Schuler remains on course

    Slight growth in sales and earnings – fall in new orders

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    With a volume of around € 18 million, Schuler has received the largest service order in its history.

    In the first six months of the current fiscal year 2012/13, the Schuler Group achieved a slight increase in sales and earnings. In the period from October 2012 to the end of March 2013, consolidated sales rose by around 1 percent to € 586.1 million – driven in particular by business in Germany and the Americas.
    Over the same period, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) increased by 5.2 percent to € 58.1 million. The Ebitda margin amounted to 9.9 percent and “is thus on target for the current year,” explained Schuler CEO Stefan Klebert. In its first two quarters, the company achieved a consolidated profit of € 22.6 million (prior year: € 21.7 million).

    New orders declined by 21.8 percent to € 601.5 million (prior year: € 768.7 million). The year-on-year improvement in earnings power also impacted the equity ratio, which rose from 24.1 percent in the previous year to 27.8 percent.

    Guidance for fiscal year 2012/13 confirmed

    After the first six months, the press manufacturer sees itself firmly on track to reach its annual targets. “On the basis of an order backlog of € 1.13 billion, we hope to be able to reach our targets for the year as a whole,” stated Klebert. The company is aiming for a full-year return on sales (Ebitda margin) of almost 10 percent. Sales are expected to reach about € 1.2 billion. However, Schuler has noticed a slowdown in market demand and utilization of its capacities is falling in certain areas. For the current fiscal year, the Schuler Group expects new orders to fall to around € 1 to € 1.1 billion.

    Maintaining growth course

    With its “Growing Together 2.0”, Schuler has launched a future-oriented program aimed at “maintaining our growth course in spite of cyclical fluctuations,” explained Klebert. He added: “Our increased activities in China will be just as important for these efforts as the tapping of other growth markets.” By the end of July 2013, Schuler will have tripled its production capacities in China. The strategy package also includes exploiting synergies from integration of companies acquired in the past.

    The company also sees growth in new materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. In the first half of its current fiscal year, Schuler received a further order for a press to manufacture such composites. At the same time, the engineering specialist won the largest service contract in its history (worth € 18 million) and launched a new drive concept for a compact press generation (TwinServo Technology).
    At the end of March, Schuler employed 5,532 people. The number of employees has thus increased by 1.6 percent since the beginning of the fiscal year.

    Takeover approved

    Following final anti-trust clearance for the acquisition of a majority shareholding in the Schuler Group by the Austrian ANDRITZ GROUP, the takeover has now been completed. ANDRITZ holds more than 90 percent of shares in Schuler AG.