German company GEA, one of the largest suppliers of process technology and components for the food and energy industries, generated a 24.4 percent increase in its order intake to EUR 1,544.9 million in the first quarter of 2012. As in the previous quarters, this again represented a significant year-on-year increase. In line with this trend, consolidated revenue also rose by 21.7 percent year-on-year to EUR 1,263.7 million.
Adjusted for purchase price allocation effects of EUR 6.4 million (previous year: EUR 2.2 million), operating EBIT declined by EUR 29.8 million and the operating EBIT margin fell back to 3.1 percent. This is mainly a result of changes in estimates in the Food Solutions Segment, which reduced consolidated profit in the first quarter by a total of approximately EUR 36 million due to nonrecurring factors. However, only a small proportion of the underlying negative changes in estimates are cash expenses. Excluding the new GEA Food Solutions Segment, the result would have been an increase of EUR 15.3 million or 22.2 percent to EUR 84.3 million, with the EBIT margin rising by 32 basis points to 7.0 percent.
“The ongoing strong demand for food process technology worldwide is the main reason for our order intake’s encouraging development. This is why the food and beverage sector expanded by 38 percent, increasing its share of GEA’s business to more than 55 percent. Small orders with a volume of less than EUR 1 million also contributed in particular to this increase, exceeding the threshold of EUR 1 billion for the first time in Q1,” said Jürg Oleas, Chairman of the Executive Board of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft.