The Germany-based firm, which is one of the biggest suppliers of processing technology for the food sector, saw order intake and revenue rise by 23% for 2011, with the food technologies segment accounting for around 35% of the increase.
Excluding the new segment, which was created after the acquisition of food processor CFS in 2010, revenue would have only increased by 15%.
GEA order intake rose to €5.6bn and the group’s full year revenue hit €5.4bn.
Operating profit rose by 43% to €525m, with the selective intake of orders and recent restructuring efforts contributing to the success, the company added.
The company also highlighted its intentions for 2012, including the “catch-up potential” of several emerging regions.
“We acquired CFS Foods in 2010, which has since become the new Convenience Food Technologies segment. This is one area that we expected good results from in 2011 and it has developed as planned,” GEA head of corporate communication Marc Pӧnitz told FoodProductionDaily.com.
“In fact it developed more than any other segment. As a result of this, 52% of our sales in 2011 came from our food and beverage segment.”
The company’s food and beverage segment held a 47% share in 2010.
“In the long term we are expecting growth of between three and six per cent per year. This will be mainly driven by the food sector. We will continue to pursue acquisitions particularly in the food and beverage sector,” said Pӧnitz.
GEA, which employs around 23,000 people worldwide, is expecting 2012 to emulate the demand and success of 2011.
“In the last few years we have had a big focus on food sector acquisitions. We have some targets, we are active in the sector and we have an eye on the market.”
“What we predict for the whole group for the whole year in intake will increase by 5% and revenue will also go up by at least 5%,” he added.
Western Europe’s share of the GEA revenue has dropped by 3% to 37% since 2010, with these emerging regions showing growth.
The North American region has also seen a slight decrease, but the US remains GEA’s biggest market.
The US contributes around 12% of the company’s revenue with Germany and China following closely with 11%.
However, the company fully expects China to overtake both nations in coming years.
GEA has also identified emerging regions, including the Asian Pacific, Latin America and Africa, as potential areas for investment.
Rising demand for food in these regions indicates significant “catch-up potential,” according to the company.