Bobst figures show recovery underway

Bobst has published its 2020 financial results in full showing the impact from the pandemic but with signs of improvements in the second half of the year and a net profit of CHF 17.3 million.

Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of the Bobst Group

Nonetheless, sales fell 16.2 percent from CHF 1.636 billion in 2019 to CHF 1.372 billion in 2020, while the EBIT earnings before interest and taxes operating result was CHF 44 million, down from CHF 81 million in 2019. In any other year, the fact that net profit fell from CHF 52.6 million in 2019 to just CHF 17 million would be cause for alarm, but should instead be seen as a positive sign of the way that Bobst’s management has responded to the pandemic.

The company managed to turn its net debt position of CHF 59 million in 2019 into a net cash position of CHF 4 million in 2020 thanks to an inflow of CHF 160 million of outstanding cash. Overall, new orders were 4 percent lower than in 2019, but set against a first half drop of 21 percent, shows that orders have picked up significantly in the second half. 

Naturally the Printing and Converting business suffered the most, both in terms of new sales and customers’ use of their machines. But the Services and Performance business seems to have coped well, with Bobst’s parts supply chain proving effective, combined with the advantages of remote servicing where applicable.

Not surprisingly, Bobst won’t be offering a dividend this year. However, Bobst says that it is currently expecting full year sales and operating result (EBIT) to be similar or slightly higher to the previous year if the pandemic situation does not deteriorate. This is despite Bobst’s assumption that the pandemic will still affect the economic conditions for the next two years, with the board suggesting that new opportunities in servicing machines and its reorganisation plan will make the difference.

You can find further information, including the results in full, from bobst.com.


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