SFS stays well on track

The SFS Group achieved a stable development despite a difficult economic environment. It met its defined financial targets, recording third-party sales of CHF 3,090.8 million and an EBIT margin of 11.7%. The high level of investment in the realization of growth projects is proving to be worthwhile and focused. SFS also made further important progress in the area of sustainability and is set to meet its targets for education and training, as well as reducing CO2 emissions.

Geopolitical and macroeconomic developments had a major impact on business activities in 2023. Key leading economic indicators deteriorated considerably over the course of the year. Many customers reduced their inventories as a result of the normalization of supply chains after COVID-related disruptions, aggravating the situation further. The course of business over the last 12 months reflects this through inconsistent results in the various end markets.

In the financial year 2023, SFS generated robust organic growth of 2.1%. Sales increased overall by 12.6% to CHF 3,090.8 million. Consolidation effects stemming from the inclusion of Hoffmann as of May 1, 2022, accounted for 14.6% sales growth. Strong currency effects negatively impacted the development by –4.1%. On a like-for-like basis, sales growth amounted to 0.8% year-over-year in the first half of the year and 3.2% in the second half.

Important progress in sustainability
Last year, SFS Group reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by −7.6%. In order to reinforce its emissions reduction targets, SFS committed itself to the “Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)”. Owing to the overall energy situation, the energy mix in Switzerland was complemented with nuclear energy. As a result, the share of renewable electricity fell to 40% (PY 49.7%). With the installation of new photovoltaic systems in China and Switzerland, the share of self-generated renewable energy increased further in the year under review. Through systematic supplier assessments on environmental and social criteria, SFS is improving transparency in its supply chain.

Development by segment
The Engineered Components segment deftly used the seasonal ramp-up of components used in the area of Mobile Devices in the second half of 2023 to boost the results from the first half year. Demand in the segment’s other end markets remained unchanged overall during the course of the year. Economic developments in Europe and the continued strengthening of the Swiss franc posed major challenges for the profitability of the Swiss locations; these challenges are being countered by extensive packages of measures.

Fastening Systems achieved a reduced result in 2023 compared to the previous year. Over the course of the financial year, the segment was negatively impacted by a weakened market environment with occasionally high inventories across the entire value chain. In the USA, the Construction division expanded its market presence with three additional distribution locations.

The Distribution & Logistics segment underwent an impressive development in the 2023 financial year. After a strong first half of the year, market demand deteriorated over the course of the year. This resulted in a decline in order intake, which was partially offset by the high order backlog. Both divisions continued a close exchange and benefited from the potential opened up by operational and strategic collaboration.
The 31st Annual General Meeting of SFS Group AG will be held at Sportzentrum Aegeten in Widnau (Switzerland) on April 24, 2024.