KUKA has achieved strong results in the first nine months of 2021. From January to September 2021, the Group recorded orders received totaling around €2.7 billion, around 35.3% higher than in the prior-year period. Sales revenues rose by 26.8% to €2.4 billion. The book-to-bill ratio improved to 1.14 (9M /20: 1.07).
Earnings before interest and taxes of €45.5 million were significantly higher than the previous year’s figure of -€70.5 million, and the EBIT margin rose to 1.9% (9M /20: -3.8%). A provision for the loss of a major customer in Asia prevented the operating result from being even better.
Swisslog, for example, implemented large automated storage and distribution solutions for customers in the food industry, such as Rapunzel, Denner and Nestlé. In the first nine months, KUKA’s logistics specialist recorded significant growth in orders received and sales. The Robotics business segment generated double-digit growth, EBIT improved to €37.6 million (9M/20: -€10.1 million) and the EBIT margin of 5.1% was significantly higher than the corresponding figure for the previous year (9M/20: -1.6%).
Particularly in North America, automotive manufacturers are increasingly focusing on the electrification of their vehicle fleets. Here, KUKA’s Systems division supports customers with experience and expertise and has been awarded numerous contracts. Overall, the business unit’s orders received rose by 67.8% and sales by 44.9% in the first nine months. The book-to-bill ratio rose to 1.20.
Risks from global supply bottlenecks
Megatrends such as digitization, individualization of products, demographic change and increasing regionalization due to global uncertainties: all these things require increasingly flexible and at the same time more efficient solutions for the production environment.
“The world is changing and the pandemic has accelerated this transformation. Our customers are at the center of all our activities. They demand flexible automation and new technologies that are easy to use – particularly in markets that have had little automation until now. KUKA is working on the right solutions in these areas. We thus have a positive outlook for the future,” said Peter Mohnen. “However, global supply bottle-necks entail risks that we are also currently feeling. Thanks to our well-organized and flexible supply chain, we have been able to manage the situation well so far and fulfill customer orders.”