Metall Zug Group: Improvement in operating income. Further step in transformation process initiated through merger of Schleuniger and Komax.

Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 Listing Rules of SIX Swiss Exchange

Zug, March 15, 2022 - Metall Zug generated net sales of CHF 661.9 million in 2021. After deducting the prior year sales of CHF 261.5 million of the V-ZUG Group, which was spun off in June 2020, this equates to an increase of 17.8% year-on-year. The operating income (EBIT) climbed to CHF 42.3 million and net income came to CHF 53.3 million. After Metall Zug completed an important step in the implementation of its strategy by spinning off V-ZUG in 2020, the planned merger of Schleuniger and Komax now marks a further milestone along the way. Daniel Keist, CFO of Metall Zug AG, will be retiring at the end of August and the executive board will be restaffed with Matthias Rey as CEO and Urs Scherrer as CFO as of September 1, 2022.

Strong increase in sales and pleasing improvement in the operating income
Metall Zug generated net sales of CHF 661.9 million in 2021. After deducting the prior year sales of CHF 261.5 million of the V-ZUG Group, which was spun off in June 2020, this equates to an increase of 17.8% year-on-year. Adjusted for currency effects of -0.3% and acquisition and divestment effects of 2.5%, organic growth came to 15.6%.

The increase reflects the recovery of the relevant markets, an adjustment to the effects of the pandemic, and a certain catch-up effect. This applies to the medical devices and automotive industry markets and, above all, to the US market.

Metall Zug posted EBIT of CHF 42.3 million (previous year: CHF 15.5 million). The prior-year figure included V-ZUG's EBIT contribution for the first half of 2020 of CHF 12.9 million and the gain on property transactions of CHF 5.8 million. EBIT was thus CHF 45.5 million higher than the adjusted EBIT for the previous year (CHF -3.2 million).

EBIT was positively affected primarily by the significant rise in sales in the Wire Processing and Medical Devices Business Units. These Business Units increased their EBIT significantly year-on-year.

The financial result amounted to CHF 17.6 million (previous year: CHF 4.4 million) and includes the pro rata net income of V-ZUG, in which Metall Zug holds a 30% stake. Net income amounted to CHF 53.3 million (previous year: CHF 13.5 million, including the full contribution of the Household Appliances Business Unit for the first half of 2020 and the pro rata net income for the second half of 2020).

Strong cash flow from operating activities
Metall Zug generated cash flow from operating activities of CHF 48.9 million in the reporting year. This represents an improvement of CHF 14.1 million on the previous year's adjusted cash flow from operating activities (previous year: CHF 60.2 million or CHF 34.8 million when adjusted for the CHF 25.4 million in cash flow recorded by the Household Appliances Business Unit in the first half of 2020), which is primarily attributable to the significant increase in net result.

The net cash position came to CHF 77.7 million as of December 31, 2021 (previous year: CHF 67.6 million).

The income statement is now presented by function of expense (previously: nature of expense). The previous year's figures have therefore been adjusted in line with the new presentation format, whereby EBIT and net result remain unchanged.

Infection Control demonstrates resilience
The Infection Control Business Unit (Belimed Group) posted net sales of CHF 180.2 million in the reporting year (previous year: CHF 176.3 million) and EBIT of CHF 2.6 million (previous year: CHF 8.9 million, or CHF 3.1 million, leaving aside the positive one-time effects from property transactions). Belimed Infection Control held up well in 2021 in a difficult market environment. While the figures for 2021 lag behind expectations, they nevertheless show that the Business Unit was able to weather the difficult market situation caused by the restrictions and pressures associated with COVID-19 by demonstrating resilience. 

Medical Devices - significant upswing 
In 2021, the Medical Devices Business Unit (Haag-Streit Group) posted net sales of CHF 215.2 million (previous year: CHF 169.6 million). The market experienced a noticeable upward trend in the reporting year, leading to a much higher order intake that outpaced sales. Following the acquisition of VRmagic, sales of training and simulation equipment positively surpassed expectations. EBIT came to CHF 24.6 million in the year under review (previous year: CHF -4.4 million). This is attributable to the increase in sales, as well as improved margins, costs savings and one-time effects of net CHF 3.4 million.

