The Bossard Group took another step forward in its growth strategy in the 2015 fiscal year. Despite the renewed appreciation of the Swiss franc, net sales rose by 6.2% to CHF 656.3 million (10.1% in local currency) – boosting revenues to their highest level ever. A significant portion of this growth came from the acquisitions that Bossard carried out in 2014 and 2015. These transactions enabled the group to solidify its market position decisively in the U.S., Scandinavia, Italy and France.
The appreciation of the Swiss franc in the 2015 fiscal year left its mark on Bossard’s sales figures. Excluding the aforementioned acquisitions, group net sales amounted to CHF 592.1 million in 2015, a decline of 4.2%; in local currency, there was a slight decrease of 0.7%.
A mixture of highs and lows in Europe
For its European business, Bossard reported sales growth of 4.6% in local currency. However, the appreciation of the Swiss franc at the start of the 2015 fiscal year led to a decrease in sales of 2.9% to CHF 383.4 million. This situation reflects the persistently difficult demand situation in some European markets, especially in Switzerland. The market position of many Swiss companies has been eroded as a result of the appreciation of the Swiss franc. This development is also reflected in the company's lower sales figures. However, the acquisition policy made a decisive contribution to Bossard’s ability to gain market shares in European countries – as demonstrated by the growth achieved in local currency (both for the year as a whole and in the fourth quarter).
Successes in the American business
In its American business, Bossard grew in a new dimension thanks to the acquisition of Aero-Space Southwest. Inc.: With this acquisition, the group solidified its presence in key industrial locations in California, Arizona and Mexico. This expansion is clearly shown in the sales figures for the year as a whole. Sales increased by 36.2% to CHF 166.2 million (29.6% in local currency). Bossard’s American business also grew significantly in the fourth quarter by 35.8% to CHF 39.8 million (37.2% in local currency).
In its existing American business, the company benefited from an increasingly close collaboration with the largest U.S. manufacturer of electric vehicles, which is reflected in the significantly higher sales volumes. Its second major customer in the U.S. – a company involved in the
agricultural technology sector – continues to face weaker demand. Sales in its existing business rose by 2.2% to CHF 124.7 million (-2.7% in local currency).
Investment policy promotes further growth in Asia
Bossard's investment policy in the past years is paying off in the Asian markets. Thanks to the establishment and expansion of distribution and competence centers in China, Thailand and South Korea, it has consolidated its market presence. Against this backdrop, sales for 2015 as a whole rose by 5.5% to CHF 106.7 million (5.2% in local currency). Demand was even stronger in some Asian markets in the fourth quarter. As a result, sales increased by 7.7% to CHF 29.4 million (11.8% in local currency). These figures reflect the positive development of new customer business. However, the Chinese business has been flat – a development that many other industrial companies are also experiencing
at the moment.
Bossard will present the detailed year-end financial statements and 2015 annual report at its media and analyst conference on March 2, 2016 in Zurich.