SCHOTT Sees Sales and Annual Results Climb in its 2014/2015 Fiscal Year
Having achieved improvements of all key earnings figures for its 2014/2015 fiscal year, SCHOTT AG plans to push ahead and continue with its growth strategy. The group’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached €178 million (approximately $194 million), marking an increase from the €135 million (~ $147 million) in fiscal Year 2013/2014. In addition, group earnings of € 95 million (~ $103 million) and an operative cash flow with €209 million (~ $228 million) made clear gains over the previous year.
“Our focus was primarily on improving profitability in 2015, a goal which we fully met,” said Frank Heinricht, Ph.D., chairman of the management board. “Needless to say, we are pleased with the results of the last fiscal year.”
Global sales were up by 3% to €1.93 billion (~ $2.1 billion). When adjusted for currency fluctuations and portfolio measures, sales rose by 4.4%. The foreign share of sales remained unchanged at 86%. Almost half of the total sales were in Europe, with North America and Asia each accounting for a quarter respectively and South America coming in at about 10%.
During the previous fiscal year, management continued restructuring the group. Measures included withdrawing from the market for machine vision applications by selling its majority shares in SCHOTT Moritex Corp. in Japan, the sale of its food display business in North America, and the restructuring of the Concentrated Solar Power business segment due to weak demand. Thus, all respective sales disposals associated with these areas were more than offset by the financial improvements in almost every other business segment, particularly the business results in pharmaceutical packaging, hermetic enclosures used to protect sensitive electronic components, and CERAN® glass-ceramic cooktops.
CFO Klaus Rübenthaler announced an additional reduction of financial liabilities in the last fiscal year, dropping from €182 million (~ $199 million) to €156 million (~ $170 million). Meanwhile, company assets rose by €118 million (~ $128 million) to €519 million (~ $567 million). Thus, the group’s equity ratio moved upward from 18% to 24%. For investments in fixed assets, the company spent €156 million (~ $170 million), including for the expansion of production capacity of CERAN glass-ceramic cooktops in Mainz and for the construction of a new melting tank used for pharmaceutical packaging at its manufacturing facility in Mitterteich (Upper Palatinate).
For the current fiscal year, SCHOTT reportedly plans to continue with a focus on growing its business. The company anticipates a sales increase of between 35%, which it expects to achieve through consistently improving its profitability. “In the years ahead, we are looking to successfully launch a number of innovations on the global market,” said Heinricht. “In addition, we want to grow our company in target regions as well as through acquisitions.”
Some of these innovations include ultra-thin glass for semiconductor technology, glass-aluminum sealing solutions for electrolytic capacitators and lithium-ion batteries as well as transparent high- tech special ceramics for thermal imaging cameras and projector light sources. The group has earmarked €190 million (~ $207 million) to invest in its fixed assets, a significant increase over the previous year. One investment priority is a new production facility for pharmaceutical packaging (vials and ampoules) located south of Shanghai.
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