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Hermle Group turnover rose by 27% in 2021
Hermle Group turnover rose by 27% in 2021 to €376 million
Incoming orders increased by more than 81% to €439 million
Operating result increased by 38% to €75 million
Proposed dividend payout of €9.05 per preferred share (previous year €5.05)
Increase in turnover of at least 10% expected in 2022
Expansion of the two production sites planned
Gosheim, 29 April 2022 – Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG was again able to strongly expand its business in 2021 compared with the previous year, which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: New orders as well as turnover and earnings of the Swabian machine tool and automation specialist increased significantly.
Incoming orders received by Hermle rose by 81.1% Group-wide to €439.1 million (previous year €242.5 million). New orders increased domestically by 65.2% to €163.8 million (previous year €99.1 million) and internationally by 92.0% to €275.3 million (previous year €143.4 million). At the beginning of the year, demand was still sluggish in the face of the continuing pandemic, but then increased strongly, meaning Hermle achieved a record number of incoming orders in the third quarter and throughout the entire second half of the year. By the end of 2021, the Group had orders on hand totalling €107.9 million, which was more than double the €44.8 million recorded on the same date in the previous year.
Hermle Group turnover rose by 26.6% in 2021 to €376.0 million (previous year €296.9 million). Demand was particularly strong for Industry 4.0 solutions, including the new Hermle robot system RS 1. As a leading full-range supplier for the automation industry, Hermle's range now includes a broad spectrum of products, from automated individual machines to integrated automation solutions for Industry 4.0 manufacturing. Domestic turnover increased by 24.1% to €139.2 million (previous year €112.2 million) while the volume of business abroad rose by 28.2% to €236.8 million (previous year €184.7 million). This resulted in an export quota of 63.0% (previous year 62.2%).
Hermle was able to react quickly and flexibly to the significant increase in business dynamics over the course of the year, as it was able to keep its workforce largely intact throughout the pandemic. On 31 December 2021, the Hermle Group employed 1,320 people, 16 more than recorded on the same date in the previous year.
Thanks to the high level of expertise and motivation within the Hermle team, both the strong rise in capacity utilisation over the course of the year and the increasing supply chain problems were dealt with efficiently. Further, the company was able to manufacture products in advance for 2022 on a larger scale. As such, the 2021 Group-wide operating result rose by 37.6% to €74.6 million (previous year €54.2 million). The pre-tax result improved from €54.3 million to €74.4 million, thereby ensuring the gross margin on turnover climbed from 18.3% to 19.5%. After tax, Hermle boasted a Group annual surplus of €54.9 million (previous year. €40.1 million).
The extremely robust financial and asset situation of the Hermle Group was further strengthened in 2021 thanks to increased earnings. The operating cash flow increased to €66.3 million (previous year €50.5 million) and the liquid assets to €109.5 million (previous year €104.9 million). Investments in tangible and intangible assets amounted to €7.6 million (previous year €21.6 million); it is important to note that 2021 - following the completion of various major projects in 2020 - focussed on measures for expanding machining and sheet metal processing capacities. Despite a significant balance sheet extension due to the prevailing business conditions, the equity ratio was still very high at 73.5% (previous year 79.1%).
Based on these solid foundations, the Management Board and Supervisory Board plans to propose increasing the dividend to €9.00 per ordinary share (previous year €5.00) and to €9.05 per preferred share (previous year €5.05) at the AGM on 6 July 2022. The payout consists of an unchanged basic dividend of €0.80 and €0.85 and a bonus increased from €4.20 to €8.20. Employees are set to receive a bonus based on the actual dividend to reward their outstanding commitment.
Hermle has started the 2022 business year with a high number of orders on hand and continues to receive a large amount of incoming orders. However, the war in Ukraine has significantly, even if not quantifiably, added to the risks for further development. This concerns not only the future level of demand in general but, above all, also a possible shortfall in supplies. Our own business dealings in Russia, on the other hand, are of secondary importance to the company. Hermle currently expects an increase in Group turnover of at least 10% for the year as a whole, as long as no insoluble supply problems emerge. The operating result may be disproportionately low due to the expected further increases in material and energy prices. Further, there is a specific risk of bad debts arising with Russian customers and the loss of the company's roughly €5 million assets in Russia.
Due to the generally growing efficiency requirements in manufacturing processes and the comprehensive range of automation products needed to meet them, Hermle is also confident about the further development of its business activities. The company therefore intends to expand capacities at its two production sites. Work has already begun on constructing a state-of-the-art spindle assembly facility at the company's headquarters in Gosheim. Moreover, and obviously depending on further economic development and the situation in the construction industry, a new training and application centre is planned for the site. But before putting this plan into action, expansion of large parts production at the Zimmern ob Rottweil site is necessary. In total, Hermle plans to invest around €60 million over the next five years in Gosheim and Zimmern.
The complete annual account is available on the Hermle website www.hermle.de.
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