Sustainable success04/03/2008 In fiscal 2007, the Bühler Technology Group once again markedly increased its sales (turnover) and result, thus setting a new record in the company’s history. Sales revenues increased by 10% to CHF 1773 million from a year ago. The operating result (EBIT) rose by 34% to CHF 138 million. Orders were received for CHF 1838 million, which is 9% higher than in 2006. Net profits improved from a year ago by about CHF 10 million to CHF 130 million. For fiscal 2008, the Group expects further growth of sales and profits, despite the emerging economic slowdown in some markets. In a predominantly sound market environment, Bühler continued its success of the previous year in fiscal 2007. The company generated sales of CHF 1773 million (previous year CHF 1611 million). Especially the Feed and Chocolate & Cocoa business units further strenthened their positions in the marketplace, growing by about 20%. Also the other business units achieved good results.
In the past year, Bühler continued to forge ahead with establishing its regional platforms. The success of this concept is particularly evident in East Europe and in Asia. Both regions profited from high order bookings. India developed excellently, with sales growing by 37%. In China, orders received were rather moderate, in particular in the first half year. Sales revenues achieved in Africa are somewhat below the values of the previous year. In the Middle East, Bühler benefited from a number of large-scale projects, which led to growth of 64%. The customer service business grew by another 15% from a year ago. In some business units, every fourth franc of sales revenue is now being generated by the customer service business.
The over proportional increase in the operating result (EBIT) from CHF 103 million to CHF 138 million reflects the Group’s systematic cost management efforts and higher efficiency at all levels. In the course of fiscal 2007, Bühler launched a new production concept, which is already yielding initial results. The cycle times have been further slashed. Despite the sharp price hikes for raw materials in the course of the year, the Group succeeded in slighly reducing the total sourcing cost. This was achieved through strict cost management and new forms of cooperation with strategic suppliers.
Solid balance sheet without debt
At the end of the fiscal year, Bühler stood on a solid financial basis with its equity of CHF 931 million and its equity ratio of 49% (previous year: 47%). The Group has high liquidity reserves of CHF 449 million (previous year: CHF 394 million) on a short-term basis and CHF 34 million (previous year: 32 million) in the form of long-term financial assets. All capital investments were made without outside financing. With its total short-term and long-term financial liabilities of CHF 19 million (previous year: 18 million), the Group is virtually debt-free. Net liquidity increased by CHF 63 million to CHF 303 million (previous year: CHF 240 million). The net item of manufacturing orders as of the end of 2007 shows excess liabilities of CHF 41 million (previous year: CHF 61 million). The short-term and long-term provisions as of the end of 2007 amounted to CHF 98 million, which is CHF 13 million higher than a year ago.
Outlook for 2008
Due to the high wheat prices and the weakness in the automotive vendor industry, Bühler expects a demanding market environment. But with a backlog of orders of CHF 871 million, Bühler has set out from a sound basis into the current fiscal year. An additional marked rise in sales and higher corporate profits are believed to be possible and are strived for.
(in million CHF)
|Change in %|
|Backlog of orders as of Dec. 31||870.9||817.2||6.6|
|EBIT margin in %||7.8||6.0|
|Result for the year||130.2||120.3||8.2|
|Investments in tangible and intangible assets||60.1||67.4||-10.8|
|Balance sheet total||1,896.2||1,694.8||12.0|
RONOA in %
|Number of employees as of Dec. 31||6,890||6,626||4.0|