Overall assessment for 2014
The Company’s performance in 2014 – a year in which we celebrated our 150th anniversary – was influenced by several exceptional items and the deterioration of market conditions over the course of the year, with the result that we failed to meet all the targets that we had set at the beginning of the year. However, it was encouraging that our new products were very well received by customers across all sectors all over the world. Revenue was up by 5.3 per cent to €1,530.2 million and sales of 196,403 engines represented a year-on-year rise of 6.7 per cent. The planned decline in business in the Automotive segment was fully offset by growth in other areas. The Mobile Machinery application was particularly successful. Our unit sales and revenue benefited from the advance production of engines, but demand from our customers will be lower in 2015. As a result, the level of new orders had already fallen by 16.4 per cent in 2014, compared with the record figure of €1,379.0 million in 2013. Operating profit (EBIT before one-off items) of €31.7 million was down on the previous year. The EBIT margin (before one-off items) stood at 2.1 per cent. Free cash flow amounted to €52.0 million, almost four times higher than at the end of 2013. Firstly, this is because all of our new products have now been launched on the market and the associated capital expenditure is being amortised, and secondly because the development costs and capital expenditure that had been increased in recent years could be scaled back. Our net financial position improved significantly, rising by €45.4 million to €13.7 million and returning to positive territory for the first time since 2009. In the year under review, we added ‘operational excellence’ to our growth programme in order to further improve the quality and efficiency of our Company. The introduction of a major optimisation of our sites in Germany was a key decision in this context. In view of the challenges currently presented by the market, we also carried out a critical review of our presence in China and we came to a decision after the balance sheet date that our sites in China also need to be consolidated.
The uncertainty prevailing in our markets has prompted us to increase our flexibility still further, which is how we intend to prepare the DEUTZ Group for a successful future.