GEA Orders Through May Rise on Acquisitions, International Sales

GEA Group AG, whose machines milk a third of the world’s dairy cows, said orders through May rose as acquisitions brought in new customers and the manufacturer won more sales contracts outside Europe.

The increase was 26 percent compared to the year-earlier period as all segments received higher orders, the Bochum, Germany-based company said in a presentation to analysts.

The manufacturer, which supplies equipment to the food and energy industries, completed the 435 million-euro takeover of Convenience Food Systems NV in March, adding technology to process fish, meat and cheese. Orders received this year include contracts to supply condensers for power plants in Mexico and China, announced yesterday, and air coolers for a gas-processing facility in Qatar, as well as construction of a milk-powder plant in New Zealand.

Chief Executive Officer Juerg Oleas is focusing on the food industry as a more stable market than other manufacturers. GEA also supplies equipment and components to makers of medicines, cosmetics and chemicals.

GEA forecast on March 10 that, excluding contributions by recent acquisitions such as CFS, Bock Kaeltemaschinen GmbH and Mashimpeks Ltd., sales and new orders this year will rise by “at least” 5 percent. Earnings before interest and taxes will climb to about 9 percent of sales in 2011, from an Ebit margin of 6.1 percent on 4.4 billion euros revenue last year, with sales and earnings continuing to increase in 2012, it said.

The manufacturer is aiming for a margin of 12 percent across economic cycles. GEA had 22,945 employees as of March 31. The German company says its specialized equipment is used in plants producing one-third of the world’s instant coffee and half of its beer.

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