Revenues and orders down sharply for Komax
Komax had a difficult year in 2019, reflecting the weakening of automobile production. The Lucerne manufacturer of cable manufacturing installations saw its orders and revenues fall. While its Ebit operating margin has also plummeted, the Lucerne company intends to introduce short-time working on its Swiss sites from March 1.
In a climate of uncertainty linked to various political factors, have the Sino-American trade conflict, the unfavorable evolution of the markets observed in the first part of the year continued in the second half, explains Tuesday Komax in its first information about the progress of his business in 2019. Less inclined to invest, customers postponed certain projects and therefore their orders.
Order intake contracted by 17.7% to 408.7 million francs, while revenues fell by almost 13% to around 415 million. While the latter rose slightly in the second half to 212 million compared to the first six months, partly due to two acquisitions, orders, like the Ebit operating margin, fell, the first to 202 million and the second to around 4 %.
The Ebit margin for the whole year stood at 5.5%, far from the 14% posted in 2018. The company established in Dierikon explains the plunge due to unexpected additional expenses relating to certain pioneering projects for a few automotive industry customers in the field of new technologies.
Taking note of this experience, Komax indicates that it wants to focus in the future on less risky projects.
Significantly lower than the central Swiss company’s own expectations, both orders and turnover remained well beyond the average expectations of analysts. Surveyed by AWP, the latter were expecting orders of 426.2 million francs and revenues of 421.8 million.
Referring to the current financial year, Komax notes that it wants to continue to develop its activities. However, the group, which recalls having experienced very strong growth in recent years, expects a difficult period and intends in this context to revise its structures and, if necessary, make changes in staff. The company cannot exclude layoffs.
For the time being, Komax intends to introduce reduced hours at its Swiss sites in Dierikon, Rotkreuz and Küssnacht am Rigi from March 1. In the coming weeks, the board of directors will take stock of the market situation and revise the financial objectives set for the period 2017 to 2021. (awp)