Strong financial year for KUKA

KUKA has met and even exceeded its ambitious financial targets for 2023. In addition to KUKA’s Group-wide order intake (€4.0 billion, 2022: €4.5 billion), sales revenues (€4.1 billion) also exceeded the four-billion-euro mark for the first time. EBIT also rose for the first time to €158.2 million. At 0.99, the book-to-bill ratio was below the previous year’s figure (2022: 1,14).

“Automation and robotics have developed from a megatrend to a cornerstone of industrial production, indispensable especially in high-wage countries,” says KUKA Group CEO Peter Mohnen. “Accordingly, the automation market has be- come extremely competitive. KUKA is holding its own very well in this highly competitive environment and is growing internationally.”

Years of market knowledge, combined with innovative strength and a strong local presence in important markets such as North America and China, are convincing customers. The USA, for example, is KUKA’s largest single market with sales of almost one billion euros.

In addition, KUKA’s expertise is helping more and more industries to remain competitive in the long term, especially in a challenging environment.

Cautious first quarter of 2024

Global uncertainties, a pessimistic mood and a weak economy are currently weighing on the economy, both in Germany and worldwide. This is also having an impact on KUKA and customer demand. KUKA has started 2024 with a decline in incoming orders. “Despite the slow start, we are cautiously optimistic about this year and expect slight growth. In the medium term, we want to grow comprehensively,” says Peter Mohnen.

Despite economic cycles, the automation industry is developing strongly – this is also confirmed by the International Federation of Robotics with the latest available surveys. According to this, the number of industrial robots in use world- wide reached a new record of 3.9 million in 2022.

“In this strong future market, it is crucial to be close to customers and markets,” says KUKA Group CEO Peter Mohnen. “Our top priority is to focus on constant change and agility instead of the status-quo. This is the only way we can remain competitive. As a global Group, we must support in shaping change and recog- nize trends early on. This ranges from AI-based robot programming to flexibly deployable robots that can grip unknown components better thanks to AI to mo- bile autonomous assistants.”

More mobile and flexible: trends in the automation market

Autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) is being driven by the shortage of skilled workers in logistics. Here, KUKA is strategically expanding its AMR portfolio, for example for the transportation of goods in production. “Customer interest is high. Our goal is to be one of the top five manufacturers of autonomous mobile robots by 2027,” says Reinhold Groß, CEO of KUKA Robotics.

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