The Mikron Group significantly increased order intake and sales in 2018 compared with the previous year, while improving profitability. Both business segments contributed to this positive performance. Overall, the Group achieved sales of Sfr314.7 million (prior year: Sfr248.5 million, +26.6%) together with order intake of Sfr362.3 million (prior year: Sfr278.9 million, +29.9%). The order backlog reached a record Sfr195.7 million on December 31, 2018 (end of 2017: Sfr157.2 million, +24.5%). With EBIT at Sfr13.9 million (prior year: Sfr2.8 million, +396.4%) the Group improved its EBIT margin from 1.1% in 2017 to 4.4%.
Both business segments in the Mikron Group were able to strengthen their market positions in the year under review. The Group’s capacity utilization across all the sites improved steadily over the year. Both business segments had to deal with temporary supply bottlenecks in materials procurement. The high demand for its products meant that the Mikron Tool division reached its capacity limits.
The Mikron Group reported order intake of Sfr362.3 million in 2018, representing an increase of 29.9% against the prior year (Sfr278.9 million). Europe (including Switzerland) remains Mikron’s most important market, with approximately 49% of orders received in 2018 placed by European customers (previous year: 62%). The two strongest market segments are still the pharmaceutical/medtech industries with 40% and the automotive industry contributing 31% (prior year: both 31%) to the overall order intake. In North America, Mikron Automation made a significant contribution to the good order intake, while Mikron Machining Solutions remained below expectations with machine orders in this market. Compared with 2017, Mikron reported similar levels of order intake in Asia, mainly from the writing instruments and automotive industries.
Net sales and order backlog
Posting annual net sales of Sfr314.7 million, the Mikron Group exceeded the prior-year result (Sfr248.5 million, +26.6%) markedly. While Mikron Machining Solutions succeeded in increasing sales by 29.2%, the Automation business segment posted an increase of 24.6%. Some sites were still not fully utilized at the beginning of 2018. However, the situation improved steadily in the course of the year overall, with most companies reporting good capacity utilization by the end of 2018. The Tools and Services areas were experiencing overload, which is resulting in long delivery times. Mikron expects demand in this area to continue and has therefore increased the relevant capacities. At Sfr195.7 million, the Mikron Group’s order backlog at the end of 2018 was 24.5% higher than the prior-year figure.
In the 2018 business year, the Mikron Group reported a significantly improved EBIT of Sfr13.9 million (previous year: Sfr2.8 million). The EBIT profit of Sfr4.2 million (prior year: Sfr-1.6 million) posted by the Machining Solutions business segment represents an improvement in profitability. The better profitability reflects the higher level of machine and service sales in 2018. Mikron Automation reported an improved EBIT of Sfr8.4 million after the prior year’s EBIT of Sfr3.1 million. The EBIT mar-gin increased to 5.4% (prior year: 2.5%).
Mikron’s net earnings for 2018 were Sfr12.2 million, compared to Sfr1.2 million in the prior year. Net earnings per share for the year 2018 came to Sfr0.74 (prior year: Sfr0.07). At the General Meeting on 25 April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Mikron Group will propose a distribution from capital contribution reserves of Sfr0.20 per share.
The Mikron Group started 2019 with a record order backlog, particularly at Mikron Automation. Even though the general environment remains fragile, most of Mikron’s key markets and, in particular, demand for services seem robust. The Group expects order intake to normalize on a somewhat lower level, however because certain large orders won in 2018 are not expected to be repeated in 2019. Overall, Mikron Group is expecting a further rise in sales and profitability.
Publication of annual results for 2018
The annual results will be published at the same time as this media release in the form of the 2018 Annual Report.