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After a difficult 2009 Dürr looks ahead more optimistically to the future

Published on 2010-03-03. Author : SpecialChem

STUTTGART -- The German mechanical and plant engineering industry suffered an exceptionally strong downturn in 2009 as a result of the economic crisis. Dürr was hit by this development, too. On the basis of the preliminary figures, the Group's order intake was down 19% to € 1,185 million. However, Dürr performed considerably better than the German mechanical and plant engineering industry, whose average order intake dropped by 38%. Dürr's incoming orders improved continuously in the course of 2009, and in the fourth quarter were up 81% year over year. Group sales were down 33% to € 1,078 million in 2009. In addition to weak order intake between the end of 2008 and mid-2009, this was also due to the surprisingly sharp fall-off in the services business. Orders on hand amounted to € 1.0 billion at the end of 2009, an increase of 8% year over year and a good starting position for 2010. The book to bill rate was 1.1.

The operating result (EBIT before one-offs) was clearly positive, as expected, at € 25 million (2008: € 73 million). EBIT after one-offs for restructuring costs and special items was also positive at € 6 million. Earnings after tax came to € -26 million; this was due above all to special tax effects. Operating cash flow improved from quarter to quarter in 2009 and tripled year over year to € 95 million. Dürr was able to completely run off its net financial debt at the end of the year. For the first time in ten years a small net cash position was achieved. At 31%, the equity ratio was above the target level of 30%. The number of employees declined by 7% to 5,712 at the end of 2009.


From today's vantage point, Dürr expects a stabilized and positive overall development in 2010. After last year's guidance had been overshadowed by exceptional uncertainty as a result of the economic crisis, the reliability of the forecasting has improved in 2010. The orders on hand at the end of 2009 - about 80% of which will feed through to sales in 2010, the new projects in the pipeline in the emerging markets, and the recovery expected in the services business, will lead to sales growth of at least 7% in 2010. From today's vantage point, EBIT will improve strongly on the back of the optimization and cost reduction measures that have been implemented, and earnings after tax will at least break even.

Ralf Dieter, Dürr AG's CEO, commented: "2010 will not be easy but there are opportunities, too. The automobile market developed better than expected in the second half of 2009, especially in the emerging markets. China's car sales boomed. Many automobile manufacturers have cast off their investment restraint in these markets. We are very well positioned globally and have rigorously optimized our processes and costs. Numerous new product developments are also being brought to market as we have continued our innovation course despite the crisis. On this basis, we aim to return to the profitable growth achieved in the years before 2009."

Following review and approval by the Supervisory Board, the full financial statements for 2009 will be presented at the annual press conference in Stuttgart on March 17, 2010.

About Dürr:

Dürr is a mechanical and plant engineering group that holds leading positions in the world market in its areas of operation. It generates about 85% of its sales in business with the automotive industry. It furthermore supplies the aircraft, machinery, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries with innovative production and environmental technology. The Dürr Group operates in the market with two divisions. The Paint and Assembly Systems division supplies production and painting technology, especially for car bodies. Machinery and systems from the Measuring and Process Systems division are used in engine and transmission manufacturing and in final vehicle assembly, among other areas. Dürr has 47 business locations in 21 countries worldwide. The Group achieved sales of € 1.1 billion with approximately 5,700 employees in 2009.

Source: Dürr

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