MEDIA-Forklift truck maker Jungheinrich aims to lift EBIT margin - BoeZ

The head of German forklift truck manufacturer Jungheinrich told Boersenzeitung on Tuesday the company aimed to raise its margin on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to 8 percent in the coming four to five years.

* CEO Hans-Georg Frey told the daily paper in an interview that he expected a margin of 7.5 for 2018. The higher number would be reached depending on how much was invested in new technologies such as lithium-ion, automated vehicles and digitisation, he said.

* 2019 has started promisingly, orders are high, he said. Sales growth of 10-12 percent seen in recent years will not be repeated, and growth will be more moderate, he added, noting previous results had been unusually strong.

* He reiterated a sales target of 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) for 2020 at the latest, saying this could possibly be reached in 2019, which would trigger a longer-term strategy review.

* Fall-out from the UK leaving the European Union and global tariff disputes will be limited as the company is geographically diversified, he said, warning against “hysteria.”

* He expects lower raw materials costs, but higher staff costs in 2019.

* An increase in merger and acquisition activity is not on the agenda, he added. ($1 = 0.8836 euros) (Reporting by Frankfurt Newsroom)