Bobst has released its figures for the first half of this year, which show sales of CHF 524.7 million (£347m), down 6.4 percent from CHF 560.5m (£370.7m) for the same period last year. Bobst blamed this on the decision of the Swiss National Bank to no longer maintain a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per Euro.
The biggest impact has been on the web fed business, 80 percent of which depends on the Euro, where sales dropped from CHF 147.9m (£97.8m) to CHF 108.2m (£71.5m) this year. Bobst claims that the positive momentum in the industry should see web-fed sales reaching targeted volumes by the end of the year.
The operating result (EBIT) was down by CHF 9.8m (£6.5m), at CHF 10.3m (£6.8m), which Bobst ascribed to the weak Euro.
However, despite this the net result improved to CHF 10.4m (£6.8m), up from CHF 3.9m (£2.6m) in the previous year. Bookings are up 11% and backlog is 16% higher than at the same stage year.
Volume and price variances had a negative impact of CHF -2.9m (-£1.9m), or 0.5%. An improvement of CHF 4.5m (£2.9m), or plus 0.8%, came from a change in the scope of consolidation due to the acquisition of Nuova Gidue Srl, which was completed at the end of May.
Overall, Bobst expects demand in Europe and North America to continue, with Asia to pick up as the year progresses but South America to remain slow due to difficult economic conditions. Bobst remains confident that it can achieve full year sales of CHF 1.25 to 1.30 billion (£0.82 – 0.86bn) in 2015 with a 5 percent EBIT operating margin and a net result margin of higher than 3%.