Annual General Meeting of KSB Aktiengesellschaft
The pump and valve manufacturer KSB is celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2011. At the Annual General Meeting held on 18 May in Frankenthal, the Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr Wolfgang Schmitt, recounted the company’s long and successful history and held out the prospect of further growth to shareholders, presenting KSB’s plans to double its consolidated sales revenue, compared with the year 2008, by 2018.
During financial year 2010, the Group achieved an order intake of over € 2 billion for the second time in the company’s history. KSB boosted its order volume for pumps, valves and services by 7.3 percent to € 2,075 million. Sales revenue rose by 2.5 percent to € 1,939.3 million. However, primarily due to higher material and staff costs as well as strong pressure on prices in the project business, consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) were lower than the previous year (2009: € 172.8 million) at € 135.8 million.
Despite this, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board proposed the distribution of dividends at the prior-year level to the shareholders of KSB AG. As the Chairman of the Board of Management explained, this was justified on the basis of the company’s solid financial position. Ordinary shareholders can therefore expect to receive a dividend of € 12.00 per share, and preference shareholders a dividend of € 12.26 per share.
During the current year, KSB aims to return to the record order intake and sales revenue levels reached before the financial crisis. In the first four months of 2011, the Group posted an increase in order intake of 7.7 percent compared with the same period of the previous year, rising to € 689.5 million. Sales revenue rose by 4.4 percent to € 617.4 million over the same four months.
With regard to consolidated earnings before taxes, as Dr Wolfgang Schmitt explained to shareholders, KSB aims to reach at least the prior-year level during 2011. As to KSB’s medium-term and long-term perspective, he pointed out that the implementation of the Group strategy would be continued. In 2010, 150 project managers underwent training to enable them to implement strategic projects in a professional manner. Acquisitions in particularly promising business lines should also contribute to “sustainable, profitable growth”. For example, in the past financial year KSB strengthened its position by acquiring several companies, including an Italian manufacturer of high-efficiency motors, a service company in Texas, and two European providers of services for wind energy installations (Germany) and power stations (France).