Net sales and result at new record levels
– Pleasing growth with innovative specialities
– Strengthening of the global market position
– Further extraordinary dividend
The EMS Group, with its companies combined in the EMS-CHEMIE HOLDING AG, is globally active in the business area High Performance Polymers and Specialty Chemicals. In 2018, net sales increased by 8.0 % and net operating income (EBIT) by 6.6 % compared to previous year. These are new record levels for net sales, net operating income and net result.
As expected at the beginning of 2018, the global economy slowed more strongly. Political conflicts between major powers and new trade restrictions unsettled consumers. In the European automotive industry delayed model approvals and changing political framework conditions caused a decline. Continuing supply shortages caused raw material prices to increase further.
EMS however, was able to achieve disproportionally high growth compared to the market with innovative new business. Business with specialities was successfully expanded in all global regions. At the beginning of 2018, EMS had already prepared for possible economic change with efficiency programmes worldwide.
Development of sales and result by business area
Consolidated net sales increased by 8.0 % to reach CHF 2318 million (CHF 2146 million) compared to previous year.
Net operating income (EBIT) closed at CHF 620 million (CHF 582 million) which is 6.6 % above previous year. The operational cash flow (EBITDA) rose by 6.0 % to reach CHF 673 million (CHF 635 million). The EBIT margin was 26.8 % (27.1 %), the EBITDA margin 29.0 % (29.6 %).
Net income rose to CHF 522 million (CHF 484 million) which is 7.8 % above previous year. Earnings per share increased to CHF 22.22 (CHF 20.59).
At the Annual General Meeting 2019, the Board of Directors intends to propose distribution of an ordinary dividend of CHF 15.50 (CHF 14.50) per share and again, an additional extraordinary dividend of CHF 4.25 (CHF 4.00) per share. This means that a total of CHF 19.75 (18.50) per share would be distributed.
For the business year 2019, EMS is expecting the global economy to develop in a restrained and unstable manner. Above all in the first half-year, unresolved political and economic relations among major powers may have a constraining effect on the general consumer mood. For 2019, EMS however, is confident about development of its own business. The successful strategy of global growth with speciality products in the area of high-performance polymers will be further pursued. Focus will be put on continually exploiting market potential with new and highly profitable products and applications. Thanks to innovative development work in close cooperation with customers, EMS is well positioned to make use of market opportunities quickly and in a flexible way and to further strengthen market positions.
For 2019, EMS expects net sales and net operating income (EBIT) at least on previous year’s level.