Biella holds its ground in a challenging market environment – innovations and digitisation are being systematically advanced, groupwide restructuring has been started
_Business development in the first quarter of 2018 almost on target
_Innovations and digitisation are being systematically advanced
_Increasing raw material prices create stress
_Extensive corporate restructuring introduced
The Annual General Meeting of Biella-Neher Holding Ltd was held on 24 April 2018. All items on the agenda were approved as recommended by the Board of Directors. The dividend was increased again - from CHF 170 to 180 per share. In spite of an industry environment that continues to be difficult, the business development in the first quarter of 2018 was almost on target. In April, extensive corporate restructuring was introduced in order to strengthen the future productivity and profitability of the Group. Over and above this, Biella continues to systematically advance its innovation and digitisation offensives.
The 118th Annual General Meeting of Biella-Neher Holding Ltd. took place at the company's head office in Brügg/Biel on 24 April 2018. All items on the agenda were approved as recommended by the Board of Directors. Given the improved Group result, dividends were increased from CHF 170 to 180 per share. Chairman of the Board of Directors, Rolf U. Sutter, and all previous members of the Board of Directors were re-elected in accordance with company statutes for a period of office of one year until the next Annual General Meeting.
First quarter on target
In spite of the declining market for traditional office equipment and the continued upsurge in raw material prices, the development of the Biella Group's business in the first quarter of 2018 overall was just in line with the expectations. Ongoing efforts to generate new sales with the aid of innovations and digitisation had a positive effect. In the production sector, efficiency could be increased thanks to ongoing improvement measures.
Innovations create new potential for growth
As part of the innovation and digitisation offensives, the emphasis was placed on work to further develop and market new ranges of services. One highlight in April of this year was the receipt of the famous "Red Dot Award" for the newly launched Biella Attraction magnetic folder. This international quality seal honours products for their high design and functionality standards. After "Swiss Sourcing Days Award 2017", the magnetic folder was also awarded a further distinction for the "Attraction" product range, which is still in its infancy.
Against a background of overcapacity as a consequence of continuing market development, Biella decided to carry out extensive restructuring measures within the Group on 16 March of this year. This includes the closure of the production plant in Poland as well as local sales units in Warsaw (PL) and Hoorn (NL). In future, the market development in these countries will be handled centrally by Biella-Falken GmbH in Germany. In the meantime, work has already started on implementing these measures and will essentially continue until the summer. Steps introduced to date have, by and large, gone according to plan.
Initially, the current restructuring will impact on the results for 2018. However, it will then also significantly strengthen the productivity and profitability of the Biella Group with its main sites in Brügg (CH) and Peitz (D). The planned closure is not expected to have a substantial effect on sales.
New corporate image
The consistent implementation of the Biella vision "Find without searching" is now clearly part of our corporate image. An appropriate symbol slightly modifies the updated Biella logo. Our brand architecture, which has also been revised, and contemporary, modernised corporate design are being gradually rolled out with immediate effect.
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 700 people are employed throughout the Biella Group. www.biellagroup.com
The shares of Biella-Neher Holding AG (Valor: 151.948, ISIN: CH0001519484) are traded on the Berner Kantonalbank OTC-X and the ZKB e-KMU-X small-caps platforms and at Lienhardt & Partner.
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