Financial and press releases

INDUS Group with successful start to the new financial year

Bergisch Gladbach, 12 May 2021

  • Despite lockdown: sales of EUR 400.4 million at previous year’s level
  • EBIT rise by around 56% to EUR 25.0 million
  • Forecast for the 2021 financial year confirmed

Despite continuing coronavirus restrictions, the portfolio companies of the INDUS Group performed well in the first quarter of 2021. At EUR 400.4 million, sales were at the previous year’s level (Q1 2020: EUR 401.2 million), even though the first quarter of 2020 was not affected by the onset of the pandemic until mid-March. Earnings before interest and taxes rose by EUR 9.0 million to EUR 25.0 million (Q1 2020: EUR 16.0 million). As a result, the EBIT margin increased by 2.2 percentage points to 6.2%. The INTERIM SPRINT set of measures implemented in the previous year also had a positive effect on the operating result.

Cash flow from operating activities was EUR -15.0 million in the first quarter (Q1 2020: EUR 2.6 million). As expected, working capital increased as a result of the recovering business activities and the scheduled increase in inventories. The portfolio companies in fact also responded with foresight to the emerging materials shortage and associated increase in material prices.

The capital increase successfully placed in March led to a cash inflow of EUR 84.8 million. As a result, cash and cash equivalents stood at EUR 257.3 million at the end of the quarter (31 Dec. 2020: EUR 194.7 million), which provides additional room for maneuver for further acquisitions in the currently attractive market environment.

Equity rose by 14.6% to EUR 775.2 million (31 Dec. 2020: EUR 676.4 million). At 41.0%, the equity ratio was thus again above the target of 40%.

EBIT margin up in four out of five segments

The portfolio companies in the Construction/Infrastructure segment improved their sales slightly to EUR 96.0 million (Q1 2020: EUR 93.5 million). As expected, earnings before interest and taxes of EUR 14.8 million did not quite reach the very good prior-year figure (Q1 2020: EUR 15.5 million). With an EBIT margin of 15.4%, the segment remained at a high earnings level.

In the Automotive Technology segment, the InterIM Sprint set of measures shows first positive effects. Sales decreased in comparison with the same quarter in the previous year to EUR 69.9 million (Q1 2020: EUR 78.9 million). In contrast, earnings before interest and taxes improved by EUR 2.3 million to EUR -9.7 million (Q1 2020: EUR -12.0 million). In view of the restructuring underway as planned at two portfolio companies, 2021 will, however, remain a year of development and transition for the segment.

The recovery in the Engineering segment continues. Sales grew by 9.8% to EUR 92.6 million (Q1 2020: EUR 84.3 million), driven in particular by good performance in the logistics sector. Earnings before interest and taxes increased disproportionately by EUR 6.3 million to EUR 8.9 million (Q1 2020: EUR 2.6 million), and the EBIT margin reached 9.6% (Q1 2020: 3.1%). The increase in incoming orders also reflects the recovery in the segment.

Sales in the Medical Engineering/Life Science segment were further hampered by the continuing lockdown in the first quarter. Thus, sales declined by 8% to EUR 35.6 million (Q1 2020: EUR 38.7 million). At the same time, the portfolio companies maintained earnings before interest and taxes at the previous year’s level of EUR 3.1 million due to successful cost reductions. As a result, the EBIT margin rose to 8.7% (Q1 2020: 8.0%).

Sales and earnings in the Metals Technology segment increased. Sales reached EUR 106.6 million (Q1 2020: EUR 106.1 million). At EUR 10.1 million, earnings before interest and taxes were up around 12% on the previous year (Q1 2020: EUR 9.0 million). The EBIT margin increased to 9.5% (Q1 2020: 8.5%). The shutdown of BACHER AG is proceeding according to plan and will be completed in the third quarter of the year.

Business environment remains uncertain – forecast confirmed

The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting delay in economic recovery show that the macroeconomic environment remains uncertain. In addition, supply bottlenecks in individual industries are increasing and material prices are rising. “In particular, the impact of the chip shortage on the sales figures of automobile manufacturers remains to be seen,” says Dr. Johannes Schmidt, Chairman of the INDUS Board of Management. “The progressing vaccination campaign and the continued stable demand from abroad make us, however, confident overall. The positive effects of the cost reductions at the portfolio companies and our INTERIM SPRINT set of measures implemented in 2020 are also directly visible and will continue.” INDUS confirms its forecast for the full year 2021, with sales expected to range between EUR 1.55 billion and EUR 1.70 billion and earnings before interest and taxes to reach between EUR 95 million and EUR 110 million.

Further expansion in the growth industries targeted

To strengthen its portfolio, INDUS focuses not only on the continued further development of its portfolio companies, but also on the expansion of its portfolio in declared growth industries. “Following the acquisition of the hidden champions JST and WIRUS, we want to integrate further companies with a strong future into our Group this year,” says Dr. Johannes Schmidt. “The implemented capital increase gives us the necessary room for maneuver to act quickly and flexibly in the recovering M&A market. We are currently in promising talks with several companies.”

The full quarterly report is available on the INDUS website. An overview of the key performance indicators is available here.