SFS sees Q3 business pick up & reveals HQ expansion plans

SFS has seen business pick up in quarter three following a difficult Q2 thanks to economic volatility inflicted by Covid-19.

Sales for July and August continued a positive recovery first seen in June, not least thanks to automotive customers seeing a significant improvement in the summer months, the worst hit by precautionary measures, SFS said.

Total Group sales for July and August declined by mid-single-digit % figures.

The Fastening Systems and Distribution & Logistics segments almost matched prior-year levels, while the Engineered Components segment was about 10% below prior-year level.

SFS noted the risk of a second wave so has not revised its former H1 outlook, despite that recent upsurge.

Automotive business drives HQ expansion

SFS is investing in a new production facility at its Heerbrugg, Switzerland location, costing CHF 25-30 million. SFS said its position as a preferred development partner for automotive customers has seen it grow its business in this area.

"Trends towards greater comfort, safety and efficiency and, in general, trends associated with autonomous vehicles are spurring innovation. The ongoing electrification of vehicles, including vehicle brake systems, is an attractive and growing business area, in which SFS has established a leadership position. SFS's successful acquisition of new projects for assemblies used in electronic brake systems lays the groundwork for further growth."

Construction will begin in Heerbrugg in 2021.

Earlier this year, SFS acquired automotive and HVAC sector stalwart Truelove & Maclean in the USA. The previous year was significant year for the group, which owns Gesipa and a considerable stake in Heco. It acquired Triangle Fasteners Corporation and German fastener business mbe.