Highly successful 2021 financial year despite the impact of coronavirus
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Annual General Meeting of KSB SE & Co. KGaA was once again conducted as a virtual meeting on 5 May 2022. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr Bernd Flohr, expressed his regret at this necessity, as the Supervisory Board and Management would have liked to have met in person to exchange information. However, due to the current incidence rates and to ensure the necessary planning certainty, after weighing up all the advantages and disadvantages, an online meeting was the only viable option.
Management and the Supervisory Board were able to report on a very successful 2021 financial year. Order intake rose by € 268.3 million (+ 12.5 %) to € 2,411.7 million (previous year: € 2,143.4 million). Sales revenue also increased significantly by € 135.7 million (+ 6.1 %) to € 2,343.6 million (previous year: € 2,207.9 million). EBIT performed particularly well, doubling from € 70.2 million to € 141.2 million (+ 101.2 %). The return on sales is 6.0 %.
Following an outstanding 2021 financial year with a net profit for the year of € 110.3 million, the Annual General Meeting decided by resolution to distribute a dividend of € 9.00 and an anniversary dividend of a further € 3.00 per ordinary share.
“The good business performance is based on several factors. There is, on the one hand, the new market-oriented corporate structure introduced as part of CLIMB 21, with a focus on higher-margin standard and KSB SupremeServ business with spare parts and support services. On the other hand, stringent cost management worldwide and the effects of the earnings enhancement programme of the parent company KSB SE & Co. KGaA had an impact. Last but not least, there was additional tailwind from the recovering global economy and customers’ renewed willingness to invest despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” explains KSB’s CEO Dr Stephan Timmermann.
In addition to larger orders in the standard pumps business segment, which includes Building Services, General Industry, Chemicals and Water, KSB again secured several major orders, for example to equip power stations in China, an irrigation project in Egypt and a mining project in Canada.
All Regions contributed to growth. The companies in Europe, by far the largest Region, which had demonstrated stability in the COVID-19 year 2020, recorded an order intake of € 1,262.2 million (+ 7.6 %) and sales revenue of € 1,261.4 million (+ 2.6 %). The largest percentage growth was posted in the Region Middle East / Africa / Russia. Order intake rose by 27.1 % (+ € 36.5 million) to € 171.3 million and sales revenue by 11.1 % (+ € 14.7 million) to € 148.0 million. The Region Asia / Pacific also increased its order intake significantly by 17.4 % (+ € 86.1 million) to € 579.8 million and its sales revenue by 14.5 % (+ € 70.5 million) to € 557.4 million. The Region Americas showed a similar performance. Here, order intake grew by 16.5 % (+ € 56.4 million) to € 398.4 million and sales revenue by 5.0 % (+ € 18.1 million) to € 376.7 million.
In the financial year under review, KSB continued to systematically drive forward the realignment of the company towards high-margin markets and the digitalisation of products, services and processes, as defined in the CLIMB 21 strategy project. A total of 25 countries now have online shops with a new, comprehensive sales platform that opens up further sales and customer channels. In addition, KSB again made significant investments (€ 104 million) in the future viability of the company in 2021. The largest individual investment was the capacity expansion completed in 2021 at the US subsidiary GIW, which specialises in products for mining applications.
KSB also supported important sustainability projects. For example, the sites in Concorezzo, Italy, and Pattensen near Hanover, Germany, are the first to be certified climate-neutral, and a new heating system is currently being built at the headquarters in Frankenthal, which will further reduce the company's carbon footprint.
KSB also takes a confident view of the current 2022 financial year and is aiming for a further increase in order intake, sales revenue and earnings. However, the situation remains challenging due to pandemic-related supply bottlenecks and higher material, commodity and energy prices. In addition, the political and military conflicts in the Russia-Ukraine war will impact business.
Dr Stephan Timmermann also spoke about the cyber attack, which was successfully stopped by disconnecting the company from the Internet. This precautionary measure limited communications and production had to be suspended temporarily at a number of sites. He expressed confidence that the downtimes caused by the attack would be made up for by the end of the year.
“A special thanks goes to all our staff. Even in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and under difficult conditions, they have shown great commitment and flexibility in helping to achieve this strong performance. Together we will also master the challenges that lie ahead,” says Dr Stephan Timmermann.
In the Supervisory Board elections, Dr Bernd Flohr and Klaus Burchards were re-elected.