Jungheinrich AG draws a positive conclusion at the Annual General Meeting
Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Jungheinrich AG Annual General Meeting took place virtually for the second time in a row. It was broadcast live from the Group headquarters in Hamburg. The shareholders’ meeting approved the proposal of the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board and decided on a dividend payment of €0.43 per preferred share for the 2020 financial year. In his speech, Chairman of the Board of Management Dr Lars Brzoska underlined the positive development of the company in 2020, the extraordinary year of the coronavirus. He also provided a positive outlook for the current year. In his report, Brzoska introduced measures for the continued development of Jungheinrich based on the 2025+ Group strategy. This focuses on innovations in the areas of automation, digitalisation and energy efficiency.
The 2020 financial year.
In a market environment largely defined by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of incoming orders, which includes the business fields new truck business, short-term rental, used equipment and after-sales services, amounted to 3.78 billion Euro. Revenue for the 2020 financial year came to 3.81 billion Euro. Both values thus slightly exceeded the forecast range, which had been increased in October 2020. EBIT came to 218 million Euro, in the upper half of the forecast range, thus resulting in an EBIT ROS of 5.7 per cent. The result after taxes amounted to 151 million euros. Cash flow from operating activities exceeded the previous year’s figure significantly at 551 million Euro. In addition, net credit as of 31 December 2020 stood at 194 million Euro; in comparison, the Group still reported net debt of 172 million Euro as of the same date in the previous year. This corresponds to an improvement of 366 million Euro. This positive development was driven by lower capital expenditure, the reduction of the short-term rental fleet and the release of working capital. Dr Lars Brzoska, Jungheinrich’s Chairman of the Board of Management, explained to the shareholders: “It remains important to us that we maintain a position of being able to implement our strategic measures independently, also in times of crisis. For this reason, our slogan has been – and still is – ‘cash is king’, and we have successfully implemented this principle.”
Dividend proposal of 0.43 euros per preferred share.
In view of the respectable result in the last financial year, shareholders approved the dividend proposal of the Jungheinrich Board of Management for 0.41 euros per ordinary share and 0.43 euros per preferred share. This will result in a total payout of €43 million. The payment ratio of 28 per cent is in line with Jungheinrich AG’s long-term dividend policy of paying between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of profit or loss to shareholders annually. Dr Brzoska continued: “We are pleased that, even after this challenging year, we can uphold our policy of continuous dividend payments. The reliable involvement of shareholders in the company’s success is essential for us.”
Successful start to 2021.
The Chairman of the Board of Management indicated the strong number of incoming orders in the first quarter of 2021, emphasising that the company also assumes there will be great demand for Jungheinrich products and services over the further course of the year. “We are looking optimistically towards the rest of the year,” says Brzoska. Based on updated corporate planning for the entire 2021 year, the Board of Management expects incoming orders of between €4.2 billion and €4.5 billion. Group revenue is expected to range between €4.0 billion and €4.2 billion. Based on current estimates, EBIT will lie between €300 million and €350 million, which corresponds to an EBIT return on sales ranging between 7.5 and 8.3 per cent. Brzoska identified the greatest challenge for the course of the financial year, aside from the further development of the Covid-19 pandemic, as being the current bottlenecks in international supply chains.
Dr Brzoska underlined that, despite all the challenges associated with it, the pandemic did not keep Jungheinrich from setting important agenda points for the future of the company in 2020. In the autumn, the company introduced its new 2025+ Group strategy. According to this, Jungheinrich will dedicate itself even more strongly to the fields of action of automation, digitalisation and energy efficiency, and will expand its pioneering technological role. Brzoska maintains that this is a decisive factor for new products and future business models. “Our Strategy 2025+ formulates our targets for the coming years and defines the path we will take to achieve them. At the end of this path, Jungheinrich will be an even more profitable, efficient and sustainable company.” explained the Chairman of the Board of Management. In light of the raised forecast for the 2021 financial year, the Strategy 2025+ targets will be reviewed over the course of the year.
Creating value sustainably
Brzoska stressed that the topic of sustainability will play a primary role in the further development of the Jungheinrich Group. Jungheinrich’s ambition is to balance economic, ecological and social developments. “With our Group’s Strategy 2025+, we have committed ourselves to the goal of creating value sustainably – for our customers, our employees, our shareholders and business partners, but also for society at large,” said Brzoska. Jungheinrich strives to achieve climate neutrality, will implement systematic sustainability management, and will take on even more responsibility in the supply chain than it does today. Inherent to this is the decision to exclusively use green electricity and to refrain from using conflict minerals wherever possible.
Please note: The speech made by the Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr Lars Brzoska, can be found at Annual General Meeting (jungheinrich.com).