The Mayr-Melnhof Group started the business year 2015 with a good first quarter.
High capacity utilization and productivity increases contributed significantly to the profit growth of the Group compared to the previous year’s period. Improved performance of the packaging plants had a major part in this, while MM Karton was able to maintain the solid earnings level of the previous year.
However, a sustainable economic upturn cannot be inferred from this as the slight increase in incoming orders at the beginning of the year has now returned to the usual seasonal level due to a lack of further impulses. Nevertheless, we keep our goal to grow further with high profitability also in 2015.
The Group’s consolidated sales went up to EUR 533.9 million and thus were 1.9 % above the comparative figure of the previous year (1Q 2014: EUR 523.9 million). This rise is mainly the result of increased business volume in the packaging division.
Operating profit rose by 10.0 % or EUR 4.6 million to EUR 50.8 million. This growth is primarily attributable to the overall improved performance of the MM Packaging plants. Accordingly,
the Group’s operating margin reached 9.5 %, following 8.8 % in the first three months of the
Financial income of EUR 0.4 million (1Q 2014: EUR 0.4 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -1.6 million (1Q 2014: EUR -1.3 million).
Profit before tax thus rose by 9.9 % to EUR 47.6 million (1Q 2014: EUR 43.3 million). Income tax expense totaled EUR 12.1 million (1Q 2014: EUR 11.2 million), resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 25.4 % (1Q 2014: 25.9 %). Profit for the period therefore increased by 10.6 % to EUR 35.5 million (1Q 2014: EUR 32.1 million). This corresponds to 6.6 % of sales (1Q 2014: 6.1 %).
Impulses for demand from the overall economy for our industry cannot be determined. Therefore incoming orders reached the usual seasonal level again after a slight upturn at the beginning of the year. The current order backlog further enables a solid performance in both divisions. The strong profit development in the first quarter is a challenge for the subsequent quarters. Intense competition requires all efforts to be continually concentrated. However, maximum efficiency in production, optimum price level and continued long-term expansion should allow further progress at a high level of profitability. As in the past, organic and acquisition growth will complement each other.