Internationalizing the Distribution & Logistics segment with the inclusion of Hoffmann
The planned inclusion of Hoffmann SE lends the D&L segment an internationally strong position in the attractive area of quality tools. Hoffmann is a leading international systems partner for quality tools that is well-known on European markets and serves more than 100,000 customers with a product range comprising around 500,000 items. Customers appreciate not only the company’s comprehensive range of products but also its high level of product and logistics expertise, which will be strengthened even further through the commissioning of the new LogisticCity in Nuremberg (Germany), Europe’s most high-performance logistics center for quality tools.
The joining of forces marks a milestone and the companies’ complementary positioning opens up attractive development opportunities. Together they will be able to exploit advantages in the areas of cross selling, digitalization, logistics, software and purchasing. Access to LogisticCity will further strengthen the logistics of the Distribution & Logistics and Fastening Systems segments.
The transaction is subject to the usual closing conditions and is expected to be concluded in the first half of 2022.
Personnel changes in the Board of Directors and Group Executive Board
At the Annual General Meeting 2021, the Board of Directors of the SFS Group appointed Manuela Suter, currently CFO of Bucher Industries and a member of its Group Executive Board, to the Board of Directors. Volker Dostmann succeeded Rolf Frei as CFO following the Annual General Meeting 2021.
Once the transaction with Hoffmann SE has been concluded, Hoffmann will be embedded into the SFS organization as the second division within the Distribution & Logistics segment. Hoffmann’s current CEO, Martin Reichenecker, will then join the Group Executive Board of SFS.
Outlook for the 29th Annual General Meeting on April 27, 2022
The Board of Directors of SFS Group AG proposes to the Annual General Meeting on April 27, 2022, that Thomas Oetterli, born 1969, be appointed to succeed Heinrich Spoerry as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Heinrich Spoerry will retire from the Board of Directors after reaching the age limit as defined in the Articles of Association. Thomas Oetterli has served as an independent member of the SFS Group’s Board of Directors since 2011 and has chaired the Audit Committee since 2014. Through his many years of service on the SFS Group’s Board of Directors, Thomas Oetterli has gained in-depth knowledge of the Group.
The Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors for his enormous achievements and for his many years of outstanding collaboration.
The Board of Directors also proposes the election of Dr. Peter Bauschatz, currently the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hoffmann SE, to SFS’s Board of Directors. The election of Dr. Peter Bauschatz is subject to the condition precedent of the closing of the acquisition of Hoffmann SE. Hoffmann’s inclusion at various levels of the SFS organization establishes continuity and lays the basis for the successful future development.
In view of the good earnings and balance sheet, the outlook for future business activity and the upcoming financing of the Hoffmann transaction, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend of CHF 2.20 per share (PY CHF 1.80 per share).
In accordance with the Swiss Federal Council’s ordinance on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, SFS Group’s Annual General Meeting will be held without the physical presence of shareholders, as was the case in the previous year. This decision was taken already prior to the cancellation of pandemic-related restrictions, in agreement with the partner company with whom SFS usually split the organizational efforts that arise in connection with the operation of the infrastructure required for the Annual General Meeting. In order to exercise voting rights, the Board of Directors has instructed that shareholders cast their votes and issue proxies to the independent proxy either in writing or electronically. The Annual General Meeting will be held at the headquarters of SFS Group AG in Heerbrugg (Switzerland) in the presence of the independent proxy and the company’s external auditor. Further information will be distributed to shareholders with the invitation to the Annual General Meeting.
Outlook for the financial year 2022
Performance will remain characterized by major uncertainties as a result of smoldering geopolitical developments such as the current war in Ukraine, trade conflicts and sustained disruptions in supply chains. Uncertainties in international supply chains, which should gradually subside as the COVID-19 pandemic abates, are expected to persist until early 2023. In this environment, ensuring the highest possible focus on customers takes top priority. Investments in the selective expansion of our production capacity and thus the implementation of ambitious growth projects will continue.
SFS expects product call-offs to be partly subdued in the first half of the 2022 financial year but for these to pick up over the course of the year. Given the solid project pipeline, SFS is confident that the development will be positive in all end markets. Based on that, SFS expects standalone sales growth of 3–6% at an EBIT margin of 13–16%. The outlook will be updated once the transaction with Hoffmann has been closed.