In fiscal year 2020/21, the Voith Group has again successfully managed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and was able to improve its main financial figures in a challeng-ing market environment characterized by global supply chain bottlenecks and substantially higher raw material costs.
The Voith Group’s orders re-ceived increased by almost a quarter to €5.02 billion, due mainly to the successful large plant business and was higher than it has been for almost a decade on the reporting date of September 30. At €6.25 billion, orders on hand reached an all-time high. Dr. Toralf Haag, CEO of the Voith Group, explained: “Our much higher orders received show that our strategic align-ment focusing on the megatrends of digitalization and decarbonization has been the right approach. There is growing demand for sustainable technol-ogies for a climate-neutral industrial society, and Voith is in an excellent position to benefit from this.”
In terms of sales, in the last fiscal year, Voith almost completely made up for the downturn which occurred in the first year of the pandemic with an increase in consolidated sales to €4.26 billion (an increase of 4 percent adjusted for currency effects). This was also facilitated by the acquisitions of the previous years. “This is all the more remarkable given that the fiscal year was still suffering the full effects of the pandemic,” adds Haag.
At times, production facilities had to be closed, access to some construction sites was prohibited, and the service business continued to be adversely affected. Nevertheless, EBIT increased substantially by 18 percent to €165 million. The bottom line was that even in a second fiscal year compromised by the pandemic, the consolidated net result was positive, with a net income of €1 million (previous year €6 million). “Despite this year of crisis, we made the necessary investments in important restructuring measures. The long-term improvement of our earnings position is more important to us than a short-term positive effect on our result,” says Haag.
Due to a lower interest income plus a higher tax burden from deferred taxes, the annual result was slightly below that of the previous year. Even in this second year of pandemic, the Group continued to invest heavily to secure the company’s future success. For example, despite the challenging environment, Voith maintained its high level of spending on R&D (€192 million). This means that Voith has invested more than €1 billion in R&D in the last five years. The Voith Group is in a good financial position to make further investments in its future growth. On the reporting date, the company’s equity ratio was still sound at 19.8 percent. The cash flow from operating activities was again considerably positive, at €144 million. Net liquidity remains at a high level. The stable liquidity situation means that Voith continues to be in a position to realize important forward-looking investments.
“Overall, we are satisfied with our performance. So far, Voith has come through the crisis better than we expected at the outbreak of the pandemic. In the last fiscal year, we have demonstrated the effectiveness of our diversified positioning and the resilience of our business model. We have also further improved our baseline for sustainable, profitable growth. Voith will emerge from the crisis in a stronger position,” says CEO Toralf Haag. “We could only achieve this result thanks to the outstanding commitment of our employees worldwide and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their dedication in what has been an extremely challenging year.”
Strong growth in orders at Paper
In the Paper Group Division, orders received increased by a third to the record-breaking sum of €2.28 billion against the background of strong in-vestment activity in the paper machine market. As expected, sales were stable due to the level of orders received in previous years and the opera-tional challenges resulting from the coronavirus crisis. The operating result was up, also thanks to successful acquisitions by the Group Division.