MAX Automation SE reports stable first quarter of 2021

DGAP-News: MAX Automation SE / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement
06.05.2021 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


MAX Automation SE reports stable first quarter of 2021

  • Order intake at the level of the prior-year quarter (3M 2021: mEUR 73.6 vs. 3M 2020: mEUR 74.9)
  • Order backlog up 9.5% compared to the previous year (3M 2021: mEUR 213.1 vs. 3M 2020: mEUR 194.6)
  • Sales down 11.8% on the previous year (3M 2021: mEUR 70.8 vs. 3M 2020: mEUR 80.2)
  • Operating result (EBITDA) at mEUR 3.6 above last year's figure (3M 2020: mEUR 0.6)
  • Sales and earnings forecast for the full year 2021 confirmed


Düsseldorf, 6 May 2021 - MAX Automation SE (ISIN DE000A2DA58), a company listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, proved to be resilient in the first quarter of 2021 and achieved a stable start to its current financial year against the backdrop of a COVID-19 pandemic which continues to impact the overall economy.

At mEUR 73.6, the MAX Automation Group's order intake was virtually at the level of the same quarter of the previous year (3M 2020: mEUR 74.9). This is despite the fact that significant order intake in medical technology planned for the first quarter of 2021 was partially brought forward to December 2020.

Strategic projects, such as the sale of a prototype system for the automated production of COVID-19 rapid tests in the Evolving Technologies segment, promise high market potential in the field of immediate medical and pharmacological diagnostics in the further course of business. In the Process Technologies segment, successful new developments in dispensing technology are opening new potential for more orders. The project pipeline and offer volume in the Environmental Technologies segment also remain high. Furthermore, major projects are in the process of being awarded in this area. Overall, the order backlog at Group level increased to mEUR 213.1 as of 30 March 2021 (30 March 2020: mEUR 194.6) and, with the increasing economic recovery and availability of vaccines, gives rise to expectations of a solid development of business in 2021.

Due to corona-related delays in project completions at the beginning of the year, MAX Group's sales were 11.8% below the level of the same quarter of the previous year at mEUR 70.8 (3M 2020: mEUR 80.2) and thus below management's expectations. Process Technologies reflected strong order intake in dispensing technology and strong service business, with sales up 15.8% to mEUR 13.9 (3M 2020: mEUR 12.0). In the Environmental Technologies segment, corona-related project postponements in the United States were reflected in an 18.7% decline in sales (3M 2020: mEUR 29.6). At mEUR 26.7 (3M 2020: mEUR 27.1), sales in the Evolving Technologies segment were slightly below the level of the first three months of 2020; here, too, corona-related project delays prevented an increase in these figures. Sales in the Non-Core segment declined by 44.9% (3M 2020: mEUR 12.1) as a result of the discontinuation of new business at the IWM companies. Stricter quarantine regulations in China delayed ELWEMA's project business, therefore sales in the first three months in 2021 were below the comparable level of the previous year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of mEUR 3.6 (3M 2020: mEUR 0.6) were above last year's figure and management's expectations. Non-cash special effects from the release of provisions and rental liabilities also contributed to this. Due to increased project sales as well as cost savings, EBITDA of the Process Technologies segment rose more strongly than expected by 66.5% (3M 2020: mEUR 1.1). Despite the decline in sales, Environmental Technologies also posted an 8.9% increase in EBITDA (3M 2020: mEUR 2.9). Earnings in this segment were positively influenced by the release of a major provision as well as lower expenses for sales activities due to the pandemic. Due to higher expenses in the Robotics division, EBITDA for the Evolving Technologies segment was down significantly by EUR 2.4 million (-90.7%) compared to the previous year to just EUR 0.2 million (3M 2020: EUR 2.6 million). In the Non-Core segment, EBITDA improved compared to the first three months of 2020 to a positive result of mEUR 0.4 (3M 2020: mEUR -3.8). Here, the result was significantly improved by the termination of a long-term lease agreement and the sale of the IWM Automation GmbH property in Porta-Westfalica.

Due to the strong operating cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the resulting increase in cash and cash equivalents, the company managed to further reduce its liabilities from the syndicated loan in the first quarter of 2021. The Group's cash and cash equivalents decreased accordingly to mEUR 27.6 (31 December 2020: mEUR 47.7). Cash flow from operating activities amounted to a cash outflow of mEUR 8.2 (3M 2020: cash outflow of mEUR 3.9). The MAX Group's liquidity continues to offer sufficient scope as net debt is further reduced.

"After getting off to a decent start to the current financial year despite pandemic-related delays, we expect the overall economic recovery to accelerate with the increasing availability of effective vaccines. We believe that our companies are well positioned for this and are confident that order intake and sales will then pick up again," said Dr. Christian Diekmann, Managing Director and CEO/CFO of MAX Automation SE as well as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

Outlook for 2021 confirmed
In light of the stable development in the first quarter of 2021 and an order backlog that is above the level of the same quarter of the previous year, the Managing Directors of MAX Automation see a solid basis for financial year 2021 and confirm the outlook for 2021 that calls for a strong increase in sales compared to the previous year's figure (2020: mEUR 307.0). With regard to the 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 figure of mEUR 5.7. These expectations are subject to the provision that there is no renewed worsening of the pandemic or a significant deterioration in economic development.

Detailed financial information
The complete quarterly statement for the first quarter of 2021 of MAX Automation SE is available for download at

Katja Redweik    
Head of Investor Relations    
MAX Automation SE    
Phone: +49 - 211 - 9099 144    
Contact for media representatives:      
Susan Hoffmeister      
CROSS ALLIANCE communication GmbH      
Phone: +49 - 89 - 125 09 03 33      

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 segment 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.

06.05.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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