EQS-News: Knorr-Bremse Aktiengesellschaft: Record Year for Knorr-Bremse: Revenues, Order Intake, and Order Book at Historic Highs, Turnaround Achieved, EBIT Margin Risen

EQS-News: Knorr-Bremse Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Quarter Results/Quarterly / Interim Statement
Knorr-Bremse Aktiengesellschaft: Record Year for Knorr-Bremse: Revenues, Order Intake, and Order Book at Historic Highs, Turnaround Achieved, EBIT Margin Risen
22.02.2024 / 07:00 CET/CEST
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

Record Year for Knorr-Bremse: Revenues, Order Intake, and Order Book at Historic Highs, Turnaround Achieved, EBIT Margin Risen

  • 2023 guidance met in full
  • Strongest revenues in company’s history: revenues up 10.9% at approx. € 7.9 billion thanks to strong demand
  • Order intake at all-time high at € 8.3 billion
  • Order book of € 7.1 billion provides security for developments in 2024
  • Similar positive trend for operating EBIT margin of 11.3% (previous year: 11.1%)
  • Strong free cash flow of € 553 million
  • “BOOST 2026” program: portfolio adjustment launched successfully; cost control and strategic alignment remain top priorities
  • Guidance for 2024: revenues of € 7.7 billion to € 8.0 billion, operating EBIT margin between 11.5% and 12.5%, and free cash flow between € 550 million and € 650 million


Munich, February 22, 2024 – Knorr-Bremse has proved its resilience and power, even in a more challenging economic environment like the previous year’s. Its revenues, order intake, and order book have climbed further to reach new record levels. The global market and technology leader for braking systems and leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems presented its preliminary results for the 2023 fiscal year in Munich today.

Marc Llistosella, Chief Executive Officer of Knorr-Bremse AG: “We have every reason to be proud as our excellent results for 2023 demonstrate the commitment of our workforce. The new records reached on our key financial performance indicators as well as the successful market launches and product developments also give us motivation for the upcoming challenges, given the excellent foundation that Knorr-Bremse has. With our ‘BOOST 2026’ strategy program, we are strengthening the company for the future. We are determinedly pushing ahead with measures such as the necessary portfolio optimization and Fix It program, paying strict attention to our cost control, and always keeping track of how our employee numbers are developing, too.

Frank Markus Weber, Chief Financial Officer of Knorr-Bremse AG: “We are very satisfied with the development of our financial performance indicators in the 2023 fiscal year. We have successfully managed to fully offset the inflation-driven cost increases of just under € 300 million. The cost control measures we implemented with discipline, the pricing negotiations we completed successfully, and the inventory and receivables management we optimized further all contributed to an improvement in profitability and excellent free cash flow. Our robust balance sheet puts us in a position where we can respond to the diverse macroeconomic challenges while simultaneously enjoying a great degree of financial flexibility to seize opportunities. The low net debt and our cash and cash equivalents of roughly € 1.4 billion underscore our company’s solid foundation.”

Profitability Up

The global economy continued to face pressure in the 2023 fiscal year, and inflation only went down slowly in many regions. Moreover, the negative impacts of Russia’s war on Ukraine remain a burden on the global markets. Knorr-Bremse was able to increase its consolidated revenues due to the sustained, pleasing customer demand and saw a 10.9% rise to € 7,925.6 million (previous year: € 7,149.7 million). Both divisions contributed equally to these positive developments. Profitability also improved through the cross-divisional Profit & Cash Protection Program (PCPP) in particular, with the operating EBIT margin reaching a value of 11.3% (previous year: 11.1%) and operating EBIT coming in at € 893.1 million (previous year: € 794.6 million). The free cash flow, which has risen to € 553.1 million (previous year: € 219.3 million), also demonstrates the positive effects of the active countermeasures. Thanks to a strong second half and a remarkable fourth quarter in particular, the cash conversion rate reached 93% and therefore slightly above the desired target range of 80% to 90%.

New Records for Order Intake and Order Book

Knorr-Bremse continued to record high customer demand in the previous fiscal year. At € 8,252.2 million (previous year: € 8,114.1 million), the order intake is approximately 1.7% higher than the previous year. The order book of roughly € 7,082.3 million as at December 31, 2023, saw a 2.5% increase year over year (previous year: € 6,907.5 million) and thus reached a new all-time high at year end.

