Schuler triples Group profit in first half-year

    Sales leap 44 percent, Ebitda margin reaches 9.5 percent, full-year guidance upgraded

    According to its figures for the first half of fiscal year 2011/12 (ending March 31, 2012), the Schuler Group has achieved significant growth in earnings. The global market leader in metalforming continues to enjoy full order books. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) rose by 54.5 percent year over year to € 55.2 million. The Group’s Ebitda margin improved to 9.5 percent (prior year: 8.9 percent). The press manufacturer’s consolidated profit amounted to € 21.7 million – three times the amount posted in the same period last year. Stefan Klebert, CEO of Schuler AG, believes the significant increase in earnings is due to changes made within the Group: “We’ve worked hard on improving our internal structures and processes. Moreover, our new syndicated loan agreement saved us some five million euros in interest during the first half-year.”

    While the Germany-based company increased sales by 44 percent to € 580.9 million in the first six months of its fiscal year (prior year: € 403.7 million), in Asia and Europe (excluding Germany), Schuler succeeded in doubling revenues. In addition, sales growth was also strong in the company’s domestic German market.

    High level of new orders and record order backlog

    The equipment manufacturer received new orders from around the world worth € 768.7 million (prior year: € 817.4 million). Total new orders therefore came close to reaching the prior-year figure, which had been bolstered by a boom in capital spending following the end of global recession. At € 377.6 million, new orders in the second quarter fell just short of the corresponding first-quarter figure of € 391.1 million.

    “Thanks to our innovation-led competitive advantages and strong standing in growth markets, we were able to escape the downward trend in Germany’s engineering sector,” explains Klebert. Schuler was unaffected by the twelve-month industry downturn in orders received, which has since come to a halt. According to Klebert, new orders from German customers – which accounted for almost 40 percent of the total – were particularly encouraging. Demand remains particularly strong in China, but there was also a sharp improvement in the American market.

    With an order backlog of € 1.22 billion as of March 31, 2012, the long-established company set a new record in over 170 years of business.

    Equity ratio rises to 24 percent

    In terms of finance, the Group reported an equity ratio of 24.2 percent compared to 23.0 percent at the end of the past fiscal year (September 30, 2011) – despite an increase in the total statement of financial positions of 6.6 percent to € 954.7 million.

    Plans for continued growth

    The Group is aiming for medium-term growth in its current and future markets. The expansion of its Chinese production facility in Dalian will triple available factory space to 15,000 square meters, while the foundation of a new service company in Poland will expand Schuler’s international customer service network. Services account for almost one quarter of Group sales and are one of the company’s areas of growth. With the acquisition of the German engineering firm ATIS GmbH, Schuler expanded its product portfolio during the reporting period and is now well placed to take advantage of the growing global demand for equipment to produce large pipes.

    In the first half of its current fiscal year, Schuler created 155 new jobs around the world. Due to its strong international alignment, most new recruitments were outside of Germany. The Group currently employs 5,323 people around the globe.

    As a result of its positive development in the first half of 2011/12, Schuler raised its full-year guidance in early May 2012. The world’s largest press manufacturer now expects consolidated sales to increase to around € 1.2 billion in 2011/12. In terms of operating profits, the Group forecasts an Ebitda margin of around 9.5% in its current fiscal year. Schuler had previously predicted growth in sales to at least € 1.1 billion and an Ebitda margin of 9 percent.

    Consolidation of stock identification numbers

    As of April 20, 2012, the Schuler share is now listed under a single number: ISIN DE000A0V9A22. Schuler merged the company’s shares, which were previously listed under three different stock identification numbers for legal reasons. Schuler shares rose strongly in value over the past months. From the beginning of the fiscal year to the end of March, the share price almost doubled to € 15.00.

    Schuler Group at a glance

    1st half-year
    1st half-year
    full year
    Sales Mio. € 580,9 403,7 958,5
    New orders Mio. € 768,7 817,4 1.319,0
    Order backlog 1 Mio. € 1.223,6 1.088,9  1.035,7
    EBITDA Mio. € 55,2 35,7 84,6
    EBIT Mio. € 44,6 24,3 54,2
    EBT Mio. € 34,7 9,0 22,2
    Group profit Mio. € 21,7 6,6 23,9
    Equity ratiol % 24,2 14,6 23,0
    Capex 2 Mio. € 9,4 4,0 9,6
    Employees 1,3 5.323 5.051  5.168

    1 At the end of the reporting period
    2 Investment in tangible and intangible assets
    3 Including apprentices