Significantly higher sales in the third quarter
The Bossard Group reported sales of CHF 152.5 million for the third quarter of 2013. This represents a year-on-year increase of 28.4 percent. Sales increased in local currency by 30.0 percent.
Growth in European and Asian business
The Bossard Group's European sales of CHF 98.1 million in Q3 2013 were 57.5 percent (in local currency: 55.8 percent) higher than the same period last year. This striking growth is primarily due to the acquisition of KVT-Fastening. When excluding growth through acquisition, Bossard's growth in Europe has been clearly positive: Sales climbed by 7.3 percent (in local currency: 6.2 percent), after growing 1.7 percent (in local currency: 0.4 percent) in the second quarter. Asia has experienced even more dynamic organic growth: Sales increased 9.2 percent (in local currency: 14.1 percent) in the third quarter to CHF 23.3 million; Bossard experienced 12.7 percent (in local currency: 11.0 percent) growth in its Asian sales in the second quarter. The growth rates in Europe and Asia are explained in part with a comparatively modest increase in demand over last year. Bossard also showed a positive development in Europe and Asia in new customer acquisition. Sales in America fell 5.9 percent (in local currency: 2.6 percent) to CHF 31.1 million: This sales level is slightly below expectations.
Jump in sales in the first nine months
In the first nine months of the current fiscal year, the Bossard Group reported total sales of CHF 464.0 million, which is an increase in sales of 25.3 percent over the previous year. The sales growth was 25.0 percent in local currency. European business is now more broadly positioned with the acquisition of KVT-Fastening: This produced an increase of 48.1 percent (in local currency: 46.5 percent) to CHF 293.6 million. The acquisition of KVT-Fastening has built out Bossard's market positions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. If this acquisition is not considered in the results, the nine-month growth is now equal to the same nine-month period in the previous year after growth in the past two quarters. Bossard increased sales in Asian markets by 8.2 percent (in local currency: 9.1 percent) to CHF 66.1 million. America produced revenue after the first nine months of CHF 104.3 million - adjusted for the divestment of Bossard Metrics Inc. - this was a slight increase of 0.2 percent (in local currency: 0.8 percent).
Continuing sales trend in the fourth quarter
Purchasing managers' indices in our most important markets were above 50 points in the past few months, indicating satisfactory expectations for industrial production. These have pointed to consolidation or a slight market recovery in some markets. Despite positive growth rates in Europe and Asia, we see no signs of a broad-based economic recovery.
We foresee continued positive sales growth in Europe and Asia to the end of this year. Due to lower sales with a major customer, business in the U.S. is likely to grow slightly less in the fourth quarter than in 2012. Altogether, the fourth quarter of 2013 is expected to be better than the comparable quarter last year. We expect an increase in sales for fiscal 2013 in the order of the first nine months.