- Strong result in a challenging year
- Sales exceed previous year’s level in local currency (+0.9%)
- Order intake up +6.6% in local currency
- Result rises sharply by 28.0% to a new high of CHF 71.7 million
- Operating cash flow again increases significantly by +23.4% to CHF 122.9 million
- Dividend increase proposed: by +CHF 4.50 to CHF 27.00/share (previous year: CHF 22.50/share)
Interroll was able to maintain the previous year’s good overall result in the 2020 financial year: Although sales fell to CHF 530.6 million (-5.2% year-on-year, +0.9% in local currencies) due to the strong Swiss franc, incoming orders increased to CHF 547.8 million (+0.3% year-on-year, +6.6% in local currencies). The result increased significantly by 28.0% compared to the previous year. The Group is cautiously optimistic about the year 2021.
In local currencies, sales showed an increase of +0.9%, but due to the strong Swiss franc, consolidated sales decreased to CHF 530.6 million (-5.2% compared to the previous year). Worldwide consolidated order intake actually improved by +6.6% in local currencies and by +0.3% in consolidated currencies to CHF 547.8 million. After a difficult first half year in the project business due to the pandemic, business momentum accelerated in almost all markets in the second half of the year.
Growing project business
In the 2020 financial year, Interroll produced record volumes of conveyor rollers. Consolidated sales in the "Rollers" product group amounted to CHF 106.0 million, a decrease of -3.8% compared to the same period of the previous year (CHF 110.1 million). At 107.5 million, consolidated order intake was slightly down -0.3% on the previous year’s level of CHF 107.8 million.
Consolidated sales of the "Drives" product group amounted to CHF 156.5 million in the 2020 financial year, down -9.2% on the prior-year period (CHF 172.4 million). Consolidated order intake decreased by -6.9% to CHF 157.6 million compared to CHF 169.2 million in the previous year.
The “Conveyors & Sorters” product group generated consolidated sales of CHF 221.5 million in the 2020 financial year, down slightly by -0.7% on the previous year (CHF 223.2 million). At CHF 233.2 million, order intake was 8.5% above the level of the prior-year period (CHF 214.9 million). A temporary downward trend in the first half of the year was noticeable here. In the second half of the year, Interroll was able to report a major order for a leading supermarket chain for the delivery of more than 9 kilometers of Interroll Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP), including a record number of EC 5000 RollerDrive units for a new building project in Germany.
In the year under review, Interroll recorded a decrease in consolidated revenue of -13.7% to CHF 46.6 million (previous year: CHF 54.0 million) in the "Pallet Handling" product group. Consolidated order intake fell by
-9.2% to CHF 49.5 million (previous year: CHF 54.5 million). During the COVID-19 crisis, important "Pallet Handling"-related projects in the warehousing sector were postponed but not cancelled.
Different developments in the regions
In local currency, sales in the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region decreased by -5.1%. Consolidated sales amounted to CHF 287.0 million and were thus 10.6% below the previous year (CHF 321.0 million). Order intake decreased by -3.9% compared to the previous year (CHF 312.0 million) and reached CHF 299.9 million. In the “Conveyors & Sorters” product group, the region recorded an increase in order intake. With a share of just under 54% of Interroll’s total sales, EMEA remains the most economically significant region within the Group. The demands placed on suppliers in internal logistics are high. In addition to close customer relationships, industry knowledge and technical solution expertise, they require innovative responses to increasing complexity and new market trends. With the construction of a new plant in Mosbach, Germany, Interroll is preparing for future growth in the EMEA region.
Sales in the Americas amounted to CHF 158.1 million, 6.1% higher than in the previous year (CHF 149.0 million). With growth of 13.0% in incoming orders to CHF 165.6 million (previous year: CHF 146.6), strong impulses were noticeable. There were numerous new orders for sorters in particular (+83.8%), including orders for the new High-Performance Crossbelt Sorter (HPCS). Growth was also recorded for conveyor rollers and drives. This development was strongly influenced by the United States market.
