2015 review: HELLER with strong balance sheet
In 2015, the HELLER Group had a turnover of EUR 555.9m, representing a significant increase of 28% over the previous year. Sustained high capacity utilisation meant that in particular the facilities in Nürtingen were partly operating at their capacity limit. Order intake and orders booked maintained the high levels of the previous year. Good results are also expected for 2016.
Order intake: second highest in the history of HELLER
2015 order intake reached EUR 561.4m, thus exceeding the strong previous-year figure by approx. 1%. It confirms the positive development noted in 2014 and resulted in the second highest order intake in the history of the HELLER Group. Results of all business divisions have approximately reached the levels of the previous year. Project business, especially with automotive customers, still accounts for more than 50% of our business volume.
Origin of orders: increasing volumes from China
The development at our Chinese customers significantly contributed to achieving the high order volume. Clearly increasing order volumes from China have compensated for the expected decline in business from Europe, accordingly resulting in geographic shifts in the distribution of order intake. Nevertheless, Europe (including Germany) still holds the strongest share of 55% (previous year 69%); Asia has seen a relatively strong increase to 26% (previous year 8%), whilst North and South America together make up for 19% (previous year 23%).
Turnover and total operating revenue: outstanding project business in Europe, the US and Asia
At EUR 555.9m, the turnover achieved in 2015 was EUR 121.5m (+28%) above the previous year. Due to better than expected development of project business in Europe, the US and Asia, our optimistic planning assumptions have been clearly exceeded. Increase in inventories and capitalised services included, the total operating revenue amounted to EUR 561.4m (previous year: EUR 462.5m), which is far above average in multi-year comparison.
Result and capital resources: stable conditions
Due to the increase in volume, the result from ordinary business activities significantly increased year-on-year. As per the end of the year, the group's equity capital increased further to EUR 111.4m (previous year: EUR 108.8m). At 33.8%, the strong equity ratio almost remains unchanged. All in all, the financial and assets position provides a very sound basis.
Investments and developments
Investments in 2015, totalling approx. EUR 11m, included real estates and buildings as well as operating and business equipment. Apart from measures aimed at preserving capacity and improving efficiency, investments were made in future optimisations of warehousing and logistics.
New product development and product refinement as well as additions to our portfolio of machines remained focal points in the past fiscal year. Investments in internal development measures totalled EUR 14.0m in 2015. That means our development expenses were approximately at the previous year's level.
The focus was on continuing the development of a new machine type started the previous year, targeted expansion of our product portfolio in terms of machines for 5-axis and combined machining, development of our own user interface with integrated functionalities and cost optimisations on existing high-volume machines from the H and MC series.
Healthy growth within the HELLER Group
As per the end of the year, the number of employees, including apprentices, increased from 2,466 to 2,534. This figure mainly reflects a moderate increase in staff at the Nürtingen location in order to adapt capacities to the increasing total operating revenue.
Professional education of young people as skilled workers continues to have high priority. Additionally, we are offering a number of work-study programmes. To keep our staff's knowledge and skill levels up to date, we provide numerous training, qualification and further education measures. They are based on uniform international qualification standards and HELLER's group-wide educational standards.