Strong Revenue Development in Rail Vehicle Systems Division (RVS)

Demand in the rail vehicle market was robust in all regions. Europe and North America performed particularly positively, while China was assisted by a return to rising passenger numbers. During the 2023 fiscal year, the RVS division increased its revenues by 10.2%
from 2022, bringing them to € 3,747.5 million (previous year: € 3,401.9 million). Due to economies of scale, the efficiency measures implemented, pricing measures on the part of customers, and an improved share of aftermarket revenue, the operating EBIT margin reached 14.3% (previous year: 14.9%). The division’s order intake of € 4,042.5 million represented a slight decline of 2.9% (previous year: € 4,161.9 million). The order book of € 5,132.3 million as at December 31, 2023 (previous year: € 4,918.9 million), had also grown.

Significant Revenue Increase and Record Order Book in Commercial Vehicle Systems Division (CVS)

Demand in the global commercial vehicle market was at a good level in the previous year. Truck production rates in Europe and North America developed positively year over year while China boasted an increase of more than 50%. With a significant 11.5% increase in revenue to € 4,180.2 million (previous year: € 3,750.0 million), the division achieved strong results in the 2023 fiscal year as well. The division’s profitability was exceedingly positive with an operating EBIT margin of 10.0% (previous year: 9.0%). Order intake was up 6.5% at € 4,212.2 million (previous year: € 3,954.3 million). The order book was valued at € 1,951.7 million at year end (previous year: € 1,989.8 million).

BOOST Strategy: Portfolio Adjustment Launched Successfully

With “BOOST 2026” (Knorr-Bremse Operational Optimization Strategy and Transformation), Knorr-Bremse has launched an array of strategic initiatives and measures to ensure sustainable and profitable growth over the coming years. They include an ongoing review of the business portfolio in relation to performance and business fit.

As part of this process, Knorr-Bremse sold Kiepe Electric, an RVS business unit based in Düsseldorf, to Heramba, with the transaction closing in late January 2024.

Sustainable Corporate Strategy: Climate Protection Targets Expanded

Rating agencies such as CDP, ISS ESG, Sustainalytics, and S&P Global are recognizing the further reinforcement of ESG structures, the ongoing implementation of climate protection projects, and the steady entrenchment of sustainability in decision-making processes at Knorr-Bremse during the previous fiscal year and are awarding significantly improved ratings.

In terms of climate protection, Knorr-Bremse has committed to a long-term target of net zero emissions (Scopes 1 to 3) by 2050. Moreover, expanded climate targets[1] validated by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) were set in 2023 and comprise direct production emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) as well as significant emissions from the supply chain and product usage (Scope 3).

Guidance for 2024

Assuming that exchange rates remain stable and that the geopolitical and macroeconomic environments remain mostly stable, the company expects revenues between € 7,700 million and € 8,000 million (excluding Kiepe Electric revenues), an operating EBIT margin of 11.5% to 12.5%, and free cash flow between € 550 million and € 650 million for the 2024 fiscal year.

The figures presented here are preliminary and unaudited. The full annual financial statements and annual report will be published on www.knorr-bremse.com on March 21, 2024.

A video recording of the annual press conference with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marc Llistosella and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Frank Markus Weber on the preliminary figures for the 2023 fiscal year will be provided in the Knorr-Bremse Newsroom section of our website.

A webcast for investors with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marc Llistosella and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Frank Markus Weber on the preliminary figures for the 2023 fiscal year will be held today at 1 p.m. (CET). The presentations are available on our website at www.knorr-bremse.com.

Knorr-Bremse Group Key Performance Indicators:

Group: Full year   4th quarter  
  2023 2022   2023 2022  
   million  million Δ  million  million Δ
Order intake 8,252.2 8,114.1 +1,7% 2,036.1 2,197.3 -7.3%
Order book (Dec. 31) 7,082.3 6,907.5 +2.5% 7,082.3 6,907.5 +2.5%
Revenues 7,925.6 7,149.7 +10.9% 2,069.4 1,951.7 +6.0%
EBITDA 1,221.0 1,045.6 +16.8% 341.2 278.2 +22.7%
EBITDA margin 15.4% 14.6% +80 bp 16.5% 14.3% +220 bp
Operating EBITDA margin 15.5% 15.4% +10 bp 16.6% 15.8% +80 bp
EBIT 869.9 721.3 +20.6% 247.9 178.1 +39.2%
EBIT margin 11.0% 10.1% +90 bp 12.0% 9.1% +290 bp
Operating EBIT margin 11.3% 11.1% +20 bp 12.3% 11.6% +70 bp
Free cash flow 553.1 219.3 +152.2% 488.2 448.4 +8.9%
Capital expenditure
(before IFRS 16 and acquisitions)
369.8 352.1 +5.0% 147.7 125.7 +17.5%
R&D costs as % of revenues 6.9% 6.5% +40 bp 7.8% 6.0% +180 bp
Net income 596.2 506.3 +17.8% 198.0 121.4 +63.1%
Earnings per share (in EUR) 3.47 3.03 +14.5% 1.17 0.70 +67.1%
Employees (Dec. 31;
head count)
33,319 31,599 +5.4%      


