Mecalux increases its sales by 13% and invests in the automation division

28 Feb 2008

Mecalux continued to grow rapidly in 2007 with an increase in sales of 13%. The Group’s sales rose from 531.1m euros in 2006 to 598.1m in 2007, meeting the company’s forecasts for development. Particularly worthy of note here was the excellent performance of the automated warehouse division which signed new projects in 2007 to a total of 82m euros. The growth strategy of Mecalux is geared towards developing warehouse automation and the growth and penetration in the different markets in which it operates. The Group is continuing to expand internationally with a greater geographical diversification of its business.

Improvement in productivity and efficiency
Mecalux has performed well in terms of its principal results. EBITDA increased by 18%, rising from 70m euros in 2006 to 82.9m euros in 2007. Pre-tax profit increased by 38%, reaching 49.2m euros compared to 35.5m euros during the previous year, while Earnings Before Interest and Taxes were 63.9m euros compared to 50.1m euros in the previous financial year, representing an increase of 28%. Net profit decreased by 27% because Mecalux had capitalised 19m euros in tax deductions and tax losses in 2006 which meant that the 48.2m euro profit in 2006 fell to 35.1m euros in this financial year.

Integration and development of previous buyouts
Both Esmena and the automated warehouse division of ThyssenKrupp were already consolidated in previous years, and Mecalux is now investing in their growth and technological development. In 2007 the Mecalux Group invested a total of 22m euros, of which 2m euros were destined to research in and technological development of the automated warehouse division.

Investment in tangible fixed assets amounted to 19 m euros which were chiefly destined to the production plant in Gijón (Spain), where the Group is carrying out a major three-year investment project with the aim of increasing the capacity and level of integration of the production installations there, and in Gliwice (Poland), where the first manufacturing centre for automation equipment for warehouses has been in operation since the summer of 2007.

Reduction in net debt and increase in net equity
During 2007, the net debt of the Group decreased from 173.7m euros in 2006 to 169.1m euros in this financial year. At the same time, net equity increased from 202.2m euros to 221.7m euros in 2007, translated into a net debt/net equity ratio of 0.76 improving on the 0.86 of the 2006 financial year.

Growth in all markets
The Group has registered a growth of 12% in the markets of Southern Europe, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, in which it is leader. In other European markets, growth was 24%, above all thanks to the expansion of the Polish market.

Sales rose in the NAFTA area by 10% in local currency. Converted into euros, the growth in the NAFTA area was 1%, as the result was affected by the depreciation of the dollar.

Sales increased in Latin America by 21%. In Argentina, where the Mecalux Group is market leader, sales continued to rise, increasing by 12%. The Brazilian subsidiary, which is undergoing a process market penetration, grew rapidly by 44%.

Forecast in 2008 for the buyout of UFC Interlake Holding, Co
After the takeover of TKINSA, the automated warehouse division of ThyssenKrupp, and Esmena, its main competitor in Spain, Mecalux is now preparing to take over UFC Interlake Holding Co. Forecast for 2008, if the operation does go ahead, it will represent a strengthening of its position in the United States and the consolidation of its leadership in Latin America.