The Hilti Group, headquartered in Schaan, Liechtenstein, has reported a moderate increase in sales of 2.6% over the first eight months of 2013. Over the same period the company was able to boost its operating result by 62.7% and thus made another significant step to recover its profitability.
Sales in Swiss francs were 2.6% higher than in the same period last year, with total recorded sales of CHF 2,859 million. Sales performance was negatively influenced by increasingly volatile currency developments in individual growth markets. Growth in local currencies amounted to 3.1%
Hilti achieved double-digit growth rates in the Asia/Pacific region (+16.0% in local currencies), Latin America (+14.0%), and Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa (+12.8%), while North America continued its positive trend with a plus of 2.9%. Hilti was unable to escape the effects of the ongoing economic weakness in Southern Europe and once again reported a minus of 3.1% for the European region.
“The interim result is clear evidence of the substantial progress we are making on the profitability front,” stated CEO Bo Risberg. “We have taken the right steps and are well positioned to succeed even with partly difficult market conditions and correspondingly low sales growth.”
In percentage terms, Hilti Group continues to anticipate sales growth in the low single-digit range for the full year 2013, along with ongoing significant increases in profitability and a return on sales of between 9 and 10%.