Bühler reports profitable growth for 2022  

Advanced Material business with die casting units as growth driver

Pressemitteilung | Reading time: min

In 2022, Bühler continued to expand its business volume and improve profitability in an uncertain and volatile business environment. The company was able to cushion the impact of the war in Ukraine, as well as tense supply chains and rising energy and raw material prices. Bühler further improved its financial position with an increase in its equity ratio and repaid the first tranche of its bond. The company continued to invest heavily in innovation, new partnerships, and training and development. Thanks to numerous business opportunities in its markets and a high order backlog of over CHF 2.1 billion, the company intends to continue this positive development in 2023. "The impressive commitment of our employees around the world has helped us to be agile, resilient and creative in the face of increasing volatility and uncertainty," says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

For the Group, order intake increased by 8.7% to CHF 3.3 billion with a robust order backlog of CHF 2.1 billion. Sales increased by 10.3% to CHF 3.0 billion. EBIT improved by 36.0% to CHF 199 million, which corresponds to an EBIT margin of 6.7% (previous year: 5.4%). Net income rose by 35.7% to CHF 154 million (previous year: CHF 113 million). With these results, Buhler has largely regained its pre-pandemic level.

Advanced Materials as growth engine

The volume growth stemmed mainly from the Advanced Materials business, where order intake rose by 40.6% to CHF 871 million, almost doubling in the past two years. Within Advanced Materials, the die casting business stood out with an outstanding performance, increasing orders by 60.4%. Advanced Materials' sales increased by 31.8% to CHF 671 million. Consumer Foods continued its recovery with strong order intake growth of 21.6% to CHF 710 million and sales growth of 13.6% to CHF 578 million. Grains & Food, Bühler's largest business unit, delivered a solid performance, although it was particularly impacted by disrupted supply chains and a difficult feed market in China. The segment reported 2022 order intake of CHF 1,663 million, down 6.5%, while sales rose 2.6% to CHF 1,696 million; overall, the business thus remained very stable during the Covid 19 pandemic.

All regions contributed to Buhler's sales growth, with the Americas and the Middle East, Africa and India standing out. Regional growth rates and sales shares were as follows: Asia 6% growth to 32% of total sales; Europe 3% growth to 30%; North America 17% growth to 17% and South America 26% growth to 5%; Middle East, Africa & India 24% growth to 16%. With these successes in key markets, Buhler's global sales distribution is very robust and balanced.

Buhler's Customer Services business (including stand-alone machines) also grew by 3.4% and contributed significantly to the 2022 results with sales of CHF 955 million - 32% of Group sales. Bühler offers a holistic service portfolio with seven modules, ranging from hardware, components and spare parts to upgrades, maintenance, software and process optimisation for plants, designed to improve the performance of existing customer plants in terms of efficiency, safety and sustainability. Sustainability has become more important in 2022, as services are the strongest lever to reduce energy, waste and water in existing facilities. "We see the good business performance in 2022 as a confirmation of our strategy to be a provider of sustainable solutions and services and to create value for our customers as a reliable and innovative partner," says CEO Stefan Scheiber.

Strong financial position

In 2022, Bühler's financial position continued to improve: the equity ratio increased by 2.6 percentage points to 49.8% (previous year: 47.2%). An important milestone was the repayment of the first tranche of the CHF 180 million corporate bond in December. In 2017, Bühler had raised capital on the financial markets for the first time, in the form of a two-tranche bond of CHF 420 million to invest in growth and innovation. The second tranche of the bond, amounting to CHF 240 million, matures in 2026. "Thanks to our continued solid financial position, we can continue to invest in new solutions and services and remain fully independent in the long term," says CFO Mark Macus. 

Innovation and collaboration through partnerships

In 2022, Buhler expanded its innovation and education network. Networking Days in June provided an opportunity to bring together 1000 industry leaders to share ideas on how to improve energy and food safety, reduce waste, cut water consumption, reduce CO2e emissions, improve biodiversity and rethink mobility. Bühler announced several joint ventures and partnerships at this important event that will facilitate the transition to more efficient food and feed production and accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility.


The year 2022 also marked an important sustainability milestone for Bühler as the company announced the next stage with more concrete targets and action plans. Bühler developed a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 60% by 2030 and also committed to providing solutions that reduce energy, waste, and water in its customers' value chains by 50% by 20251 . 

To keep the pace of innovation high, research and development (R&D) spending remained stable at CHF 141 million or 4.7% of Group sales, in line with Bühler's strategy to be a technology leader in its selected industry segments. As part of its innovation promise to sustainably change value chains, Bühler launched some 40 new products in 2022, including six new core products.

Investing in people
Bühler was able to achieve these good results despite the many challenges in its markets thanks to the dedication and commitment of its employees. All our employees around the world have shown great commitment and perseverance. Our colleagues at Buhler China deserve a special mention. Although they faced strict zero-covid restrictions, regional lockdowns, and power outages, they kept production running.

In 2022, Bühler expanded and added to its development and lifelong learning programs for its more than 12,700 employees worldwide. In 2022, Bühler hired 230 new apprentices in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia, who are trained in three- and four-year courses in nine different professional fields. In total, Bühler employs over 500 apprentices worldwide.

Creation of a single Food segment and increased focus on services
To further increase the added value for customers, Buhler will integrate its Consumer Foods segment into the Grains & Food segment and focus more strongly on its service offering throughout the Group. A harmonized Food and Feed segment will enable more direct interfaces with customers, and processes will become more efficient as a result. Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food, will head the segment. Germar Wacker, who previously headed the Consumer Foods segment, will take on new responsibilities outside Buhler. He will support Johannes Wick in the transition and will leave the company at the end of the first quarter of 2023. "We thank Germar Wacker for his great contribution to the successful acquisition of the Haas Group and wish him all the best for his personal and professional future," says CEO Stefan Scheiber.

In order to accelerate the positive development of Bühler's service business, Samuel Schär, who held the positions of CEO Advanced Materials and Chief Services & Sales Officer, will in the future focus entirely on heading the global Services & Sales organization. Marcel Natterer will now head the Advanced Materials business unit; he has successfully led Buhler's Value Nutrition business unit for the past ten years. He has also been appointed a member of the Bühler Executive Board.

Outlook: Continued positive development
While 2023 will most likely remain challenging, Bühler starts the year with a solid financial position and a high order backlog. Thanks to the developments in its markets, Bühler sees numerous business opportunities to offer solutions with added value and impact for its customers.

Despite all the uncertainties, Bühler intends to continue its positive development. "Overall, we are convinced that Bühler is well positioned to take another positive step in its successful business development in 2023, even in a very dynamic market environment," says CEO Stefan Scheiber.

Company Info

Bühler AG

Gupfenstrasse 5
CH-9240 Uzwil

Telephone: +41 (71) 955 11 11