Quarters 1–3, 2014–2015: Miba is exploiting market opportunities

  • Revenue and profit up
  • Greatest opportunities for growth in the USA and China
  • Subdued outlook for 2015


In the first three quarters of 2014–2015 (February 1 to October 31), the Upper Austrian technology group generated consolidated revenue of EUR 498.3 million, which equates to an increase of EUR 38.3 million, or 8.3 percent, compared to the first three quarters of 2013–2014. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) amounted to EUR 62.9 million (previous year: EUR 54.1 million). While expectations for the full year are positive, the outlook for 2015 is subdued due to the weak investment climate and the potential effects from geopolitical tensions.

“In the third quarter, we have again benefited from the positive performance in many of our sales markets and have exploited the resulting market opportunities well,” said Chairman of the Management Board, F. Peter Mitterbauer. From as early as the beginning of the year, the automotive industry in Europe, the USA and China, as well as the heavy truck market in Europe and the USA were the growth drivers. “At the same time, we are, however, confronted by weaknesses in other markets that have already persisted for some time,” added Mitterbauer. Global demand for ships or mining equipment thus continued to remain at historically low levels in recent months and the market for agricultural commercial vehicles declined.

“Thanks to our broad product portfolio, we were able to compensate for the weaknesses in some sectors with a strong performance in others. The range of products, from power electronics components to engine bearings and friction materials right through to sintered components stands us in good stead,” explained Mitterbauer.


Focus on global growth

In addition to product diversity, Miba is also relying on its systematic global focus. To maintain and further increase its competitiveness, Miba is investing more heavily in the USA and China where there are the greatest opportunities for growth for the Upper Austrian technology group. In March and July, Miba completed the expansions of its sites in China and in the USA. The aim now is to fill these additional premises with new orders. In the first nine months of the fiscal year, Miba invested a total of EUR 36.1 million in capacity expansions and in measures to improve productivity, thus remaining true to its expansive investment strategy.


Driven by highly qualified employees

Miba’s global growth also leads to increasing demands on the Company as an employer and training operation – only employees who are best suited to this can support this growth appropriately. “Finding the best minds in the global job market is not that easy. We are always on the lookout for highly qualified employees who share our passion for high performance. At the same time, we also try to meet our needs from our own ranks,” explained Mitterbauer. Miba has its own executive development programs and is regarded as an exemplary business in Austria when it comes to apprentice training. In Slovakia, the Company is well on its way there – of the 200 plus apprentices in training, a third already come from the two Slovakian Miba sites where Miba has for some years now been using its own training model. “Since October, we have been offering dual vocational training wholly along Austrian lines as a partner in the youngSTAR pilot project in Vráble,” recounted Mitterbauer. youngSTAR is a Slovakian government initiative which is being supported by the Austrian Economic Chamber and companies like Miba.

As of the October 31, 2014, reporting date, Miba employed 5,154 members of staff globally (including agency staff), and therefore more than 500 more people than a year ago. On the one hand, the increase in the number of employees is attributable to this year’s initial consolidation of the Chinese company, EBG Shenzhen Ltd., in which the Miba Group holds 55 percent of the shares overall. On the other hand, employees were recruited mainly at the Suzhou (China) site and in Slovakia and Austria.


Subdued outlook for the next fiscal year

Overall, the first three quarters of 2014–2015 have been satisfactory for Miba, which is why expectations for the whole year are mainly positive. “We are much more guarded and skeptical in our assessment of the next fiscal year.” said Mitterbauer, pointing to, among other things, the weak investment climate especially in Europe and the effects of the geopolitical unrest which are difficult to predict. “For us, this means that we need to be even more vigilant and flexible because we want to continue to grow profitably in the future,” said Mitterbauer.


Overview of key figures

 

Quarters 1–3 2014–15

 
 

Quarters 1–3 2013–14

 
 

Quarters 1–3 2012–13

 
 

Quarters 1–3 2011–12

 
 

Revenue (in EUR million)

 
 

498.3

 
 

460.0

 
 

461.9

 
 

429.7

 
 

EBIT (in EUR million)

 
 

62.9

 
 

54.1

 
 

54.2

 
 

50.2

 
 

Capital expenditure (excl. financial assets) (in EUR million)

 
 

36.1

 
 

37.3

 
 

40.0

 
 

34.4

 
 

Number of employees as of October 31 (including agency staff)

 
 

5,154

 
 

4,618

 
 

4,412

 
 

4,254