Marel Q2 2021: Record orders and cash flow, revenues and EBIT stable between quarters


Financial highlights Q2 2021

  • Record orders received and strong order book, orders for poultry were at a strong level, meat were in line with expectations and fish were at record levels.
  • Pipeline building up across all industries and processing stages.
  • Profitability at similar levels as Q1 2021, hampered by supply chain and logistics costs, as well as step up in sales and service coverage ahead of the growth curve.
  • Orders received were EUR 371.3m (2Q20: 280.1m).
  • The order book was EUR 499.1m (1Q21: 455.3m, 2Q20: 439.0m). 
  • Revenues were EUR 327.5m (2Q20: 305.7m). 
  • EBIT1 was EUR 38.6m (2Q20: 45.0m), translating to an EBIT1 margin of 11.8% (2Q20: 14.7%). 
  • Net result was EUR 23.3m (2Q20: 30.7m).
  • Basic earnings per share (EPS) were EUR 3.14 cents (2Q20: 4.07 cents).
  • Cash flow from operating activities before interest and tax was EUR 77.9m (2Q20: 63.1m).
  • Free cash flow at EUR 54.6m (2Q20: 47.6m)
  • Net debt/EBITDA was 0.8x at the end of June (1Q21: 0.8x, 2Q20: 0.6x).

Financial highlights 1H 2021

  • Orders received were EUR 740.7m (1H20: 631.9m).
  • Revenues were EUR 661.5m (1H20: 607.3m).
  • EBIT1 was EUR 76.6m (1H20: 70.4m), translating to an EBIT1 margin of 11.6% (1H20: 11.6%). 
  • Net result was EUR 44.5m (1H20: 44.1m). 
  • Basic earnings per share (EPS) were EUR 5.95 cents (1H20: 5.82 cents).
  • Cash flow from operating activities before interest and tax in the first six months was EUR 138.1m (1H20: 124.6m).
  • Free cash flow at EUR 100.1m (1H20: 86.2m).

Árni Oddur Thórdarson, CEO of Marel commented:

“The second quarter was a dynamic one for Marel, where the partnership between our passionate team, our customers and suppliers was paramount to our success.

For two sequential quarters, we’ve secured record orders received of around EUR 370 million each quarter. In the second quarter, Marel Poultry was back on track with strong orders received, orders in Marel Meat were in line with expectations, and Marel Fish delivered record orders where salmon was clearly on the menu. Revenues and gross margins are expected to pick-up on the back of a healthy order book and good product mix. The pipeline continues to build up in all industries.

Our operational results were soft in Q2 with EUR 328 million in revenues and EBIT close to 12%. In times of ever-changing market environment and shifting consumer behavior, agility is key. Ahead of the growth curve, we stepped up our local sales and service coverage worldwide and continued to introduce revolutionary solutions that will further transform the food processing industry. We´ve also taken great strides in remodeling our end-to-end spare parts delivery systems, focusing on automating and digitizing the process, just as our customers are doing in their business.

Continued investment in our platform and acquired growth are enabled by the strong cash flow. There was record operational cash flow in the quarter of EUR 78 million despite ramping up inventories to secure timely delivery.

Recent acquisitions are driving organic growth through cross- and upselling, transfer of technology, and accelerating the innovation roadmap. In the quarter, we secured landmark orders for a turkey greenfield in the US, and the first full-line tilapia plant in Brazil, both focused on quality and sustainability using highly automated and digitized solutions. We continue on that journey and in July we announced the agreement to acquire Valka to strengthen the full-line offering, increase scale and accelerate the innovation roadmap for the fish segment.

In strategic partnership, Marel and TOMRA, are developing a true game-changer in foreign material detection, the Marel Spectra. This revolutionary solution will meet Marel’s customers challenges head on to deliver contamination free, safe and sustainable food.

Our financials are strong, and we will continue to innovate, to form strategic partnerships with pioneers, and to undertake acquisitions to become the leading pure-play provider of full-line digitized processing solutions and services to the poultry, meat and fish industries.”

