SFS looks back on a solid financial year in 2018
News - 8 March 2019
SFS Group achieved sales growth of 6.5% in 2018. This attractive growth was broadly based in terms of end markets and geographies. The Fastening Systems segment's above-average performance is particularly pleasing. Operating profit reached 14.0 % of net sales and stays with CHF 243.1 million 4.2% above the comparable prior-year figure.
SFS Group achieved solid sales growth of 6.5% in the 2018 financial year, lifting its consolidated sales to CHF 1,739 million. Sales growth was driven by organic growth of 5.0% in the Group's core business activities (4.3% including the Engineered Components segment's trading activities). This growth reflects SFS’ strong position as a provider of customer-specific solutions in selected niche markets. Growth for the period was broadly based and the Fastening Systems segment showed the strongest development. Growth in the second half was slower than in the first half. This can be traced to the challenging comparison base – sales growth in the prior-year period was strong – and to an unexpected decline in demand during the fourth quarter, especially from customers in the automotive and electronics industries.
Changes in the scope of consolidation contributed 0.8% to top-line growth, which mostly reflects the first-time consolidation of HECO in the second half. Currency movements had a positive effect of 1.4% on reported sales growth.
Operating profit increased by 4.2% to CHF 243.1 million
Operating profit increased by 4.2% on a comparable basis to CHF 243.1 million. Profitability improved considerably during the second half (EBIT margin of 14.4%) compared to the first half (EBIT margin of 13.6%). The EBIT margin for the year as a whole stood at 14.0%, which is slightly below the comparable year-ago margin of 14.3%. This contraction is primarily attributed to sales mix effects arising, for example, from the stronger growth rates of the Fastening Systems and Distribution & Logistics segments and the strong decline in demand during the final quarter of the year. Net profit for the year rose by 21.9% to CHF 193.9 million, which corresponds to 11.2% of net sales.