KION Group CEO Smith: ”The fundamental drivers of our industry are strong.”
- KION GROUP AG looks back on the successful financial year 2021
at its virtual Annual General Meeting
- Dividend of 1.50 euros per share paid (2021: 0.41 euros)
- Sustainability firmly anchored in the Group's strategy
- Digitization and automation remain trends of the future
- All proposals by Supervisory Board and Executive Board approved by majority vote
Frankfurt am Main, May 11, 2022 – Premiere for the new CEO Rob Smith: At his first Annual General Meeting as CEO of KION GROUP AG, he looked back on the successful financial year 2021, which the Group closed with very good results. The strong performance in 2021 was also reflected in basic earnings per share of €4.34 (2020: €1.81). Investors will now participate in these successes: The Annual General Meeting approved the Executive Board's proposal to pay a dividend of 1.50 euros per share – a very significant increase of more than three times the previous year's figure (0.41 euros per share).
Sustainability as an essential part of corporate strategy
Looking at the company's prospects, the CEO highlighted, among other things, KION's expertise in electric drives and battery technology: “We are one of the most important providers of e-mobility in intralogistics – worldwide. Today, almost 90 percent of all new forklift trucks and warehouse trucks manufactured by the KION Group are electrically powered.” He added that lithium-ion technology and its further development were the focus of the company's own research and development. Two and a half years ago, KION and BMZ established the joint company KION Battery Systems in Karlstein am Main. At the end of April 2022, a new production line for 24-volt batteries was opened there, which will also be used to power the Group's warehouse equipment in the future. “This is high-tech made by KION – and in Germany,” added Smith.
Smith emphasized that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in society and industry – including at KION. Therefore, this important area for the future is firmly anchored in the KION Group's strategy as a separate and central field of action. “We bear responsibility – for the climate, the environment and society. Our sustainability expertise and progress are recognized – also in the capital market. “In 2021, the KION Group received a B rating from non-profit organization CDP and was awarded an A rating by MSCI ESG.” He also reported to shareholders that KION also commits itself to the implementation of its sustainability goals in terms of compensation: “20 percent of the variable remuneration of the Executive Board and executives is aligned with our sustainability goals.”
Digitization and automation remain trends of the future
Despite the economic and political challenges on a global level, Smith was confident about the future. He underlined KION's strong and global position as a leading full-service provider in intralogistics and supply chain solutions. “The fundamental drivers of our industry are strong: namely, continued growth in e-commerce, urbanization and the higher demands on delivery speed,” the CEO said.
Smith used several examples to explain to the shareholders how KION is shaping the future of intralogistics. For example, the Group has been working with the Fraunhofer Institute for years to develop successful solutions, including the Dematic multi-shuttle system used in many warehouses. “This system plays a decisive role in intralogistics today,” described the CEO and showed the example of the new high-performance multi-channel fulfillment center in Trecate, Italy. It distributes clothing and jewelry of leading fashion brands to 80 countries. It combines multiple automation systems from Dematic, including a 600.000 storage location Multishuttle, a 50.000 location pallet rack, a 3-module pouch system, 10 kilometers of conveyors and the full Dematic software suite. The entire complex is about the size of 22 soccer fields. “It is one of the most modern and fastest warehouses Dematic has built to date. We have set a benchmark worldwide with this,” Smith said.
A few months ago, the next project for the future was launched with the Fraunhofer institute: a new generation of driverless transport vehicles with enormous sorting performance, called LoadRunner, which KION wants to bring to market maturity. These are swarm robots for warehouses that are intended to revolutionize intralogistics with artificial intelligence.
“The vehicles are unusually fast. They also talk and work with each other. This makes them ideal for warehouse sorting tasks – for example, in parcel centers. KION is bringing a completely new technology into the warehouse: Swarm robotics,” Smith explained.
Proposals by Supervisory Board and Executive Board approved by majority vote
The majority of shareholders approved all the proposals put forward by the Supervisory Board and Executive Board. Around 200 shareholders and shareholder representatives followed the virtual Annual General Meeting of the KION Group.
Further information on the Annual General Meeting and all voting results can be found here:
The KION Group is among the world’s leading suppliers of industrial trucks and supply chain solutions. Its portfolio encompasses industrial trucks such as forklift trucks and warehouse trucks, as well as integrated automation technology and software solutions for the optimization of supply chains, including all related services. Across more than 100 countries worldwide, the KION Group’s solutions improve the flow of material and information within factories, warehouses, and distribution centers.
The Group, which is included in the MDAX, is the largest manufacturer of industrial trucks in Europe in terms of units sold in 2021. In China, it is the leading foreign manufacturer (as measured by revenue in 2020) and number three overall. The KION Group is also one of the world’s leading providers of warehouse automation (as measured by revenue in 2020).
At the end of 2021, more than 1.6 million of the KION Group’s industrial trucks and more than 8,000 of its installed systems were in use by customers of various sizes and in numerous industries on six continents. The Group currently has around 40,000 employees and generated revenue of around €10.3 billion in 2021.
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This release and the information contained herein are for information purposes only and do not constitute a prospectus or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Future results could differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, e.g. changes in business, economic and competitive conditions, regulatory reforms, results of technical studies, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, uncertainties in litigation or investigative proceedings, and the availability of financing. This applies in particular with regard to currently unforeseeable further developments of the Corona pandemic as well as the political situation in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and the resulting effects on the Company as well as on the economy and politics in general in the markets in which the Company operates. We do not undertake any responsibility to update the forward-looking statements in this release.
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