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Germany's Thyssenkrupp reported its highest annual order intake in five years on Thursday while profit jumped 30 percent powered by demand for its high-tech elevators and car components.
Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger aims to transform Thyssenkrupp into a technology group and is slowly cutting ties to its steelmaking business, whose roots go back more than 200 years, after a recent merger deal with Tata Steel.
The group is staking its future on its elevators unit, its most profitable, as well as demand from the automotive sector, its biggest customer group accounting for about a quarter of sales.
"We actually want to solve the underlying problem, which is overcapacity," Hiesinger told CNBC on Thursday.
"All the steel mills in the U.K., Netherlands and Germany … They have always restructured their business, but the success out of Dutch restructuring was always taken away because the underlying problem was not tackled," he added.
Order intake rose 18 percent to 44.29 billion euros ($52.34 billion) in the financial year to Sept. 30 while adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) reached 1.91 billion euros, beating the 1.73 billion expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.
"The improved operating figures show that our performance programs are working," Hiesinger said, adding the group would continue to expand its capital goods business and increase efficiency across all business units.
Shares in Thyssenkrupp were indicated up 1 percent, putting them at the top of Frankfurt's blue-chip DAX index.
As well as its steelmaking merger with Tata, which will create Europe's No.2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, Thyssenkrupp this year agreed to sell money-losing Brazilian steel mill CSA Cia Siderúrgica do Atlántico SA.
Ending a foray into the Americas that led to years of massive losses, the sale of the mill to Ternium SA resulted in charges that sent Thyssenkrupp to an annual net loss of 649 million euros.
Thyssenkrupp recommended an unchanged dividend of 0.15 euros per share. It expects adjusted EBIT this year of 1.8-2.0 billion euros while analysts on average expect 2.03