Divisions: Full year   4th quarter  
  2023 2022   2023 2022  
   million  million Δ  million  million Δ
Rail Vehicle Systems            
Order intake 4,042.5 4,161.9 -2.9% 998.4 1,156.5 -13.7%
Revenues 3,747.5 3,401.9 +10.2% 1,002.0 949.1 +5.6%
EBITDA 680.4 589.5 +15.4% 184.1 142.5 +29.2%
EBITDA margin 18.2% 17.3% +90 bp 18.4% 15.0% +340 bp
Operating EBITDA margin 18.1% 18.8% -70 bp 18.6% 17.6% +100 bp
EBIT 531.9 453.8 +17.2% 146.4 105.1 +39.3%
EBIT margin 14.2% 13.3% +90 bp 14.6% 11.1% +350 bp
Operating EBIT margin 14.3% 14.9% -60 bp 14.8% 14.1% +70 bp
Commercial Vehicle Systems
Order intake 4,212.2 3,954.3 +6.5% 1,038.6 1,041.1 -0.2%
Revenues 4,180.2 3,750.0 +11.5% 1,067.9 1,003.2 +6.4%
EBITDA 571.3 481.0 +18.8% 161.1 136.4 +18.1%
EBITDA margin 13.7% 12.8% +90 bp 15.1% 13.6% +150 bp
Operating EBITDA margin 14.0% 13.0% +100 bp 15.2% 14.1% +110 bp
EBIT 398.0 318.2 +25.1% 112.8 81.0 +39.3%
EBIT margin 9.5% 8.5% +100 bp 10.6% 8.1% +250 bp
Operating EBIT margin 10.0% 9.0% +100 bp 11.0% 10.1% +90 bp



Alexander Stechert-Mayerhöfer, Head of Corporate Communications

Phone: +49 89 3547 1942, e-mail: alexander.stechert-mayerhoefer@knorr-bremse.com

Claudia Züchner, Spokeswoman Financial Communications

Phone: +49 89 3547 2582, e-mail: claudia.zuechner@knorr-bremse.com


Investor Relations:

Andreas Spitzauer, Head of Investor Relations

Phone: +49 89 3547 182310, e-mail: andreas.spitzauer@knorr-bremse.com


About Knorr-Bremse

Knorr-Bremse (ISIN: DE000KBX1006, ticker symbol: KBX) is the global market and technology leader for braking systems and other rail and commercial vehicle systems. Knorr-Bremse’s products make a decisive contribution to greater safety and energy efficiency on rail tracks and roads around the world. 33,000 employees at over 100 locations in approximately 30 countries develop and produce innovative solutions and services that meet the highest technological standards. In 2023, Knorr-Bremse’s two divisions together generated revenues of approximately € 7.9 billion. For almost 120 years, the company has been at the cutting edge of its industries, driving innovation in mobility and transportation technologies with a leading edge in connected system solutions. Knorr-Bremse is one of Germany’s most successful industrial companies and profits from the key global megatrends: urbanization, sustainability, digitalization, and mobility.


This publication has been independently prepared by Knorr-Bremse AG. It may contain forward-looking statements which address key issues such as strategy, future financial results, events, competitive positions and product developments. These forward-looking statements – like any business activity in a global environment – are always associated with uncertainty. They are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, but not limited to, those described in Knorr-Bremse’s disclosures. Should one or more of these risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying expectations not occur or should assumptions prove incorrect, the actual results, performances or achievements of Knorr-Bremse may vary materially from those described in the relevant forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “expect,” “want,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate,” “will,” “project” or words of similar meaning. Knorr-Bremse does not intend, nor does it assume any obligation, to update or revise its forward-looking statements regularly in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.

This publication may include supplemental financial measures – not clearly defined in the applicable financial reporting framework – that are or may be alternative performance measures (non-GAAP measures). Knorr-Bremse’s financial position, financial performance and cash flows should not be assessed solely on the basis of these alternative supplemental financial measures. Under no circumstances do they replace the performance indicators presented in the consolidated financial statements and calculated in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework. The calculation by other companies that report or describe similarly titled alternative performance measures may vary despite the use of the same or similar terminology.

[1] Knorr-Bremse AG commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 75% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. Knorr-Bremse AG also commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods and services, upstream transport and distribution and use of sold products 25% by 2030 from a 2021 base year.

22.02.2024 CET/CEST Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by EQS News - a service of EQS Group AG.
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