Picanol Group with excellent results 2015 and promising outlook for 2016
In line with the previously announced forecasts, the Picanol Group (Euronext: PIC) realized a consolidated turnover of EUR 529.34 million, a turnover increase of 26.6 % compared to EUR 418.2 million in 2014
In 2015, the Weaving Machines division experienced a high global demand for Picanol weaving machines, which meant that the group had to focus strongly on flexibility in order to handle production peaks. In 2015, Picanol introduced a number of new weaving machines to the market: the OptiMax-i, the TerryMax-i and the TERRYplus Summum. This enabled Picanol to once again profile itself as the technological market leader in rapier and airjet weaving machines. The higher demand from Weaving Machines resulted in a turnover increase for Industries in 2015. The turnover for other customers remained stable in 2015. The Industries division continues to focus successfully on its engineered casting solutions (Proferro) and its controller capacities (PsiControl) in order to attract new projects and customers.
The Picanol Group activities resulted in 2015 in a net profit of EUR 60.6 million compared to EUR 40.67 million in 2014. In addition, Tessenderlo Chemie NV contributed EUR 25.09 million to the net result in 2015 (compared to EUR 11.73 million in 2014). The group closed 2015 with a net result of EUR 85.69 million euros, compared to EUR 52.4 million in 2014.
To deal with production peaks, the Picanol Group is currently looking for some fifty additional employees for its production facility in Ypres.
The order book is well-filled for the first half of 2016. For the full year 2016, the Picanol Group expects to realize a turnover in line with the turnover of 2013, which was the best year in the history of the group. The Picanol Group is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2016.
The board of directors will propose the payment of a gross dividend of 0.1 euros (as in the previous year) at the annual general meeting on April 20, 2016, for a total amount of EUR 1.77 million.
On December 16, 2015, Tessenderlo Group (Tessenderlo Chemie NV) and Picanol Group announced their plans to combine the industrial activities of both companies into one larger industrial group, Picanol Tessenderlo Group NV. The deal involves the transfer of the current industrial activities of Picanol into Tessenderlo. At an extraordinary general meeting the board of directors of Tessenderlo would call on shareholders to issue 25765286 new Tessenderlo shares at EUR 31.5, to compensate for the planned transaction to Picanol NV, based on a valuation of the Picanol activities at EUR 811.6 million.
Following the announcement by Tessenderlo Group and Picanol Group on January 25, 2016, that there was no certainty that the proposal would be approved by the extraordinary general meeting of Tessenderlo Chemie NV, the board of directors of Tessenderlo Group cancelled the meeting of January 29, 2016, whereas the extraordinary shareholders meeting of February 23, 2016, was not called. In parallel, the boards of directors of Picanol Group (and subsidiary Verbrugge NV) and Tessenderlo Group have entered into discussions to determine whether and how, also taking into account the comments formulated by shareholders, the terms and conditions of the proposed transaction can be adapted with a view to the approval by the extraordinary shareholders meeting of Tessenderlo Chemie NV. Further information on this matter will follow in due course.
The Weaving Machines division experienced a strong start to 2015 thanks to the high demand for quality and technology, which was partly supported by the favourable exchange rate of the EUR. The first half of 2015 was characterised by a persistent high global demand for Picanol weaving machines, with an increased focus on the handling of the various production peaks. The sale of parts and accessories followed the positive trend of the weaving machines. The demand for Picanol weaving machines remained high during the second half of 2015.
In 2015, the Picanol Group continued to target its efforts on product development and innovation to further expand its high-tech activities. Last year, for instance, Picanol celebrated the 40th anniversary of the production of rapier weaving machines with the global launch of its new OptiMax-i rapier machine, the fastest industrially produced rapier weaving machine in the world. Picanol also launched two new weaving machines for the weaving of terry cloth: the TerryMax-i (rapier) and the TERRYplus Summum (airjet). Picanol is the only machine manufacturer to offer both rapier and airjet technology for terry cloth weaving. In November 2015, Picanol successfully participated in the 17th edition of ITMA in Milan, the most important four-yearly textile machinery exhibition in the world. Pleasingly, the new Picanol machines were received with considerable acclaim.
In 2015, Picanol further invested in the renovation and modernization of its production facilities, which included the purchase of new automated guided vehicles in the assembly lines. In combination with further productivity and quality improvements, the Picanol Group is aiming to improve its competitiveness in Ypres.
The higher demand from Weaving Machines resulted in a turnover increase for Industries in 2015. The turnover for other customers remained stable in 2015. Last year, the Industries Division was commercially successful with new customers and new orders from existing customers, although it was also confronted with less favourable economic conditions in the agricultural and mining sectors, among others.
In 2015, the Industries division continued to invest in the renewal and modernization of its technology and production facilities. Proferro invested in various CNC machines in the foundry and finishing department. This enabled Proferro to offer its customers a total solution, from development to ready-to-assemble parts for other machine manufacturers. The investments of PsiControl in 2015 included a fully automated screen printer and a new 3D Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) installation.
In 2015, the Picanol Group realised a consolidated turnover of EUR 529.34 million over the full financial year, which represented an increase in turnover of 26.6 % compared to the EUR 418.2 million in 2014. The turnover of Picanol NV increased in 2015 by 34 % compared to 2014, from ERU 305.6 million to EUR 409.8 million, driven by the strong order book for weaving machines in 2015.
The gross profit of the Picanol Group for the 2015 financial year amounted to EUR 117.05 million, compared to EUR 86.4 million euros in 2014. The gross profit percentage increased from 21 % to 22 %. The operating result increased by 54.26 %, from EUR 54.18 million in 2014 to EUR 83.58 million in 2015.
The Picanol Group closed 2015 with a net profit of ERU 85.69 million, compared to a net profit of EUR 52.4 million in 2014. The share of the results of Tessenderlo Chemie NV for the full financial year 2015 was ERU 25.09 million (compared to EIR 11.73 million in 2014).
The order book is well-filled for the first half of 2016 thanks to the increasing demand for quality and technology, and this is supported by the success of new weaving machines and the favourable exchange rate of the euro. Based on the outlook of Weaving Machines, Industries also predominantly aims at further growth in 2016, albeit differentiated across the various markets.
For the full year 2016 the Picanol Group expects to realize a turnover in line with the turnover of 2013, which was the best year in the history of the group. The Picanol Group is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2016.
The Picanol Group remains cautious, as it is active as an export-oriented company in a volatile world economy. Due to the cyclical nature of the textile market, strict cost-control remains essential.