A diversified customer base helped Bossard to solid sales in the first half of 2020, despite Covid-19 disruption, with the group also noting signs of recovery in the Asian market.
Bossard Group’s sales for H1 2020 fell 7.4% to CHF 399.4 million, currency adjusted – it was a 11.4% sales drop in Swiss francs, resulted from the stronger Swiss currency. The Group expects an EBIT of approximately CHF 41 million (margin of 10.3%).
There was a noticeable drop off in sales, particularly in Q2. Currency-adjusted sales fell 13.7% to CHF 180.5 million.
Resilience in Europe
A diversified customer base in various industrial segments proved valuable, with above average growth rates in medical technology. Last year’s Boysen acquisition also helped mitigate the sales drop. Bossard sales in Europe, hit CHF 102.6 million in Q2, a drop of 15.1 in local currency (-18.5% in CHF). In the first half of the year, currency-adjusted sales declined 7.1% to CHF 235.7 million (-11% in CHF).
Difficulties in USA
Bossard was already facing “considerable headwinds” in North America in H2 2019. Erosion in sales slowed in Q1, but Q2 was tough thanks to the pandemic. Sales in Q2 fell 19.5% to CHF 42.8 million (-22.6% in in CHF). The sales decline in Q1 2020 was 11.5% (-14.6% in CHF).
Normalisation signs in Asia
Bossard has had a long phase of uninterrupted growth in Asia, however there was a substantial drop in demand in the Q1 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Q2 did show some signs of normalisation, with demand improving. Sales in Q2 reflected this development, and at CHF 35.1 million, matched the previous year’s level in local currency. Owing to the negative currency effect, however, the amount in Swiss francs fell by 6.4%. Sales in Asia for the first half of the year amounted to CHF 66.9 million, a slight decline of 1.6% in local currency (in CHF: -8.0%).
In spite of the pandemic and the accompanying restrictive measures, Bossard did achieve positive growth rates in South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, and even hit a new sales record in Taiwan.
While there is a challenging outlook that is tough to predict, Bossard said its H1 2020 solid performance confirmed its medium and long term growth strategy. Investments in infrastructure, innovations like Smart Factory Logistics and Engineering Services, and digitalisation had paid off.
“The economic principle still stands: the investments of today are the foundation for sustainable growth tomorrow. We are also heartened by the fact that, even in these challenging times, we maintained our ability to supply our customers and provide them with our logistics and engineering services in full, thereby managing to contribute to their economic recovery.”