Fastening segment leads growth for SFS

SFS Group – including Gesipa (and 51% of Heco) – saw sales growth of 6.5% in 2018, buoyed by growth across its end markets and territories.

The group’s Fastening Systems segment was singled out for its above-average performance and market share grab. Sales grew 13.8% year-on-year to CHF 437.1 million. New product launches drove sales, with a ‘good market environment’ further boosted the performance. HECO has now been fully consolidated by SFS Group and contributed 5.8% to the segment’s sales growth. Fastening profitability improved too, at 9.8% (7.6% in the previous year).

SFS Group’s Distribution & Logistics segment grew too, up 3.6% y-o-y to CHF 334.5 million. Organic growth hit 5.1%, while the tools and construction-related product groups saw particularly strong growth. Profitability was up here too, at 7.6% EBIT (previous year 6.9%, adjusted).

Discussions with Triangle Fasteners on a strategic collaboration are ongoing, with the results expected in the coming weeks.

Outlook

Volatility is expected this year, thanks to US and China trade tensions and a worldwide economic slowdown. SFS expects top-line growth of 3-5%. Expenditures will include a new manufacturing platform in Nantong, China, with one-off costs in the low double-digit millions in 2019.