Steinhausen, March 5, 2021 -- Schweiter Technologies posted a
record-high result amid challenging market conditions. Despite the
COVID-19 pandemic and negative currency effects, the Group posted sales
of CHF 1,160.2 million in 2020, which was only slightly lower than the
previous year's CHF 1,179.6 million (-2%). In local currencies, sales
were +3% higher versus 2019. Group EBITDA improved by a staggering +43%
compared with the previous year (+49% in local currencies), reaching a
new record high of CHF 175.7 million. The return on net sales rose by
close to 5 %-points to 15.1%. EBIT also rose faster than sales to CHF
137.6 million (previous year: CHF 85.2 million), while net income
increased to CHF 103.5 million (previous year: CHF 60.0 million).
Operating cash flow came to about CHF 158 million, equivalent to a
year-on-year increase of more than 51%. Cash and cash equivalents rose
to around CHF 164 million following a dividend distribution of
approximately CHF 57 million.
At the General Meeting on April 1, 2021, the Board of Directors will
propose paying a dividend of CHF 40 per bearer share and to elect two
new independent members of the Board of Directors. A change at the top
of the management board is also planned for 2022.
The 2020 Annual Report and the investor presentation can be downloaded
Schweiter Technologies Group 2020 2019
(in CHF m) + / -
---------- ---------- -----
Net revenues 1,160.2 1,179.6 -2%
EBITDA 175.7 123.1 +43%
as a % of net revenues 15.1% 10.4%
EBIT 137.6 85.2 +61%
Net income 103.5 60.0 +73%
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In a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the diversification of
Schweiter Technologies proved to be a strength. While some market
segments and geographies were affected by the lockdown measures and had
to cope with a steep fall in demand, the European display business in
particular, with its variety of clear sheet products, and the Core
Materials business for the wind energy sector benefited from firm
The Group responded promptly to the pandemic in order to ensure that
production continued uninterrupted while protecting the health of its
employees. In particular, production at sites that manufacture
transparent sheets for protection against infection were operating at
the limits of capacity. Moreover, demand from wind energy customers
picked up appreciably following a strong performance the previous year.
A flexible response at production sites with lower capacity utilization
coupled with lower raw material costs and selective price adjustments
produced a disproportionately large increase in profitability and a
The European display business was marked by two contrasting trends. On
the one hand, clear sheet production was running at full capacity, and
the company took a number of measures so as to be able to meet the
exceptionally high demand for transparent sheets. On the other hand,
display revenues in the areas of advertising, trade fairs and interior
design plummeted between March and September.
The US display business also suffered a massive downturn in demand in
these areas. The integration and restructuring of the foamboard business
of Newell Brands Inc., acquired in September, was set in motion
successfully as planned. The acquisition will contribute to the Group's
profit growth as of the coming year.
Growth in profitability clearly outpaced sales growth owing to falling
raw material prices, high capacity utilization in clear sheet production,
a temporary reduction in production capacity plus strict cost discipline
at all sites.
The Architecture segment produced very mixed results in regional terms.
While sales in the USA increased further following a strong performance
the previous year, the European and Asian businesses fell short of the
The construction sector in Europe showed wide differences from country
to country. Construction projects in Central Europe, primarily Germany,
continued virtually unabated, whereas construction activity in some core
markets such as France, the United Kingdom, and southern Europe came to
a complete standstill at times owing to the pandemic. On top of this,
the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Brexit had a negative impact on
demand in the UK.
Construction in Asia was also very mixed regionally, impacted by project
delays and building freezes. In China, the construction business
practically came to a standstill in the first quarter but then recovered
gradually, reaching gratifying levels by the fourth quarter. The markets
in India and the Middle East felt the impact of the pandemic with a
certain time lag.
The US construction industry was also hit by temporary lockdown measures,
but nevertheless managed to gain market share and post further sales
growth despite the pandemic-related challenges. Amid challenging market
conditions, sales continued to rise, driven by the strategic expansion
of the customer base, an ever improving service level, and intensified
consulting services for technical applications.
The Core Materials segment maintained the previous year's strong
momentum despite COVID-19-related challenges, posting double-digit
revenue growth. In particular, the ongoing firm demand for core
materials for the wind energy sector was a key factor in the steep sales
gains and resulted in very high capacity utilization at the production
sites and disproportionately high profit growth.
In regional terms, China again reported the strongest sales growth
following significant increases the previous year. Demand from wind
customers in the USA and Europe also trended strongly. Moreover, sales
in the US marine market outpaced the previous year as of the second
quarter, whereas revenues in the European Non-wind area were lower
3A Composites has a great competitive advantage since it covers the
entire value chain in the balsa business, from seedlings to its own
FSC(R) -certified plantations in Ecuador and Papua New Guinea and right
up to the finished products. This makes the business less exposed to
rising raw material prices and moreover ensures reliable delivery of
balsa products to its customers.
A new PET production facility in China started the production at the end
of 2020 in order to be closer to Asian customers and to be better able
to meet the steeply rising demand.
Transport & Industry
After the most successful year in its history to date, the Mobility
segment reported a double-digit decline in its sales revenue.
The Road Vehicles business was particularly hard hit by the current
crisis because the component market for coaches collapsed almost
completely as of the second quarter and did not stage any significant
recovery for the rest of the year.
Sales revenue in the Rail business also fell short of the previous year,
although the decline in this area was not nearly as steep.
Despite numerous adverse circumstances, the segment managed to turn in a
satisfactory profit by promptly adjusting capacity and imposing strict
3A Composites has gotten off to a strong start in the new year. However,
business performance will be determined by the future course of the
pandemic and the economic impact of the related lockdown measures.
Nevertheless, it will be difficult to repeat the record result from the
previous year in 2021.
The Display segment already demonstrated in the third quarter of 2020
that a swift recovery of the markets is possible. Assuming positive news
about vaccines, additional economic stimuli, and an end to political
uncertainty in the USA, we anticipate a gradual recovery of the retail
trade and, along with that, an upturn in revenues for advertising and
shop design. On the other hand, we expect that demand for transparent
sheets for protection against infection will weaken.
The Architecture segment should benefit in 2021 from a catch-up effect
from postponed projects along with the implementation of projects that
have already been initiated. However, a temporary stagnation in the USA
is to be expected in the second half of 2021 because the fall-off in new
building projects in 2020 will take some time before it affects the
The Core Materials segment forecasts demand to remain high in the wind
energy business area. Moreover, the Non-wind area holds out the promise
of additional growth opportunities. On the other hand, sales prices,
especially in China, can be expected to fall owing to changed market
conditions and tougher competition.
The Transport segment anticipates a challenging year because the market
for buses will remain weak before any recovery sets in. The demand for
rail vehicles, by contrast, is more robust but, depending on how the
pandemic plays out, there may be further postponements of infrastructure
projects, which would have a direct impact on demand for trains and
Based on Art. 27 of the Federal Council's Ordinance 3 on Measures to
Combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19 Ordinance 3), the General Meeting on
April 1, 2021 will be held, as it was last year, without the presence of
shareholders in person. Voting rights may be exercised through written
or electronic power of attorney delegated to the independent proxy
holder. Further information will be sent with the Invitation.
The Board of Directors will propose paying an unchanged dividend of CHF
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March 05, 2021 00:00 ET (05:00 GMT)