Biella reports clear improvement in results
- Back in the black. Group results rise by CHF 1.6 million to CHF 0.4 million
- All profitability figures have been improved
- Disinvestments and a natural market recession reduced turnover to CHF 175.8 million
- Thanks to an improvement in profitability and a solid balance sheet, dividend increased to CHF 150 per share (previous year: CHF 125)
- Position in the office supplies market strengthened as a result of two important acquisitions
- Strategic growth prospects thanks to innovative solutions
Brügg/Biel/Bienne, 24 March 2015 – Biella-Neher Holding Ltd (Biella Group), the largest European manufacturer of lever arch files and ringbinders, experienced good development in 2014, in spite of a tough market environment. Group results were substantially improved by CHF 1.6 million, rising to CHF 0.4 million and were therefore put back in the black after previous losses. Turnover is market related and decreased due to disinvestments in 2013 of businesses outside the Group's key areas of operation. It was able to further strengthen its position in the folder market due to two acquisitions. Over and above this, great attention was paid to the innovative opportunities presented by digitisation.
After two years of losses, the Biella Group finished 2014 with a profit. Group results were clearly improved by CHF 1.6 million, going up to CHF 0.4 million (previous year: CHF -1.2 million).
The operating result (EBIT) amounted to CHF 2.0 million, therefore increasing considerably by
CHF 1.8 million in comparison with the previous year (CHF 0.2 million) – in spite of an unchanged
tough market environment. The first signs of success came as a result of taking a new strategic path.
In the year under report, great efforts to integrate the Falken Group and adapt Group structure were completed. Further efficiency and cost-saving measures had an additional positive effect.
Disinvestments and natural market recession reduce turnover - growth in key areas
In the year under report, the turnover of the Biella Group reached CHF 175.8 million (previous year:
CHF 191.2 million). This drop is largely down to the full-year effects of the disinvestments in the soft plastic products sector and the wholesale business in Poland effected in 2013 as well as currency conversion factors. Additional turnover gained from new acquisitions only offset this to a certain extent,
as their integration was a gradual process. It is pleasing to note that turnover in our main product range
of lever arch files and ringbinders increased overall by a striking 13%.
Acquisitions strengthen position in office supplies market
Since 2012, Biella has focused on the lever arch files and ringbinders sector of the office equipment market, in which it has carried out some significant takeovers. Some important acquisitions were again made last year. The private label and no-name folder supply business was acquired from Hamelin, one
of Europe's largest office equipment suppliers. In Switzerland, Biella also acquired the supply business
of Carpentier Ltd, which meant that both the standard office business and direct sales of individualised products, which is particularly important for the Swiss market, could be strengthened.
Solid balance sheet
In spite of financing the takeovers, partially from capital resources and extended mortgage advances,
and the offsetting of the goodwill acquired from the takeover of the Hamelin folder business with our
own capital, the share of our own capital on the balance sheet is a solid 54.2% (previous year: 57.2%).
In view of the improved result and solid financial situation, the Board of Directors proposed to the Annual General Meeting an increased dividend of CHF 150 per share (previous year: CHF 125).
The current year got off to a turbulent start with the removal of the cap on the Swiss franc/euro conversion rate. Like a lot of other Swiss companies, this means that Biella faces great challenges in
its domestic market. With its decision in recent years to drive forward Europeanisation, Biella is currently well represented in the euro zone, which spreads the risk and opens up room for manoeuvre. It is necessary to promote further process optimisation across the Group. In the "Biella 2.0" project, the future focus will be on further enhancing the corporate portfolio, which currently includes exclusively traditional office equipment, with innovative business areas involving digitisation. This potential area of conflict arising from ongoing optimisation of the core business and developing new prospects means Biella has to face up to another demanding year. Although it will be difficult to arrive at a forecast against this background, Biella will again aim at further improving its EBIT margin in the 2015 business year.
Biella at a glance
Operating result (EBIT)
Number of employees
The Biella Group is one of the most important and most efficient European suppliers of office equipment. The Group has production sites in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the United Kingdom and Romania, as well as logistics centres in Brügg/Biel/Bienne, Wiener Neustadt, Cottbus and Enkhuizen (NL), not to mention its Europe-wide sales and marketing network. The Biella Group as a whole employs approximately 780 people.
Biella-Neher Holding Ltd is quoted on the Berne stock market BX Berne eXchange (symbol: BLLN, security: 151948S, ISIN: CH0001519484).
In case of any questions or requests please contact:
Biella-Neher Holding Ltd
Erlenstrasse 44, P.O. Box
CH-2555 Brügg, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 32 366 3 404 or 251
The annual report for 2014 will be available from 20.00 hours on 24 March 2015 at: www.biella.eu
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