After a significant slowdown in business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hilti Group has reported that initial signs of recovery are emerging. Total sales for the January to August 2020 period decreased by 12.3% to CHF 3.426 billion, and by 7.3% in local currencies, compared to the previous year.
Christoph Loos, CEO of the Hilti Group, comments: “Following the unprecedented slump in our business during the spring lockdown, our figures have gradually recovered since June. We are therefore weathering the crisis better than originally feared, albeit with very large regional differences. This makes us cautiously optimistic, even though the crisis is by no means over and uncertainty remains high.”
While the year got off to a good start, business in North Asia slumped sharply in February and from mid-March onwards there was a clear downward trend in all markets. After the low point in the 2nd quarter, a gradual recovery set in. From January to August, total sales fell by 12.3% to CHF 3.426 million. Net income fell by 13.9% year-on-year to CHF 314 million. The result is also burdened by the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc. The negative currency effect, for the period from January to August, amounts to about 5% points in terms of sales.
Regional business development dependent on lockdown
Regional sales developments were directly related to the intensity of the lockdown. While the construction industry in the Mediterranean region or in some Asian markets, such as India and Singapore, was confronted with massive restrictions, sales in North Asia, North America and the rest of Europe fell less abruptly as construction activity in these regions saw no interruption.
Over the entire year, the Hilti Group expects a decline in sales of approximately 5% in local currencies and 10% in Swiss francs.
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