Conzzeta AG : Annual Results 2012: Conzzeta strengthens its position in Asia
and the USA
Conzzeta AG / Annual Results 2012: Conzzeta strengthens its position in Asia
and the USA . Processed and transmitted by Thomson Reuters ONE. The issuer is
solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Zurich, March 27, 2013 - Conzzeta's annual results for 2012 reflect the
influences of the debt crisis. While revenues were slightly down in the
eurozone countries, Conzzeta was able to strengthen its position in the
markets of Asia and North America. The Group increased consolidated net
revenues by 3% to CHF 1161.5 million (previous year: CHF1128.1 million),
with the Bystronic and Mammut business units generating the strongest growth.
Operating profit (EBIT) was CHF 55.3 million (CHF 61.9 million), corresponding
to an EBIT margin of 4.8% (5.4 %), which contains the one-time allocation to
the employee pension funds, with costs of CHF 12.7 million. Adjusted for this
special effect, EBIT amounted to CHF 68 million, corresponding to a margin of
The 2012 business year again showed how much the debt crisis is affecting the
business climate in the eurozone economies. Whereas the North American and
Asian markets continued to recover and grow, uncertainties in the eurozone
persisted, causing industry and consumers alike to put off purchase decisions.
Conzzeta's business units, led by Bystronic and Mammut, took advantage of the
growth opportunities in the USA and Asia, enabling the Group to post moderate
growth figures. The Conzzeta Group increased consolidated net revenues by 3%
to CHF1161.5 million (previous year: CHF1128.1 million). Adjusted for
currency translation effects of 1.5% as well as acquisition effects, the
growth was 1.3%. Thanks to the stable, though high, exchange rate of the Swiss
franc, the currency translation effects are less marked than in the previous
year. However, this should not obscure the fact that Swiss products continue
to appear relatively expensive in the eurozone due to the disproportionate
strength of the Swiss franc.
Operating profit (EBIT) was CHF 55.3 million (previous year: CHF 61.9
million), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 4.8% (5.4%). The EBIT figure
includes a one-time special item: the allocation to the employee pension funds
of CHF15million (net impact on costs of CHF 12.7 million). This payment was
approved by the Annual General Meeting to mark the 100th anniversary in 2012.
Adjusted for this special effect, EBIT came in at CHF 68 million,
corresponding to a margin of 5.9%. Operating profit contains costs of CHF 7.6
million (CHF6.4 million) for the restructuring of Bystronic glass.
Investments in property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets amounted
to CHF 41.8 million (previous year: CHF 40.1 million) in 2012. The two major
investments begun in 2011 - Mammut's European logistics center in Germany and
Bystronic's second plant in Tianjin, China -were successfully completed in
2012 within budget. In Estavayer-le-Lac, Plazza Immobilien sold land no longer
required in its property portfolio.
The cash flow from operating and investment activities (free cash flow)
generated by the Conzzeta Group amounted to CHF 73.2 million (previous year:
negative CHF 1.3 million) in 2012. Cash flow from financing activities of
negative CHF 105.8 million (negative CHF 14 million) was strongly affected by
the payment of a centenary dividend in 2012. This had a marked influence on
the change in cash and cash equivalents amounting to negative CHF 32.7 million
(negative CHF 15.8 million). Thanks to cash, cash equivalents and securities
of CHF 422.2 million (CHF 482.5 million) and an equity ratio of 75.4% (74.9%),
the Conzzeta Group remains solidly financed.
At the end of the reporting year, the Conzzeta Group had 3627 employees
worldwide, 51 more than in the previous year (3576). Most of the new jobs were
created in Asia. However, Conzzeta continues to be based in Europe, where
around two-thirds of the employees work.
Following payment for the 2011 business year of an increased dividend from
non-operational funds to mark Conzzeta's 100th anniversary, the Board of
Directors is returning to the previous level of dividend payments. The Board's
proposal to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders is for a dividend of
CHF 40 (previous year: CHF 217) per bearer share and CHF 8 (CHF 43.40) per
The Sheet Metal Processing Systems business unit (Bystronic) increased net
revenue by 5.5% to CHF 530.6 million (previous year: CHF503 million).
Adjusted for currency translation effects, the increase was 3.5%. By far the
most important growth market was the NAFTA region, where the recovery in the
USA was not the only positive factor. Anorth-south divide is opening up in
Europe, with sales volumes in the non-eurozone countries tending to be
stronger than in the eurozone. Sales in Asia were at approximately the same
level as in 2011. The business unit had a remarkable year on the product
development front. At Euroblech, the leading trade show, Bystronic presented a
completely revamped product portfolio, which met with great interest on the
part of customers. The worldwide trend toward fiber laser systems is
continuing, and Bystronic also presented a new machine in this segment. Market
demand for modern software and operating systems is increasing. Bystronic has
already responded to this demand with its BySoft 7 process control software
and intuitive touchscreen interfaces. The new plant was inaugurated at the
Tianjin site in China. In addition to production capacity, it includes a new
demonstration center and improved facilities for product development.
In the Glass Processing Systems business unit (Bystronic glass), net revenue
fell by 5.6% to CHF 141.8 million (previous year: CHF 150.2 million). In local
currencies, the drop in sales was 6.2% compared with 2011. This trend is
partly attributable to the closure of the architectural glass cutting segment.
As announced earlier, the segment was discontinued for reasons of economic
efficiency. The continuing shift toward China in the market for glass
processing machinery gathered pace. At the same time, Europe is stagnating.
Bystronic glass is responding to this strategic challenge by strengthening its
activities in China, where the mid-range segment of its portfolio now includes
a new insulating glass system. The business unit was thus able to take
advantage of the growing demand for multiple glazing in Asia, generating
increased sales in the region. There was particularly pleasing revenue growth
in the laminated safety glass (LSG) and automotive glass segments. The
restructuring program initiated in January 2012 is nearing completion. The new
systems for architectural glass cutting segment based in Bützberg
(Switzerland) was closed down and the site refocused on customer service and
the automotive glass business. The production of handling equipment and LSG
systems was transferred from Gunzenhausen to Neuhausen-Hamberg (Germany).
The Automation Systems business unit (ixmation) posted net revenue of CHF55.9
million in 2012, a decrease of 20.2% on the previous year (CHF70 million), or
24.7% in local currencies. This level of revenue was about the same as in
2010. The year-on-year decline is attributable to a major one-time order
booked in 2011. In the reporting year, the business unit incurred high,
unplanned costs dealing with technical problems relating to demanding
projects. In summer 2012, the decision was taken to appoint Guy Sellier as the
new head of the business unit. He has extensive experience in the automation
industry as well as in project management. The market in Asia is becoming
increasingly important for ixmation. Labor costs are rising and sectors such
as the automotive industry, consumer goods manufacture and medical technology
are continuing to grow. In 2012, ixmation acquired renowned international
players as customers in the alternative energy and automotive fields. In
competing for business from globally active customers, ixmation's
international set-up often plays a crucial role.
In the Foam Materials business unit (FoamPartner), net revenue rose by 4.2% to
CHF 129.9 million (previous year: CHF 124.6 million). Adjusted for currency
translation effects, the business unit posted a 3.5% year-on-year increase.
Although the currency effect is negligible, the strong Swiss franc did affect
the business performance. Revenues in the comfort foam segment declined in the
home market of Switzerland because of the impact of cheaper competitor
products from the eurozone and shopping tourism. On the other hand, the
segment was able to generate sales growth in the eurozone, above all in
Germany and the Benelux countries, with a new mattress core product line.
FoamPartner recorded its highest sales growth in Asia, followed by the USA,
with demand for technical foams developing very well in both regions. The
business unit received new orders worldwide from the automotive industry,
which is showing increased interest in acoustic foams for sound insulation.
Filters, sponges, packaging and rolls also sold well. The business unit
continued to expand in Asia, establishing its own sales office in Singapore.
In the Sporting Goods business unit (Mammut Sports Group), the reporting year
was marked by strong growth, with net revenue up by 10.3% to CHF 232.5 million
(previous year: CHF 210.8 million). After adjustments for currency and
acquisition effects, the growth in net revenue amounted to 8.4%. Market
expansion focused on the Asian region, where the highest growth rates were
recorded. Mammut acquired a majority holding in its previously independent
distributor in South Korea, the world's second biggest outdoor equipment
market. At the same, Mammut began building up its own sales company in China.