Financial performance

Key figures (EUR m)

2Q21   2Q20   ∆ YoY   As per financial statements   6M21   6M20   ∆ YoY
327.5   305.7   7.1%   Revenues   661.5   607.3   8.9%
118.6   114.2   3.9%   Gross profit   243.0   221.5   9.7%
36.2%   37.4%       Gross profit as a % of revenues   36.7%   36.5%    
38.6   45.0   -14.2%   Adjusted result from operations (Adjusted EBIT)   76.6   70.4   8.8%
11.8%   14.7%       EBIT1 as a % of revenues   11.6%   11.6%    
49.8   56.9   -12.5%   EBITDA   97.1   94.5   2.8%
15.2%   18.6%       EBITDA as a % of revenues   14.7%   15.6%    
(5.6)   (2.6)   115.4%   Non-IFRS adjustments   (13.5)   (5.2)   159.6%
33.0   42.4   -22.2%   Result from operations (EBIT)   63.1   65.2   -3.2%
10.1%   13.9%       EBIT as a % of revenues   9.5%   10.7%    
23.3   30.7   -24.1%   Net result   44.5   44.1   0.9%
7.1%   10.0%       Net result as a % of revenues   6.7%   7.3%    
371.3   280.1   32.6%   Orders Received   740.7   631.9   17.2%
499.1   439.0       Order Book2   499.1   439.0   13.7%
2Q21   2Q20       Cash flows   6M21   6M20    
77.9   63.1       Cash generated from operating activities, before interest & tax   138.1   124.6    
67.3   53.4       Net cash from (to) operating activities   122.2   97.4    
(20.7)   (10.3)       Investing activities   (52.4)   (20.8)    
(63.6)   (584.0)       Financing activities   (67.0)   (222.2)    
(17.0)   (540.9)       Net cash flow   2.8   (145.6)    
                30/06   31/12    
            Financial position   2021   2020    
            Net Debt (Including Lease liabilities)   182.3   205.2    
            Operational working capital3   49.7   78.9    
            Key ratios   6M21   6M20    
            Current ratio   1.0   1.2    
            Quick ratio   0.6   0.8    
            Return on equity4   9.3%   9.5%    
            Leverage5   0.8   0.6    
            Number of outstanding shares (millions)   753.8   747.9    
            Market capitalization in EUR billion based on exchange rate at end of period   4.5   3.5    
            Basic earnings per share in EUR cents   5.95   5.82    

1 Operating income adjusted for PPA related costs, including depreciation and amortization, and as of Q4 2020, acquisition related costs. 2 Including acquired order book of Curio and PMJ of EUR 4.2m in 1Q21. 3 Trade receivables, inventories, net contract assets & contract liabilities, trade payables. 4 Net result (annualized) / average of total equity.   5 Net debt (Including lease liabilities) / LTM EBITDA.

Record orders received in the first half of the year

Record orders received in 2Q21 of EUR 371.3m, with strong orders across all industries and all processing stages.

Strong first half of the year with combined orders of EUR 740.7m in 1H21, up 17.2% from EUR 631.9m in 1H20.

M&A continues to fuel organic growth and accelerate the innovation roadmap. In the quarter Marel secured important orders where a broader product portfolio following recent acquisitions of TREIF (meat and other), Curio (fish) and PMJ (poultry) were key.

Marel Poultry secured a landmark order from Prestage Farms for a highly innovative and fully automated turkey processing plant, including multiple lines and the largest inline air chilling tunnel for turkeys in the US, focused on digitalization and sustainability to improve end-to-end traceability, nutrition and product quality.

In the fish industry, the first full-line solution for tilapia was sold to C.Vale in Brazil, increasing flexibility to handle both fresh and frozen products, and optimizing the use of raw material, less water usage, less CO2 emissions and data collection to measure progress.

Within prepared foods, orders for new avenues such as the pet market were secured in the second quarter.

Pipeline is strong across all industries and processing stages

The pipeline for large greenfields and modernization projects is building up in all industries. Marel has stepped up market coverage and recently launched revolutionary solutions in consumer-ready products.

The need for automation and digital solutions in the food value chain is driven by secular trends like population growth and urbanization. COVID-19 improved the outlook for automation in the animal protein industry and has been an accelerator for the underlying secular trends in terms of social distancing, access to labor and hygiene. In addition, shifting market dynamics and change in consumer behavior are also driving demand.

