Bühler Group, a well-known player in the market for coffee and cocoa processing technology, says all of its businesses achieved organic growth in 2018.
Group turnover increased by 22 per cent to CHF 3.3 billion (US$3.2 billion). Bühler Group further strengthened its strategic position by establishing a third business pillar, Consumer Foods. A new factory in Changzhou, China, became fully operational and construction of its CUBIC innovation campus in Uzwil, Switzerland is nearing completion. To drive digitalization, the company entered a partnership with Microsoft.
“We are satisfied with our overall results in 2018,” said CEO Stefan Schreiber (shown here). “Volumes developed well, but profits were below our objectives. Despite risks such as trade conflicts, we are well positioned with our portfolio and our global organisation and look to the future with confidence.”
The company said the 2018 business year was characterised by continued organic growth in all businesses with a gain in market share, increased order intake, and higher turnover.
EBIT increased in absolute terms by 13 per cent to CHF 231 million, which represents an EBIT margin of 7.1 per cent compared with 7.6 per cent in the previous year. Profitability was impacted by necessary adjustments at the Changzhou site. Without this one time effect, EBIT margin would have reached 8 per cent.
Spending on research and development amounted to CHF 145 million (that is, 4.4 per cent of turnover). The group introduced more than 20 digital products, achieved sizable initial turnover, and entered the partnership with Microsoft in April 2018. Currently, customers can choose from a digital portfolio of over 30 services. Another 30 will be launched during 2019.
“The group is aware of the accelerated changes in our digital age and is keeping a watchful eye on global developments,” said the company, noting that new business opportunities arise regularly.