After the marked decline in sales in the second quarter of 2020, driven by global government Covid-19 measures and their impact, Bossard Group has reported the third quarter showed some recovery – achieving sales of CHF 200.6 million (prior year: CHF 218.5 million).
Bossard underlines that whereas sales had dropped by 17.5% in the second quarter, they fell by only 8.2% in the third quarter (-5.6% in local currency). For the first nine months of 2020, the Group posted sales of CHF 600 million (prior year: CHF 669.4 million), a decrease of 10.4% (-6.5% in local currency). Notwithstanding the strong Swiss franc, the third quarter results give reason for cautious optimism.
Stabilisation across all market regions
In Europe, Bossard posted a third quarter drop in sales of 10.7% to CHF 113.5 million compared to the same period last year (-8.9% in local currency). After the difficult second quarter and the 18.5% drop in sales, the economic environment brightened somewhat. However, conditions remain challenging because the lockdown and its consequences affected European countries with differing degrees of severity.
Sales in America totalled CHF 51 million in the third quarter (prior year: CHF 53.8 million). Compared to the 22.6% drop in sales in the second quarter, the third quarter decline was just 5.2% (-1.7% in local currency). Thus, the Bossard Group also recorded a visible stabilisation in America.
Approximately two-thirds of our sales in Asia is generated in China and India. Although both countries were severely affected by the lockdown in the first half of the year, Asia posted sales of CHF 36.1 million in the third quarter of 2020, a slightly positive growth of 0.3% in local currency. Due to the negative currency effect sales in Swiss francs declined by 4%.
In spite of the difficult market environment, the Bossard Group continues consistently to pursue its strategic direction. “We are well positioned, and we have an excellent team and a solid balance sheet with a high equity ratio and the necessary liquidity to take advantage of new opportunities on the market and to invest in forward-looking projects,” stated CEO Daniel Bossard. This includes digitalisation projects as well as expanding office and warehouse capacities in Wuqing, China and Strasbourg, France. The move from Beijing to Wuqing took place in August 2020, an investment that enables the Bossard Group to achieve further growth in the northern region of China.
As long as the Covid-19 pandemic does not lead to further significant restrictions in the sales markets of the Bossard Group, Daniel Bossard anticipates sales between CHF 780 million and CHF 800 million for the financial year 2020. “We are now seeing a slight recovery in our markets, even though some uncertainty remains as to how they will respond to the resurgence in the number of Covid-19 infections,” added Daniel Bossard.
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