Group

CHF million

 

 

Change in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

%2)

Order intake

3 206

2 871

11.7

10.1

9.3

Net sales

3 065

2 647

15.8

14.2

13.4

Order book

1 137

960

18.4

15.9

14.2

Operating profit (EBITDA)

373

318

17.2

 

 

as % of net sales

12.2%

12.0%

 

 

 

Operating profit (EBIT)

278

226

22.6

 

 

as % of net sales

9.1%

8.6%

 

 

 

Profit/(loss) for the year

215

168

28.4

 

 

as % of net sales

7.0%

6.3%

 

 

 

Earnings per share in CHF

20.77

16.81

23.6

 

 

Operating free cash flow

101

148

32.1

 

 

Net cash/debt

159

214

25.6

 

 

Total assets

2 774

2 720

2.0

 

 

Equity

1 490

1 432

4.0

 

 

Equity ratio

53.7%

52.7%

 

 

 

Return on equity (ROE)

14.7%

12.6%

 

 

 

Net operating assets (NOA)Average

1 373

1 274

7.8

 

 

Return on net operating assets (RONOA) after tax

15.7%

13.2%

 

 

 

Number of employees at 31 December

13 054

12 108

7.8

 

4.6

Average number of employees during year

12 636

11 707

7.9

 

6.8

1)Adjusted for currency effects

2)Adjusted for currency and acquisition effects

Sales exceed CHF 3 billion

Overall, the markets of Bucher Industries developed well in the reporting period. In this positive environment, the group was able to increase both order intake and sales to more than CHF 3 billion. All divisions increased sales in double-digit percentage terms and contributed to this pleasing growth. The Group posted an operating profit of CHF 278 million, with the operating profit margin rising to 9.1%. With an increase of 28%, the profit for the year grew much more strongly than sales and amounted to CHF 215 million, translating into earnings per share of CHF 20.77.

Solid financial situation

Bucher Industries invested in the expansion of production infrastructure and significantly raised its spending on the development of new products. Net operating assets as a percentage of sales were reduced slightly, despite acquisitions and higher capital expenditures. This, combined with the higher profitability, improved the return on net operating assets after taxes (RONOA) to 15.7%. With an equity ratio of 53.7% and liquid assets of CHF 159 million, the financial independence and opportunities for further growth remain intact.

Strength through acquisitions

Five acquisitions helped to strengthen the product range and expand the presence in Asia. Bucher Hydraulics took over a majority interest in Wuxi Deli Fluid Technology, thereby becoming a leading global provider of hydraulic power packs. Following the complete takeover of the Sanjin joint venture in China, Bucher Emhart Glass is now driving forward Sanjin’s consistent and rapid development. Bucher Emhart Glass also acquired the laser marking business for hot glass containers from Qualimarq, a pioneer in the field and the leading global provider of this technology. Kuhn Group acquired the remaining 62% of the shares of Artec, one of the leading providers of self-propelled agricultural sprayers in France. Bucher Landtechnik, a business unit of Bucher Specials, purchased the import business of Grunderco in Switzerland.

Kuhn Group

CHF Mio.

 

 

Veränderung in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

%2)

Auftragseingang

1 210

1 138

6.3

5.3

4.8

Nettoumsatz

1 204

1 076

12.0

11.0

10.5

Auftragsbestand

461

440

4.7

2.4

0.8

Betriebsergebnis (EBITDA)

141

133

5.6

 

 

in % des Nettoumsatzes

11.7%

12.4%

 

 

 

Betriebsergebnis (EBIT)

98

93

5.4

 

 

in % des Nettoumsatzes

8.1%

8.6%

 

 

 

Personalbestand 31. Dezember

5 352

5 235

2.2

 

1.1

Personalbestand Jahresdurchschnitt

5 334

5 075

5.1

 

4.9

1)Bereinigt um Währungseffekte

2)Bereinigt um Währungs- und Akquisitionseffekte

Regionally diverse markets

The gratifying double-digit sales growth of Kuhn Group was primarily due to the robust development of the European dairy and livestock sector at the start of the reporting period. In contrast, the North American market for agricultural machinery was challenging, and business in the arable sector was generally cautious. The Brazilian market was positive, however, as it recovered over the course of the year, and so was the important French market, which posted a pleasing upturn. The slight decline in the operating profit margin year-on-year was due to challenges in the supply chain and with personnel capacities, the ongoing low sales level in North America and high steel costs.

