German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp back in black

Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG, with board members CFO Guido Kaufmann, Oliver Burkhard (corporate services) and Donatus Kaufmann (compliance) at the annual news conference in Essen.

Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of ThyssenKrupp AG, with board members CFO Guido Kaufmann, Oliver Burkhard (corporate services) and Donatus Kaufmann (compliance) at the annual news conference in Essen.

FRANKFURT: German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp said it turned in a profit for the first time in three years in the 12 months to September.

“For the first time in three years the Essen-based industrial and technology group has generated a net profit,” ThyssenKrupp said in a statement.

The group runs its business year from October to September and in year ended September 30, it booked net profit of 210 million euros ($263 million), compared with a loss of 1.436 billion euros a year earlier.

“The 2013/2014 fiscal year represents a milestone in our earnings situation,” said chief executive Heinrich Hiesinger.

Nevertheless, the turnaround was “not yet complete,” he added.

“And that’s why we will not let up in our efforts but will keep the pressure on. That applies to our efficiency program as well as our operating performance,” the CEO said.

Underlying or operating profit amounted to 1.333 billion euros, up from 517 million euros a year earlier.

Sales rose by 7.0 percent to 41.304 billion euros and new orders were also up 7.0 percent at 41.416 billion euros.

Given the return to profit, ThyssenKrupp said it would resume dividend payments to shareholders and would propose a dividend of 0.11 euros per share for the 2013/2014 fiscal year.

“We are aware that this proposal is no more than a signal to our shareholders,” Hiesinger said.

The last time ThyssenKrupp paid a dividend was in 2010-2011.

Looking ahead to the current year, the group was targeting a “significant” improvement in net profit, underlying profit of around 1.5 billion euros and a “single-digit” percentage increase in sales.

 
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