Belimo with strong growth in Americas and Asia as well as healthy profitability
Hinwil, March 21, 2016, 07:00 a.m. - The Belimo Group looks back on a successful year 2015 despite the challenging economic environment. Sales in Swiss francs could be held on previous year level with CHF 493.3 million. Adjusted for currencies, this corresponds to a growth rate of 3.6 percent. Thanks to continuous investments in efficiency-increasing measures over the past few years, a healthy operating income (EBIT) of CHF 74.6 million, which equates to an EBIT margin of 15.1 percent, was reached. At CHF 56.2 million, net income however was below pre-vious year due to negative currency effects. Earnings per share were CHF 91.52.
Return on equity (ROE) was 17.2 percent and return on invested capital (ROIC) 20.8 percent. Cash flow from operating activities decreased by 5.0 percent to CHF 70.4 million while free cash flow rose by 99.7 percent to CHF 37.0 million. The expansion of the logistics building in Hinwil was completed at the end of 2015. In the previous year, the investments in the new production, logistics and administration building in Danbury (CT, USA) also lowered the free cash flow.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of CHF 65 per share to the Annual General Meeting on Mon-day, April 25, 2016.
Europe. Sales in the Europe market region fell by 9.7 percent, or 0.9 percent on a currency-adjusted basis. This trend can be mainly attributed to the happenings surrounding the euro and the economic situation in Eastern Europe. Belimo performed convincingly in particular in Poland and France. Poland benefited from robust market growth and the increasing number of production facilities relocating from Western to Eastern Europe. The developments in Russia resulted in a considerable local decline in sales for Belimo, but also had an impact on Western European countries, where exports to Russia and Central Asia fell sharply. Wa-ter applications recorded encouraging growth with the new products for zone applications and the new valves for pressure-independent applications in particular.
Americas. Sales in the Americas market region grew by 12.3 percent, or 9.7 percent on a currency-adjusted basis. Belimo enjoyed strong growth in all regions. Modernization of plants, strong demand for energy-efficient HVAC systems as well as digitization lead to above-average growth in the sector. Awarded projects such as the "Salesforce Tower" in San Francisco and the new "Rogers Place" ice hockey stadium in Edmonton, Canada, further drove growth. Sales of water applications developed very well thanks to the greater focus on OEM customers and a number of major plant engineering contracts. Sales of pressure-independent control valves also increased sharply.
Asia Pacific. Sales in the Asia Pacific region increased by 9.0 percent, or 7.2 percent on a currency-adjusted basis. In China, Belimo recorded strong growth in the OEM business; Japan as well as Hong Kong also performed convincingly. Belimo was confronted with a noticeable drop in investment activity throughout South-East Asia due to weak currencies. South Korea and the Philippines also recorded disap-pointing results. In water applications good results were achieved thanks to the Belimo Energy ValvesTM and electronic pressure-independent characterized control valves.
Innovation. In 2015, Belimo successfully launched the new generation of fire damper actuators with the patented Safety Position LockTM function. This function reliably keeps the fire dampers in the safety position in the event of fire and is built-in as standard. Also in focus was the introduction of the compact Belimo ZoneTightTM zone valves. This product range allows for energy-efficient room and zone control in tight spaces. As this trend is picking up speed, Belimo launched the pressure-independent 6-way zone valve. The Belimo Energy ValveTM product range was expanded with a version for higher pressure levels, which is used in tall buildings and special facilities. Digitization and the Internet of Things are employed throughout the "Apartimentum" pilot project, a multi-family house in Hamburg, Germany.
Outlook. The procurement and sales markets might continue to be influenced by uncertain currency and market trends. Belimo will meet these challenges using specialized expertise as well as a distinct growth strategy. The successful market launch of the fire damper actuators and zone valves will further be pushed. Additionally, Belimo will for the first time launch a newly developed actuator and valve combination for larg-er flows. With the strengthening of the sensor business, for example with the ultrasonic flow meters, Belimo expects further sales.
In the Europe market region uncertainty regarding the future development in Eastern Europe remains. The economy in the United States should further grow and also Asia Pacific should contribute to a successful result.
Belimo made investments of around CHF 95 million over recent years in its sites at Hinwil (Switzerland, headquarters) and Danbury (CT, USA). These investments establish the basis for future growth and ensure better use of production areas by means of more efficient processes.
Worldwide needs concerning room comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction require more actuators and thereby help Belimo generate constant growth and ensure solid results.