Slower growth in difficult market environment
Interim Report as of March 31, 2012 – Q1 2012
Following its strong performance in 2011, MAN’s business continued at a similar level in Q1/2012. Headwinds came from the increased competition in stagnating markets. However, the slump in commercial vehicle demand that had been widely feared failed to materialize.
Order intake in the Commercial Vehicles business area actually rose slightly by 1% compared with the prior-year quarter, to €3.4 billion. MAN Truck & Bus recorded a rise of 2% to €2.5 billion, whereas orders at MAN Latin America declined by 2% to €0.8 billion due to the introduction of the Euro V emission standard. Orders in the Power Engineering business area amounted to €1.0 billion (previous year: €1.1 billion), €0.9 billion of which was attributable to MAN Diesel & Turbo. The Engines & Marine Systems strategic business unit in particular was weaker.
MAN increased its Q1 revenue by 3% year-on-year to €3.8 billion. MAN Truck & Bus was particularly successful, climbing 6% to €2.1 billion, despite the slight overall decline in the European commercial vehicles market. However, MAN benefited from growth in Russia and in other, non-European regions. Revenue at MAN Latin America declined slightly by 2% to €0.8 billion. Q1 revenue in the Power Engineering business area rose 5% to €1.0 billion. MAN Diesel & Turbo increased by 3% to €0.9 billion, while Renk jumped 25% to €105 million.
The MAN Group recorded an operating profit of €253 million in the first quarter (previous year: €325 million). The 22% decline is due above all to increasing competition in the stagnating markets in the Commercial Vehicles business area. As a result, the operating profit at MAN Truck & Bus amounted to only €67 million (previous year: €97 million), while that at MAN Latin America was €80 million (previous year: €99 million). MAN will combat this with measures to increase its profitability and efficiency. By contrast, earnings at MAN Diesel & Turbo and Renk remained stable at prior-year levels.
Overall, the MAN Group’s return on sales (ROS) amounted to 6.6%. The ROS in the Commercial Vehicles business area declined to 5.0% (6.9%), while Power Engineering remained at a high 12.9% (13.3%).
One of the MAN Group’s critical success factors is its uncompromising focus on the areas of transportation and energy, which continue to offer excellent growth potential. Demand in these sectors is constantly growing in the emerging markets in particular. Our BRIC strategy addresses precisely this topic and has allowed us to secure timely access to these key markets of the future. In many cases, our operations in these promising markets have already reached a stage that others are still aiming for. MAN will continue to exploit this head start.
The joint projects within the Volkswagen Group will also assist in this. Volkswagen AG notified MAN SE on April 13, 2012, that it held 73.00% of the voting rights as of the April 12, 2012, trading date. The new opportunities to work together with Volkswagen and Scania offer MAN additional momentum. By cooperating in the areas of procurement, development, and manufacturing, we can leverage the synergies needed for a full-scale competitive push.
Although MAN is expecting solid growth on the global transportation and energy markets in the long term, we continue to see global economic growth weakening in 2012. Against this backdrop, we are confirming the outlook we gave at the beginning of the year: We expect full-year revenue in the Commercial Vehicles business area to decline slightly by up to 5%, whereas Power Engineering revenue should increase by 5%. Given the overall predominance of the Commercial Vehicles business area, we expect revenue for the MAN Group as a whole to decline slightly, which will also lead to a drop in operating profit. Return on sales will correspond roughly to the long-term target average of 8.5%.
Dr.-Ing. Georg Pachta-Reyhofen
Chief Executive Officer of MAN SE