Difficult start to the year for Oerlikon

Difficult start to the year for Oerlikon
Difficult start to the year for Oerlikon

Zurich (awp) – The Schwyz industrial group Oerlikon posted declining results in the first quarter, notably with a sharp decline in sales. The market environment remains tense for the textile industry.

Oerlikon’s turnover fell 25.1% year-on-year to 550 million Swiss francs in the first three months of the year, it said in a press release on Tuesday. In addition, new orders fell by 5.6% to 642 million. The company’s two divisions experienced mixed fortunes: Surface Solutions Division saw its turnover slightly increase by 0.6%, while Polymer Processing Solutions plunged, with sales halved. The synthetic fiber processing machinery sector suffered from customer investment postponements and delivery delays due to tensions in the Red Sea.

The gross operating surplus (Ebitda) also showed a drop of 25.7% to 85 million. The operating margin remained virtually stable at 15.4%, compared to 15.5% for the same period last year.

During the general meeting of March 21, the shareholders validated the proposal of the board of directors to pay them 20 cents per share for 2023.

With these results, Oerlikon clearly exceeded analysts’ expectations in terms of incoming orders and exactly achieved them in terms of sales. “We have done a good job and achieved solid results, despite the weakness in the industrial economy, particularly in Germany and China,” commented Michael Süss, CEO of the group.

Confidence in the future

Oerlikon confirms its forecasts for 2024. The group expects an organic decline in turnover adjusted for currency effects in the high single digits, and an Ebitda margin of between 15 and 15.5%. “We look forward to the rest of the year with confidence,” said CFO Philipp Müller during a conference call.

Regarding the separation of its Polymer Processing Solutions division, announced at the end of February, Philipp Müller explained that a deadline of 12 to 36 months had been set. “The terms of the separation have not yet been decided,” he added. Three options are still being studied: IPO, sale or split. The choice depends on the market environment.

Around 10:00 a.m., the stock rose 9.8% to 4.62 Swiss francs on the stock market.

cw/al/ol

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