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Business development 2009

The 2009 financial year was one of two entirely distinct halves. The first six months were characterised by very weak demand due to the economic situation, while the second half saw a clear recovery. Net sales for the 2009 financial year as a whole nevertheless remained well below the figure for the previous year. Despite the crisis, EMS successfully achieved its growth targets for new business in the core Performance Polymers business. There was an encouraging performance in new metal replacement applications while automotive supplier EMS-EFTEC continued to gain market share worldwide.

The volumes produced by customers unfortunately showed a decline due to the economic situation, above all in the first half of the year, and this also had an impact on volume demand at EMS. EMS adapted itself to the economic decline at a very early stage, launching extensive cost-cutting programmes already in 2008 accompanied by a worldwide recruitment freeze and reduction in current assets. Reduced costs and profitable new business – despite lower net sales – actually resulted in a higher net operating income (EBIT) compared with the previous year, as well as an exceptionally high EBIT margin.

Net sales in Swiss francs reached CHF 1 198 million (1 504), and were therefore 20.4% lower than in the previous year. On a local-currency basis, the reduction versus the previous year came to 17.6%. At CHF 222 million (220), net operating income (EBIT) was 1.0% higher than in the previous year; this was due to a very profitable second half. The EBIT margin grew from 14.6% to 18.5%. EBITDA totalled CHF 280 million (278). Net financial income amounted to CHF 28 million (38). Net income after taxes stood at CHF 221 million (215) and was therefore also above the previous year’s level.

EMS has an innovative, high-margin specialty business. It will continue to pursue its successful strategy for expanding its specialty business in the core area of Performance Polymers. Worldwide market positions are continuing to be expanded. In the new growth markets of China, India and Brazil, this is occurring also via newly established sales and production sites.