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Bühler Strengthens Innovations, Increases Orders in 2021

Company says balance sheet is stronger than before the coronavirus crisis

(From left to right) Bühler Group's Executive Board includes Dr. Holger Feldhege, Dr. Mark Macus, Irene Mark-Eisenring, Stefan Scheiber, Samuel Schär, Johannes Wick, Dr. Ian Roberts, Germar Wacker
(From left to right) Bühler Group's Executive Board includes Dr. Holger Feldhege, Dr. Mark Macus, Irene Mark-Eisenring, Stefan Scheiber, Samuel Schär, Johannes Wick, Dr. Ian Roberts, Germar Wacker



Innovations in new products, services, and applications resulted in even stronger market positions of the global technology company Bühler.

The company grew order intake by 16%, to more than CHF 3 billion. Thanks to its strong global production, supply, and service network, Bühler was able to secure timely deliveries to customers even under difficult conditions.

At the same time, Bühler further improved its financial stability with improvements in the net liquidity and the equity ratio.

“Our engaged employees in our strong global network allowed us to prove our reliability to our customers and partners. And we clearly strengthened our innovation power,” says Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber.

The key markets of Bühler in the food, feed, and mobility sectors underwent fundamental transitions driven by changed consumer requirements and enabled by new technologies.

As a result, the demand for sustainable solutions has clearly increased. As part of the long-term innovation strategy of Bühler, spendings into R&D over the last three years including the “coronavirus years” increased to more than CHF 400 million (2021: CHF 141 million, 5.2% of turnover).

Bühler has positioned itself as a key enabler and partner for its customers, supported by collaborations with key partners in industry and science.

Strong order intake

On Group level, order intake increased by 16% to CHF 3 billion. Because of the time gap in the plant business between order entry and turnover, the upward trend on orders is not yet visible in turnover, which remained stable at CHF 2.7 billion.

The same is true for profitability, which amounted to CHF 146 million, reflecting an EBIT margin of 5.4%. Net profit amounted to CHF 113 million, also slightly better than last year. Orders on hand by year-end 2021 increased strongly by 27.2% to CHF 1.9 billion.

“Our innovations, both for plants and services led to growth in our order book. Our strategy to position ourselves as an innovative solution provider for material transformation has been paying off,” says Scheiber.

All three business segments of Bühler contributed to this positive development. Grains & Food grew orders by 12% to CHF 1.8 billion, Consumer Foods by 6% to CHF 584 million; and Advanced Materials showed the strongest growth of 37% to CHF 620 million.

The business areas with the highest grow rates were Die Casting, Grinding & Dispersing, Grain Quality & Supply, and Milling Solutions.

From a regional perspective, the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and India experienced the strongest upswing. China represented the single largest market for Bühler in 2021.

Further strengthening of financial position

Despite stable turnover volume, Bühler managed to further improve its financial position. Driven by a strong operating cash flow which stood at CHF 256 million at year end, net liquidity more than doubled to CHF 329 million.

Consequently, the equity ratio rose to strong 47.2%. “Our balance sheet is stronger than before the coronavirus crisis,” says CFO Mark Macus.

“This financial strength gives our customers and stakeholders security in a volatile economic environment and enables us to continue executing our strategy, including strategic investments into assets and innovation. We are a reliable partner for our customers – in critical times, this is more important than ever.”

Accelerated impact in 2022

Political tensions, climate change, supply chain issues, and rising inflation continue to be key factors impacting the economic climate, and it is unlikely that these issues will change in the foreseeable future. At the same time, new market opportunities continue to emerge. Bühler considers itself well positioned to continue a growth path in the running year and beyond.

“During the past two years of coronavirus crisis, we have learned to master the demanding environment with a strong purpose and value orientation, with a positive mindset, and a focus on innovation and on people,” says Scheiber.

The upcoming Bühler Networking Days, which are planned to take place end of June 2022, underpin this positive mindset.

“We look forward to again bringing decision-makers and partners from the global food, feed and mobility industries together. We would like to create positive, accelerated, and sustainable impact together with our partners.”

See more of Bühler’s annual report 2021.

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