In a generally positive market environment, the Lenze Group has successfully continued its strategic course of growth in the financial year 2017/2018 and again exceeded its key financial targets. Group revenue increased in the reporting year by 9.2% to a new record of EUR 741.0 million, far surpassing original expectations. Organic revenue growth, adjusted for currency effects, amounted to 11.2%. Operating results (EBIT) also reached a new high, rising by 12.3% to EUR 65.7 million. The EBIT margin rose to 8.9%. Net income grew by 21%, in particular as a result of a favorable tax ratio performance.
- Revenue grew by 9.2% to a new EUR 741.0 million record
- Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased by 12.3% to EUR 65.7 million
- Executive Board considers the company to be excellently positioned for digital
Future digital topics, new products, and intensified sales as growth drivers
The strategic divisions, Mechatronics and Automation Systems, are benefiting from the
company’s growth momentum. The revenue of the forward-thinking digital division likewise
developed positively in the reporting year. Setting the pace in global factory automation, Lenze has a considerable competitive advantage with its two subsidiaries, the Bremen CPQ specialist Encoway and the software company Logicline based in Sindelfingen. This enables the company to provide digital services and solutions along the entire value chain from one single source. These primarily include key topics of the future relating to Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) such as remote and predictive maintenance, big data management and analytics,virtual reality, and working with a digital twin.
Lenze once again invested in developing global sales in the year under review and focused its sales activities specifically on five high-growth sectors: automotive, consumer goods, converting and printing, intralogistics, and textiles. In these focus industries, the company is able to most effectively implement its application and market competencies in highly specialized production processes, Lenze again demonstrated its technological and innovative strengths in the past financial year in more than 1,000 completed customer projects.
In terms of product development, the company has been pursuing a platform strategy for two years which both accelerates innovation cycles, as well as market penetration, and has a positive effect on costs in lean production. The successful i500 generation of frequency inverters and the i950 servo inverter launched into the market in the last financial year are effective components for a consistent automation platform.
The increase in sales activities also had an impact regionally. The company achieved the greatest absolute growth in revenue in Europe. With a sales increase of 18.6%, Asia recorded the largest rise in percentage terms, and sales in the US continued at a high level.
Once again, the Group was able to increase its profitability. This is essentially due to the strong revenue growth. Operating result (EBIT) rose by 12.3% to EUR 65.7 million, reaching a new high. The EBIT margin increased to 8.9%. The return on capital employed (ROCE) grew in the financial year 2017/2018 by 1.2 percentage points to 23.5% (previous year: 22.3%).
Scope for investment
All in all, the Lenze Group generated a gross cash flow from operations of UR 62.3 million (previous year: EUR 56.1 million) – prerequisite for financial strength and stability. The company therefore has sufficient scope for investment. At the Extertal location in North RhineWestphalia, for example, a major future project for Lenze is currently being developed with the Mechatronic Competence Campus (MCC). Overall, the company will be investing approximately EUR 50 million in the location until planned completion of the new mechatronics campus in 2020.
Equity capital also improved.
With a balance sheet total of EUR 483.1 million, equity capital amounted to EUR 321.3 million (previous year: EUR 299.0 million). This corresponds with an equity ratio of 66.5% compared with 64.1% in the previous year. In addition, the Lenze Group has net financial assets totaling EUR 63.0 million (previous year: EUR 59.4 million).
Excellent strategic and financial position for the future
The Executive Board confidently considers Lenze to be very well-positioned, both strategically and financially, “We want nothing less than to set the pace for global factory automation and to be at the very front of shaping digital transformation,” explains Chair of the Executive Board Christian Wendler. Wendler expects moderate growth for the financial year 2018/2019. “We are pursuing our growth strategy and investing disproportionately in our sales channels, in research and development, and in our range of digital services.” Lenze reaffirms its intention to increase its revenue to EUR 850 million by the financial year 2020/2021. The automation specialist is further aiming for the one billion mark by leveraging the opportunities of digitalization in the years to come.
Digital annual report 4.0 provides insights into Lenze’s strategic focus As a company helping to shape digitalization, this year Lenze has once again presented its business operations and results, for specific target groups, using multimedia with short 30-second clips on a digital platform. At http://annual-report.lenze.com/en/, the company provides detailed insights into its strategic focus, goals and path towards the future. This year, the annual report has been compiled with the theme: “Growing. Stronger.Better.Together.” After all, it primarily concerns the ongoing implementation of the Lenze 2020+ strategy initiated one year ago. This trategy is advanced by all 3,700 employees around the world, every day, to position the company optimally for the future.
Key figures 2017/2018
- Revenue in EUR millions 741.0 /678.3 +9.2%
- EBIT in EUR millions 65.7/ 58.5 +12.3%
- EBIT margin in % 8.9 /8.6 +0.3% points
- Return on capital employed (ROCE) in % 23.5/ 22.3 +1.2% points
- Gross cash flow in EUR millions 62.3 /56.1 +11.1%
- Investment (in balance sheet assets) in EUR millions 22.4 /11.5 +94.8%
- Equity ratio as % 66.5/ 64.1 +2.4% points
- Net financial assets in EUR millions 63.0/ 59.4 6.1%
- Employees as at 30.04.2018 3,715/ 3,457 +258 (+7.5%)