MAX Automation reports successful financial year 2021 - Positive development of the Company also expected for 2022
DGAP-News: MAX Automation SE
/ Key word(s): Annual Report
By restructuring the MAX Group into a cash flow-oriented financial and investment holding with the objective of establishing a diversified portfolio of companies active in niche markets with strong cash flows or high growth rates, its already attractive portfolio is to be expanded even further. The previous three core business units Process Technologies, Environmental Technologies and Evolving Technologies have been reorganised into eight operating segments as of 1 January 2021 to increase transparency for shareholders.
The MAX Group's consolidated order intake rose by 32.2% to mEUR 422.5 in financial year 2021 (financial year 2020: mEUR 319.6) driven by pandemic-related catch-up effects and a resurgence in investment behaviour. The main drivers of demand were the MA micro Group, Vecoplan Group and NSM + Jücker segments that offer solutions in the fields of medical technology, environmental technology and packaging automation. The bdtronic Group nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in dispensing technology for the automotive industry. The Elwema segment developed in line with expectations. By contrast, the order situation in the iNDAT segment deteriorated further amid high price and competitive pressure. The development in the Other segment was characterised by the work done to complete the final projects of the IWM companies. Overall, the MAX Group's order backlog rose by 35.7% to mEUR 284.2 as of 31 December 2021 (31 December 2020: mEUR 209.4).
Sales revenues of the MAX Group increased by 13.7% to mEUR 349.1 in financial year 2021 (financial year 2020: mEUR 307.0). In the bdtronic Group and Vecoplan Group segments, strong order intake over the course of the year made itself felt in revenue, while the MA micro Group, NSM + Jücker and AIM Micro segments benefited from both high order backlogs at the end of the previous year and strong order intake in 2021. The Elwema and iNDAT segments as well as the Other segment recorded declines in sales, as expected. Delays in the supply chains were largely made up for in the course of the year in most segments.
In the past financial year 2021, the MAX Group achieved a nearly fivefold increase in operating earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to mEUR 25.7 (financial year 2020: mEUR 5.7). The better-than-planned completion of the final projects of the IWM companies in the Other segment also had a positive effect on earnings, as did the related reversal of provisions. The influence of rising material costs was managed in all segments. The NSM + Jücker segment with growing sales benefited from an increased share of projects in the more profitable packaging automation sector. In the MA micro segment, a higher share of new systems in the Tip&Cup technology area led to a lower operating result compared to the previous year, as expected. The bdtronic Group segment achieved a significant increase in EBITDA with higher sales in dispensing technology and continued highly profitable projects. The Vecoplan Group segment once again made the largest contribution to the MAX Group's overall result by posting another record result. The Elwema segment managed to successfully continue the turnaround process that was initiated and achieved a significantly improved result. Only the iNDAT segment developed negatively. The losses here widened with an unfavourable order situation, in particular, due to additional expenses in ongoing projects despite the turnaround process that had been initiated.
The MAX Group in financial year 2021 recorded an operating cash flow of mEUR 27.7 (financial year 2020: mEUR 32.0). With a slightly negative annual result, the inflow resulted in particular from high advance payments from customers. Net debt as of 31 December 2021 decreased by 13.3% to mEUR 73.9 (31 December 2020: mEUR 85.3) and working capital declined. Cash and cash equivalents fell to mEUR 30.2 (31 December 2020: mEUR 47.7), primarily as a result of the further repayment of liabilities from the syndicated loan. The MAX Group's liquidity position continues to ensure sufficient flexibility with a noticeable reduction in net debt compared to 2020.
MAX Automation expects to be able to increase its sales and earnings in financial year 2022, assuming less of an impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and no expansion of supply chains bottlenecks.
"We managed a challenging year well and successfully. Further influences from the COVID-19 pandemic, global bottlenecks in supply chains and rising raw material prices posed major challenges to the companies. Nonetheless, we recorded a pleasing business development with significantly higher order intake. We have successfully advanced the restructuring of the MAX Group into a cash flow-oriented financial and investment holding and have taken a major step towards achieving our goal of building a diversified portfolio of attractive companies in niche markets with strong cash flows and growth potential. Our portfolio companies are well-positioned in future-proof industries and serve macro trends such as e-mobility, health, sustainability and automation. In 2022, we will continue to pursue the strategic realignment of the MAX Group. We are aiming to further develop our already strong Group through organic and inorganic growth, and the already largely processed activities that have kept us burdened with losses and affected the results will become a thing of the past. We will continue to align our portfolio companies to increase profitability in 2022 by implementing specific measures to improve performance," said Dr. Christian Diekmann, Managing Director and CEO/CFO of MAX Automation SE.
Assuming that the current situation in Ukraine and possible sanctions do not have a significant impact on the Group's economic development, MAX Automation is confident about financial year 2022 in light of the current order backlog and expects demand to remain buoyant. Taking the uncertain macroeconomic developments into account, in particular potential supply bottlenecks and price increases for raw materials, MAX Automation anticipates an increase in sales between c. mEUR 360.0 and mEUR 420.0 for financial year 2022. For the operating result before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of the MAX Group, the Managing Directors expect a range of c. mEUR 23.0 and mEUR 29.0, after taking the liquidation costs of aiNDAT into account.
The Annual Financial Report for financial year 2021 of MAX Automation SE is available for download at https://www.maxautomation.com/en/investor-relations/financial-reports/.
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|MAX Automation SE
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|Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange; BX
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