Developments in Bucher Industries' markets were very mixed in the first nine months of 2019. Demand declined on balance, albeit from a high level. This led to lower order intake. Sales, on the other hand, continued to rise, thanks to a very strong order book at the start of the year.
The two divisions of Bucher Industries active in the agricultural machinery market are expanding their businesses by taking over leading suppliers in their respective fields: Kuhn Group is acquiring Artec Pulvérisation, one of the leading manufacturers of self-propelled agricultural sprayers in France, while Bucher Specials with its Bucher Landtechnik business unit is buying the import business of Grunderco S.A. with combines as well as the associated service business with contractors. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase prices.
Order intake at Bucher Industries rose by 20% year on year in the first half of 2018. All divisions contributed to this positive development. Group sales increased by 19%. Of this increase, 5 percentage points were attributable to the currency translation effect, largely as a consequence of the stronger euro. The operating profit margin stood at 9.1%. Bucher Industries will change its accounting standards from IFRS to Swiss GAAP FER as per 1 January 2019.
In 2017, Bucher Industries continued to implement its sustainability strategy for example through the technological development of products that reduce emissions and the use of resources, as well as measures to train and develop employees.
Bucher Hydraulics, a division of Bucher Industries, has agreed to form a joint venture in China by acquiring an 80% stake in Wuxi Deli Fluid Technology Co., Ltd, the leading manufacturer of hydraulic pumps and compact power units in China. This acquisition will strengthen the division’s presence in China as well as its global product range. The transaction is yet to be approved by the Chinese authorities.
At today’s annual general meeting of Bucher Industries AG, the shareholders agreed to all the proposals put forward by the board of directors. The dividend is CHF 6.50 per registered share. 179 shareholders with voting rights were present and a total of 73.97% of the votes were represented.
Bucher Emhart Glass, a division of Bucher Industries, is taking over the remaining shares of its joint venture with Shandong Sanjin Glass Machinery Co., Ltd. The joint venture was formed in 2011 and is the market leader for glass forming machinery in China. The complete takeover emphasizes the importance of the Chinese market for Bucher Industries and Bucher Emhart Glass and will lead to a faster and more systematic development of the subsidiary.
In 2017, the performance of Bucher Industries was pleasing overall. Order intake surged 20% year on year, and sales rose by 11%. The operating profit margin improved by 1.5 percentage points to 8.6% due to higher sales and optimised structures. The profit for the year amounted to CHF 168 million. The board of directors is proposing a dividend of CHF 6.50 per registered share.