KSB Group on Course for Growth

18.05.2001

Overall economic growth is expected to be modest in 2001. The downturn in the world economy and uncertainties as to the direction which the US economy is going to take are having a negative impact on investment decisions. But this slow-down in economic activity will have a delayed effect on the pumps and valves industry.

KSB started the current year with order books looking very healthy. With orders in the KSB Group worth DM 775 million on 31 December 2000, the figure was 19 percent up on the level of orders at the same time in the previous year.

Further growth in orders and sales

In the months of January to March 2001, order intake in the KSB Group was 3.7 percent or DM 19.9 million higher than for the same period last year. A major contribution to this growth came from the American Group Companies, which posted sales figures 22.1 percent up on the 1st quarter of 2000.

Sales which lagged behind in the previous year have in the first three months of 2001, as expected, grown more strongly than orders. Sales in the KSB Group grew by 4.7 percent. Here, too, the Group Companies in the Americas stood out with sales up by 20.8 percent.

Fewer employees

The number of employees on 31 March 2001 stood at 12,300, which was 2.7 percent lower than at the same time last year.

In Europe, this fall was in particular a result of the restructuring measures to convert the production sites at Homburg and Déville-lès-Rouen into service units. The companies in India, Pakistan and Venezuela also adjusted their staffing levels in response to changes in the market.

Positive trend in the results

The pretax results of the KSB Group improved by 19.3 percent in the first three months of 2001 compared with the same period last year. It reflected the characteristic seasonal pattern, however, and remained negative on balance.

Investments

In the current year, the KSB Group has seen increased investments in tangible and intangible assets, including investments aimed at modernizing production facilities at several sites. In the months from January to March 2001, the total investment sum lay at DM 9.4 million, compared with DM 6.4 million in the first quarter of last year.

Outlook

For the year 2001, a slight overall increase in order intake is expected in the KSB Group. Sales, which always lag behind, will lead to a further improvement in the result.

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