SWITZERLAND – World’s leading milling giant, Buhler Group has reported 22% rise in turnover for the year 2018 even as it continues to integrate the newly created Consumer Foods business.

During the period, Buhler said it experienced continued organic growth in all businesses characterized by expanded market share, increased order intake, and higher turnover.

The company which supplies the food industry with plant and equipment technology indicated that EBIT increased in absolute terms by 13% to US$230 million (CHF 231 million), representing an EBIT margin of 7.1% compared to 7.6% in the previous year.

Grains and Food registered a turnover increase by 9.2% to US$2.18 billion, advanced materials grew by 5.6% in terms of turnover.

Strongest turnover growth was witnessed in Europe and Asia contributing 28% and 40%, respectively.

Net profit grew by 9% and reached CHF 188 million (US$187.01 million), compared to the previous year’s CHF 173 million.

Results were impacted by adjustments at the Changzhou, China site, where without that one-time effect, the EBIT margin would have been 8%.

“We are satisfied with the 2018 overall results.

Volumes developed well, but profits were below our objectives.

Despite risks such as trade conflicts, we are well positioned with our portfolio and our global organization, and look to the future with confidence,” said Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

New pillar Consumer Foods, plus strategic investments

Buhler completed the acquisition of Haas group, the Austrian world market leader of wafer, biscuits and confectionery production systems early this year, and according to its full year results statement, the division contributed US$371.05 million.

The creation of the new Consumer Foods pillar targets to strengthen its leadership in the global market alongside the entire value chain of food production systems.

“This encouraged us to accelerate the full integration and new setup of our food businesses,” said Bühler CEO Scheiber.

The integration of the new segment was effective January 2019 and includes Grains & Food and Advanced Materials, with the Haas Group being under the leadership of Germar Wacker.

Investments in asset base rose 18% to US$117.38 million including investment in the new CUBIC innovation campus and application centers, the ongoing modernization of the Swiss locations, and the ramp-up of sites in China.

Apart from Haas, Buhler acquired Sputtering Components Inc. (SCI), a US manufacturer of precision vacuum components in June 2018.

The company accelerated development of new digital, innovative technologies and process solutions, that is it opened a new factory and R&D facility for the feed industry in Changzhou, China.

Despite of uncertain global markets, Buhler said it continues to focus on emerging African markets, in South America and China with the combined Consumer Foods business being expected to address new market potential.