The net group result of €265 million (2010: €262 million) is slightly above that of the previous year.

SMS’s two business areas, SMS Siemag and SMS Meer, profited from a further recovery of the markets and as a result, order intake by SMS Siemag was €2.007 billion (2010: €1.892 billion) and SMS Meer won orders of €1.365 billion (2010: €1.039 billion).

"Despite a decreasing willingness among our customers to invest in major projects, we expect to maintain order intake in 2012 at a level comparable to the previous year,” said Dr Heinrich Weiss, chairman and CEO of the SMS Group. “Considering our high order backlog, we are also confident that sales and results in the coming two years will remain at a similar volume to that of 2011.“

The market for metallurgical plant and machinery construction recovered slightly in 2011. However, the high economic uncertainty in the euro-zone and on some other markets means many customers are postponing or completely cancelling investments, SMS reports. The main sales markets remain China, India, and South-East Asia. There is increased demand for plants for the aluminium industry in China. Generally, the SMS group expects further growth in India, China, South-East Asia, and the Middle East.