Financially resilient Knorr-Bremse aims for climate neutrality

Braking and commercial vehicle system specialist, Knorr-Bremse, has reported strong preliminary full-year 2019 results as well as its goal to be carbon neutral by 2021.

Group revenues were up by 4.8 per cent to €6,937 million (2018: €6,616 million).

Continued profit growth with a 12.8 per cent increase in reported EBITDA to €1,329 million (2018: €1,178 million); 8.2 per cent increase in operating EBITDA to €1,303 million (2018: €1,204 million); operating EBITDA margin increase to 18.8 per cent from 18.4 per cent in the previous corresponding period.

“2019 was a successful year for us,” said Knorr-Bremse AG CEO, Bernd Eulitz.

“We delivered on our capital market guidance and secured our market leadership. With the plant closure in Wülfrath and the exit from the Powertech business we took important measures to safeguard our profitability going forward.

“In the fourth quarter, both our businesses CVS [Commercial Vehicle Systems] and RVS [Rail Vehicle Systems] benefitted from strong orders, which underlines the resilience of our business model in a challenging economic environment,” he said.

Strong order intake, according to Knorr-Bremse, underlines its resilient business model. With €7,066 million and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.02, Knorr-Bremse’s order intake expanded by 0.9 per cent. The company’s order book reached a new peak of €4,692 million at the end of 2019, an increase of 2.8 per cent (2018: €4,563 million).

“Looking ahead, Knorr-Bremse is determined to continue its profitable growth strategy towards 2022,” said Eulitz. “With the cost efficiency measures initiated last year, we have prepared the company well for temporarily slower growth in the CVS business. We will also continue to actively leverage the four megatrends urbanisation, sustainability, digitalisation and mobility and further invest in R&D and IT.”

In September 2020, Knorr-Bremse will showcase its newest products and innovations at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles Show and InnoTrans for its CVS and RVS divisions, respectively.

As for Climate neutrality by 2021 and halving CO2 emissions by 2030, Knorr-Bremse has committed itself to the ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021. With this, the company would be one of the first major industrial companies to accomplish this important goal.

“While following our profitable growth path with accelerated R&D and IT investments, we will contribute to address society´s challenges,” said Eulitz.

“We renew our commitment to ESG excellence. Sustainability is at the heart of our business model. The transformation of global mobility is a crucial part in tackling climate change. Through our products, we provide compelling answers to sustainable mobility solutions of the future,” he said.

Knorr-Bremse will gradually raise the proportion of the renewable energy it generates or sources and continuously increase the energy efficiency of all its sites. The company has set the target to halve its CO2 emission by 2030. Further the company will compensate CO2 emissions, which have not yet been scaled down by carbon offsets to achieve climate neutrality as early as 2021.

Knorr-Bremse’s efforts are in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement of 2015 (COP21).

“We believe that our increased climate efforts will not only generate a positive impact for society and the environment, but also provide attractive long-term financial returns,” said Knorr-Bremse CFO, Ralph Heuwing. “The inclusion in the new DAX 50 ESG index with a low average exposure is a nice confirmation of our efforts.”

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