In 2014, Nexter confirmed its strong growth, founded on its solid industrial, economic and financial fundamentals. The sustained innovation and sales activity at the heart of its organic development, combined with a targeted external growth strategy, with the acquisition of Mecar in Belgium and Simmel Difesa in Italy, allowed the Group to increase orders taken two-fold in the course of the financial year. International markets accounted for 56% of orders taken.
With a book-to-bill of 1.2, the order book totaled €5 billion at the end of December 2014, of which €2.8 billion of intentions to order for the conditional tranches of firm contracts on December 31, 2014. These orders represent more than 2 years of activity, with firm export orders now accounting for 53.2% of the order book. The share of the ammunition sector increased to €883 million, as a consequence of the external growth in the course of the year, positioning the Group’s ammunition activity amongst the top three ammunition manufacturers in Europe.
Turnover was €1.048 billion in 2014, up 33% on the preceding financial year. International activity progressed significantly, now accounting for 53% of turnover. On a like-for-like basis, and excluding external growth, turnover increased by about 25%.
For the ninth consecutive year, the Nexter Group posted an operating margin in excess of 13% of its turnover, reflecting the fact that it has honored its contractual commitments to its customers.
In 2014, Nexter Systems and KMW, convinced of the need to reinforce the defense sector on a European scale, announced their intention to share their future road ahead. On July 1, 2014, the shareholders of the two French and German companies signed a memorandum of understanding for an equally owned alliance. This project is progressing and should produce concrete results in 2015.