Growth through acquisition leads to a year-on-year rise in turnover of 22.8 percent
The Bossard Group generated a turnover of CHF 156.1 million in the first quarter of 2013. This represents an increase of 22.8 percent in Swiss francs compared to the previous year. The turnover growth in local currencies was 21.8 percent. This jump in turnover is due to the integration of KVT-Fastening which was acquired at the end of November 2012. The comparison with the strongest quarter (Q1) in the previous year on a like-for-like basis - that is stripping out the effect of the KVT-Fastening acquisition and the divestment of Bossard Metrics Inc., USA - results in a fall in turnover of 0.9 percent in Swiss francs, or 1.7 percent in local currencies. In 2013 the different trends in sales over previous quarters has continued in the three regions. In America and Asia we have been able to increase turnover compared to the best quarter from the previous year. By contrast, levels of turnover in Europe were below the level for the first quarter of 2012. Nevertheless, the start of the year in Europe has been positive. There has been a revival in demand from our customers and, as a result, we were able to increase our levels of turnover compared to the second half of 2012.
The turnover for European business in Q1 2013 was CHF 98.6 million, an increase in Swiss francs of 40.6 percent compared to the previous year. This was mainly due to the acquisition of KVT-Fastening. Excluding the acquisition effects, the result is a decline in turnover of 5.8 percent. Bossard has only managed to achieve continued strong growth in Eastern European markets. In the first few months the development of KVT-Fastening was in line with expectations. KVT turnover also ended below the values for Q1 2012 by an equivalent amount. Under continuing and tough economic conditions in all our relevant European markets we did, however, record a return to increasing levels of turnover compared to Q3 and Q4 2012.
Our business continues to develop positively in America: Here the Group generated a turnover of CHF 38.3 million in Q1 2013, which, when adjusted for the divestment of Bossard Metrics Inc., represents an increase of 7.1 percent in Swiss francs against the same period for the previous year. The Group benefited from continued strong demand both from existing as well as from new customers.
Over the first three months of 2013 business in Asia, Bossard generated a turnover of CHF 19.2 million. Turnover thus rose by 2.0 percent in Swiss francs against the previous year. Based on average daily turnover, sales volumes in all regions were at, or slightly above, the levels for the previous year.
CEO David Dean emphasized that, "Following a weak Q3 and Q4 in 2012 we have started the year well. Ignoring the growth from acquisition, the increase in turnover was 4.8 percent above that over the second half of 2012. The greatest uncertainty for the rest of the year remains the trend in European economic activity, which continues to lack a solid foundation".
Our business's key leading indicators, such as the Purchasing Managers Indices in our most important markets, are above the level for the previous year and point to a more positive outlook for economic activity. It will be borne out over the coming weeks and months as to whether the recent re-emergence of uncertainty around the European debt crisis will stifle our customers' clearly more positive expectations. Based on the current state of information we can expect continued positive growth over 2013 in America as well as in Asia, provided the political agitations of the North Korean leadership do not lead to a further escalation. We can also expect a gradual economic recovery in Europe and a revival in demand compared to the second half of 2012. Our business activity over the course of Q2 will hopefully provide us with the relevant confirmation in this regard.
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