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Kuka Profit Surges; Sees Higher Margin In 2012

Kuka AG (KU2.DE, IWKAF.PK) reported Wednesday significantly higher earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2011 with improved performance in both robotics and Systems segments. Noting that it will be a challenge to maintain last year's same outstanding pace, the German industrial robots maker expects fiscal 2012 sales in line or above last year and higher EBIT margin.

Chief Executive Officer Till Reuter said, "Fiscal 2011 was the most successful year in our company's history. We reached all of our financial targets and set new records for orders received, sales and EBIT.... Both Robotics and Systems have contributed to the success."

For its fourth quarter, net results were 9.6 million euros, higher than last year's 1.9 million euros. Earnings before interest and taxes or EBIT surged 94 percent to 22.3 million euros. EBIT margin also improved to 5.5 percent from 3.5 percent last year.

For the quarter, cash earnings climbed 24.4 percent and EBITDA surged 82.5 percent. EBITDA margin was 7.5 percent, higher than 5.1 percent last year. Meanwhile, gross margin remained at the prior year level of 18.8 percent.

Sales revenues for the period were 403.2 million euros, 24.2 percent higher than last year's 324.6 million euros. The company also posted a 20.4 percent jump in orders received to 337.2 million euros.

For fiscal 2011, net results were 29.9 million euros or 0.89 euros per share, compared to last year's loss of 8.6 million euros or 0.28 euros per share. Sales revenues climbed 33 percent to 1.44 billion euros with 41.5 percent increase in robotics revenues and 22.4 percent growth in Systems revenues. Orders received were up 36 percent to 1.55 billion euros. EBIT almost tripled and EBIT margin was 5.1 percent, higher than 2.3 percent last year.

The company's order backlog as of December 31 was 724 million euros, 14.8 percent higher than last year's 630.5 million euros.

Looking ahead, Kuka said its sales forecast is based on the expectation that economy and market environment continue to develop accordingly. The company expects that development of sales revenues would benefit from high order backlog and continuing demand at Robotics and Systems.

The company also projects EBIT margin of more than 5.5 percent from the 5.1 percent recorded in 2011.

For fiscal 2013, the company expects that sales will continue to grow further, leading to a further improvement in EBIT margin.

"Kuka will confidently move forward along its established path: The company is financially on sound footing and has taken the right steps to reach the next growth stage. Long term trends are in our favor," Reuter said.

Kuka shares closed Tuesday's trading at 15.65 euros on Frankfurt's Xetra.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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