Bossard notes ‘demanding environment’ in H1 2019

Industrial fastener group Bossard saw sales rise a modest 1% in the first half of 2019, to CHF 450.9 million compared to 2018 (1.9% in local currency).

When adjusted for acquisitions – which have including Boysen and BRUMA – sales actually dipped slightly by 0.3% in local comparison, like-for-like.

Bossard Group noted “an increasingly difficult market environment” with a slowing economy and the strenthening of the Swiss franc affecting the Europe business.

Headwinds in America took a toll, with the completion of customer projects from the previous year. Weaker demand from major customers and a changing product mix of the largest US electric vehicle manufacturer adversely affected sales.

Asia saw solid growth, with distribution network investments and infrastructure modernisation paying off, the group said. Referencing the trade dispute between the US and China – the effects of which have been “palpable” – Bossard retained growth in China, India and Taiwan, among other territories.

EBIT was CHF 53.0 million after last year’s CHF 61.6 million, representing a EBIT margin of 11.7% (13.8% last year) – according to Bossard, consistently above the industry average. That’s a second-best half year result for the group. Higher procurement costs were among the factors eating into gross profit margin.

In the first six months, net income amounted to CHF 41.6
million following CHF 49.0 million last year.

Modest demand is expected in the rest of the year. Uncertainties like the US China trade conflict and – lest we forget – Brexit were flagged by Bossard as having the potential to hit H2 2019 results. It also underlined the impact of the strengthening Swiss franc on the Zug, Switzerland-headquartered group.

Bossard Group has 77 worldwide locations and 2,500 employees.