< Previous article
2017/06/09

Continuing growth with Innovation 4.0

Group results up to €171 million / Record Group incoming orders of €2,357 million / Successful operative business puts Group revenue at €2,215 million // Innovation 4.0: Digital solutions for customer success // Strategic acquisitions as foundation for sustainable growth

International technology group Körber successfully continued its strategic growth trajectory for the financial year 2016. Offering digital solutions and offers based around Industry 4.0 and digitization – short Innovation 4.0 – Körber supports its customers on their way to a connected future.

Growth based on a strong focus on forward-oriented technologies and innovations – Körber Group continues on its road to success. The Group boosted its incoming orders by more than seven percent to €2,357 million (previous year: €2,191 million) – a record level in Group history. Thanks to successful operative business, Group revenues were up to €2,215 million in the financial year 2016 (previous year: €2,317 million). The drop in revenues of around four percent is wholly due to portfolio changes made in the previous year. The result increased by 21 percent to €171 million (previous year: €141 million). This result corresponds to a profit margin of more than seven percent (previous year: six percent). The annual net income amounted to €60 million. (previous year: €34 million).

Digital innovations are playing a vital role in the growth strategy: "We are constantly expanding our knowledge, our technologies, and our range of services in digitization throughout the Group and adding this to our list of competences", emphasizes Stephan Seifert, Chairman of the Körber Group Executive Board. "We are certain that digital and connected products and processes are pivotal elements in ensuring the success of our customers – and us likewise. We are already providing top-quality solutions, and we are working with our customers to develop more." These include, for example, smart machine components, collaborative robotics solutions, and intelligent packaging to simplify patient communication, as well as a connected service technician responding virtually in real time. Seifert: "At Körber we call our targeted perspective on digital solutions and Industry 4.0 applications Innovation 4.0." This is also the title given to Körber AG's recently published 2016 annual report.

Investment in research and development for the financial year 2016 totaled €127 million, continuing the high standard of previous years (2014: €145 million). This corresponds to an F&E quote of 5.7 percent (previous year: 6.2 percent).

"Our solid financial basis enables us to invest in future technologies that fit in with our growth strategy in order to become leaders for digitization and Industry 4.0 in our markets", affirms Harald Vogelsang, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Körber AG. "What's more, our cash reserves give us the opportunity to make acquisitions that will facilitate our long-term growth strategy."

In 2016 the Group invested in technologically advanced companies that also help to leverage the process of internationalization in the respective Business Areas.

In July 2016 the Group aquired Qubiqa Logistics A/S, based in Arden, Denmark. The company has been operating under the name Riantics A/S since May 2017. Riantics bolsters the Business Area Logistics Systems as a leading provider of depalletizing solutions. The range the company offers includes products, systems, and services for realizing fully automatic material flow and pick & pack plants. With its so-called Layer Picker®, Riantics has the worldwide leading product in the layer depalletizing sector.

In November 2016, Körber announced its acquisition of Fargo Automation, Inc., which was completed in early January 2017. Fargo Automation is based in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, and complements the Business Area Pharma Systems. The company develops and produces automated packaging systems for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. These include, for example, solutions for handling syringes and complete solutions for integrating entire packaging lines.

At the end of 2016 the Group employed 11,246 employees worldwide (2015: 11,578). Employees of Körber companies around the globe work closely together and act as partners to the customers in their markets. "Our teams are continuously improving their solutions and collaborating closely with one another always focusing on ensuring benefits for our customers", emphasizes CEO Stephan Seifert. "I would particularly like to thank our employees for the dedication, responsibility, and expertise they devoted to generating the many innovations that again ensured our success in 2016."

Outlook

Given the results of the first quarter in this financial year, the Körber Group Executive Board is confidently looking to the future. "This year we expect an increase in incoming orders and revenues", says Harald Vogelsang. "We also expect further positive results." Stephan Seifert adds: "In terms of investments, we are again constructively focusing on research and development. With digital innovations, we are reinforcing the leading market positions of our Business Areas in the core business. We will continue to win over our customers with Innovation 4.0. For example, we are currently implementing a Smart Factory at Fritz Studer AG, a company within the Business Area Machine Tools."

Press release June 9, 2017 (pdf)