German material handling giant Kion Group AG today reported a 2.4-percent increase in quarterly revenue despite a slowing in the pace of global demand for forklift trucks and warehouse technology, the firm said.
Frankfurt-based Kion posted US$2.23 billion in revenue in the first quarter, as strong demand in North and South America offset a slowing in growth rates in Europe and China, the company said.
Worldwide, Kion's orders for its Industrial Trucks and Services segment rose 7.3 percent, to around 53,500 units, marking the company's highest figure ever for a first quarter. However, Kion reports its results in euros and the impact of a weak U.S. dollar during that period depressed the value of those orders, the company said. Measured by value, Kion's first-quarter order intake for Industrial Trucks and Services—which includes forklift trucks, warehouse technology, and related services—was up 5 percent, to $1.8 billion.
Business was weaker in Kion's Supply Chain Solutions segment, which generated $480 million in revenue, a 14.1-percent decline compared to the same quarter in 2017. That segment includes automated material handling systems integrator Dematic, which was acquired by Kion in 2016.
However, Kion forecasts market growth for the remainder of 2018, and will continue to follow its "Kion 2027 strategy," Kion CEO Gordon Riske said in a statement.
Unveiled in March, the strategy calls for Kion to adapt, like other logistics and material handling firms, to the trends of digitization, automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT).