Sales in the non-core business were also reduced as planned due to the effects of the closures.

The pandemic severely slowed the targeted earnings growth of MAX Group in the reporting year. Although the operating profit of the core businesses was clearly positive overall, it suffered a noticeable year-on-year decline as a result of the pandemic. The year-on-year improvement in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to mEUR 5.7 compared to the previous year (12M 2019: mEUR -0.9) is also attributable to the significantly reduced loss situation in the non-core business. Lower sales in the Process Technologies and Evolving Technologies segments weighed on operating profit in these two segments. By contrast, Environmental Technologies improved on its prior-year earnings and made the biggest contribution to the Group's total earnings.

The Group's cash and cash equivalents increased by 17.5% to mEUR 47.7 as of 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: mEUR 40.6). With cash inflow of mEUR 32.0, cash flow from operating activities was significantly higher than in the previous year (2019: cash outflow of mEUR 20.9) and was largely characterized by advance payments. The liquidity position of the MAX Group continues to ensure sufficient flexibility with noticeably reduced net debt compared to 2019.

Outlook for 2021

MAX Automation expects to be able to improve its sales and earnings in financial year 2021 under the premise of successfully combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A year that was unprecedented due to the pandemic lies behind us. COVID-19 also presented us with special tasks that we mastered professionally. We are particularly pleased that our employees, with few exceptions, have come through the crisis in good health so far. The broad positioning of the MAX Group has proven its value and we will continue to drive forward the initiated transformation of the MAX Group into a stable, profitable and future-oriented Group. In 2021, we want to overcome the challenges still ahead of us due to the pandemic and still reduce possible losses from non-core business. Our new Group strategy, which we will adopt in the coming months, will set the course for a successful future for MAX. Our goal is to leverage the Group's potential for our shareholders and create additional value based on this," said Dr. Christian Diekmann, Managing Director and CEO/CFO of MAX Automation SE and Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Assuming that the measures to contain the pandemic take effect and accelerate a recovery in the economy, and that there is no unexpected worsening of the pandemic or a significant deterioration in economic development, MAX Automation anticipates a strong increase in sales revenues for financial year 2021 compared to the previous year's figure of mEUR 307.0. For operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of the MAX Group, the Managing Directors assume a profitable development in the segments of the core business and a strong increase in EBITDA for the MAX Group above the previous year's value of mEUR 5.7.

Detailed financial information

The Annual Financial Report of MAX Automation SE for financial year 2020 is available for download at


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.

18.03.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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