Materials handling group Kion, whose brands include Linde, Still and Egemin, saw a nine per cent rise in EBIT to €482.9 million in 2015 on revenue of €5.1 billion – also up some nine per cent.
It said that in the fourth quarter it achieved a record margin.
CEO Gordon Riske said: “These latest record results for 2015 prove that the Kion Group is ideally positioned to benefit from strong market growth, such as that of western Europe.
“What’s more, we recently renewed our financing structure, securing terms that are typical for large, established corporates. This gives us greater flexibility to pursue profitable growth under our Strategy 2020,” he continued. “Our extensive portfolio of automation and system solutions also means that we are excellently positioned in this increasingly important market.”
The group, which is one of the two largest suppliers of forklift trucks, warehouse technology and associated services, saw the value of its order intake increase by 9.3 per cent to €5.2 billion last year.
And it started this year with an order book worth €864m, 13.1 per cent up on a year ago.
Growth in the market in Western Europe, meant that new truck orders rose by seven per cent in 2015, beating the global market’s growth rate of one per cent. The number of trucks ordered worldwide was 1.1 million, compared with 1.09 million in 2014. Overall, the Kion Group received approximately 165,800 orders in 2015. Roughly 155,000 industrial trucks had been ordered in 2014.
In China, the company reported that the number of units ordered rose by 5.6 per cent due to demand for warehouse trucks and electric forklift trucks. It said the market as a whole contracted by 12.8 per cent. In addition, the Kion Group’s orders were up by 10.0 per cent in Western Europe, where the overall market expanded by 11.3 per cent in 2015.
Kion’s portfolio includes: Linde Material Handling, STILL, Fenwick, OM STILL, Baoli, Voltas, and Egemin Automation.