In light of the widespread uncertainty regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic development, the Board of Management of Jungheinrich AG has decided today to retract the forecast for the 2020 financial year published in the 2019 annual report.
The current spread of the pandemic in all regions of the world as well as the containment measures implemented by many countries at present do not allow for any reliable assessment of the business development of Jungheinrich over the further course of the year. Since the publishing of the forecast report on 18 March 2020, the uncertainty with regard to the expected impact has increased considerably. Since the beginning of April, all regions and product segments have seen considerable decline in demand, leading to a significant drop in incoming orders; this will also lead to a corresponding decline in revenue over the course of the year. The forecast will be updated as soon as global containment efforts cause the pandemic to slow down and the impact on the further business development of Jungheinrich over the rest of 2020 becomes reliably quantifiable.
The influence of the pandemic on the business development of the Jungheinrich Group was still negligible in the first quarter of 2020. Therefore, decent values for incoming orders, revenue, EBIT and EBT were recorded in the first quarter of 2020. Incoming orders amounted to €1,016 million (previous year: €1,021 million), while Group revenue amounted to €920 million (previous year: €948 million) in the first three months of the current year due to a good number of orders on hand at the end of the 2019 financial year.
Earnings before interest and taxes amounted to €53.7 million (previous year: €59.6 million). Earnings before taxes (EBT) amounted to €43.5 million (previous year: €56.5 million). Accordingly, EBIT return on sales was 5.8 per cent (previous year: 6.3 per cent) and EBT return on sales 4.7 per cent (previous year: 6.0 per cent).
Production at all the Jungheinrich plants has been adapted and is currently running at an appropriate level; supply chains are largely intact. The other locations of the Group are also running to the extent allowed by the particular local governmental regulations, with no greater restrictions. Delivery capability can be fulfilled at present. Our after-sales service technicians are active all over the world to the extent that this is possible under local conditions.
With the highest priority, Jungheinrich implemented numerous measures to protect its employees and customers, as well as company processes. The Group has a future-oriented business model, a solid liquidity reserve and a healthy structure based on the statement of financial position.
Jungheinrich will publish its interim statement as of 31 March 2020 as planned on 8 May 2020.