Innovations in new products, services, and applications resulted in even stronger market positions for Bühler. The company grew order intake by 16%, to more than CHF 3 billion ($3.24 billion).
Thanks to its strong global production, supply, and service network, Bühler was able to secure timely deliveries to customers even under difficult conditions. At the same time, Bühler further improved its financial stability with improvements in the net liquidity and the equity ratio.
“Our engaged employees in our strong global network allowed us to prove our reliability to our customers and partners. And we clearly strengthened our innovation power,” said Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.
The key markets of Bühler in the food, feed, and mobility sectors underwent fundamental transitions driven by changed consumer requirements and enabled by new technologies. As a result, the demand for sustainable solutions has clearly increased.
As part of the long-term innovation strategy of Bühler, spending in R&D over the last three years including the “coronavirus years” increased to more than CHF 400 million ($430 million) (2021: CHF 141 million, 5.2% of turnover).
The same is true for profitability, which amounted to CHF 146 million, reflecting an EBIT margin of 5.4%.
“Our innovations, both for plants and services led to growth in our order book. Our strategy to position ourselves as an innovative solution provider for material transformation has been paying off,” said Scheiber.
All three business segments of Bühler contributed to this positive development. Grains & Food grew orders by 12% to CHF 1.8 billion, Consumer Foods by 6% to CHF 584 million; and Advanced Materials showed the strongest growth of 37% to CHF 620 million. The business areas with the highest grow rates were Die Casting, Grinding & Dispersing, Grain Quality & Supply, and Milling Solutions. From a regional perspective, the Americas, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and India experienced the strongest upswing. China represented the single largest market for Bühler in 2021.
Despite stable turnover volume, Bühler managed to further improve its financial position. Driven by a strong operating cash flow which stood at CHF 256 million ($276 million) at year end, net liquidity more than doubled to CHF 329 million. Consequently, the equity ratio rose to strong 47.2%.
“Our balance sheet is stronger than before the coronavirus crisis,” said CFO Mark Macus. “This financial strength gives our customers and stakeholders security in a volatile economic environment and enables us to continue executing our strategy, including strategic investments into assets and innovation. We are a reliable partner for our customers – in critical times, this is more important than ever.”
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