KSB Group reports order intake at previous year´s level

29.05.2002

Interim report as per 31 March 2002: In the first quarter of 2002, the pumps and valves market continued to be shaped by the weakness of demand in important sectors and considerable pressure on prices.

Under these persistently difficult conditions, the KSB Group managed to maintain order intake at the same level as a year earlier. In Germany, the development of orders received by KSB AG was close to the level recorded in the previous year, while substantially fewer orders came in at KSB S.A. in France. Growth in other European companies compensated for this downturn.

Strong growth in order volume was posted by KSB in the Region Asia / Pacific. Above all, the companies in India and China achieved an increase in order intake. In the Region Americas, the order volume in the first quarter of 2002 was lower than in 2001. Here, orders from US customers in particular failed to match the high level of the previous year.

KSB Group
01-03/2002
01-03/2001
Change
Order intake
€ million
287.8
287.8
0.0 %
Sales
€ million
244.9
249.3
- 1.8 %
Results
€ million
- 9.5
- 4.7
> - 100 %
Employees*
12,005
12,300
- 2.4 %

*as per 31 March

Sales slightly down

The KSB Group sales from January to March 2002 remained slightly below the figures for the same period last year. Whereas Germany's KSB AG achieved the sales level of 2001, KSB S.A. in France reported a weakening of sales. By contrast, the European companies outside France and Germany posted substantial growth in sales.

Group companies both in the Region Asia / Pacific and in the Region Americas posted higher quarterly sales than in 2001. In the Americas, high sales growth of the US subsidiary KSB Inc. managed to offset declines in some Latin American companies.

Results development

Group results in the first quarter fell short of those at the same time last year. This is essentially attributable to an unfavourable product mix in sales and to run-up costs for major projects.

Change in number of employees

The number of employees in the KSB Group fell by 2.4 percent compared with 31 March 2001 and now totals 12,005. This is explained in particular by personnel measures taken in some companies outside Europe.

Organization 2002

KSB restructured its business activities in Europe with effect from 1 January 2002. The new functional organization brings together all activities in development, production, product management and sales / marketing of pumps and valves. It eliminates internal interfaces, focuses cross-departmental know-how and simplifies internal processes. As a result, KSB can now be more flexible in responding to customer wishes and market changes.

SAP project continues

At the beginning of 2002, KSB also started to switch all its systems for controlling production processes in Europe to SAP R/3 software. The technical changeover was preceded by a reengineering of all factories with the aim of optimizing processes, lowering costs and reducing stocks. By mid-2001, KSB had already implemented the SAP R/3 software for its for sales and distribution, materials management, finance and accounting systems throughout Europe.

Outlook

The anticipated upswing in the economy will be slow to trickle through to the pumps and valves market. For this reason, KSB expects a difficult business year and is aiming to achieve prior-year levels in order intake, sales and results.

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