The Switzerland based Buhler Technology Group achieved a turnover in 2009 of CHF 1.721 billion (€1.21 bn), and increased its profit adjusted for exchange rates by even 5% to CHF 104 million (€73.2m) despite restructuring costs and goodwill write-offs.
Buhler faces the current fiscal year with confidence. The order backlog as of the end of 2009 amounted to CHF 962 million, which is 7% above the level of the previous year.
The Group’s reliance on a diversified portfolio of products and services once again paid off especially in the critical year 2009.
Almost all business units in the basic foods segment grew. On the other hand, the weakening of non-food activities, which had already emerged in the final quarter of 2008, continued in the year under review.
In geographical terms, markets developed along widely varying lines. Sales growth was strongest in South America (+10%) and Africa (+7%). Asia also developed very encouragingly. East Asia grew 29%, followed by India (+10%), China (+8%), and Southeast Asia (+4%).
North America suffered a contraction in sales revenue of 6%. In Western Europe (-19%) and Eastern Europe (-12%), turnover dropped sharply due to the reluctance of customers to invest capital.
Buhler was therefore forced by weak demand to adjust its capacities in Europe and especially in Switzerland to the shrinking business volume or to move capacities to the growing regions and corporate units.
Sound balance sheet
In the year under review, EBITDA reached CHF 182 million (€128m), which compared with 2008 corresponds to a slighlty higher margin of 10.6%. The Group’s profit rose by 3% to CHF 104 million (€73.2m) thanks to a good financial result, and adjusted for exchange rates by 5%.
Buhler is a global leader in the supply of process engineering solutions, especially production technologies for producing foods and engineering materials. Buhler operates in over 140 countries and has a global payroll of about 7,500.