Strong results reported at Hilti
March 12, 2013
The Hilti Group, headquartered in Schaan, Liechtenstein, has reported strong financial results for 2012. On the basis of 5.2% sales growth in 2012, the Hilti Group was able to substantially improve its operating result (+45%) and net income (+101%). This growth was due in large measure to the rapid implementation of the profitability enhancement program launched in 2011, stated the company.
“The economic environment around the globe was extremely challenging in 2012. While relevant southern European markets continued to contract, the Hilti Group was able to profit from solid economic momentum in South and North America as well as Asia. Sales increased by 5.2% on the previous year to CHF 4,204 million and sales growth in local currencies amounted to 4.4%.”
Double-digit growth rates were achieved in North America (+13.4% in local currencies) and Latin America (+32.4%) but the Hilti Group could not evade the continued severe economic downturn in southern Europe, primarily in major markets like Italy and Spain, and this ultimately caused sales to drop slightly in Europe as a whole (-1.9%). Predominantly positive market momentum in the Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe / Middle East / Africa regions translated into correspondingly high growth rates of 9.5 and 8.9%, respectively.
The Hilti Group implemented the cost-saving measures introduced at Hilti Corporate Headquarters at the end of 2011 and improved productivity at all stages of the Group’s value chain according to plan in 2012. The operating result improved substantially from CHF 207 million to CHF 301 million (+45%), while net income doubled from CHF 97 million to CHF 194 million (+101%).
Despite 4.4% sales growth in local currencies, it was possible to further decrease net working capital and, in line with significantly higher profitability, cash flow from operating activities reached a record CHF 617 million, corresponding to an increase of CHF 375 million (+155%). Return on capital employed (ROCE) improved from 6.5 to 9.5% due to the aforementioned measures.
Investments in research and development were, at CHF 175 million, largely at the same level with those of the previous year. The number of staff was reduced slightly (-3%) from 21,848 to 21, 139 as a result of structural corrections at Corporate Headquarters as well as in southern Europe and other individual markets.
“Despite challenging conditions, 2012 was a successful year for us. We returned satisfactory sales results, improved our cash flow substantially, and achieved very solid profit growth”, stated CEO Bo Risberg. “We still have some way to go to achieve our profitability goals, so we shall continue to implement the profitability enhancement and capital efficiency measures consistently.”