SFS achieved a significant improvement in the second half of the year
News – 5 March 2021
The year 2020 posed major challenges to the SFS Group: it was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to contain the outbreak. The tremendous commitment and flexibility of its employees helped SFS to overcome these challenges. After a steep decline in demand in the first half of the year, a significant recovery took place in several end markets and regions from the summer months. Full year sales amounted to CHF 1,704.9 million, a slight decline of 4.3% from the previous year. SFS achieved an EBIT margin of 13.3%, unchanged from the prior-year level. Net income amounted to CHF 184.8 million.
The COVID-19 pandemic posed considerable challenges to the SFS Group and its employees. In contrast to previous economic crises, the focus in the past financial year additionally was on protecting the health of employees and their environment. The Group had to cope with extreme fluctuations in demand and reduce its cost base, but also maintain flexibility and supply capability. This demand-side volatility is evident in a comparison of results for the first and second half of 2020: in the second half, consolidated sales rose by 20.4% compared with the first half of the year. This development was supported by the company's well-balanced market and regional presence, the diversified sales channels and the clear focus on customer needs and innovation trends. SFS successfully defended its competitive position and remains well positioned amid the pandemic.
Despite an organic decline of –10.4% in sales in the first half of the year compared with the same period of the previous year, SFS was able to narrow the year-on-year decline in organic sales for 2020 as a whole to –3.2%. Consolidation effects contributed 3.0% to full-year sales, while currency translation effects had a negative effect of –4.1%. Gross sales for the financial year 2020 amounted to CHF 1,704.9 million.
Significantly higher profitability in the second half of the year
Thanks to the sustained recovery in demand and positive seasonal effects in the second half of the year, production capacity utilization improved significantly. Higher capacity utilization, strict cost management and positive mix effects lifted the operating profit margin for the second half of the year to 16.8% of net sales. November and December were particularly strong months. Full-year operating profit (EBIT) amounted to CHF 227.4 million, which corresponds to an unchanged EBIT margin of 13.3% compared with the previous year. Net income fell to CHF 184.8 million (previous year: CHF 206.5 million), which also reflects the absence of the positive one-off tax effects from the prior-year period.