Zurich, August 14, 2013 – The Conzzeta Group generated net revenues of CHF 537.7 million in the first half of 2013, up 1.7% on the previous year. The operating result rose to CHF 27.0 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin of 4.8%.
The performance of the Conzzeta AG business units in the first half of 2013 presented a really uneven picture. Although the first three months were generally rather weak, sales picked up in the second quarter. While Conzzeta’s three machinery and systems engineering units remained at the previous year’s level, the consumer-oriented businesses showed some pleasing areas of growth. The subdued development of the capital goods market is also due to the economic situation. Some countries in the eurozone, Conzzeta’s most important market, are in recession, and in China there are doubts whether the economy can keep growing as it has up to now. Accordingly, customers are showing restraint in their investment decisions. The decreases in sales at ixmation and Bystronic glass were the result of deliberate decisions: Bystronic glass closed its architectural glass cutting segment in 2012, while ixmation tightened up the criteria for the technical feasibility of order delivery, above all in the US market. By contrast, the three business units directly or indirectly engaged in manufacturing consumer products – with Mammut to the fore – made substantial progress, the strongest growth being generated in Asia.
Consolidated net revenues totaled CHF 537.7 million in the reporting period (previous year: CHF 528.6 million). This corresponds to a growth rate of 1.7%, or 0.2% in local currencies, excluding the acquisition effect arising from the purchase of a Mammut distributor. The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2013 was CHF 27.0 million, on a par with the previous year, despite the fact that the figure for the same period of 2012 (CHF 8.6 million) was significantly influenced by special effects of CHF 18.9 million. The EBIT margin was 4.8%. Group profit came in at CHF 21.6 million, 67.4% higher than in the first half of 2012. This figure contains an extraordinary result of CHF 2.9 million from the sale of land by Plazza Immobilien. Operational free cash flow amounted to CHF 18.9 million, an improvement on the first half of 2012 (negative CHF 3.7 million). Cash and cash equivalents rose to CHF 363.4 million and the equity ratio reached 75.1%, higher than the previous year (73.1%). Conzzeta therefore remains very solidly financed.
The Sheet Metal Processing Systems business unit (Bystronic) generated net revenue of CHF 254.6 million in the first half of 2013, a rise of 1.9% on the same period of last year (CHF 249.9 million). In terms of local currencies revenues remained unchanged. Following a subdued beginning to the year, business improved significantly in the second quarter. Sales grew, particularly in the American markets, as well as in Northern and Central Europe, while there was a slight downturn in China and a more marked weakening in Southern Europe. Against a background of technological change, with fiber laser systems taking an increasing share of the market, Bystronic is maintaining its position. The number of competitors in this market has risen considerably, increasing the pressure on prices. New products unveiled at the most recent Euroblech industry fair met with great interest on the part of customers. Bystronic has been under new leadership since April of this year, with Alex Waser taking over from Ferdi Töngi as CEO.
The Glass Processing Systems business unit (Bystronic glass) reported net revenue of CHF 60.1 million, 3.9% lower than the same period a year ago (CHF 62.6 million), or 5.2% in local currencies. This year-on-year decrease is attributable to the closure of the architectural glass cutting machinery segment, which was still contributing to sales in 2012. The segment is now closed and the restructuring of Bystronic glass completed. Revenues in the automotive glass machinery business are falling as expected, following the exceptional high of the previous year. An additional factor is that the largest competitor enjoys a currency advantage due to the weakness of the yen. In regional terms, the economic problems in Europe are slowing down the construction industry, which in turn affects glass manufacturers. As a result, the market for high-end machines – ordered chiefly by European customers – is weaker, while mid-range machinery is selling well in China.
The Automation Systems business unit (ixmation) generated net revenue of CHF 15.7 million, a fall of 28.9% (29.9% in local currencies) on the same period of 2012 (CHF 22.0 million). The decrease in revenues was anticipated. As announced in the Annual Report 2012, ixmation had incurred high costs dealing with unexpectedly demanding projects. When taking on new orders in future, the business unit will place a high priority on ensuring that the technological and contractual requirements are more clearly defined, rendering the risks more manageable.
