GEA Reports Strong Growth in the Third Quarter of 2021
EBITDA before restructuring expenses went up by 16.9 percent to EUR 169.9 million and the corresponding margin by 1.5 percentage points to 14.2 percent. There are also significant improvements on other key performance indicators. ROCE stands at 24.6 percent, net working capital as a percentage of revenue at 7.2 percent and net liquidity at EUR 358.4 million. GEA has consequently confirmed its outlook for fiscal year 2021.
“All of our divisions are contributing to this strong growth with their operational performance, enabling us to continue the positive trend from the first half of the year through the third quarter. My sincere thanks go to our great, dedicated workforce around the world who have delivered this outstanding performance,” said GEA Group AG CEO Stefan Klebert.
Marked double-digit growth in various divisions leads to strong order intake
Order intake increased in the third quarter by 27.9 percent to EUR 1,349.9 million (Q3 2020: EUR 1,055.1 million) on the back of growth well into double digits in the Separation & Flow Technologies, Liquid & Powder Technologies and Food & Healthcare Technologies divisions. Almost all customer industries, especially food and beverage, saw marked double-digit growth in order intake. In organic terms, order intake rose 29.6 percent.
This was also partly due to four large orders for a total of EUR 167 million in the beverage, pharma and food industries, including one in the growth market of New Food with an order value well into the upper double-digit millions of euros.
Revenue went up by 4.7 percent in the third quarter to EUR 1,199.3 million (Q3 2020: EUR 1,145.9 million) and by 6.0 percent on an organic basis. All regions, especially Asia Pacific and Latin America, contributed to this growth. As regards customer industries, pharma stood out with a double-digit increase. The share of service revenue rose from 33.5 percent in the prior-year quarter to 33.7 percent.
Significant improvements in profitability, financial position and ROCE
EBITDA before restructuring expenses increased by 16.9 percent to EUR 169.9 million (Q3 2020: EUR 145.3 million). The corresponding EBITDA margin improved significantly by 1.5 percentage points to 14.2 percent (Q3 2020: 12.7 percent). All divisions – especially Liquid & Powder Technologies and Separation & Flow Technologies – performed well with improvements in earnings.
Profit for the period climbed some 87 percent in the third quarter to EUR 81.1 million (Q3 2020: EUR 43.4 million). Earnings per share increased correspondingly from EUR 0.24 to EUR 0.45. Earnings per share before restructuring expenses came to EUR 0.48 in the third quarter, compared to EUR 0.37 in the prior-year quarter. The share buyback program launched in August 2021 (for a total of up to EUR 300 million) has already seen shares repurchased for about EUR 40 million.
Net liquidity increased significantly to EUR 358,4 million, compared to EUR 59.2 million in the prior-year quarter. This increase was mainly due to the improvement in earnings as well as a marked reduction in working capital. Net working capital as a percentage of revenue improved from 12.3 percent in the prior-year quarter to 7.2 percent.
As a result of the lower net working capital and a decrease in non-current assets, there was a marked fall in capital employed (average of the last four quarters) from EUR 2,067.7 million to EUR 1,637.2 million as of September 30, 2021. In line with this, return on capital employed (ROCE) improved significantly to 24.6 percent (previous year: 16.3 percent).
First nine months overview
Order intake grew in the first nine months by 13.3 percent to EUR 3,926.0 million (9M 2020: EUR 3,465.9 million). Organic growth stood at 17 percent. Revenue went up by 0.5 percent to EUR 3,420.3 million (9M 2020: EUR 3,404.2 million) and by 3.9 percent on an organic basis. EBITDA before restructuring expenses climbed 13.8 percent to EUR 444.7 million (9M 2020: EUR 390.7 million). The corresponding margin was 13.0 percent, 1.5 percentage points higher than in the prior-year period (9M 2020: 11.5 percent). At EUR 214.7 million, profit for the period was noticeably higher than in the same period of the prior year (9M 2020: EUR 118.4 million). Earnings per share increased accordingly from EUR 0.66 to EUR 1.19 and earnings per share before restructuring expenses improved significantly from EUR 0.91 to EUR 1.34.
Outlook for 2021 confirmed
GEA has confirmed its outlook for fiscal year 2021. Revenue is anticipated to grow on an organic basis from 5.0 to 7.0 percent. EBITDA before restructuring expenses at constant exchange rates will be in a range between EUR 600 million and 630 million. ROCE at constant exchange rates is expected to be between 23,0 and 26,0 percent.
Recognition for GEA’s sustainability performance
GEA’s progress in terms of sustainability is duly recognized by sustainability agencies. After gaining Prime Status (leadership in the industry index group) in the ISS ESG Corporate Rating on July 15, 2021, GEA was upgraded from an “A” to an “AA” in the MSCI ESG Rating in October 2021. This puts GEA among the “leaders,” ranking among the best 27 percent in Industrial Machinery.
Source: GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft