Difficult economic environment and market changes – Biella Group strategically well-equipped to face up to challenges
Brügg/Biel, 30 April 2013 – The Annual General Meeting of Biella-Neher Holding Ltd was held on 29 April 2013. All items on the agenda were approved as recommended by the Board of Directors. Andreas Schmid was newly appointed to the Board of Directors. Business development in the first quarter of 2013 was highlighted by a tough economic environment. Market changes demand further operational and strategic changes of direction.
The Annual General Meeting of Biella-Neher Holding Ltd took place at the company's head office in Brügg/Biel on 29 April 2013. All items on the agenda were approved as recommended by the Board of Directors.
Andreas Schmid was newly appointed to the Board of Directors. He replaces Dr. Heinz Wägli, who had come to the end of his term of office and retired from the Board of Directors of the company due to old age. Heinz Wägli had sat on the Board of Directors since 1999. As a recognised financial expert, he saw through the development of the Biella Group from the original Swiss national supplier to what is today one of the largest office equipment manufacturers in Europe. Daniel Eicher, President of the Board of Directors, thanked Heinz Wägli for his many years of successful teamwork.
In the first quarter of the current year, the office supplies industry was also firmly under the influence of the tough economic environment. Both the weak economic situation and structural market recession due to advancing digitisation have led to a distinct slow-down. This did not leave the Biella Group untouched either. Market development in Switzerland, Poland and other Eastern European countries was especially weak. On the other hand, growth was recorded in the German market - which has become the Biella Group's market with the best turnover since the Falken takeover last year. However, initial signs here point to a cooling off as the year progresses.
As part of its existing expansion and manufacturing strategy, Biella will consistently adapt itself to meet the worsening challenges posed by the market. After the Falken takeover, the Group is strategically well-equipped for this. 2013 will be highlighted by the necessary changes of direction and prove to be a year of transition. The target set of improving the EBIT margin this year has turned out to be very ambitious, given the increasing stresses and changes.
Thanks to the acquisition of the Falken Group, the Biella Group is now one of the most important and most efficient European suppliers of office equipment. The Group has production sites in Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, the United Kingdom and Romania, as well as logistics centres in Brügg/Biel, Wiener Neustadt, Warsaw and Enkhuizen (NL), not to mention its Europe-wide sales and marketing network. The Biella Group as a whole employs approximately 1,100 people.
Biella-Neher Holding Ltd is quoted on the Berne stock market BX Berne eXchange (symbol: BLLN, security: 151948S, ISIN: CH0001519484).
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