Bielefeld. 2005 was a satisfactory financial year for GILDEMEISTER. We have reached our budget estimates and slightly exceeded our targets published in the previous Interim Report. Sales revenues amounted to Euro 1,125.9 million, a rise of 7% (previous year: Euro 1,051.5 million). At Euro 1,170.7 million (+5%), we have achieved the highest order intake in the 135-year history of the company (previous year: Euro 1,113.9 million). Profitability has improved: EBITDA was Euro 87.7 million (previous year: Euro 71.2 million); EBIT amounted to Euro 56.4 million (previous year: Euro 41.9 million). EBT reached Euro 25.4 million (previous year: Euro 12.0 million) and has therefore doubled. According to provisional figures, the group has recorded an annual profit of Euro 13.2 million (previous year: Euro 5.6 million). Earnings per share rose to Euro 0.30 (previous year: Euro 0.15). We will propose to the general meeting of shareholders, to be held on 19 May 2006, to distribute a dividend of Euro 0.10 for the financial year 2005.
The increased demand for machine tools has had a positive impact on our sales development. Sales revenues increased by 7% to Euro 1,125.9 million (previous year: Euro 1,051.5 million). In the fourth quarter, sales revenues amounted to Euro 333.3 million, which is 5% above the figure for the corresponding period of the previous year (Euro 316.4 million). International sales revenues increased by 14% to Euro 624.0 million. At Euro 501.9 million, domestic sales revenues were in line with the preceding year's level. The export share was 55% (previous year: 52%). Machine tools contributed 70% (previous year: 71%) to total sales revenues; the Services increased to 30% (previous year: 29%).
At Euro 1,170.7 million (+5%), order intake exceeded the previous year (Euro 1,113.9 million). Fresh stimuli were triggered by the EMO 2005 that took place in Hanover. In the fourth quarter, order intake reached Euro 296.9 million (previous year: Euro 302.1 million). The rise in order intake was mainly due to international orders, which were up by 7% or Euro 44.9 million to Euro 650.0 million (previous year: Euro 605.1 million). The international share amounted to 56% (previous year: 54%). Domestic orders amounted to Euro 520.7 million, which is an increase of Euro 11.9 million or 2% compared to the previous year (Euro 508.8 million). Against the current industry trend, we continued to increase our order intake in Germany. As expected, our growth in Europe was stable. Orders from America and Asia performed well and were up again.
On 31 December 2005 the group's order backlog amounted to Euro 346.8 million.
The earnings side continued to improve: EBITDA was Euro 87.7 million (previous year: Euro 71.2 million). EBIT amounted to Euro 56.4 million (previous year: Euro 41.9 million). EBT was Euro 25.4 million (previous year: Euro 12.0 million) and therefore doubled. The group's annual profit increased to Euro 13.2 million (previous year: Euro 5.6 million). Earnings per share rose to Euro 0.30 (previous year: Euro 0.15). The above figures are subject to audit. We will propose to the general meeting of shareholders to distribute a dividend of Euro 0.10.
In 2005 the GILDEMEISTER share increased in value. At the beginning of the year it was quoted at Euro 5.20; at the end of the year it was Euro 5.86. Its Euro 6.39 peak was reached on 22 August. Our share is currently quoted at Euro 6.95 (13 February 2006).
On 31 December, the group had 5,272 employees (previous year: 5,174), 189 of whom were trainees. The increased personnel requirement of 98 members of staff arose primarily in the service business and was due to the increased requirements of our customers throughout the world in line with current demand trends. Due to the increased number of staff and higher expenses arising from standard wage increases and overtime, personnel costs amounted to Euro 296.2 million (previous year: Euro 282.5 million). The staff quota decreased to 25.9% (previous year: 26.8%).
Spending on research and development amounted to Euro 45.7 million (previous year: Euro 37.8 million). In the reporting year, our developments were focused on the industry's highlight of the year, the EMO. This resulted in 22 new developments, emphasising the group's technical knowledge and the success of our innovation-oriented strategy.
According to economic experts, global economic development will continue to be vibrant throughout the current financial year, with China and the USA remaining the main driving forces. Increasing growth trends have been forecast for Germany. Current forecasts for the machine building industry, and for machine tools as its major special line, also continue to expect growth. The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) expects a 2% increase in production for 2006. The German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) estimates the increase in worldwide machine tool consumption in 2006 at 5%.
GILDEMEISTER starts the new financial year with confidence. We will continue to pursue our positive development at a higher level. In Asia and America, we will optimise and sustain our presence in the global markets. Our range of products remains innovative and trendsetting. For the overall year we expect, for the first time, order intake to exceed Euro 1.2 billion. In view of our order backlog and in line with the order intake, we intend to increase our sales figures. For the financial year 2006 we expect an improvement in EBT and in the annual profit of more than 30%. We intend to reinforce the group's profitability.
The Executive Board