Biella again increases operating profit in challenging environment
- Group result up by CHF 1.6 million to CHF 2.0 million
- Strong currency effects and market decline push sales down to CHF 151.6 million
- Dividend increased to CHF 160 per share (previous year: CHF 150) due to improvement in profitability and solid balance sheet figures
- Systematic optimisation of cost structures
- Entry into new segments in the area of digitisation
Brügg/Biel, 22 March 2016 – Biella-Neher Holding AG (Biella Group), the largest European producer of lever arch files and ring binders, performed well in 2015 despite the challenging market environment. The Group result improved by a considerable CHF 1.6 million to CHF 2.0 million. However, sales were down due to market conditions as well as currency translation effects associated with the strong increase in the value of the Swiss franc. The focus was on systematically optimising the cost structures and on tapping into new segments in the area of digitisation.
After Biella had moved back into the black last year following two years of losses, 2015 saw a further increase in earnings overall. The Group result improved by an impressive CHF 1.6 million to CHF 2.0 million (previous year: CHF 0.4 million), while operating profit also saw a considerable increase to CHF 3.0 million (previous year: CHF 2.0 million) despite persistently challenging conditions in the market and industry, necessary restructuring measures and initial expenditure for the new segments in the area of digitisation. There was a strong focus on exploiting Group synergies and improving costefficiency even further during the reporting year. Alongside streamlining and optimising the conventional office supplies business, further systematic efforts were made to develop the digital business, with the aim of entering the market at the start of 2016. The EBIT margin rose from 1.1 % to 2.0 % overall.
Lower sales due to currency translation effects and market decline
The Biella Group's sales revenue amounted to CHF 151.6 million in the reporting year (previous year: CHF 175.8 million). This decrease is primarily due to the strong currency translation effects associated with the rise in the value of the Swiss franc. Adjusted to take this into account, sales were down by almost 5%. The marketrelated declines were partially cushioned by acquiring new customers. The proportion of foreign sales is high at 71%, reflecting the Europeanisation of business that has been vigorously pursued over the last few years.
Solid balance sheet
The level of equity capital in the balance sheet total increased slightly to 55.6 % (previous year: 54.2 %). Net liquidity also rose, from CHF 3.2 million to CHF 8.7 million. However, the balance sheet total fell to CHF 118.9 million (previous year: CHF 129.1 million) as a result of the strong increase in the value of the Swiss franc.
Dividend increased slightly
Due to the improved result and the solid financial situation, the Board of Directors will propose to increase the dividend to CHF 160 per share (previous year CHF 150) at the General Meeting.
Digitisation systematically pursued – Biella SimplyFind AG founded
As part of its strategy, Biella plays an active part in shaping the digital transformation in the office world. Biella SimplyFind AG, which bundles the new business activities together, was founded in December 2015. The first new services, Biella SimplyFind Archiv and Biella SimplyFind Scan, have been available in Switzerland since the beginning of this year. The range of services is being developed continuously and will also be offered beyond Switzerland in the future.
Change on the Board
Stephan Neher, who has been on the Board of Directors since 1988, will retire due to old age at the next General Meeting. Dr Erica Dubach Spiegler will be elected to the Board for the first time. Dr. Dubach Spiegler has an outstanding track record in the area of digitisation.
Digitisation will continue to change the face of the office supplies industry. Biella is committed to making the most of the corresponding opportunities and leading the way in this field. This year, the focus will be on implementing further measures to boost efficiency as well as on launching highly innovative new services as part of the company's digitisation offensive. The first marketing activities of Biella SimplyFind have been wellreceived and have attracted a great deal of interest. Biella again faces a challenging year. Although it is very difficult in this environment to make precise predictions for 2016, the aim remains to improve the EBIT margin again.
Biella at a glance
Operating profit (EBIT)
Number of employees
The Biella Group helps organisations of all sizes, as well as individuals, to manage and find all types of documents efficiently and easily. As one of Europe's most important and successful providers of office supplies and the inventor of the lever arch file, Biella is an expert in the storage of physical documents. Innovative solutions ensure order in the world of digital information and documents. Hybrid products combine the physical and digital document cycles. With Biella's solutions, documents can be managed and found quickly, easily and efficiently. Some 750 people are employed throughout the Biella Group. www.biellagroup.com
Biella-Neher Holding AG is traded on the OTC-X platform of Berner Kantonalbank
(Valor: 151.948, ISIN: CH0001519484, RIC: CH151948=BEKB).
If you have any questions, please contact:
Biella-Neher Holding Ltd.
Marco Arrigoni, CEO
Erlenstrasse 44, Postfach
Tel.: +41 32 366 34 04
The 2015 Annual Report will be available from 22 March 2016, 8.00 p.m., at www.biellagroup.com
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