Overall assessment for 2017
DEUTZ can look back on a very successful year. Our business grew encouragingly and we were able to win new customers. DEUTZ diesel engines equipped with particulate filters already comply with the limits defined in the EU Stage V emissions standard, which comes into force in 2019. We were the world’s first engine manufacturer to obtain certification for the new standard. In general, we are broadening our technology base as part of our efforts to become the leading provider of innovative drive systems. Our acquisition of Torqeedo marked the start of the E-DEUTZ strategy and thus the electrification of our product range. As part of an alliance, we will also add four new heavy-duty engines with cubic capacities of between 9 and 18 litres to our portfolio of diesel engines. This gives our customers a comprehensive choice of modular technological building blocks for powering their equipment.
Overall, our business performance in the year under review was in line with our expectations. We fully met our forecasts for revenue and earnings, benefiting from the return to more favourable market conditions as we had predicted. With unit sales rising by 22.0 per cent, revenue advanced by 17.4 per cent year on year to €1,479.1 million. In the 2016 annual report, we had anticipated a marked rise in revenue. At €1,556.5 million, new orders were up by 23.4 per cent on the previous year. Operating profit (EBIT before exceptional items) increased from €23.4 million in 2016 to €42.4 million in 2017. The EBIT margin (before exceptional items) improved from 1.9 per cent to 2.9 per cent in the reporting year. We had forecast a moderate increase in the EBIT margin before exceptional items. Net income grew from €16.0 million to €121.2 million. This led to a significant improvement in earnings per share, which came to €1.00 (2016: €0.14). Free cash flow climbed from €4.7 million to €82.5 million, largely because of the disposal of assets and the increase in cash flow from operating activities.