Successful Fiscal 2011 in a Tough EnvironmentUzwil – , 03/22/2012
With sales (turnover) of CHF 2131 million, the global Bühler Technology Group once again achieved solid growth of about 12% (adjusted for exchange rates and organic plus 15%). Order intake rose by more than 3% to CHF 2233 million, in local currencies and adjusted for acquisitions by 8%. EBIT was increased at a high level by over 7% to CHF 218 million (10.2 percentage points of sales), and net profits by 3% to CHF 163 million. For current fiscal 2012, the Executive Board expects a moderate increase in volumes due to the uncertain economic situation.Clear increase in order intake…
Despite the well-known market turbulence such as the appreciable slumps following the turmoil in the Near East and the natural disaster in Japan, Bühler increased its order intake by 3% to CHF 2233 million, and adjusted for the effects of exchange rates and acquisitions by 8%. This growth was especially possible thanks to the Group’s strong roots in emerging markets.
…and sales revenue
Adjusted for exchange rates, the two Food Divisions managed to boost their sales volumes by about 20%, while the Advanced Materials Division benefited from the boom in the automotive industry and achieved growth of 35%. In geographical terms, this increase in sales is primarily due to China (+64%) and Europe (+15%). In Europe, the acquisition of Schmidt-Seeger accounts for about half of total growth and the related strengthening of the strategic market for grain logistics solutions. Asia with its 30% share of sales now has the same size as Europe.
Once again a high operating margin
With EBIT of CHF 218 million, which translates into 10.2%, Bühler Group once again generated a double-digit margin (previous year: 10.6%). The Group result of CHF 163 million exceeded that of the previous year by a little above 3%. Bühler countered the appreciation of the Swiss franc mainly by price adjustments, intensified relocation of sourcing to the euro and dollar regions, extended work hours in Switzerland, and higher productivity in all units.
Solid balance sheet
Despite considerable investments in additional production capacities, a high operating cash flow of CHF 197 million was again attained. Net liquidity increased further in the year under review and is now just under CHF 500 million. The return on net operating assets (RONOA) of 51% was maintained at the very high level of a year ago.
Optimization and strengthening everywhere
Group-wide spending on research and development in 2011 amounted to CHF 89 million or respectable 4.2 percent of total sales. These funds were invested in the new and further development of products with a focus on nutrition, safe foods, and energy efficiency. In addition, Bühler strengthened its local presence in the year under review by expanding its international customer service network by adding five new bases. Capital investments in tangible assets also rose appreciably, with a focus on additional production capacities in India, China, South Africa, and Brazil. Acquisitions in the areas of coatings, animal feeds, and sorting systems rounded off the product portfolio.
Cautiously optimistic outlook for 2012
The order backlog of CHF 1329 million as of the end of 2011 (+7% from the previous year) provides a solid basis for the current fiscal year. In view of the uncertain economic situation, the Executive Board expects a moderate rise in volumes. Long-term global challenges must be added to the short-term prospects, for example the fiercer competition for natural resources and as a consequence rising raw commodity prices. But thanks to ongoing product innovations and substantial investments in local market presence to the outside plus flexibilization of the organization and higher productivity to the inside, Bühler is well equipped to face even adverse conditions. This allows the Group to look forward with confidence beyond the immediate horizon.
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 about 8800.
For more information, please contact:
Corina Atzli, Head Corporate Communications
Phone +41 71 955 33 99
Fax +41 71 955 38 51