Revenues of EUR 328m with 40% solid recurring aftermarket revenues

Revenues were EUR 327.5m in 2Q21, up by 7.1% YoY, down 1.9% QoQ.

Aftermarket, comprising of services and spare parts, represented 40% of total revenues in the quarter (1Q21: 39%, 2Q20: 38%).

A strong order book and a book-to-bill ratio of 1.13 in the quarter

The order book at end of June was EUR 499.1m (1Q21: 455.3m, 2Q20: 439.0m), representing 39% of 12-month trailing revenues. 

The book-to-bill ratio in the quarter was 1.13, compared to an average of 0.98 in the past four quarters (2Q20-1Q21). 

Greenfields, such as large equipment orders, and projects with longer lead times constitute the vast majority of the order book while services, spares and standard equipment have shorter lead times and run faster through the order book.

Profitability continues to be hampered by rising logistics costs, step up in sales and service coverage  

Gross profit margin was 36.2% in the quarter (2Q20: 37.4%) and gross profit was EUR 118.6m (2Q20: 114.2m). Margins impacted by increased costs due to mobility and logistical challenges, as well as faster rebound in the world economy than expected.

COVID-19 continued to have an impact on 2Q21 results, both in terms of supply chain and efficiency of operations. Ensuring timely delivery and installation for customers during a period of significant challenges in mobility and logistics, led to higher costs in manufacturing, aftermarket and transportation.

Decisive steps in 2Q21 in journey to transform spare parts handling with focus on investments in fulfillment centers and digitizing and automating the end-to-end parts handling to ensure shorter lead times.

Sales and marketing (S&M) costs were at a level of 12.2% of revenues and reflect the step up in market coverage in line with plans to leverage global reach and digital solutions to drive organic growth.

General administrative (G&A) costs were 6.2% of revenues and innovation cost was at the 6.1% strategic level.

Marel is committed to the mid-term targets to achieve gross profit of 40%, SG&A of 18% and maintain the innovation investment at the 6% strategic level by year-end 2023.

Marel does not adjust results for non-recurring costs, except for PPA and acquisition related costs.

Continued focus on EBIT margin expansion

EBIT1 was EUR 38.6m (1Q21: 38.0m, 2Q20: 45.0m), translating to an EBIT1 margin of 11.8% (1Q21: 11.4%, 2Q20: 14.7%).

Profitability for Marel Poultry was lower as a result of soft orders for larger projects as stated in 1Q21 and high logistics costs to ensure timely delivery of projects, or 12.2% (2Q20: 19.8%). Strong orders received in 2Q21 and a strong pipeline in Marel Poultry supporting stronger volume and mix in coming quarters.

Management continues to target medium and long-term EBIT margin expansion for Marel Meat and Marel Fish.  

Robust cash flow generation to support continued investments 

Record operational cash flow mainly driven by down payments for new orders improving working capital.

Strategic buildup of inventory to ensure timely delivery to customers of EUR 19.2m.

Cash generated from operating activities in the quarter was EUR 77.9m (2Q20: 63.1m).

Free cash flow in 2Q21 was EUR 54.6m (2Q20: 47.6m).

Strong cash conversion supports continued investments in innovation, infrastructure and strategic inventory buildup.

Investments to support organic and strategic growth 

To best serve customer needs and capture growth opportunities from changing market dynamics, Marel is focusing on increasing digitalization and agility, leading to an increased level of investments in the coming years.

Important initiatives identified, e.g. stepping up market coverage, innovation investments in digital solutions, and improvement projects to streamline the back end, as well as automating and digitizing the manufacturing platform, supply chain and aftermarket.

In July, Marel will open a new demo center and sales and service office in Campinas, Brazil, with new facilities opening in Shanghai, China later in the year.

Low leverage ratio of 0.8x, strong financial position to support the 2017-2026 growth strategy

Low leverage, committed liquidity of EUR 672.3m at the end of June, including fully committed all-senior funding in place until 2025, enables continued investment and will facilitate future strategic moves in the ongoing industry consolidation wave, in line with the company’s 2017-2026 growth strategy.

