18th General Meeting of Waagner-Biro AG: Annual Result and Profitability in 2016
In the 2016 financial year, the subsidiaries Bridge Systems, Stage Systems and Qualter, Hall & Company Limited have developed well. Only Waagner-Biro Stahlbau remained below expectations, as project shifted and contract werde awarded slowly. Order intake of € 228.4 million, as well as order backlog of € 233.5 million, were generally very promising across the divisions of the Waagner-Biro Group.
Waagner-Biro Bridge Systems Group increased earnings before taxes within the period under review. Order intake and the order situation also developed positively. Sales were slightly down compared to the previous year. A significant project in 2016 was a panel bridge contract for Iraq where in order to rebuild the infrastructure, panel bridges were realized for around € 10 million within a three months period. Other system bridge contracts for Angola and Laos have contributed to the good result.
Waagner-Biro Stage Systems has continued its positive trend from 2015. EBT remained at the previous year's level. Sales in the past fiscal year declined slightly but the order intake rose. In addition to the stage equipment for two further cruise ships for Royal Caribbean, the Stage group successfully completed the Elbphilharmonie as a project with a worldwide reputation.
Waagner-Biro Stahlbau succeeded in completing the contract for the approx. 26-meter-long, 220-meter-long steel roof construction of the Festival City Mall in Dubai. The order also included the construction of oval skylights made of steel and glass for the connection between the shopping mall and the hotel. The financial year of Waagner-Biro Stahlbau was characterized, among other things, by a sluggish order intake which had a negative impact on sales and earnings. Sales fell significantly, the EBT was slightly negative. However, the order intake and the order backlog at the end of 2016 are a solid basis for an improved fiscal year 2017.
The British subsidiary Qualter Hall & Comany Limited specializes in tailor-made and interdisciplinary turn-key projects in special machine construction. It is worth mentioning that in 2016 a major contract for the construction of two new Winsford salt mines in Cheshire was awarded. In the future, people and objects are to be transported between surface and below ground via the eight-stranded lifting device. For Qualter Hall, 2016 was a satisfactory year for both sales and EBT. The quality of the result and the turnover were affected by uncertainties caused by the Brexit decision and also by the effects of exchange rates.
"In order to continue to deliver a consistently trend of good profitability, in 2017 we will focus on smaller, more profitable projects and framework contracts for several years, as well as intensifyg after-sales service activities in order to better spread the risk. This will lead to a slight increase in sales in the coming financial year, "Jost concluded.