Schuler focuses on new markets and digital models

Posted on 08 Apr 2019 and read 329 times
Schuler focuses on new markets and digital modelsThe German press manufacturer Schuler increased its order intake by 10% in the 2018 fiscal year, with successful sales in new markets and digitalised applications.

However, on-going pressure “to make adjustment in Germany, international trade conflicts and special effects” had a significant negative impact on the Göppingen-based company’s sales.

CEO Domenico Iacovelli said (www.schulergroup.com): “We will consistently focus Schuler on new markets, digital business models and profitable core businesses.”

In mid-2019, Schuler and Porsche plan to start building their joint high-tech press plant.

Schuler’s ‘incoming orders’ rose to 1.255 billion euros in 2018 (1.141 billion euros in 2017). Despite the rather low order backlog at the end of 2017, Group sales remained virtually unchanged at 1.212 billion euros (1.220 billion euros in 2017).

Sales in the regions of Europe and China grew, while business in North America suffered significant losses.

Sales margins were subject to “multiple burdens”. The challenges posed by the new WLTP test procedure for automotive manufacturers led (particularly in Germany) both to the “abandonment of new capacities and to the postponement of already agreed projects”.

At the same time, costs rose due to recent collective wage agreements, while business in China suffered from the trade conflict between China and the USA. Schuler achieved consolidated earnings after tax of 13.5 million euros.

CFO Norbert Broger said: “2018 was a very challenging year in terms of operation and strategy.

“This is why it was all the more important that we were able to reverse the negative trend in incoming orders and achieve an increase of 10% for the first time.

"We therefore entered the new year with a decent order backlog of 926 million euros; and thanks to the cost reduction measures already initiated, we are confident that we will be able to show medium-term earnings improvements.”

From 2019, Schuler and Porsche will build what is probably the world’s most modern press plant for digitalised automotive production; operation is scheduled to start in 2021.

Mr Iacovelli said: “The new press shop will set new standards for the automotive industry, both in terms of performance in industrial manufacturing and in the digital networking of data streams in the production process.”

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