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Successful 2011 For Buhler in a Tough Environment

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Successful 2011 For Buhler in a Tough Environment

Successful 2011 For Buhler in a Tough Environment
March 22
09:49 2012

With sales of SFr2.13 billion (Eur1.76 billion), the global Buhler Technology Group once again achieved solid growth of about 12% (adjusted for exchange rates and organic plus 15%) in 2011. Order intake rose by more than 3% to SFr2.23 billion, in local currencies and adjusted for acquisitions by 8%. EBIT increased at a high level by over 7% to SFr218 million (10.2% of sales), and net profits by 3% to SFr163 million. For current the 2012 financial year, the Buhler board expects a moderate increase in volumes due to the uncertain economic situation.

Adjusted for exchange rates, the two Food Divisions managed to boost their sales volumes by about 20%, while the Advanced Materials Division benefited from the boom in the automotive industry and achieved growth of 35%. In geographical terms, this increase in sales is primarily due to China(+64%) and Europe(+15%). In Europe, the acquisition of Schmidt-Seeger accounts for about half of total growth and the related strengthening of the strategic market for grain logistics solutions. Asia with its 30% share of sales is now the same size as Europe.

Despite considerable investments in additional production capacities, a high operating cash flow of SFr197 million was again attained. Net liquidity increased further in the year under review and is now just under SFr500 million. The return on net operating assets (RONOA) of 51% was maintained at the very high level of a year ago.

Group-wide spending on research and development in 2011 amounted to SFr89 million or a respectable 4.2% of total sales. These funds were invested in the new and further development of products with a focus on nutrition, safe foods, and energy efficiency. In addition, Bühler strengthened its local presence in the year under review by expanding its international customer service network by adding five new bases. Capital investments in tangible assets also rose appreciably, with a focus on additional production capacities in India, China, South Africa, and Brazil. Acquisitions in the areas of coatings, animal feeds, and sorting systems rounded off the product portfolio.

The order backlog of SFr1.33 billion as of the end of 2011 (up 7% from the previous year) provides a solid basis for the current financial year. However, long-term global challenges must be added to the short-term prospects, for example the fiercer competition for natural resources and as a consequence rising raw commodity prices. But thanks to ongoing product innovations and substantial investments in local market presence, Buhler is well equipped to face even adverse conditions.

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