R. STAHL publishes figures for Q1 2017

Solid increase in order intake, sales still weak as expected

  • Order intake rises 7.0 percent to EUR 75.8 million
  • Order backlog of EUR 91.3 million at prior year’s level again
  • Sales down 8.7 percent, still laging behind order intake         
  • Lower sales as well as exceptionals weigh on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)
  • Free cashflow significantly improved


R. STAHL started the year 2017 with a significantly improved order situation. Whereas low oil prices brought about a strong downward trend in order intake during the last two quarters of 2016, there was a noticeable upturn in the first quarter of 2017. With EUR 75.8 million, order intake was up 7.0 percent (Q1 2016: EUR 70.8 million) compared to previous year's first quarter, driven both by the small-scale and project businesses. However, growth in order intake was tempered by a still weak sales trend. As expected, the low order backlog at the end of the previous quarter led to a decline of sales by 8.7 percent to EUR 65.5 million (Q1 2016: EUR 71.7 million). This also had a correspondingly negative impact on earnings, resulting in an EBIT of EUR -4.0 million (Q1 2016: EUR 3.3 million). Exceptionals of EUR -1.7 million also contributed to this decline. Thus, EBIT pre reached EUR -2.3 million (Q1 2016: EUR 3.2 million).


Double-digit growth in order intake in three out of four regions
Following a weak conclusion to 2016, the propensity for investment in the oil and gas sector is beginning to slowly improve. Three out of four regions posted double-digit growth. In addition to steadily growing demand from the oil and gas sector, increased order intake was also attributable to the ongoing pursuit of the company’s strategic objectives, including the realignment of R. STAHL’s automation business in early 2017 and the consistent expansion of its LED lighting portfolio.

In Germany, orders worth EUR 18.5 million were up 13.6 percent on the prior-year quarter (Q1 2016: EUR 16.3 million). Only the Central region – comprising Africa and Europe without Germany – suffered a decline in order intake of 8.3 percent to EUR 29.4 million when compared with the prior-year quarter (Q1 2016: EUR 32.1 million). In the previous year, a major project had made a significant contribution to order intake in this region. With growth of 41.2 percent to EUR 12.8 million, the Americas achieved the strongest regional increase in order intake compared to the prior-year quarter (Q1 2016: EUR 9.0 million). Also, order intake in the Asia/Pacific region increased by 12.5 percent to EUR 15.1 million (Q1 2016: EUR 13.4 million). Due to the good performance of order intake, the order backlog position also improved strongly over the previous quarter to EUR 91.3 million (Q4 2016: EUR 80.7 million), reaching the prior-year level (Q1 2016: EUR 91.8 million).

Sales still lagging behind order intake
The development of sales failed to match growth in order intake during the reporting quarter. The weak order position at the end of 2016 led to a decline in sales to EUR 65.5 million. This represents a decrease of 8.7 percent compared to the prior-year quarter (Q1 2016: EUR 71.7 million). Falling sales were recorded in all four regions as a result of a low order backlog as well as project postponements. In Germany, the year-on-year decrease was relatively moderate at 4.5 percent to EUR 15.2 million (Q1 2016: EUR 15.9 million). The proportion of customers in the oil and gas sector is comparatively low in this country. There was also a below-average fall in sales of 6.4 percent to EUR 29.8 million in the Central region compared to the same period last year (Q1 2016: 31.8 million). The fall in sales in the Americas and Asia/Pacific regions was more pronounced though, as both suffered double-digit declines. With a decrease of 12.2 percent to EUR 7.4 million (Q1 2016: EUR 8.4 million), the Americas fared slightly better than the Asia/Pacific region, which posted a year-on-year decline of 15.9 percent to EUR 13.1 million (Q1 2016: EUR 15.6 million).

EBIT affected by soft sales and exceptionals
The lower sales level in the reporting period had a direct impact on profitability. Thus, EBIT went down to EUR -4.0 million (Q1 2016: EUR 3.3 million). An unfavourable development in product mix compared to last year as well as pricing pressure had a noticeable impact on sales, while price hikes at the beginning of the reporting period had not yet taken full effect. In addition, exceptionals amounting to EUR 0.9 million stemming from devaluations of receivables and inventories as well as restructuring costs contributed negatively to EBIT in the first quarter 2017. Thus, EBIT pre reached EUR -2.3 million (Q1 2016: EUR 3.2 million).