Bucher Municipal

CHF million

 

 

Change in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

Order intake

556

486

14.3

13.2

Net sales

539

426

26.6

25.5

Order book

183

165

11.2

9.7

Operating profit (EBITDA)

60

37

60.8

 

as % of net sales

11.1%

8.7%

 

 

Operating profit (EBIT)

49

26

85.8

 

as % of net sales

9.0%

6.1%

 

 

Number of employees at 31 December

 

2 215

 

2 014

 

10.0

 

Average number of employees during year

2 148

1 885

14.0

 

1)Adjusted for currency effects

 

Increase in operating profit margin

Bucher Municipal benefited in the reporting period from the strong demand for municipal vehicles in the main markets of Europe and Australia. All business units operated at close to full capacity, contributing to the more than 25% increase in sales to a very high level. Thanks to this excellent development and the optimised organisation of sweeper production, the operating profit margin rose to a pleasing 9.0%.

Bucher Hydraulics

CHF million

 

 

Change in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

%2)

Order intake

700

581

20.5

19.1

16.1

Net sales

627

546

14.8

13.4

10.2

Order book

201

118

70.5

68.2

62.3

Operating profit (EBITDA)

104

94

9.6

 

 

as % of net sales

16.5%

17.3%

 

 

 

Operating profit (EBIT)

82.1

75

9.9

 

 

as % of net sales

13.1%

13.7%

 

 

 

Number of employees at 31 December

2 835

2 319

22.3

 

9.0

Average number of employees during year

2 555

2 169

71.8

 

12.4

1) Adjusted for currency effects

2)Adjusted for currency and acquisition effects

Capacity utilisation remains high

The markets of Bucher Hydraulics saw extremely dynamic developments. The demand for hydraulic components came primarily from the construction equipment, materials handling and other mobile applications segments. The first-time consolidation of the joint venture Bucher Hydraulics Wuxi was one of the factors leading to the increase in sales. The order book rose significantly due to the high capacity utilisation. The consolidation of Bucher Hydraulics Wuxi, additional costs as a result of the very high capacity utilisation and higher material and personnel costs resulted in a slightly lower operating profit margin compared to the high level of the previous year.

Bucher Emhart Glass

CHF million

 

 

Change in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

Order intake

499

449

11.1

7.6

Net sales

447

381

17.1

13.3

Order book

236

177

33.1

28.8

Operating profit (EBITDA)

56

36

53.3

 

as % of net sales

12.5%

9.6%

 

 

Operating profit (EBIT)

45

25

78.6

 

as % of net sales

10.1%

6.6%

 

 

Number of employees at 31 December

1 696

1 630

4.0

 

Average number of employees during year

1 652

1 634

1.1

 

1)Adjusted for currency effects

 

Double-digit operating profit margin

The demand for glass containers rose in the reporting period thanks to the good state of the global economy and the trend in society towards a greater use of recyclable glass. The manufacturers of glass containers responded by expanding their production capacities. Bucher Emhart Glass benefited from this exceptionally positive market environment and increased its sales significantly, with contributions also coming from Sanjin, the good cooperation with O-I and the business with inspection machines. The very pleasing operating profit margin of 10.1% was due to the very good capacity utilisation, the optimisation programmes that were launched in recent years and the improvement at Sanjin.

