Oerlikon turns out good results amid pressures

Oerlikons manmade fibres segment raised its operational performance to a historical high, with the sales in 2013 going up by 2.4 per cent to CHF 1,130 million compared to CHF 1,103 million a year ago.

Oerlikons manmade fibres segment raised its operational performance to a historical high, with the sales in 2013 going up by 2.4 per cent to CHF 1,130 million compared to CHF 1,103 million a year ago.

The Oerlikon Group delivered another strong performance in 2013, despite a challenging environment in major end-markets. Order intake grew by 3.2 per cent, sales remained at prior year level (-0.8 per cent). An EBIT margin of 12.7 per cent confirmed Oerlikons profitability level, which positions the group amongst leading industrial peers. Oerlikons manmade fibres and coating segments delivered record margins and continued to operate on best-in-class levels. Strong operational performance and the proceeds from the divestments improved net liquidity to CHF 981 million and equity ratio to 51 per cent. Oerlikon CEO Dr Brice Koch said, "Based on strong performance in 2013, we can now accelerate profitable growth, both organically and inorganically, in line with a disciplined execution of our strategic agenda. The recent signing of the acquisition of Sulzer Metco is a first key milestone in this direction."

Order intake grew by 3.2 per cent to CHF 2 893 million compared to CHF 2 802 million in 2012, with all segments, except the advanced technologies segment, reporting higher orders. As expected, group sales of CHF 2 883 million were at prior years level (-0.8 per cent, CHF 2 906 million). Sales increased in all segments except the drive systems segment. The regional sales split remained largely unchanged with Asia accounting for 44 per cent of the groups total sales, Europe for 34 per cent and North America for 17 per cent.

EBITDA amounted to CHF 492 million compared to CHF 508 million on a like-for-like basis a year ago (2012 reported: CHF 547 million), resulting in an EBITDA margin of 17.1 per cent. EBIT amounted to CHF 366 million compared to CHF 382 million on a like-for-like basis a year ago (2012 reported: CHF 421 million). The EBIT margin of 12.7 per cent confirmed Oerlikons position among leading industrial peers, resulting from a strong underlying performance, leading technology positions and a broad market exposure.

The result from continuing operations grew by 18.8 per cent to CHF 259 million compared to CHF 218 million a year ago. Including various non-cash, accounting effects from the divestments in 2013, net income was CHF 201 million (FY 2012: CHF 380 million).

The 2013 Group performance resulted in further improved value creation with an increase in the return on capital employed (ROCE) to 17.7 per cent (FY 2012: 17.4 per cent like-for-like, excluding the one-time effect from the Arbon property sale. Reported ROCE 2012: 19.7 per cent).

Continued portfolio shaping

In mid-2013, Oerlikon closed the sale of the natural fibres businesses, completing a strategic milestone in shaping and better balancing the portfolio. On January 31, 2014, Oerlikon announced an agreement to acquire Metco, a division of Sulzer AG. The combination of Metco with Oerlikons existing coating segment will form the world technology leader in surface solutions. Closing is subject to the approval of merger control and is expected in the third quarter of 2014.

Ongoing strong investments in R&D

Investments in R&D continued to be strong, increasing by 15.1 per cent from CHF 106 million to CHF 122 million. With this Oerlikon invests 4 per cent of its revenues in products and services of the future. Consequently, 2013 saw the launch of groundbreaking new technologies and services such as the new coating generation "BALIQ" with unique characteristics of extreme smoothness and hardness at the same time. The manmade fibres Segment also introduced the new S Bulked Continuous fibre (BCF) machine for the efficient production of polymer filament yarns for carpet applications with a

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