The group’s order intake increased by 5.2% and it posted operating pretax profit up 7.1% on revenue growth of 5.6%, driven by “various operational improvement programmes”.
“Despite the increasingly difficult economic environment, no weakening in demand was therefore evident,” said GEA, which is one of the largest suppliers of process technology and components for the food and energy industries, in its annual financial statement.
‘Increasingly difficult economic environment’
“Thanks to the outstanding achievements of our employees, we further increased both our revenue and our operating EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin in an increasingly difficult economic environment,” said GEA Group chief executive Jurg Oleas.
“We have resolved to distribute a bonus of €5m to non-executive employees in recognition of their outstanding work.”
GEA also said it had managed to shave €62m off its net debt, reducing it to €326m.
Market environment ‘expected to remain unchanged’
It predicted that sales demand would continue at the high levels seen last year and “moderate revenue growth in the current fiscal year”. It also forecast that market environment “was expected to remain unchanged as against 2012”.
It said it was targeting pretax profit of €700m for 2013, versus €600m for the previous year.
However, GEA said its figures ignored one-off costs from its Food Solutions Segment, bought at the end of 2010. The firm declared €36mof these costs in 2012 first quarter figures.
In addition, the business reported overall pretax profits down 2% from €610.2m in 2011 to €597.8m in 2012.