The Bossard Group maintained good growth in the first half of 2016 in a market environment that continues to be challenging. Sales grew by 2.1% over the previous year to CHF 343.6 million. Fortunately, the positive growth dynamics enabled the group to boost the sales in the second quarter by 3.3% (0.9% in the first quarter). The European business, which accounts for around 60% of total sales, contributed significantly to the group’s growth. Against this backdrop, the net income rose by 5.6% to CHF 31.3 million.
Bossard grew half-year sales in the European business by 4.4% to CHF 207.7 million (up by 2.3% in local currency) compared to the same period in 2015. Key markets such as Germany, France and Denmark logged above-average growth rates; these are countries in which Bossard invested heavily in the past several years. Demand climbed in Europe in the second quarter, boosting sales for the period by 6.3% to CHF 104.1 million (up by 3.4% in local currency). Last but not least, demand in Switzerland also played a role in this upswing.
In America, where Bossard enjoyed a growth spurt in 2015, the group is currently up against highly contrasting business developments with two major customers. Compared to the previous year, sales for the first six months fell slightly by 0.9% to CHF 86.4 million (a 4.5% drop in local currency). A major customer in the agricultural technology sector is facing a doggedly challenging market, which, as expected, was reflected in the fall in sales volume. To Bossard's satisfaction, business with the largest U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer was up, even though the number of vehicles produced in the first six months fell short of the original forecast. For several weeks, however, production output is clearly trending upward. The company assumes that this positive trend will continue in the second half of the year. As long as that holds true, it expects the Bossard Group to achieve an increase in sales in America for the entire year.
In Asia, sales decreased in the first half of the year by 1.4% to CHF 49.5 million; in local currency this resulted in a plus of 1.6%. In China, the company's largest market in Asia, demand remained sluggish. However, the slight sales drop in this market region was more than compensated by additional business in other countries. The progress of activities in India, Taiwan and Singapore is particularly promising.
Overall, the Bossard Group increased net income in the first half of 2016 by 5.6% to CHF 31.3 million.
Bossard will release its detailed semi-annual report on August 23, 2016.