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Bobst half year sales surge past $1bn

Friday, 17 August 2018
By Print21
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The Bobst Group saw its sales break through the $1bn marker in the first half of the financial year, surging upwards by some 19 per cent, although margins remained thin with EBIT dipping by 10 per cent to $48m.

Its net result was $34.6m, down by ten per cent on the previous year. Orders increased by 13 per cent and backlog was up by 14 per cent on the prior year.

The Group has lowered its 2018 full year profit guidance and expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) of higher than $125m for the full year 2018, compared to $165m in 2017.

Sales growth was mainly driven by a high backlog at the beginning of the year and an overall good level of activity in all three Business Units. Volume and price variances had a positive impact of 14.5 per cent.

Its sheetfed business unit recorded a whopping 29 per cent growth, webfed was up by 12 per cent, services up by seven per cent, and other up by a third.

 The company says an unfavorable product mix, the ramp-up of the digital printing activities as well as further investments to strengthen the Group’s sales and service network, and capabilities in growing markets, weighed against the positive contribution from higher sales, leading to the reduction of the operating result (EBIT).

Business Unit Web-fed continues to have an unfavorable product mix and high pressure on margins. The ramp-up of the new site in China and of the product lines structure, as well as higher than expected restructuring efforts at one of its German entities, also had a negative impact on the Business Unit’s profitability. The operating result (EBIT) was $27m loss in the first half of 2018 compared to a $7m loss in the first six months of 2017.

Business Unit Services has significantly increased the number of field service technicians and technical support people, according with the Group’s strategy.

All three Business Units have higher costs due to the ramp-up of the Group’s digital printing activities (Mouvent) which have been part of Bobst since June 1 last year.

EBIT for sheetfed was up by 17 per cent, for webfed it was down by 15 per cent and for services down by six per cent.

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