Hilti continues to increase sales and profit
Schaan (FL), September 23, 2016 – The Hilti Group remains set on growth: In the first eight months of the current financial year, sales were up +6.6 percent in local currencies. Operating result (+12.6%) and net income (+20.8%) were above the previous-year value as well.
Group sales in Swiss Francs were up +7.3 percent year-on-year to reach CHF 3,049 million. Growth was reduced by the divestment of the US solar company Unirac in April. Excluding this effect, sales were up +7.8 percent in local currencies and +8.5 percent in Swiss Francs. "The positive sales curve shows that our Champion 2020 corporate strategy is bearing fruit. We succeeded in using the momentum in many regions and are satisfied with the current year," said CEO Christoph Loos when commenting on the intermediate figures.
Overall, sales growth was positive in the company’s market regions. In Europe, Hilti generated a solid sales increase of +7.3 percent in local currencies while North America posted continued double-digit growth thanks to high-level activity in the construction sector (+14,0% excl. Unirac). Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa (+6.7%) and Asia/Pacific (+3.3%) also kept up the positive trend. However, Hilti was not immune to the economic and political uncertainties as well as the exchange rate fluctuations in Latin America, with sales declining by -5.7 percent year-on-year.
Thanks to productivity gains achieved mostly in procurement and production, return on sales (ROS) increased to 12.1 percent. Return on capital employed (ROCE) grew to 21.2 percent. Altogether, the operating result was up +12.6 percent to CHF 369 million, while net income grew by +20.8 percent to CHF 289 million. This drive helped finance continuing high levels of investments in strategic growth initiatives, additional sales resources as well as R&D without declines in profitability. Total headcount was up +6.2 percent to 24,190 employees over previous year. R&D spend was increased by +17.8 percent to CHF 179 million year-on-year.
Commenting on full-year expectations, Christoph Loos said: "We are well on track and confident that we will continue our accelerated growth rate while maintaining our current level of profitability.”
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