Bucher Specials

CHF million

 

 

Change in

 

2018

2017

%

%1)

%2)

Order intake

301

275

9.4

7.8

7.5

Net sales

309

272

13.7

12.1

12.1

Order book

74

80

–6.8

–8.4

–11.6

Operating profit (EBITDA)

31

28

9.3

 

 

as % of net sales

9.9%

10.3%

 

 

 

Operating profit (EBIT)

24

22

8.6

 

 

as % of net sales

7.8%

8.1%

 

 

 

Number of employees at 31 December

888

849

4.6

 

1.9

Average number of employees during year

884

882

0.2

 

-

1)Adjusted for currency effects

2)Adjusted for currency and acquisition effects

Overall positive market development

All business units contributed to the pleasing increase in sales at Bucher Specials. The business with the winemaking equipment of Bucher Vaslin was more positive than expected. Despite complicating developments in the principal markets, Bucher Unipektin succeeded in recording a good financial year thanks to the high order book at the start of the year. Bucher Landtechnik reported an increase in sales thanks primarily to new products, despite the reluctance to invest on the part of Swiss farmers. Jetter continued to benefit from the rising demand for automation solutions. In connection with the acquisition of the import business of Grunderco and the associated acquisition and integration costs, Bucher Specials posted a slight decrease in the operating profit margin compared to the previous year.

Outlook 2019

The Group is forecasting that the market environment will remain largely positive in the current year, with a slowdown in growth momentum at a high level. Kuhn Group expects that the overall market trend will be flat, and is therefore forecasting that sales for the current financial year will be in line with 2018. The operating profit margin is likely to increase slightly. Bucher Municipal is facing some uncertainties, especially in the key European market, and with regard to Brexit in particular. The division anticipates that there will be a modest decline in sales in 2019 compared to the record high of 2018, which was characterised by exceptionally high capacity utilisation. The operating profit margin is likely to decline slightly. Bucher Hydraulics expects that demand will continue to flatten. Together with the acquisition of the joint venture Bucher Hydraulics Wuxi, the division is forecasting a modest increase in sales for the current year. The operating profit margin is likely to be somewhat lower than 2018 due to capacity expansions and the consolidation of Bucher Hydraulics Wuxi. Bucher Emhart Glass expects the good business performance to continue. The division anticipates that sales and the operating profit margin for 2019 will be on a par with the levels seen in the past year. The market environment of Bucher Specials is likely to see a mixed development. Thanks to the acquisition of the import business of Grunderco and the continued positive development in mobile and industrial automation, the division is, however, expecting a slight increase in sales in the current year and an operating profit margin that is in line with 2018. Group sales are likely to be in line with the good 2018 business year thanks to the high order book at the start of the current year and the expected economic situation. The operating profit and the profit for the year should also be at a similar level to last year.

The accounting standards were changed from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER with effect from 1 January 2019. The switch will not have any impact on order intake or sales. However, it will lead to an increase of up to half a percentage point in the operating profit margin of the divisions and the Group, and will boost Group profit for the year by a few percent. The impact of the change in accounting standards is not reflected in the outlook of the divisions and the Group provided above.

Dividend

The Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 8.00 per registered share to the annual general meeting on 17 April 2019. The dividend paid in the previous year was CHF 6.50 per share. This proposal is in keeping with a consistent dividend policy and takes account of both the Group profit for 2018 and the outlook for the current year.

Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of Bucher Industries AG will be held on 17 April 2019 at the Hotel Mövenpick in Regensdorf, starting at 3.30 p.m. At the annual general meeting, the board of directors will propose that Philip Mosimann, its chairman, and the current members of the board of directors and of the compensation committee be reelected. Further resolutions that are to be proposed will be found in the invitation to the annual general meeting, which will be sent out to shareholders on 15 March 2019. Shareholders registered in the company’s share register on 12 April 2019 will be entitled to vote at the annual general meeting. From 13 April 2019 the share register will be closed for entries. Shares purchased on or after 23 April 2019 are not entitled to a dividend. The dividend will be paid out on 25 April 2019. The 2018 annual report of Bucher Industries will be available for downloading from 6 March 2019, and the invitation to the annual general meeting from 15 March 2019, at www.bucherindustries.com. A printed version of the 2018 annual report will be available from 6 March 2019. 

Simply great machines

Bucher Industries is a global technology group with leading market positions in speciality areas of mechanical and vehicle engineering. The areas of activity include specialised agricultural machinery, municipal vehicles, hydraulic components, manufacturing equipment for the glass container industry and for wine and fruit juice production, as well as automation technology. The company’s shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: BUCN).