Over the quarter, a dividend of EUR 41.0m paid out in April, or 40% of net results (2020: 40%, 2019: 30%), in addition to a EUR 6.0m partial working capital settlement for the TREIF acquisition.

Leverage was 0.8x at the end of 2Q21 (1Q21: 0.8x), well below the targeted capital structure of 2-3x.

Subsequent events: Marel to acquire Valka, an innovative provider of advanced processing solutions for the global fish industry

Marel aims to acquire 100% of Valka's share capital. An agreement has been reached to acquire over 90% of the share capital of Valka, and the remaining shareholders will be offered to sell their shares at the same terms.

Valka is an Icelandic provider of advanced processing solutions for the global fish industry, and its product range includes waterjet cutting, trimming, and grading solutions for whitefish and salmon.

Valka is based in Iceland and Norway and has around EUR 17 million in annual revenues and 105 employees.

This transaction will strengthen Marel's full-line offering to the fish processing industry and increase scale to serve customer needs better. The shared technical know-how in the combined team will accelerate the innovation roadmap allowing fish processors swiftly adapt to a rapidly changing market.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including anti-trust approval and is expected to be completed later this year.

Industry performance Q2 2021

Marel Poultry - 44% of total revenues with 12.2% EBIT1 margin

Full-line offering with one of the largest installed bases world-wide, focusing on roll-out of innovative products and market penetration through cross-selling of secondary and further processing solutions. Recent bolt-on acquisition of PMJ fueling organic growth in terms of new sales into the duck market.

Strategic partnership between Marel and TOMRA, combining their respective expertise in food processing and cutting-edge vision technology to develop the Spectra, a uniquely valuable solution in foreign material detection that meets Marel customers’ challenges head on.

Orders received for Marel Poultry in 2Q21 and pipeline were strong across all processing steps, supporting stronger volume and mix in coming quarters. A landmark deal for a turkey greenfield with Prestage Farms in the US was secured in the quarter. Opening in 2022, the highly automated and digitized plant has end-to-end Marel state-of-the-art technology, including air-chilling and track and trace functionality covering the entire plant.

Revenues in 2Q21 for Marel Poultry were EUR 145.1m, down 10.2% YoY.

EBIT in 2Q21 was EUR 17.7m (2Q20: 32.0m) and the EBIT margin was 12.2% (2Q20: 19.8%). Lower profitability for Marel Poultry as a result of soft orders for larger projects as stated in 1Q21 and high logistics costs of projects to ensure timely delivery to customers.

Marel Meat - 41% of total revenues with 12.6% EBIT1 margin

Full-line offering with focus on strong product development, increased standardization, modularization, market penetration and further cross- and upselling.

M&A: Acquisitions fueling organic growth through cross-and upselling, and accelerating the innovation roadmap by cascading technology across industries.

Newly launched solutions, SensorX Magna and Accuro, are gaining traction in line with higher focus on food safety and sustainability in consumer-ready products.

Orders received in 2Q21 for Marel Meat were good across all processing steps with continued focus on a broader product portfolio following recent acquisitions. Pipeline remains strong.

Revenues in 2Q21 for Marel Meat were EUR 134.8m, up by 38.4% YoY (2Q20: 97.4m).

EBIT in 2Q21 was EUR 17.0m (2Q20: 8.6m) and EBIT margin of 12.6% (2Q20: 8.8%). Improved profitability in the quarter due to better project execution and product mix driven by increased sales coverage, and solution replication in large orders.

Management continues to target medium and long-term EBIT margin expansion for Marel Meat, and has accelerated market coverage and operational improvement initiatives.  

Marel Fish - 12% of total revenues with 6.3% EBIT1 margin

Objective to reach full-line offering across farmed and wild whitefish and salmon through continued focus on innovation and M&A.

M&A: Agreement to acquire Valka as a subsequent event, pending anti-trust and other customary closing conditions. Curio acquisition consolidated as of 4 Jan 2021. Salmon primary processing offering solidified through the strategic partnership with Stranda and 40% acquisition of their shares.

Innovation roadmap accelerated to close certain application gaps to reach full-line offering for both salmon, as well as wild and farmed whitefish. 