In the first half of 2013, the Foam Materials business unit (FoamPartner) reported net revenue of CHF 69.1 million (previous year: CHF 66.6 million), a rise of 3.9%, or 2.6% in local currencies. The growth was generated mainly in the technical foams segment, above all with products for the automotive industry and for application in sound insulation. Sales of comfort foams in Europe were weaker, with a low level of demand in the overall market resulting in tougher competition through predatory pricing. In regional terms, there was market growth in the USA and above all in Asia, where the newly opened sales office in Singapore and the FoamPartnerBock joint venture both produced very pleasing sales figures.
The Sporting Goods business unit (Mammut Sports Group) increased net revenue by 9.2% to CHF 100.3 million (previous year: CHF 91.8 million). In local currencies and without an acquisition effect from the purchase of the sales operation in South Korea, the growth amounted to 7.7%. Mammut recorded the biggest increase in sales in Asia, where the business unit has now established itself in the Chinese market and the first orders for the 2013/14 winter season have already been secured. In the European markets, sales in Great Britain developed well, the home market of Switzerland is recovering, while demand in Germany remained stable. Mammut is positioning itself systematically as a premium brand, opening new monobrand stores and setting out conditions for a good working relationship with retailers, including the offer of expert advice and attractive product presentation.
In the first half of 2013, the Graphic Coatings business unit (Schmid Rhyner) posted net revenue of CHF 27.3 million, representing growth of 7.7%. This result was achieved despite the fact that the business unit streamlined its product range in the water-based varnish segment. The most significant growth markets were Poland, the United Arab Emirates and India. Schmid Rhyner is continuing the strategic development of its business with packaging printers. UV varnishes for textured surfaces are particularly in demand. To keep pace with growing demand, the company is currently building a new production building in Adliswil.
The Real Estate business unit (Plazza Immobilien) increased net revenue to CHF 10.3 million, 3.8% higher than the same period a year ago. Although rents for commercial properties are under pressure, the market for apartments in the low and medium price range – Plazza’s main field of business – is still buoyant. The projects in Wallisellen and Crissier are running according to plan.
Trends and outlook
Europe continues to suffer the effects of the debt crisis. Certain countries, particularly in the south, are in recession, and there is no sign of a return to the levels of business seen in the past. At the same time, the uncertainties in China remain. Nevertheless, Conzzeta sees potential for long-term growth in the Asian market as a whole and will continue to strengthen its presence in the region. Market conditions point to the conclusion that the business performance in the second half will be similar to that in the same period of last year. Until the situation stabilizes and a global economic recovery takes hold, Conzzeta will concentrate on keeping its processes flexible. This should enable the business units to react more quickly to market pressure, but also to seize any opportunities arising in the short term.
Zurich, November 10, 2020 – Conzzeta reports the signing of a binding agreement to divest its FoamPartner business unit to Recticel, the Belgium specialist in polyurethane chemistry, headquartered in Brussels and listed on Euronext (REC), for an enterprise value of CHF 270 million. The closing of the transaction is expected in the first quarter 2021, subject to regulatory approval.keyboard_arrow_right
Zurich, November 10, 2020 – Ernst Baertschi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Conzzeta, will host today’s virtual Conzzeta capital markets day. Conzzeta Group CEO Michael Willome will provide an update of the Group’s strategic transformation. Bystronic CEO Alex Waser with part of his management team will present Bystronic’s strategy.keyboard_arrow_right
Seon, November 5, 2020 – Mammut has entered into a partnership with the non-profit organization ClimbAID to work together on humanitarian projects allowing refugees to discover the joy of climbing. United by their shared passion for mountain sports and climbing, Mammut and the Swiss non-profit organization ClimbAID are embarking on a partnership designed to allow people affected by war, poverty and displacement to discover the joy of climbing. This long-term cooperation will focus on the implementation of humanitarian projects in Switzerland, Lebanon, Greece and beyond.