Fiscal 2013 with higher order intake – Change in the Board of Directors.Uzwil, 02/11/2014 – Bühler Group looks back on fiscal 2013 with very divergent results in the various business units and market regions. Order intake exceeded the level of a year ago by 1%. Sales revenue (turnover) was 4% lower than in the previous year. Due to one-time charges resulting from an acquisition, the EBIT margin fell to 6%.
As announced some time ago, Urs Bühler left the Board of Directors with effect from yesterday’s General Meeting. His successor is Calvin Grieder, who continues to also act as CEO. Stable order intake
Order intake amounted to CHF 2363 million and was thus 1% higher than a year ago. Whereas the Food Processing division grew by 7%, Grain Processing received 3% less orders. The Advanced Materials division increased its order intake by more than 4%, despite the disinvestment of the Thermal Processes business unit. Whereas the new-plant business frequently suffered delays due to financing challenges that customers faced, the customer service business grew once again at a rate of 8%.
The picture is also mixed with regard to the development of order intake by regions. In North America, it slipped 17% below the value of the previous year, though this was still the second-best volume ever achieved. Declines were also suffered by the regions of Middle East/Africa (-14%) and India (-11%), especially due to the devaluation of some local currencies. On the other hand, Bühler booked 23% more orders in South America, which is a new record. Following a disappointing previous year, Europe grew by 11% in 2013. Asia achieved outstanding growth of +12%.
Slightly lower revenue – lower profitability
Sales revenue (turnover) in 2013 amounted to CHF 2322 million or 3.6% less than in the strong previous year (+13% from 2011); in organic terms, the change was -3%. With CHF 139 million or 6% of sales, the EBIT margin fell short of the result of the year before (CHF 168 million). On the one hand, this is due to the strategic optimization of the Advanced Materials division’s portfolio, which entailed integration and restructuring costs. Another one-time effect with a negative impact on Bühler Group’s profitability was unsatisfactory project management in some business units. The Group result is CHF 123 million or 5.3%. Regardless of the lower EBIT achieved in the year under review, Bühler deliberately maintained its high level of spending on research and development of over CHF 100 million as well as the global expansion of its local customer service organizations.
Rejuvenation and internationalization of the Board of Directors
At the General Meeting held on February 10, 2014, Urs Bühler and Hans J. Löliger left the Board of Directors because they have reached the statutory age limit. At the same time, Calvin Grieder was appointed Chairman of the Board in addition to his function as CEO. Peter Quadri, a present Member of the Board, was appointed as the new Vice Chairman. Moreover, Karin Bühler as the first of Urs Bühler’s three daughters joined the Board of Directors (for a comment on Urs Bühler’s departure, please see the attachment). Bühler Group remains 100%-owned by the Bühler family. In a move to ensure targeted internationalization of the organization, the General Meeting elected two new members to the Board: Linda Yang, General Manager at Bongrain SA (China), and Frank N.J. Braeken, Chief Investment Officer at Amatheon Agri Holding (Dubai). Linda Yang held positions with various international organizations such as Nestlé and Procter & Gamble in China and has in-depth understanding of this market. Frank N.J. Braeken, a Belgian citizen, worked for Unilever for 25 years, lastly in the position of Chief Executive President for Africa.
At the start of 2014, Bühler had a solid backlog of orders of CHF 1.3 billion. It provides the potential for achieving further growth on condition that the pace of capital investment picks up again. This assessment is also backed by the fact that Bühler operates in markets which are likely to continue to benefit from strong global social trends. These trends include in particular growing demand for safe, healthy, and affordable foods (Food Processing and Grain Processing divisions) and people’s increasing wish for intelligent mobility (Advanced Materials division). Bühler will also strive to steadily improve its operating excellence in order to further increase its productivity and flexibility. As no major one-time effects are expected in 2014 and capital investment in the markets are bound to bear fruit, Bühler continues to aim at an EBIT target bandwidth of 8% to 12% for the year 2014.
Bühler is a global leader in the field of process engineering, in particular production technologies and services for making foods and advanced materials. Bühler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of over 10,000. In fiscal 2013, the company generated sales revenue of CHF 2,322 million.
Contact for media:
Corina Atzli, Head Corporate Communications, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone +41 71 955 33 99, Fax +41 71 955 38 51, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org