In the 2018 fiscal year, Schuler increased its order intake by 10% with successful sales in new markets and digitised applications.
However, ongoing pressure to make adjustment in Germany, international trade conflicts and special effects had a significant negative impact on the press manufacturer’s sales.
“We will consistently focus Schuler on new markets, digital business models and profitable core businesses,” says CEO Domenico Iacovelli. In mid-2019, Schuler and Porsche plan to start building their joint press plant, which has now finally been agreed. Operation is scheduled to start in 2021.
Schuler’s incoming orders rose to €1255bn in 2018 (previous year €1141bn). Despite the rather low order backlog at the end of 2017, group sales remained virtually unchanged at €1212bn (previous year €1220bn). The regions of Europe and China grew, while business in North America suffered significant losses.
CFO Norbert Broger says: “Last year was very challenging in terms of operation and strategy. This is why it was all the more important that we were able to reverse the negative trend in incoming orders and achieve an increase of 10% for the first time. We therefore entered the New Year with a decent order backlog of €926m. As a result, and thanks to the cost reduction measures already initiated, we are confident that we will be able to show medium-term earnings improvements.”
Irrespective of the positive order development, the pressure to adapt remains high, especially in Germany, says Iacovelli. “In 2018, we therefore began making Schuler more dynamic and bringing customer-driven innovations to market more quickly. The aim is to concentrate on the group’s profitable core business and increase profitability in the coming years. This includes the consistent segregation of loss-making business areas wherever necessary.”
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