GEA s order intake of EUR 1,241 million set a new high for the second quarter of a financial year.
Year-on-year growth of around 1.6 percent was primarily due to an increase in large orders: Between April and June, GEA secured five major orders worth around EUR 136 million in total. The biggest project was an order from the Canadian beverages industry, but GEA managed to secure two major orders from the coffee sector and one project each in the dairy and pharma sectors. With regard to the company s customer industries, the main growth drivers in order intake were the food, dairy farming, and pharma/chemical sectors.
On the revenue side, however, the company registered a slight decline. At EUR 1,138.5 million, second quarter revenue was 1.6 percent down on the previous year. Despite revenue gains in the areas of dairy processing and food, declining volumes in the pharma/chemical and oil/gas customer industries in particular conspired to weaken the overall revenue picture at GEA. In regional terms, North America and Western Europe, Middle East & Africa all posted growth in revenue.
Thanks to selective optimization measures initiated in the last three months, GEA managed to reduce its working capital significantly by more than EUR 50 million to EUR 706 million.
Operating EBITDA in the second quarter of the year was about EUR 23 million below the previous year s level. This decline was largely due to the Business Area Solutions, where mainly volume and margin mix effects had a negative impact on earnings. By contrast, the Business Area Equipment managed to increase its operating EBITDA and the corresponding margin, thanks largely to gratifying growth in revenue.
"We did not reach all our targets and, as a result, we ve had to adjust our earnings forecast for the 2017 financial year," said Jürg Oleas, Chairman of the Executive Board of GEA. "But the good order intake figures and major orders from various customer industries show that our broad-based portfolio is paying off and harbors future growth potential."