KSB, the Frankenthal-based manufacturer of pumps and valves, is satisfied with the 2020 financial year, even though order intake, sales revenue and earnings were down on the strong prior year due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. The company expects key financial figures to improve significantly in the 2021 anniversary year.
“Overall, we are satisfied with the past financial year, thanks to the good level of orders on hand, our prompt introduction of measures to reduce costs and a very good second half. Our international production network meant that we were able to meet our delivery obligations at all times, while also allowing us to compensate for the temporary shutdown of individual locations and cushion the decline,” underlines CEO Dr Stephan Timmermann.
The volume of orders received in the 2020 financial year was €2,143.4 million, €310.4 million (– 12.6 %) lower than in the previous year. Sales revenue reached €2,207.9 million, a decrease of €175.3 million (– 7.4 %). Earnings were likewise down on the back of the lower sales revenue volume. EBIT totalled €70.2 million (– 38.2 %), propped up by the prompt introduction of savings measures. This already includes special factors from impairment losses on goodwill in the amount of € 11.2 million. By exercising strict working capital management, the net financial position was improved by €58.5 million to €305.0 million.
All Regions felt the impact of the downturn, albeit to varying degrees. The Region Europe, by far the strongest in terms of sales revenue, recorded the slightest dip in order intake (– 9.7 % to € 1,173.0 million). A much heavier blow was dealt to the Region Middle East / Africa / Russia with – 19.3 % to €134.8 million, the Region Americas with – 15.4 % to € 342.0 million and the Region Asia / Pacific with – 15.3 % to € 493.7 million. Orders on hand remained at a very high level at €1.3 billion (previous year: € 1.4 billion).
Sales revenue in the Pumps, Valves and Service Segments picked up considerably in the second half of the year, but ultimately fell short of the prior-year level. The largest Segment, Pumps, was impacted the least, down 6 % to € 1,468.0 million. This was primarily attributable to a solid order book and long-term projects. The Valves Segment achieved sales revenue of € 335.5 million (– 7.9 %) and the Service Segment € 404.5 million (– 11.4 %). The main causes were deferred service orders due to the coronavirus pandemic and the disposal of French service companies over the course of 2020, which entailed a € 34.5 million decrease.
KSB continued to pursue the realignment of the company, as defined in the CLIMB 21 strategy project, over the course of 2020. By focusing on markets where KSB forecasts long-term, profitable growth and pressing ahead with the strategic expansion of the service business operating under the KSB SupremeServ brand, KSB intends to take better advantage of the available market potential.
At the same time, further progress was made with the digitalisation of products, services and processes. For example, existing online shops were transferred to a new, comprehensive purchasing platform in an initial handful of countries, allowing the company to tap into additional sales and customer channels. Furthermore, KSB invested in major sustainability projects and site modernisations.
“We are looking to the 2021 anniversary year with confidence”, says Dr Stephan Timmermann. “The coronavirus pandemic will continue to shape developments, at least the first half of the year. However, we expect business to pick up considerably in the second half of the year. That gives us the reason for optimism for the future. Even though the current situation does not yet permit large celebrations, we are looking forward to our 150-year anniversary with pride. The motto “People. Passion. Performance.” embodies what has made our company the success it is today – and we will continue to leverage the outstanding commitment, passion and motivation demonstrated by our employees to build on this success in the future.”