After the economic growth spurt of the previous year, HUBER+SUHNER’s net sales in the first half year rose again significantly in organic terms (adjusted for currency, portfolio and raw material effects) by 13%. The translation into Swiss francs alone reduced these net sales by some 11%.
Net sales in Swiss francs rose as a result to CHF406m, i.e. by just 1%. Order intake (CHF426.5m) again exceeded net sales, but was 4% lower than in the corresponding period of the previous year. Profitability also suffered as the result of the strong Swiss franc. Conversion and transaction effects reduced the EBIT by approximately CHF14m or about 25%. Thanks to the one-off contribution of CHF15.9m from the sale of a part of its premises no longer required for operational purposes in Pfäffikon, the EBIT totalled CHF53.6m (previous year CHF56.4m), corresponding to an EBIT margin of 13.2%. Discounting this one-off effect, the operating EBIT margin was 9.3% and therefore within the long-term target range of 9-12%. Net income amounted to CHF39m, corresponding to a return on sales of 9.6% and earnings per share of CHF2.01. The number of permanent employees fell slightly worldwide within the first six months: 3,956 as of 30 June 2011 (as of 31 December 2010: 4,062). At the end of the reporting period, 1,569 people were employed in Switzerland, 63 more than the end of last year. The strong growth of the low frequency division, that exclusively manufactures its cables in Switzerland, mainly led to this increase.
Net working capital rose in the first six months of the current year by CHF36m to CHF241m. A dividend payment to shareholders higher than in the previous year and an increased volume of investment led overall to a negative free cash flow of CHF42.8m. At the end of June 2011, net liquidity amounted to CHF157m; the equity ratio remained at a very high level at 76.5%.