KSB Group heading for growth

KSB, the pumps and valves company, is striving to approach again the three-digit million mark in earnings before taxes (EBT) in 2015. As communicated at the financial press conference on 30 March 2015, this is to be achieved by sales revenue growth in all three segments – pumps, valves and service.

The consolidated sales revenue for the past financial year, at € 2,181.7 million, was still 2.9 % down on the previous year. This decline of € 65.6 million was primarily attributable to negative currency effects of around € 53 million. The Group increased its order intake by € 80.0 million to € 2,321.2 million. Without the currency effects, which equalled the amount that impacted on sales revenue, this increase would have been significantly higher.

Earnings before taxes fell to € 72.6 million (previous year: € 119.4 million) due to the sales revenue development and the heavy pressure on prices in the project business (particularly in the case of power station pumps). Further factors were increased write-downs and restructuring costs totalling just under € 30 million.

The Board of Management expects a significant rise in order intake and sales revenue in 2015. Growth impetus is expected to come from industry and from new power plant projects in China and India. In addition, KSB is aiming to strengthen the service, spare parts and replacement units business via a dedicated sales channel.

To improve the earnings situation, the company intends to continue with restructuring projects already underway at KSB AG in Germany and in the Chinese subsidiaries. This will be accompanied by a moderate decline in total staff levels. At the end of the financial year 2014, the Group had 16,309 employees.

In the coming years KSB will also implement a global production con­cept. As previously reported, the European production of submersible borehole pumps is due to move from Homburg to Frankenthal by the end of 2015. In addition, KSB announced at the financial press conference that it was to close the production facilities of the Smedegaard Group in Denmark, the UK and Switzerland, which it acquired in 2012. Bridgwater in the UK will, however, remain the base of a sales and service unit. The relevant plans were first discussed last week with the local employee representative committees. The produc­tion of pumps for building services will be moved to Ankara, as well as to Frankenthal and Alphen (Netherlands). KSB aims to create a centre of expertise for mechatronics in its Turkish plant and  also plans to manufacture circulator pumps there in future.

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Wilfried Sauer


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