Wire Processing benefits from new trends and technological orientations
The Wire Processing Business Unit (Schleuniger Group) posted net sales of CHF 206.2 million in the reporting year (previous year: CHF 150.0 million). Although recovery in the automotive industry was limited, new trends and technologies such as e-mobility (high voltage cables) and self-driving vehicles (data cables) drove demand. Order intake grew at a faster pace than sales. EBIT came to CHF 14.6 million (previous year: CHF -6.0 million). The general growth in sales, a significant improvement in the Process Automation segment and the impact of the cost-cutting measures introduced the year before were all contributing factors to this healthy result.

Technologycluster & Infrastructure - potential becomes visible
The Technologycluster & Infrastructure Business Unit concluded the design studies competition process for SHL-Südtor in spring 2021 when the submission by Penzel Valier AG architects was announced as the winning project. The project will have to be redesigned - as a timber and concrete building rather than an entirely wooden structure - to take account of changed requirements of the users and authorities, which will delay its construction by around 12 months. 

Construction work on the Mobility Hub Zug Nord, with just under 600 parking spaces, is proceeding on schedule and on budget. It is expected to come into operation in July 2022. 

Construction of the Multi Energy Hub at Tech Cluster Zug is progressing according to plan. In addition to solar energy, waste heat, ground water and lake water are also to be used as sources of energy. This means that the entire site, including any connected third-party customers, can switch to a carbon­neutral energy supply from the 2022/2023 heating period.

Reporting segment Others
Belimed Life Science Group, Gehrig Group AG and Metall Zug AG are grouped together in the Others reporting segment. The reporting segment posted net sales of CHF 68.4 million in the reporting year (previous year: CHF 75.6 million) and an EBIT of CHF -2.1 million (previous year: CHF -1.1 million). This negative EBIT resulted from the inclusion of Metall Zug AG (Corporate), which in particular bears costs for central management functions and services.

Order intake at Belimed Life Science was considerably higher than in the previous year. This reflects the increase in demand from the pharma industry, and in particular for tests and vaccines. The supply situation for electronic components caused delays in the retrofit business and, particularly also in the delivery of new customer projects. Consequently, sales fell to CHF 38.6 million (previous year: CHF 44.6 million). However, despite additional expenses entailed by the difficult supply situation, substantial IT infrastructure investments, increased freight costs and, above all, the cost of establishing its own service organization, Belimed Life Science achieved a positive EBIT result.

At Gehrig Group, sales declined as a consequence of the renewed COVID-19 restrictions in the hotel, restaurant and catering sector, falling to CHF 29.8 million (previous year: CHF 30.9 million). Thanks to a slight improvement in margins year-on-year and very strict cost management, EBIT inched into positive territory.

Further transformation step - merger of Schleuniger and Komax
In 2019, Metall Zug communicated its new strategy, in which Metall Zug was to transform itself into a holding company with substantial investments in attractive Swiss industrial enterprises. Consequently, V-ZUG was spun off in 2020 and publicly listed as an independent company, with Metall Zug retaining a 30% stake ever since. The planned merger of Schleuniger with Komax, which was announced on February 9, 2022, marks a further milestone in implementing this strategy.

Metall Zug intends to merge its Wire Processing Business Unit, the Schleuniger Group, into the Komax Group in exchange for a 25% interest in Komax Holding AG. Metall Zug AG and Komax Holding AG have signed an agreement to this effect. The transaction cannot be completed until the general meeting of shareholders of Komax Holding AG approves the necessary capital increase and the relevant competition authorities give their consent. 

New election to the Board of Bernhard Eschermann
In addition to Heinz M. Buhofer and Peter Terwiesch, Sandra Emme will also not be standing for reelection to the Board of Directors. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Metall Zug AG since 2019. In the past three years, she has made a very positive contribution to the Board's progress regarding digitalization and ­transformation processes. Her analytical skills in the field of cybersecurity helped the Metall Zug Group to react to various incidents rapidly and professionally, and to implement the measures required to ensure that its IT systems were continuously improved. The Board of Directors would like to thank Heinz M. Buhofer, Peter Terwiesch and Sandra Emme for their invaluable commitment to the Metall Zug Group and wishes them all the best.

