IMPACT OF COVID-19 LESS NEGATIVE THAN FEARED

Schaan (FL), September 25, 2020 – After a significant slowdown in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, initial signs of recovery are emerging. Total sales for the January-to-August 2020 period decreased by 12.3 percent to CHF 3,426 million, and by 7.3 percent in local currencies, compared to the previous year.

“Following the unprecedented slump in our business during the spring lockdown, our figures have gradually recovered since June. We are therefore weathering the crisis better than originally feared, albeit with very large regional differences. This makes us cautiously optimistic, even though the crisis is by no means over and uncertainty remains high," says Christoph Loos, CEO of the Hilti Group.

While the year got off to a good start, business in North Asia slumped sharply in February and from mid-March onwards there was a clear downward trend in all markets. After the low point in the 2nd quarter, a gradual recovery set in. From January to August, total sales fell by 12.3 percent to CHF 3,426 million. Net income fell by 13.9 percent year-on-year to CHF 314 million. The result is also burdened by the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc. The negative currency effect, for the period from January to August, amounts to about 5 percentage points in terms of sales.

Regional business development strongly dependent on the intensity of the lockdown

Regional sales developments were directly related to the intensity of the lockdown. While the construction industry in the Mediterranean region or in some Asian markets, such as India and Singapore, was confronted with massive restrictions, sales in North Asia, North America and the rest of Europe fell less abruptly as construction activity in these regions saw no interruption (see table).

Over the entire year, the Hilti Group expects a decline in sales of approximately 5 percent in local currencies and 10 percent in Swiss francs.

The 2020 Intermediate Result in 60 seconds

https://youtu.be/dY-k0_tWKao

Key figures

January-August (in CHF million)

2020 (1-8)

2019 (1-8)

Change (%)

Net sales

3,426

3,908

-12.3

Operating result

445

506

-12.0

Net income

314

365

-13.9

Free cash flow, excluding acquisition

158

24

564.7

Return on sales (%)

13.0

12.9

0.1

Return on capital employed (%)*

16.7

21.6

-4.9

Research & development expenditure

224

237

-5.6

Head count (as of August 31)

29,763

29,644

0.4

Sales development January-August 2020 compared to the previous year

 

2020 (1-8)

in CHF million

2019 (1-8)

in CHF million

Change in CHF (%)

Change in
Local currencies (%)

Europe

1,710

1,910

-10.5

-6.1

North America

875

968

-9.6

-5.5

Latin America

60

89

-32.6

-16.8

Asia/Pacific

428

511

-16.2

-11.0

Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa

353

430

-17.9

-10.1

Hilti Group

3,426

3,908

-12.3

-7.3

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