SFS Group reported “solid sales growth” of 6.5% in 2018, taking its consolidated sales total to CHF 1.739 billion (€1.54 billion). Operating profit increase to CHF 243 million, corresponding to 14% of net sales.
SFS says “this attractive sales development was broadly based in terms of end markets and geographies” with “a solid and balanced organic growth rate of 5%” in the Group’s core business activities, reflecting the strength of SFS’s customer-specific solutions for selected niche markets.
While broadly based, growth was led by the Fastening Systems segment, which reported full year sales of CHF 437.1 million, an increase of 13.8% over 2017. SFS says the segment strengthened its competitive position and captured increased share as a result of its innovative products – new product launches were a strong sales driver, and the segment enjoyed a ‘good market environment”. Organic growth was 5.6% with the consolidation of HECO into the Group contributing 5.8% of reported sales growth.
Engineered Component sales were CHF 976 million, up 4.4%; Distribution & Logistics sales were CHF 334.5 million, up 3.6%.
The growth rate slowed in the second half 2018, which SFS says, can be traced to comparison against strong sales growth in the previous year and “an unexpectedly sharp, temporary decline in demand during the fourth quarter, especially from customers in the automotive and electronics industry”. Currency effects had a positive effect of 1.4% on reported sales.
Switzerland accounted for 20.4% of total sales, with the rest of Europe contributing 41.1%. Sales in the Americas represented 17.7%; and Asia 20.6%. Africa and Australia accounted for 0.2%.
The preliminary results indicated an increase in operating profit by 23% (+4.2% on like for like basis) to CHF 243 million. Full results will be published on 8 March 2019.
Having held senior management roles in leading automotive and fastener businesses, Phil joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine as editor in 2002. Convinced there is no substitute for ‘being there’, over 17 years of visits and interviews around the world means he has accumulated an extraordinary knowledge and perspective of the global fastener industry, reflected in his incisive and thought provoking reporting.