Oerlikon releases final group and manmade fibres data for 2016
Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group: “In 2016, we delivered on the targets that we set. We performed well in the difficult market environment, boosted by the noticeable increase in sales and orders in the fourth quarter. This appears to signal a certain improvement in investment sentiments in several of our end markets”
He continued “The Surface Solutions Segment’s constant good performance in challenging markets confirmed the potential of this business and our strategy going forward. We see attractive opportunities in existing and new markets, in which we can extend our expertise. The decisive measures taken to mitigate the headwinds in the manmade fibres market resulted in positive operating profitability despite significantly lower sales, while the steps taken for drive systems led to an improved order intake and bottom line. Strategically, we executed the first initiatives of our strategy to become a global powerhouse in advanced materials and surface solutions, sharpened our market and customer focus, and increased our resilience and efficiency. Our first investments in additive manufacturing set us on the path to gaining a strong market position in the medium to long term. In 2017, we will continue executing our strategy, making investments in growth fields, including additive manufacturing, protecting our profitability and strengthening our technology position.”
In 2016, the Manmade Fibers Segment continued to be impacted by the prevailing overcapacity in the filaments equipment market. China’s 13th five-year plan (2016-2020) depicted a two-year consolidation period, and the Segment is currently in the middle of this period. The oversupply and resulting negative investment trend strongly affected the Segment’s performance in 2016. The order intake stood at CHF 577 million, including a positive currency impact of 0.9 %, and sales came in at CHF 481 million, including a positive currency impact of 0.7 %.
Considering the significantly lower top lines, the Segment managed to deliver positive operating profitability as it reduced its cost base through restructuring. EBITDA was CHF 16 million (including restructuring adjustments of CHF 3 million), or 3.3 % of sales. In 2015, EBITDA was CHF 85 million (including restructuring adjustments of CHF -43 million) and the margin was 10.6 %. EBIT in 2016 was CHF -3 million (including restructuring adjustments of CHF 3 million), or -0.6 % of sales. In 2015, EBIT was CHF 67 million (including restructuring adjustments of CHF -43 million), at a margin of 8.4 %.
The Segment saw an increase in order intake and order backlog toward the end of 2016. This was due, on the one hand, to the Segment’s measures taken to mitigate the negative impacts from the down cycle and to diversify its focus on other areas outside of the China-led filaments equipment market. On the other hand, first signs of positive momentum were noted in investments in filaments equipment, confirming that the market reached the bottom of its cycle in 2016. However, at the moment, the overall market for filaments equipment remains challenging with limited projects and is highly price competitive. This will impact the profitability of the Segment in 2017, and the margins are only expected to see an improvement over the medium term. The Segment will use the gradual market recovery to build and protect its market share, increase its installed customer base and increase share of recurring business.
In 2016, the Segment further developed its business in texturing, BCF, polymer processing and staple fibres, as well as in regional markets outside of China such as the USA, India and Turkey. In the Indian textile market, the Segment saw a first round of investments in 2016 and was able to secure approximately 80 % of all orders for filament spinning lines. To strengthen its staple fibres business, the Segment acquired the staple fibres technology portfolio from Trützschler, making it a leader in the synthetic staple fibres market. The Segment’s joint venture Oerlikon Barmag Huitong Engineering recorded its first sale of a polycondensation system that will produce 60 000 tons of polyester every year. In 2016, the Segment introduced its new Plant Operation Center (POC) 4.0 for manmade fibers spinning and texturing systems, as well as 12 new manmade fiber spinning solutions at ITMA Asia, including the new eAFK HQ, the world’s most productive automatic texturing machine with space-saving construction.