Dear customers, colleagues, and business partners,
Any strategy is only as good as the operational implementation it precedes. In this sense, 2019 was a confirmation of our fundamental orientation in several respects.
First, this applies to the acquisition of the Austrian Haas Group at the beginning of 2018. Our goal was to form a third strategic pillar together with the leading company for wafers, biscuits, and cookies. The Consumer Foods segment, which was formed in 2019 from Haas and the corresponding Bühler business areas, is in a position to cover our customers’ integrated processes and value chains and thus to develop and offer comprehensive solutions. This strategic step was rewarded by our customers. We have won market share on the basis of this new solution competence. We were able to complete the integration of Haas earlier than planned, and we fulfilled the business plan underlying the acquisition.
Bühler Group’s business performance was stable in a volatile market environment. While the turnover of the food and feed business continued to grow, Advanced Materials had to cope with a decline, mainly caused by the current weakness of the global automotive industry and ongoing international trade conflicts.
Second, our multi-pillar strategy has proven its worth under difficult conditions. Overall, Bühler’s order intake reached CHF 3.1 billion (-4.6 %), turnover was CHF 3.3 billion (-0.5 %), and EBIT increased to CHF 248 million (+7.5 %), with an EBIT margin of 7.6 % (previous year: 7.1 %).
Third, our focus on innovation and sustainability was met with impressive approval at the opening of our CUBIC innovation campus and during the Bühler Networking Days 2019 in August. More than 800 executives from customers, industry partners, scientific institutions, start-ups, and NGOs from all over the world came to Uzwil for several days to work with us on developing sustainable solutions for the future. The challenges are enormous, and so is the potential of new technologies. As an industry, we have a responsibility to respond to these pressing threats with new solutions and concepts. Therefore, we have applied the credo “The future is now” to our 2019 Annual Report. Our key factors for success − now and in the future − are people, innovation, and collaboration.
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our customers, partners, our workforce and their families, and our owners. Our success and our ability to feel good about all that we have achieved is due to your commitment and trust. We look forward to working closely with you for years to come.
Calvin Grieder Stefan Scheiber
Chairman of the Board Chief Executive Officer