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Bühler Increases Profitability in 2023

In a complex and volatile global environment, Bühler increased its profitability in the year 2023.

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The equity ratio also continued to improve. As an innovative solution provider, the company benefited from numerous opportunities arising from the transformation in key markets and gained market share. In local currencies, revenue showed strong growth, and the order intake slightly improved. With a high order backlog of CHF 2.0 billion, Bühler is well-positioned for the year 2024. "We are satisfied with the results of 2023 and have once again demonstrated that we are a reliable partner in a dynamic world," says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

On a group level and in Swiss francs, Bühler achieved a good result with a slightly increased revenue of CHF 3.0 billion (+1.0%). The order intake was CHF 3.2 billion (-3.8%), and the order backlog remained high at CHF 2.0 billion. EBIT increased by 8.9% to CHF 216 million, with a corresponding EBIT margin of 7.2% (previous year: 6.7%). Net profit increased by 16.3% to CHF 179 million (previous year: CHF 154 million), representing a margin of 5.9% (previous year: 5.2%). The impact of exchange rates was significant. In local currencies, order intake increased by 2% to CHF 3.3 billion, revenue by 7% to CHF 3.2 billion, and EBIT by 17% to CHF 233 million.

In 2023, Bühler further strengthened its financial position, increasing the equity ratio to 51.1% (previous year: 49.8%).

Advanced Materials Continues Strong Performance
In 2023, the Advanced Materials division continued its success. While revenue increased significantly by 15.9% to CHF 778 million, the order intake decreased by 11.2% to CHF 774 million, indicating a normalization of business volumes. In local currencies, revenue increased by 22.9%, while the order intake declined by 5.3%. With these results, the Advanced Materials division confirmed its upward trend after an exceptionally strong order intake in 2022, driven by the transformation in its industries, enabling it to achieve a record revenue in 2023.

The Die Casting business unit experienced significant growth, driven by increasing demand for structural components for vehicle bodies, including battery housings for electric vehicles, and advanced Megacasting solutions such as the new Carat 840 and 920 series. The Leybold Optics business unit benefited significantly from glass coatings for architectural and automotive applications, capacitors for electromobility, power grid applications, and the ongoing strong market trends in photonics and semiconductors.

Grains & Food: Business Driven by Food Security
In a challenging business environment, Grains & Food delivered a solid performance. Revenue decreased by 3.1% to CHF 2204 million, while the order intake decreased by 0.7% to CHF 2357 million. In local currencies, revenue increased by 2.2%, and the order intake by 4.8%. The global effort to improve food security was a key driver for the Milling Solutions and Grain Quality & Supply business units. While the challenging economic situation in China put a damper on most areas, particularly in the Value Nutrition segment, Grain Quality & Supply received several major orders for ship unloaders, attributable to government efforts to improve food security.

Milling Solutions, Bühler's largest business unit, benefited from a global backlog of large milling projects for grain processing, including numerous new installations. Bühler received orders from around the world, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The Chocolate & Coffee business unit experienced remarkable revenue growth, and the Consumer Foods business unit continued to recover, both in terms of volume and profitability.

Services Have Gained Importance
Services remained a crucial strategic pillar in 2023, as they are the fastest lever to improve productivity and sustainability on the customer side by minimizing energy and water consumption and waste. Bühler's Customer Service business unit grew by 1.2% to CHF 966 million, accounting for 32% of the group's revenue.

Balanced Global Business Presence
While the economic environment varied significantly in individual key markets, Bühler was able to benefit from market expansions and offset lower business volumes in other markets due to its balanced geographical presence. The most notable developments were strong revenue growth in North and South America and significantly lower revenue volume in China. Overall, Bühler's revenue was distributed across regions as follows: North and South America 29%, Europe 28%, Asia 27%, Middle East, Africa, and India 16%.

Innovation as the Key to Success
In 2023, research and development expenditures remained at a high level, with CHF 140 million (4.7% of revenue), and around 50 new customer solutions were launched. "We see profitable growth as a prerequisite for creating positive impacts for a better world. Based on this conviction, we invest in the future development of our company, innovative products and services, as well as the development, education, and training of people," says Stefan Scheiber.

In 2023, Bühler continued to implement its sustainability strategy deliberately. Bühler can have the greatest impact with its customer solutions (Scope 3). In this context, Bühler has committed to providing scalable solutions by 2025 that reduce energy and water consumption and waste in the value chains of its customers by 50%. For its own operations (Scope 1 and 2), Bühler has set a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030. By the end of 2023, Bühler achieved a reduction of almost 20% compared to the base year 2019.

Education and Training
In 2023, Bühler continued to focus on the education and training of both customers and employees. Customers benefited not only from training at various technical schools on all continents but also from a wide range of courses at the 25 application and training centers worldwide. With the opening of new training facilities in Brazil and Switzerland in 2023, Bühler expanded its ability to support its customers along integrated value chains, from recipe development to end-product development to industrial scaling.

For its nearly 12,500 employees, Bühler further expanded its programs for development and lifelong learning. These programs enable employees to adapt to the rapidly changing conditions of the working world and develop skills to keep pace with a rapidly changing and increasingly demanding work environment. Part of the concept is the Bühler Energy Center in Uzwil, Switzerland, which opened in June. It is based on three pillars: Health & Lifestyle with a focus on health management; Lifelong Learning with a focus on vocational and adult education; and Prototyping & Production with a focus on new manufacturing technologies. In 2023, Bühler trained 544 apprentices worldwide, including 293 in Switzerland.

Outlook: Stable Foundation for 2024
The economic climate is expected to remain characterized by ongoing volatility in 2024. Nevertheless, Bühler is well-positioned to navigate dynamic times and take advantage of new opportunities. An order backlog of CHF 2.0 billion provides a stable foundation for business in 2024. Bühler remains committed to its strategic goal of profitable growth, sustainability targets, and the promotion of the development of its customers and employees.


 

Company Info

Bühler AG

Gupfenstrasse 5
CH-9240 Uzwil
Switzerland

Telephone: +41 (71) 955 11 11

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