Metall Zug Group: Overall operating income above previous year

Zug, February 23, 2016 - The Metall Zug Group posted a good result despite the challenging currency environment. The swift reaction to the abandonment of the euro minimum exchange rate, combined with a range of products and services tailored to customer needs and disciplined process and cost management, helped to bring this difficult year to a successful conclusion. Gross sales remained at the satisfactory level of CHF 927.8 million. Operating income rose by 7.3 % to CHF 80.5 million. The financial result fell in the wake of the currency crisis to CHF – 8.2 million and the net income to CHF 56.9 million. The equity ratio increased to 76.8 % of total assets.


The discontinuation of the euro minimum exchange rate presented major challenges for the economy. Despite currency-related revenue losses, gross sales matched their prior-year level (CHF 927.0 million) at CHF 927.8 million. Overall, the Metall Zug Group generated operating income (EBIT) of CHF 80.5 million in the reporting year (previous year: CHF 75.0 million), a rise of 7.3%. The financial result fell in the year under review to CHF – 8.2 million (previous year: CHF 26.0 million) and reduced net income to CHF 56.9 million (previous year: CHF 86.0 million). It was negatively impacted by currency losses, a poorer performance by investments in securities and revaluations of financial assets. Equity increased to 76.8 % of total assets (previous year: 76.4 %) and the net cash position rose to CHF 518.1 million (previous year: CHF 491.4 million). Material investments in structures, processes, development, quality assurance and the planning of a high-quality environment for innovation and production at the V-ZUG site were charged to the income statement.


Household Appliances: Consistent Performance despite Currency Turmoil

The Household Appliances Business Unit remained at a satisfactory level in the face of currency turbulence. Competitors lowered their prices – in some cases by a considerable margin – in response to the abandonment of the euro minimum exchange rate. Swiss-based manufacturer V-ZUG was quick to react by optimizing processes, reducing costs and introducing longer working hours. New products, a strong brand and close customer ties enabled margin pressure and the impact on sales to be kept within reasonable limits. The company’s international presence was selectively expanded in attractive markets.

SIBIRGroup stepped up its marketing for washing and drying solutions, especially for laundry room dryers. It revised the product range and launched new appliances on the market.

The acquisition of Schybig Gastro-Service AG and Horeka AG enabled the Gehrig Group to strengthen its customer proximity as a provider of integrated solutions for a professional client base in the hotel, catering and care sectors.

Gross sales of the Household Appliances Business Unit were down 1.2 % to CHF 581.9 million (previous year: CHF 589.2 million). At CHF 69.1 million, operating income (EBIT) just about matched its prior-year level (previous year: CHF 70.0 million).


Infection Control: Visible Progress in Restructuring

Following the relocation of its production facilities, Belimed now has three focused production sites: one in Switzerland, one in Germany and one in Slovenia. The ongoing relocation process significantly reduces complexity and costs. In addition, Belimed has withdrawn from non-profitable markets in full awareness that this would entail a decline in sales. The relocation of central functions from Ballwil to Zug was important. Once V-ZUG AG’s new production and assembly building is completed, the development engineers of both business units will share laboratory facilities and thus be able to exploit synergies by exchanging expertise.

Sales were satisfactory regardless of the currency environment, especially in the US and China. Price pressure in the healthcare sector is causing customers to focus on the costs of an investment over the entire product life cycle. Belimed supports its customers in this respect by delivering efficient solutions – such as the new generation of sterilizers unveiled in 2015.

Gross sales fell by 5.1% to CHF 198.3 million (previous year: CHF 209.0 million). The restructuring costs and currency situation prevented any significant improvement in operating income (EBIT), which stood at CHF – 12.9 million (previous year: CHF – 13.0 million).


Wire Processing: Marked Growth Continues

In 2015, the growth of the Schleuniger Group outstripped that of the relevant market as a whole. This was particularly true for the Cut, Strip & Terminate (fully automatic crimping machines) segments as well as Projects. TransferLine, the accurate and flexible linear system, helped the Group to further expand its leading position in this segment. At an international trade fair, a panel of experts awarded the CoaxCenter CC 6000 a prize for innovation. Sales in the Service segment also developed well in 2015. The acquisition of Cirris Solutions GmbH (Germany) marked another step forward in terms of expanding into the market for test automation systems.

Schleuniger increased its gross sales by 14.3% to CHF 150.1 million (previous year: CHF 131.3 million) and operating income (EBIT) by 9.2% to CHF 21.2 million (previous year: CHF 19.5 million).


Extra work supports competitiveness

In order to remain competitive in the face of currency impacts, V-ZUG, Belimed and Schleuniger introduced longer working hours in Switzerland. Stepping up production rather than introducing short-time work is a testimony of their strength in this environment. Such commitment is a clear expression of the willingness of the company as well as of the employees to defend the Group’s market success even in a challenging environment. The subsequent good business performance made it possible to reward this commitment with a bonus for extra work. The necessary provisions for the extra-work bonuses valued to be paid out in 2016 were made in the reporting year.


Sustainable Investment in the Future

In 2015, V-ZUG’s strategic site planning and Belimed’s location strategy prompted a considerable expansion of the new production and assembly building currently being constructed at the V-ZUG site. Extensive preparatory work was undertaken in the reporting year in connection with the planned site development. This project is intended to secure the spatial requirements for V-ZUG’s long-term growth plans and ensure the sustainable development of the site.


Well-equipped for the Future

The sudden, surprising abandonment of the euro minimum exchange rate placed great demands on all the business units. The high degree of flexibility on the part of the workforce and the management enabled the negative impacts to be cushioned widely. The future impacts are difficult to estimate. Assumed consistent framework, the Metall Zug Group in 2016 considers a slightly higher operating profit possible.


Dividend: Cash component par with previous year plus allocation of own shares

The Board of Directors proposes in addition to the distribution of an ordinary cash dividend of gross CHF 39.00 per registered share type B and CHF 3.90 per registered share type A the distribution of a stock dividend in the form of treasury shares type B.

Per 60 shares type B or respectively 600 shares type B, shareholders shall receive one share type B allocated from the Company's own holding. Fractions are paid out in cash. On the basis of an indicative market price of the share type B of CHF 2'492.27 (ex-dividend) the stock dividend corresponds to a value of CHF 41.54 net per share type B. The withholding tax on this stock dividend in the amount of CHF 22.37 per share type B is paid by the Metall Zug AG and can be reclaimed in principle by the shareholders.

The ordinary cash dividend and the withholding tax repayment claim on the stock dividend together amount to indicative CHF 61.37 per share type B (CHF 6.14 per share type A) and thus are on a par with the dividend of the previous year. The total value of the proposed dividend amounts indicatively to gross CHF 102.91 per share type B and CHF 10.29 per share type A.

The effective value of the stock dividend will be set shortly before the General Assembly based on the current stock price and communicated accordingly.


Financial Key Figures

In CHF million




Gross sales




Operating income (EBIT)




Financial result




Net income




Cash flow from operating activities




Total assets




Consolidated equity




Equity ratio




Net income per type B registered share (EPS) in CHF