The Board of Directors will propose the election of Bernhard Eschermann as a new member of the Board of Directors at the upcoming Annual General Meeting. Bernhard Eschermann (59, German and Swiss citizen) is CTO Process Automation at ABB, responsible for technology and development of the global Process Automation business unit, and in this function, he also leads the ABB Group's Technology Management Team as "primus inter pares". Bernhard Eschermann graduated in electrical engineering, holds a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in computer science from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

New members of the Executive Board
Daniel Keist, CFO and sole member of the Executive Board of Metall Zug AG, has reached retirement age and will step back from the Executive Board as of August 31, 2022. To succeed him, the Board of Directors has appointed Matthias Rey (39, Swiss citizen) as the new CEO and Urs Scherrer (41, Swiss citizen) as the new CFO of Metall Zug AG, with effect from September 1, 2022. The Board of Directors is pleased that the Executive Board can be filled with two qualified internal managers. Matthias Rey has been Head of Legal for the Metall Zug Group since 2014. He is a lawyer, holds a doctorate degree from the University of Bern and is currently completing an Executive MBA at IMD Lausanne. Urs Scherrer has been Head of Group Controlling & Reporting of the Metall Zug Group since 2015. He is a certified public accountant, business economist FH and completed a leadership training. In addition to his core activity as CFO, Daniel Keist led various challenging strategic projects prudently and to great success for the Metall Zug Group since January 1, 2013. The Board of Directors thanks him for his many years of successful commitment to the Metall Zug Group and wishes him all the best for his retirement.

Sustainability as part of the strategy
Metall Zug views sustainability as a strategic priority. The slogan 'Driven by value, aiming for success' has been part of the corporate strategy for years: all those in positions of responsibility act with a view to success and in line with the Metall Zug values. Any success can only really be counted as such if it is sustainable and has been achieved with due respect for society and without tarnishing the reputation of the Metall Zug Group. 

Moreover, a team from Metall Zug AG has been helping the Business Units to formulate and implement their sustainability strategies since fall 2018. The implementation and ­progress of measures is regularly reviewed by a steering ­committee made up of the CEOs of the Business Units and the Executive Board of Metall Zug. In addition, a strategy body comprising members of the Board of Directors and subject-matter experts has been meeting since 2021 to discuss sustainability strategy and prospects. The main European sites defined new measures in the reporting year and recorded key figures for the first time.

Metall Zug's Swiss sites have already achieved carbon­neutrality by reducing internal emissions and offsetting the remaining footprint with carbon-reduction projects. However, the Metall Zug Group is aiming to achieve a global net zero emissions target in the medium term. As well as reducing CO2, this also calls for projects with negative emissions. Therefore, the remaining emissions from the sites are to be offset in the future by means of absorption projects that are more cost-intensive, such as site-appropriate reforestation or new technologies for capturing and storing CO2. 

Since 2018, the Business Units have paid CHF 2.6 million into the internal CO2 fund. These funds are earmarked for disbursement to innovative, efficient project proposals, such as the H2 fuel project in Zug, building renovation measures, the use of new materials and e-mobility. 

An employee survey was held across all Business Units worldwide for the first time. It achieved a very good response rate of 82%. Measures were subsequently defined with the aim of further developing cooperation, values, and culture as well as communication and development potential for employees.

Dividend proposal
The Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting of Shareholders of April 29, 2022, a cash dividend in the amount of CHF 3.00 gross per type A registered share (previous year: CHF 1.70) and CHF 30.00 gross per type B registered share (previous year: CHF 17.00); this is 76% higher than the previous year's cash dividend.

The high order backlog as of December 31, 2021, allows us to expect a pleasing sales development in 2022. However, the challenges on the procurement side, such as rising raw material and energy prices as well as the partial lack of availability of components, remain. Political upheaval, rising inflation and possible delays in the effect of sales-side price increases are currently shaping our exogenous environment. For 2022 we expect stable EBIT development overall, excluding the deconsolidation effect of the Wire Processing Business Unit.



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  1. As part of the changed presentation of the income statement to the income statement by function method (previously: income statement by nature method) the definition of net sales was revised. The previous year's figure has been restated accordingly.
  2. The V-ZUG Group was spun-off as of June 25, 2020, and until that date fully consolidated. As a consequence, the previous year's figures are not comparable to the financial year 2021.
  3. The full-time equivalent number of employees (FTE) includes impacts due to short-time work and further personnel measures due to COVID-19


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