Free cash flow significantly improved
As a result of the decline in net profit, cash flow in the reporting period fell to EUR -1.4 million (Q1 2016: EUR 4.8 million). In contrast, working capital decreased by EUR 6.1 million in the reporting period, mainly due to higher payments received from receivables and prepayments. As a result, cash flow from operating activities rose to EUR 4.7 million in the reporting period (Q1 2016: EUR 2.6 million), while free cash flow improved to EUR 1.4 million (Q1 2016: EUR 0.0 million).

Guidance unchanged
Our business performance in the first three months of the new year confirms that an exact forecast for the current fiscal year of R. STAHL is still fraught with major uncertainties due to the persistently tense situation in the oil and gas sector. Although there has been a noticeable improvement in order intake and backlog, visibility remains low. Moreover, revenue recognition continues to lag behind order intake. This means that sales and EBIT in 2017 will only reflect improved order intake with a certain time delay.

For the fiscal year 2017, the Executive Board expects order intake in the region of EUR 295 million to EUR 305 million and sales of between EUR 285 million and EUR 295 million. EBIT pre exceptionals is expected to come in between EUR 3.5 million and EUR 7.5 million, depending on revenue recognition and sales mix.


* exceptionals: non-scheduled depreciation, impairment reversals, proceeds from the sale of non-current assets, restructuring charges, costs from portfolio activities


Key figures of R. STAHL Group
pursuant to IFRS 


Q1 2017


 Q1 2016




Sales, total



- 8.7%




- 4.5%

Central region**



- 6.4%




- 12.2%




- 15.9%

Order intake



+ 7.0%

Order backlog



- 0.5%

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)

- 1.0


n. a.

EBITDA in % of sales

n. a.


n. a.

EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes)

- 4.0


n. a.

EBIT in % of sales

n. a.


n. a.

EBIT pre exceptionals*



n. a.

EBIT pre exceptionals in % of sales

n. a.


n. a.

EBT (earnings before taxes)



n. a.

EBT in % of sales

n. a.


n. a.

Net profit



n. a.

Eeanings per share (in EUR)

- 0.47


n. a.





Capital expenditures



- 25.6%

Depreciation and amortization



- 7.5%

Cashflow from operating activities



+ 85.4%

Cash and cash equivalents



+ 6.7%

Employees as of March 31 (without apprentices)



- 3.0%

** Central region: Africa and Europe excl. Germany


Investors’ and analysts’ conference call of R. STAHL AG on Q1 2017
On the occasion of the publication of its Q1 2017 interim report, R. STAHL AG is pleased to invite all interested investors and analysts to participate in a conference call to be held on May 09, 2017 at 14:00 CET.

The Chief Financial Officer of R. STAHL AG, Mr. Bernd Marx, will explain the results of Q1 2017 and will be available for questions and discussions afterwards. The conference call will be held in English language.

Please dial the following number to join the call and provide the following PIN as well as your full name and company when prompted:

DE: +4969222229043
UK: +442030092452
USA: +18554027766

PIN: 16790194#

Along with the conference call we will provide an online presentation via the internet simultaneously. Please log on as a participant with your full name and company under the following website:

Website: www.audio-webcast.com

Password: rstahl0517

Direct link: http://www.audio-webcast.com/cgi-bin/login.ssp?fn=verify_user&curPassword=rstahl0517


Financial calendar 2017
June 02                     Annual general meeting in Neuenstein
August 03                 Interim report Q2 2017
November 09           Interim report Q3 2017


About R. STAHL – www.stahl.de
R. STAHL is the world's leading supplier of electrical and electronic products and systems for explosion protection. These products and systems prevent explosions in hazardous areas and contribute to the safety of people, machines and the environment. The portfolio ranges from products used in switching/distributing, installing, operating/monitoring, lighting and signalling/alarming up to automation. Typical customers operate in the oil & gas industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and the food industry. In FY 2016, global sales amounting to EUR 286.6 million were generated with about 1,788 employees. 

The shares of R. STAHL AG are traded on the Regulated Market/Prime Standard of Deutsche Boerse (ISIN DE000A1PHBB5).


Am Bahnhof 30, 74638 Waldenburg (Wuertt.)

Dr. Thomas Kornek
Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
P: +49 7942 943-1395
E: [email protected]