Improved fortunes for Bühler with annual results
Annual results from Bühler have shown a 2% rise in turnover to CHF 2.45 billion ($2.45 billion), bolstered by research and development investment.
The company’s latest trading figures showed that net profit was stable at CHF 143 million ($143 million), and its order intake for 2016 showed growth of 3% that reversed a decline of 4% the previous year.
CEO Stefan Scheiber welcomed its latest performance, which included a 7% rise in EBIT profitability, with both its grains and advanced materials sections of the business reported to have contributed to its improved trading position.
“For a company based in Switzerland, 2016 marked a real proof point considering the Euro/Swiss franc shift a year ago. In this context, we can be satisfied with these results,” commented the group’s CEO.
According to the company, its strategy has been based on continued development of process technologies and services, which has been supported by customer services – which includes 92 worldwide service stations.
Consequently, the service business showed higher growth and recorded a turnover of CHF 578 million, which is 7% higher than last year.
Bühler said that on a regional level, growth in North and South America, Europe, and China had compensated against downturns experienced the Middle East & Africa and South East Asia.
Overall, Bühler holds a very balanced position with its global presence: Europe reported a turnover share of 30%, Asia 25%, Middle East & Africa 15%, North America 17%, South America 6%, and South Asia 6%.
The company made CHF 71 million ($71 million) in investment into its worldwide asset base, and net liquidity grew by 18% to CHF 462 million.
Its return on net operating assets (RONOA) reportedly stayed on a high level of 19% (previous year: 22%). “With this strong financial position, Bühler is well equipped to continue investing into its own future”, added CEO Scheiber.
The company said it is committed to a sustainability programme and is presently developing around 40 new products and technologies.
Its R&D investments were increased significantly by CHF 7 million to CHF 109 million, and also explained that it invested substantial sums in 2016 to enter new markets, develop decentralized applications centres, and further expand and update its global manufacturing network.
Eight new service stations were added to the global network for a total of 92 locations with 60 workshops. This move further increases Bühler’s proximity to customers. In Vietnam, a new factory for rice equipment was opened.
New regional applications centres were established, including in North America, as well as a new production site in China being planned.
The company forecast continued growth for 2017, despite acknowledging factors including changes in trends, regional developments and political uncertainties, could potentially impact on the business.
CEO Scheiber added: “With the accomplishments of 2016, and a strong order backlog, Bühler has a positive outlook for 2017.”