The Bühler Group continued its positive development in 2018. All businesses achieved organic growth. Group’s turnover increased by 22% to CHF 3.3 billion. To drive digitalization, the company entered a partnership with Microsoft.
Bühler Group, a technology giant in feed milling sector, released its report for 2018. According to the release, the company continued to grow last year. Top management expressed that the trade volumes increased and the total figures regarding 2018 are satisfactory for them. “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,” says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber. The 2018 business year was characterized by continued organic growth in all businesses with a gain in market share, increased order intake, and higher turnover.
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.
FINANCIAL POSITION REMAINS STRONG
EBIT increased in absolute terms by 13% to CHF 231 million, which represents an EBIT margin of 7.1% (previous year: 7.6%). Profitability was impacted by necessary adjustments at our Changzhou, China site. After years of over-proportional growth in China, this move ensures its alignment with Bühler’s global standards and systems and sets the foundation for further expansion. Without this one time effect, EBIT margin would have reached 8%. With a slightly improved tax rate of 20.1% (previous year: 20.2%) and a financial result of CHF 4.6 million (previous year: CHF 13 million), net profit grew by 9% and reached CHF 188 million (previous year CHF 173 million).
Operating cash flow increased by 28% to CHF 202 million. Net liquidity remained at a high level of CHF 445 million (+1.1%, excluding corporate bond of 420 million in previous year) despite high investments. The equity ratio decreased slightly to 42.2% (previous year: 44.5%), mainly due to effects from the Haas acquisition.