Hermle in the financial press.
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Hermle returns unexpectedly good results in the fourth quarter of 2021
Hermle returns unexpectedly good results in the fourth quarter of 2021 Turnover and overall results for 2021 better than anticipated Management Board recommends dividend increase to the Supervisory Board Despite problems arising from the war in Ukraine at least 10 % more turnover in 2022, but earnings not likely to match this Positive mediumterm growth outlook requires major investments
Gosheim, 16 March 2022 – Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG performed better than expected in 2021. According to provisional calculations, the Swabian machine tool and automation specialist’s order intake rose to approx. 439 million euros (previous year, more affected by the Corona pandemic: 242.5 million euros). Both domestic and foreign business increased markedly. After a modest start, demand stepped up especially in the second half of the year, so Hermle recorded peak order figures in both the third and the fourth quarters. Demand was especially concentrated on Industry 4.0, where Hermle offers the complete range from a single automated machine up to and including automation solutions for fully networked manufacturing processes. On the comparison day towards the end of December 2021, the order volume across the concern had considerably more than doubled to 107 million euros (previous year 44.8 million euros).
According to provisional and unconfirmed figures for 2021, the Hermle concern’s overall turnover increased by over 26 % to somewhat more than 375 million euros (previous year 296.9 million euros), whereby the figures for foreign business improved somewhat more than the domestic figures. This means that the turnover forecast of around 20 % - 25 % growth made in November is likely to be slightly exceeded. The consistently strong demand in the fourth quarter could be met without difficulty despite increasing disruption of the supply chain, because Hermle maintained staffing levels during the pandemic. This gave the company the room to manoeuvre that it needed to respond rapidly and flexibly to the dynamic developments with a highly competent and motivated team.
In 2021, the operating result rose according to provisional figures by around 36 % to approx. 74 million euros across the concern (previous year 54.2 million euros). This surpassed the expectation that the results would increase nearly proportionally to the turnover. The reason for this was that Hermle’s internal measures for coping with supply bottlenecks in the fourth quarter were much more effective than had been expected. Therefore the company was able to preproduce for 2022 to a greater extent, which gave rise to very high capacity exploitation rates. In addition to the very positive effects resulting from this, an improvement in the price quality towards the end of the year aided earnings performance.
In view of this, the Management Board has today recommended the Supervisory Board to propose increasing the dividend for 2021 at the shareholders’ general meeting on 6 July 2022. In accordance with this, shareholders are to receive an unchanged base dividend of 0.80 euros per ordinary share and 0.85 euros per preference share plus a higher bonus of 8.20 euros in each case (previous year 4.20 euros). Hermle employees are to receive a bonus for the 2021 financial year based on the dividend amount.
In view of the large order volume from last year and the continued high demand in early 2022, the outlook for the current financial year is, as of now, essentially good. The war in Ukraine has brought about imponderable, but certainly high risks both for the intake of orders and especially for material supply bottlenecks in the coming months. Nevertheless, Hermle reckons with an in-crease in turnover of at least 10 % for 2022, as long as no insoluble supply problems emerge. It is likely that the operating result will not remain proportional to the turnover on account of massive increas-es in material and energy costs. There are also substantial risks of default for claims against Russian customers as well as the loss of all concern assets in Russia, which would lead to balance-sheet losses of around 5 million euros.
Despite this, Hermle forecasts good mediumterm growth prospects, especially in the field of automation and the associated significantly enhanced product range. In view of this, the company is planning extensive increases in capacity at its Zimmern ob Rottweil site. In total, investments of around 60 million euros are envis-aged.
Hermle expects to publish its detailed, audited figures for the 2021 financial year at the end of April 2022.
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