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Swisslog: Mixed first half-year – cautiously optimistic for the second

In the first half-year 2013, Swisslog’s order intake declined year-on-year to MCHF 263.4 (‑8.7%) and net sales fell to MCHF 305.9 (‑2.9%). This resulted in an EBIT of MCHF 5.4 (‑35.7%) and a net profit of MCHF 2.1. Swissolg is well-positioned in an attractive market and expects that the demand for its products and solutions will increase.

Two factors determined the unsatisfactory half-year result: First, there was a delay in order intake in both divisions, Healthcare Solutions (HCS) and Warehouse & Distribution Solutions (WDS). Second, unlike in previous years, there were additional project implementation expenses.

Swisslog group: lower order intake and net sales, solid order backlog

Order intake of the Swisslog group is 8.7% down year-on-year (‑10.7% in constant currencies) at MCHF 263.4. The order backlog also shrank by 8.7% (‑9.2% in constant currencies) to MCHF 450.5 but remains solid. Net sales fell by 2.9% (‑5.0% in constant currencies) from MCHF 314.9 to MCHF 305.9, which led to a 35.7% (‑39.3% in constant currencies) lower operating profit (EBIT) of MCHF 5.4 (previous year: EBIT before restructuring costs of MCHF 8.4). After taking into account the financial result and income taxes, net profit for the first half-year 2013 amounts to MCHF 2.1. Due to the one-time restructuring costs for the Score! project in 2012, this figure is not directly comparable with the result of the same period last year (MCHF ‑0.4).

Healthcare Solutions: Turnaround in Europe achieved

Healthcare Solutions’ order intake declined year-on-year to MCHF 101.1 (‑20.3% or ‑22.9% in constant currencies). Order backlog was down 6.2% (‑8.0% in constant currencies) and came to MCHF 163.6. Net sales increased slightly to MCHF 105.4 (+1.5% but ‑1.7% in constant currencies), but EBIT fell by 8.0% (‑10.7% in constant currencies) to MCHF 6.9. The division’s EBIT margin fell to 6.5% (previous year: 7.2%). In Europe, net sales remained stable despite the decline in order intake, and the turnaround launched at the end of last year was achieved. Performance in North America was similar, with net sales there remaining stable thanks to a continuing good order backlog despite the reduction in order intake. Disregarding the record-breaking order for five PillPick robots in Singapore last year, the Asia Pacific region continues to impress with growth in order intake and net sales. For instance, we were recently able to win two additional orders for automated guided vehicle systems from hospitals in Singapore. The customer support business of HCS has grown in all regions and across all product groups.

Warehouse & Distribution Solutions: weak new business

Order intake in the Warehouse & Distribution Solutions division remained virtually unchanged at MCHF 162.4 (+0.2% or ‑1.2% in constant currencies). Order backlog of MCHF 287.0 is 10% down year-on-year (‑9.9% in constant currencies), and net sales fell by 5.1% (‑6.7% in constant currencies) to MCHF 200.6. EBIT declined to MCHF 1.7 (‑66.0% or ‑68.0% in constant currencies) and the EBIT margin decreased to 0.8% (previous year: 2.4%). Order intake and net sales in the North America region improved, among other things thanks to the receipt of a large order (over MCHF 20) from a food supplier. The Asia Pacific region posted an improvement in net sales despite the reduction in order intake. Unlike new business, the customer support business also improved at WDS.

Swisslog expects a stronger second half-year

The Score! restructuring program launched last year is proceeding according to plan. It has supported the operating results in several areas. The financial situation of Swisslog remains solid. Thanks to a solid order backlog with good margins, Swisslog forecasts a stronger second half of the year. A major order from retailer TJ Morris for the materials handling elements of a new distribution center in the United Kingdom was already secured early in August. As already communicated on July 15, Swisslog expects sales to be up to 5.0% down on the previous year (2012: MCHF 652.0) and an EBIT margin in the range of 3.3% (2012: 3.8%) for the full 2013 fiscal year.

The Half-Year Report published today is available on www.swisslog.com.

Calendar

6 March 2014:
Publication of Annual Result

10 April 2014:
Annual General Meeting

21 May 2014:
Investor Day

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