Orders received in 2Q21 were at record level for Marel Fish. Pipeline for large projects is building up and conversion into orders is expected to pick up. Landmark order for tilapia processing with C.Vale in Brazil, focused on channel flexibility, and the optimal use of raw material, less water usage, less CO2 emissions and data collection to measure progress.

Revenues for Marel Fish in 2Q21 were EUR 37.9m (2Q20: 41.0m).

EBIT in 2Q21 was EUR 2.4m (2Q20: 3.9m) and the EBIT margin was 6.3% (2Q20: 9.5%), higher volume is needed to deliver sufficient margin improvement.

Management continues to target medium and long-term EBIT margin expansion for Marel Fish. 


Market conditions have been challenging due to geopolitical uncertainty and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Marel enjoys a balanced exposure to global economies and local markets through its global reach, innovative product portfolio and diversified business mix. At the moment it is not known what the full economic impact of COVID-19 will be on Marel in 2021. 

Marel is committed to achieve its mid- and long-term growth targets. Our strategic mid-term targets are to achieve gross profit around 40%, SG&A of around 18% and Innovation at the 6% strategic level by year-end 2023.  

In the period 2017-2026, Marel is targeting 12% average annual revenue growth through market penetration and innovation, complemented by strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

  • Marel’s management expects average annual market growth of 4-6% in the long term. Marel aims to grow organically faster than the market, driven by innovation and growing market penetration. 
  • Maintaining solid operational performance and strong cash flow is expected to support 5-7% revenues growth on average by acquisition. 
  • Marel’s management expects basic EPS to grow faster than revenues. 

Growth is not expected to be linear but based on opportunities and economic fluctuations. Operational results may vary from quarter to quarter due to general economic developments, fluctuations in orders received and timing of deliveries of larger systems. 

Virtual investor meeting and live webcast/conference call 22 July 2021

On Thursday 22 July 2021, at 8:30 am GMT (10:30 am CET), Marel will host a virtual investor meeting where CEO Arni Oddur Thordarson and CFO Linda Jonsdottir will give an overview of the financial results and operational highlights in the second quarter.

The virtual meeting will be webcast live on and a recording will be available after the meeting on

Members of the investment community can join the conference call at:

  • IS: +354 800 7437 (PIN: 79078208#)
  • NL: +31 10 712 9163
  • UK: +44 33 3300 9032
  • US: +1 631 913 1422 (PIN: 79078208#)

Financial Calendar

Marel will publish its (Condensed) Consolidated Financial Statements according to the below financial calendar:

  • Q3 – 20 October 2021
  • Q4 – 2 February 2022

Financial results will be disclosed and published after market closing of both NASDAQ Iceland and Euronext Amsterdam.

Investor Relations

For further information, please contact Marel Investor Relations via email or tel. (+354) 563 8001.

Media relations

For media inquiries, please contact Marel Media Relations via email or tel. (+354) 563 8200.

About Marel

Marel (NASDAQ: MAREL; AEX: MAREL) is a leading global provider of advanced food processing equipment, systems, software and services to the poultry, meat and fish industries. Marel has around 6,800 employees in over 30 countries. In 2020, Marel delivered EUR 1,238 million in revenues, and invests around 6% of revenues in innovation annually. By continuously transforming food processing, Marel enables its customers to increase yield and throughput, ensure food safety and improve sustainability in food production. Marel was listed on NASDAQ Iceland in 1992 and dual-listed on Euronext Amsterdam in 2019.

Forward-looking statements

Statements in this press release that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking statements. Although such statements are based on management’s current estimates and expectations, forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. We therefore caution the reader that there are a variety of factors that could cause business conditions and results to differ materially from what is contained in our forward-looking statements, and that we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Market share data

Statements regarding market share, including those regarding Marel’s competitive position, are based on outside sources such as research institutes, industry and dealer panels in combination with management estimates. Where information is not yet available to Marel, those statements may also be based on estimates and projections prepared by outside sources or management. Rankings are based on sales unless otherwise stated.


  • Marel Q2 2021 Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements
  • Marel Q2 2021 Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements
  • Marel Q2 2021 Press Release
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