- Economic downturn dampens positive course of business
- Record result thanks to early efficiency programmes
- Further extraordinary dividend
The EMS Group, with its companies in the EMS-CHEMIE HOLDING AG, is globally active in the business areas High Performance Polymers and Specialty Chemicals. In 2019, net sales of CHF 2153 (2318) million and a net operating income of CHF 624 Mio. (620) were achieved. While net sales were below previous year due to the economy and to currencies, it was possible to slightly improve the record result from the previous year thanks to early implementation of efficiency programmes.
As already expected at the start of 2019, the global economy slowed down progressively. Unresolved and repeated trade conflicts between major powers lowered consumer and purchasing confidence and global supply chains were unsettled. Slowing industrial development in China and Europe became apparent and signs of uncertainty could be seen in the USA. Inventory stocks were reduced along the whole supply chain. As a result of this uncertainty, the Swiss Franc, as “Safe Haven”, became stronger, in particular compared to the Euro.
EMS prepared particularly early and consistently for a slowing of the economy. Already at the beginning of 2018, comprehensive efficiency programmes were drawn up and fully implemented. Along with on-going development projects, EMS launched acceleration programmes for new business. Employees in research, development and sales voluntarily increased their working hours.
Due to innovative new business with its strong specialty products and its early and decisive actions with regard to costs, EMS was able to secure net operating income slightly above the record result of 2018.
Net operating income (EBIT) closed at CHF 624 million (620) which is 0.6 % above previous year. The operational cash flow (EBITDA) rose by 0.5 % to reach CHF 677 million (673). The EBIT margin was 29.0 % (26.8 %), the EBITDA margin 31.4 % (29.0 %).
Sale of the secondary business EMS-PATVAG on November 26, 2019 was insignificant for the annual results 2019 of the EMS Group. From January 1, 2020, the Business Unit EMS-SERVICES will be managed under the business area “Specialty Chemicals”.
For the business year 2019, the Board of Directors intends to propose to the Annual General Meeting, distribution of an ordinary dividend of CHF 15.60 (15.50) per share and again, an additional extra-ordinary dividend of CHF 4.40 (4.25) per share. This means that a total of CHF 20.00 (19.75) per share would be distributed.
For the business year 2020, EMS expects continuing weak economic development. Unresolved political and economic conflicts, as well as the coronavirus, may cause further uncertainty. Due to current economic and financial policies, no effective stimulating measures for the global economy are to be expected.
EMS will continue its successful strategy of growth with specialty products in the main area of High Performance Polymers. Its profound experience in metal replacement is particularly well suited to meet the current high demand from customers for cost and CO2 savings.
For 2020, EMS expects net operating income (EBIT) at the previous year’s level.