The business unit sustained its robust performance in the main European
market, Germany, recording strong sales growth. In the rest of the eurozone,
the impact of prevailing economic uncertainties was evident. The home market
of Switzerland saw modest growth, indicating a slowdown in the cross-border
shopping trend, though the pressure on prices was still apparent. Mammut also
generated strong revenue growth in North America. The highest sales growth was
in the hardware product segment, where avalanche protection systems were
particularly popular with customers. Mammut opened 16 new mono-brand stores
worldwide in 2012, bringing the total to more than 50 and helping to boost the
brand's popularity. Mammut marked its 150th anniversary by sponsoring the
conquest of 150 mountain peaks worldwide, the most important project aimed at
increasing brand awareness in recent years, which aroused a great deal of
interest. The business unit's other major project was the construction of a
new European logistics center in Wolfertschwenden near Memmingen (Germany),
which came on stream in fall 2012, taking over supplies to the whole of
The Graphic Coatings business unit (Schmid Rhyner) increased net revenue in
the reporting year by 4.7% to CHF 50.4 million (previous year: CHF 48.1
million). Schmid Rhyner generated growth in most of its markets. The debt
crisis continued to dominate the picture in Southern Europe, resulting in
declining sales. Demand for varnishes for commercial printing is falling
across all market regions. At the same time, there is a growing market for
packaging printing, where Schmid Rhyner is consolidating its position with a
UV-hardening line. The new Touch&Feel varnishes, which create textured effects
on packaging, are meeting with great interest in many branches of industry,
notably luxury goods and the alcohol and tobacco industries. The water-based
varnish segment was streamlined and will now focus on high-grade specialties,
which offer good margins, to complement its portfolio. In the UV-hardening
segment, Schmid Rhyner has achieved some technological advances, for example
developing new photoinitiators which further reduce the risk of migration to
the product thanks to improved properties, thereby improving the safety
characteristics of printed food packaging.
The Real Estate business unit (Plazza Immobilien) generated revenue of CHF
19.8 million in 2012, 5.3% down on the previous year (CHF 21 million). This
decline is mainly the result of selling the property in Estavayer-le-Lac and
the subsequent loss of rental income. The sale in Estavayer-le-Lac netted an
extraordinary profit of CHF 8.5 million. Demand for rented accommodation at
Plazza's residential properties remained stable. Legal formalities relating to
the planned residential development with around 200 apartments on the
Wallisellen site were completed and an architectural competition for the
design of the project was held. Detailed construction planning for the entire
development, named "Im Glattgarten", will take place in 2013. In the reporting
year, an architectural and urban planning competition was held for the
development of a former industrial site in Crissier. The municipalities
concerned and Plazza are working with the winner of the competition to produce
the design plan as a basis for specific building projects.
Trends and outlook
The 2013 business year will continue to be influenced by the unresolved
currency and financial crisis, and increasingly also by political
uncertainties. Although for the moment there are hopes of the situation
easing, the underlying problem of the overindebtedness of some eurozone
countries is not resolved. This leads time and again to mistrust in the
markets and prompts customers to adopt a more cautious attitude. The crisis of
trust in the euro and the resulting flight into the Swiss franc will continue
to distort currency relations and hamper the export of Swiss products to the
eurozone. In these circumstances, the stabilization of the Swiss franc by the
Swiss National Bank continues to be an important factor, which at least in the
short term offers a measure of security in planning.
As in the previous year, Conzzeta is more confident about the outlook in the
Asian markets than it is about the prospects in Europe. In view of the
unstable political and economic situation in the mature industrial economies,
the Group is unable to make reliable forecasts. As experience shows, periods
of uncertainty for customers soon make themselves felt in the order intake.
Conzzeta is continuing to prepare itself for an uncertain business climate,
staying flexible and keeping costs down so that it is able to respond quickly
to any slump in sales. To further reduce its exposure to currency effects,
Conzzeta remains on its chosen course of maintaining its own manufacturing
capacity in the markets it serves and purchasing in local currencies.
The full version of the Annual Report is available at www.conzzeta.ch.
For further information please contact:
Christian Thalheimer, Head of Corporate Services
Phone +41 44 468 24 84
Conzzeta Group is an internationally active Swiss holding company with
approximately 3,600 employees worldwide. Its activities are in the areas of
machinery and systems engineering, foam materials, sporting goods, graphic
coatings and real estate. Conzzeta's shares are listed on the SIX Swiss
The News Release including consolidated income statement and balance sheet can
be downloaded from the following link:
Media release (PDF)
This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson
The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other
applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of
information contained therein.
Source: Conzzeta AG via Thomson Reuters ONE
--- End of Message ---
Giesshübelstrasse 45 Zürich Switzerland
WKN: 265798;ISIN: CH0002657986;
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.