Bühler continues to grow
Annual Bühler results for 2018 has shown that there has been positive development.
Following the acquisition of Haas Group, Bühler has stated that last year saw Haas successfully integrate into the Bühler Group and contribute to Bühler’s success.
The Group turnover also increased by 22% to CHF 3.3 billion. In addition to this, Bühler Group has further strengthened its strategic position by establishing a third business pillar, Consumer Foods and its new, most advanced factory in Changzhou, China, is fully operational. To top it all off, construction of its CUBIC innovation campus in Uzwil, Switzerland is nearing completion and in order to drive digitalization, the company entered a partnership with Microsoft.
Commenting on the company's success, Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber said: “We are satisfied with the 2018 overall results. Volumes developed well, but profits were below our objectives. Despite risks such as trade conflicts, we are well positioned with our portfolio and our global organization, and look to the future with confidence."
Turnover grew for Grains & Food by 9.2% to CHF 2.2 billion, for Advanced Materials by 5.6% to CHF 705 million, and Haas contributed CHF 373 million. As a result of the Group’s combined organic and acquisitional growth, Bühler increased its order intake by 17% to CHF 3.3 billion and its turnover by 22% to CHF 3.3 billion, which resulted in an order backlog of CHF 1.9 billion (+5.9%). Regionally, Europe (+28%) and Asia (+40%) were the markets showing the strongest turnover growth.
Following the successful integration of Haas in 2018, Bühler decided to strengthen its leading position in the consumer foods market with the creation of a new strategic pillar beginning in 2019. With the new Consumer Foods business, the Bühler Group will increase its focus on this important global growth market.
From the very beginning, this step generated positive momentum among employees and customers, the group says.
“This encouraged us to accelerate the full integration and new setup of our food businesses,” says Bühler CEO Scheiber. Consumer Foods stands from January 2019 alongside Grains & Food and Advanced Materials. Under the leadership of Germar Wacker, Haas achieved CHF 382 million in order intake and CHF 373 million in turnover. This represents the best result in the history of Haas, driven mainly by the Wafer and Biscuit business units according to the annual results.
The CUBIC innovation campus in Uzwil is nearing completion. The official inauguration of the fully operational campus is scheduled for spring. The CUBIC combines research and development with seven renewed application centers, which will be available to customers for conducting tests and trial series together with Bühler.
To spark further growth, spending on research and development amounted to CHF 145 million (4.4% of turnover). The Group introduced more than 20 digital products, achieved sizable initial turnover, and entered a partnership with Microsoft in April 2018.
Currently, customers can choose from a digital portfolio of over 30 digital services. A further 30 will be launched during 2019.
In September, another milestone was reached with the launch of the Bühler Insights digital platform – its secure, high-performance, and reliable platform for all of its digital services.
Bühler concluded that the group is facing "the future with confidence". The Group is aware of the accelerated changes in this digital age and is keeping a "watchful eye" on the current global developments that bring about a degree of uncertainty.
The combined Consumer Foods business is also expected to address new market potential. Bühler is convinced that its opportunities outweigh the risks.