The Endress+Hauser Group has reported a new all time high in net sales and profit for the 2010 financial year. The Group increased net income by 19,8% to over 1,31 billion euros – not only compensating for the drop in sales in 2009, but significantly exceeding the previous best results of 2008. “We have recovered more quickly from the effects of the worldwide economic and financial crisis than expected,” said CEO Klaus Endress at the media conference on the financial statement in Basel. He stressed the dynamic nature of this development: “In 2009 we did not know where the work would come from at times. Last year we often struggled to complete all the orders on time.”
Growth was driven in particular by the food and beverage industry, the largest sector for Endress+Hauser, where recovery was especially rapid in the plant building and machinery sectors (for example the manufacturers of filling machines). The primaries industry also made an above-average contribution – mining, for example, profited from the worldwide hunger for raw materials – as well as the pharmaceutical industry. The chemical, oil and gas, metal, power and energy and water and wastewater industries also developed well. Only the pulp and paper industry continued to struggle.
Strong influence of exchange rates
The development of the exchange rates had a marked effect on both the income statement and the balance sheet. On the one hand the weak euro supported the recovery of export-oriented industries in Europe. In addition, business carried out in US dollars, yen, British pounds or Swiss francs brought correspondingly higher yields. On the other hand, the loss in value of the euro – in the course of the year it slumped by 16% against the Swiss franc – led to net foreign exchange losses of 20,5 million euros. Nevertheless Endress+Hauser was still able to more than double its operating profit (187,4 million euros, plus 123,2%), as well as the net income (126,6 million euros, plus 114,6%). “This shows that we kept costs under control and budgeted carefully during the recovery,” emphasised the Group’s CFO, Fernando Fuenzalida.
Both during the crisis and throughout last year the company continued to invest in research and development. The plants in Maulburg and Waldheim have already been expanded and other building projects outside Europe are also in the pipeline. “With 219, patent applications reached a new record high last year and allowed us to provide our customers with important new products,” commented Endress.
Excellent start to 2011
Just as 2010 ended well for Endress+Hauser, 2011 has started equally well – incoming orders and net sales currently exceed last year’s good figures by a two-digit number. Although the Group expects a weakening in this development in the second half of the year, the CFO is confident that the cautious target of 7 to 8% growth in sales will be exceeded. Profit and equity are also expected to continue to grow. The Group has earmarked 88 million euros for investments in 2011 and expects to create over 600 jobs worldwide.
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