In the first three quarters of 2014/15, the Metal Engineering Division’s financial key performance indicators continued to be at a very satisfactory level, even though revenue and earnings did not quite attain the figures of the previous year. In the first three quarters of the current business year, revenue decreased by 4.5% from EUR 2,053.4 million to EUR 1,960.3 million. A primary cause of this downtrend is the closure of the standard rail production in Duisburg as of the end of the 2013 calendar year. In contrast, revenue generated by the Turnout Systems business segment increased substantially due to investment in expansion. As far as earnings are concerned, performance was mostly in parallel with revenue. At EUR 295.9 million, the operating result (EBITDA) for the first nine months of 2014/15 was 8.3% lower than the comparative figure of EUR 322.6 million in the previous year. The main factor for this decrease is the slightly weaker earning power of the Rail Technology and Welding Technology business segments. Accordingly, the EBITDA margin fell from 15.7% to 15.1%, which still puts it at an excellent level. Profit from operations (EBIT) was not able to match the previous business year’s exceptional figures, with EBIT dropping by 10.2% from EUR 238.4 million to EUR 214.0 million, resulting in an EBIT margin of 10.9% (previous year: 11.6%).
A comparison of the third quarter of 2014/15 with the immediately preceding quarter shows a smaller decrease in terms of both revenue and earnings. Revenue fell by 3.1% from EUR 650.5 million to EUR 630.5 million; the main reason for the decline were the reduced deliveries of rails due to seasonal factors. Development of EBITDA—like the division’s performance throughout the year thus far—was marked mainly by somewhat lower earnings contributions by the Rail Technology and Welding Technology business segments. EBITDA went down by 4.9% from EUR 97.0 million in the second quarter of 2014/15 to EUR 92.2 million in the quarter under review. This results in an EBITDA margin of 14.6% compared to 14.9% in the immediately preceding quarter. EBIT declined by a similar range; at EUR 65.0 million (margin of 10.3%) in the third quarter of 2014/15, it is 6.3% below the figure of EUR 69.4 million (margin of 10.7%) in the second quarter.
As of December 31, 2014, the Metal Engineering Division had 11,284 employees (FTE), an increase of 1.3% compared to the same date in the previous business year and 0.6% more than as of the end of the business year 2013/14 (11,217).