Responsible corporate management based on transparent performance indicators

The DEUTZ Group defines its budget targets and medium-term corporate targets using selected key performance indicators (KPIs). In order to increase profitability and achieve sustained growth, we manage the Group using the following financial performance indicators:

    2015 2014
       
Revenue growth (%) –18.5 5.3
EBIT margin before one-off items (%) 0.4 2.1
Working capital ratio 1) (average) (%) 17.6 13.3
ROCE before one-off items 2) (%) 0.6 3.9
R&D ratio (%) 3.3 3.5
Free cash flow 3) (€ million) 35.0 52.0
 
1) Working capital ratio (average): ratio of working capital (inventories plus trade receivables less trade payables), as an average of the four quarters, to revenue for the preceding twelve months.
2) Return on capital employed (ROCE): ratio of EBIT to average capital employed. Capital employed: total assets less cash and cash equivalents, trade payables and other current and non-current liabilities, based on average values from two balance sheet dates.
3) Free cash flow: cash flow from operating and investing activities less net interest expense.

Our internal control system focuses, on the one hand, on revenue growth and the EBIT margin before one-off items, while on the other hand, we manage tied-up capital via the average working capital ratio. In conjunction with working capital and EBIT optimisation, this in turn determines the return on capital employed. In managing its liquidity, DEUTZ focuses on free cash flow as a key performance indicator. Also, as a technology-oriented company, we consider the R&D ratio, which represents the ratio of research and development expenditure (less reimbursements) to revenue, to be a key management variable as part of our internal performance indicator system. On the basis of these KPIs, the Group’s financial flexibility is subject to constant analysis in the form of a comparison between budget and actual so that we can take swift, appropriate action in the event of significant variances. One-off items are defined as material income and expenses that are exceptional and unlikely to recur.

In order to enable us to be proactive and respond promptly, DEUTZ has set up an early warning system based on the performance indicators. A monthly/quarterly reporting process enables the Board of Management to track changes in the performance indicators. This approach ensures that we can respond immediately to the latest business developments. At the same time, we operate a sound system of causal analysis to ensure that we minimise risks and make the most of opportunities. Three times a year we produce an annual forecast for all key performance indicators. In this way, we ensure optimum transparency in our business performance, benefiting both the Group and all stakeholders.

In addition to the financial performance indicators which form part of the management system described above, we also employ a range of other parameters to measure our economic performance. These include, but are not limited to, new orders received, revenue and unit sales on the income side, the working capital as at the reporting date with regard to tied-up capital, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Moreover, the Group net income and the DEUTZ AG statutory income in accordance with the German Commercial Code are significant factors for us as regards dividend payments.