After a strong previous year, Interroll’s sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 1.7% in local currency, despite the absence of major orders in the year under review, but fell by -4.6% on a consolidated basis to CHF 85.5 million (previous year: CHF 89.6 million). Order intake was down at CHF 82.3 million (-6.3%; previous year: CHF 87.9 million). Belt curves recorded growing sales and order intake in the region. Following major projects in the previous year, demand for the Modular Conveyor Platform (MCP) was somewhat more subdued. As in previous years, China was the most important market for Interroll in the region. Very positive impetus came from Southeast Asia, on which Interroll is increasingly focusing. The region is increasingly benefiting from the globalization of the Interroll Group and the expansion and modernization of its own local production facilities. The Shenzhen, China, plant moved to a new, more modern location at the beginning of the year and a separate, new plant is planned for Suzhou, China, in 2022, which will increase production capacity.
EBITDA increased significantly to CHF 115.4 million (previous year: CHF 96.1 million). The EBITDA margin increased to 21.7% (previous year: 17.1%). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached CHF 94.1 million (+30.1% above the previous year’s figure of CHF 72.3 million), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 17.7% (previous year: 12.9%). Result increased strongly by 28.0% to a record level of CHF 71.7 million. The result margin reached 13.5% (previous year: 10.0%).
Solid balance sheet performance and stronger cash flow
Total assets grew to CHF 468.8 million as of December 31, 2020, 7.7% higher than at year-end 2019 (CHF 435.1 million). Equity increased to CHF 312.0 million, with an equity ratio of 66.5% (year-end 2019: 69.9%). Net financial assets increased by 19.9% to CHF 92.2 million (previous year: CHF 76.9 million). Operating cash flow increased by 23.4% to CHF 122.9 million (previous year: CHF 99.6 million) as a result of the record result and good working capital management. The good and significantly lower level of net working capital compared to the previous year was mainly due to advances received from customer projects. Gross capital expenditures amounted to CHF 51.3 million (previous year: CHF 33.6 million). Investments were made in particular in the second own production plant, which was completed at the Hiram site in the United States, and the construction of the Mosbach plant in Germany, which progressed well in the year under review. Detailed planning for the new plant in Suzhou, China, has been completed.
The new Interroll High-Performance Crossbelt Sorter (HPCS) was launched simultaneously worldwide in March 2020 and has already seen brisk orders during the year. This new high-performance system can handle up to 20,000 conveyed goods per hour. In addition, significantly heavier (up to 50 kg) and larger goods can be sorted.
Positive development of Interroll share price and again increased dividend proposal
With a closing price of CHF 2,695.00 on December 30, 2020, Interroll shares were up 23.9% on the 2019 year-end price (CHF 2,175.00). The excellent annual result for 2020 prompts the Board of Directors to increase the distribution once again and to propose a dividend of CHF 27.00 (+20.0%) per share (previous year: CHF 22.50) at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.
Outlook: Cautiously optimistic despite mixed short-term signals
The Group has made a positive start to fiscal 2021. Important core markets, such as Germany, are still suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, medium-term market demand for Interroll solutions remains disproportionately strong and Interroll’s sustained expansion in the market is accompanied by the need to expand capacity. In addition, Interroll is focusing on an expanded technology platform, which will be supplemented in 2021 by a new sorter solution for the basic segment and a new generation of belt curves.
"We look forward to maintaining our pace of innovation in the coming months and years," explains Paul Zumbühl, CEO of the global Interroll Group. "Our strong financial situation allows the Group to seize opportunities, to continue to grow sustainably in the medium term and, in addition, to continue to invest resolutely in capacity expansion and digitalization. "
The Interroll Group is the world’s leading provider of material-handling solutions. The company was founded in 1959 and has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 1997. Interroll supplies system integrators and equipment manufacturers with a comprehensive range of platform-based products and services in the categories "Rollers" (conveyor rollers), "Drives" (motors and drives for conveyor systems), "Conveyors & Sorters" (conveyors & sorters) and "Pallet Handling" (pallet conveying and storage). Interroll solutions are used in express and postal services, e-commerce, airports, food & beverage, fashion, automotive and other industries. The company counts leading brands such as Amazon, Bosch, Coca-Cola, DHL, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Walmart and Zalando among its users. Headquartered in Switzerland, Interroll has a global network of 34 companies with sales of CHF 530.6 million and 2,300 employees (2020).
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